“Keep your language. Love its sounds, its modulation, its rhythm. But try to march together with men of different languages, remote from your own, who wish like you for a more just and human world.”
— Helder Camara, Spiral Of Violence
I became a multicultural competent counselor after many positive and negative cross-cultural encounters in my life. I spent my youth growing up in a diverse culture in Pakistan. After immigrating to Canada, I was a minority and had to face many cross-cultural encounters. My culture and other’s culture were spinning in my head to analyze for answers. I spent the first few years trying to grasp the idea of how culture varies among people and how it changes with one’s experiences. This rich experience intrigued me in many ways. I dove into classes that concentrated on culture, gender, sexuality, and religion because these were the things that I felt at the time made people unique.
I became interested in how a counselor can be multiculturally competent with the variety of cultures inside of one country. It became evident soon that this is a skill that takes attention, time, and experience. Then I completed my master’s in counselling psychology with many students from a variety of different backgrounds. I gained many helpful perspectives in my practicum as well as in my journey as a counselor associate since these earlier years. I have learned from their experiences and my experiences with them. I also realized that my previous cross-cultural experiences have taught me many things that I have used and brought into the counseling room. It more sparked my interest in how cross-cultural encounters inform multicultural counseling practices. It was then that I knew that culture and understanding human interactions would be a life-long shifting journey for me.
There are many questions we can ask ourselves which inform our thoughts on culture. Have you ever found yourself facing stress related to individualistic or collectivist cultural influences, and how has this affected your decision-making or perception of others? Do you experience anxiety when it comes to fulfilling roles within your family or maintaining relationships in line with your cultural values and the narratives you’ve been exposed to? Do you ever feel that your values and beliefs differ from those of your partner or other family members, leading to internal conflicts? Do you sense a sense of isolation in your workplace or educational environment due to variations in values, upbringing, or diversity? Have you encountered feelings of trauma and discrimination as an immigrant or refugee, stemming from differences in language, cultural perspectives, dress, and customs? Have you grappled with cultural shock, along with sensations of loss, isolation, loneliness, and a lack of support? Are you experiencing the stress of acculturation, as you navigate how to fit into a new society while harboring concerns about losing your own culture?
As a multicultural therapist, I am acutely aware of the significance of my own cultural values and traditions, which enhances my understanding of diverse perspectives. I am particularly attuned to the presence of cultural distinctions and potential stigmas. My goal is to create a non-judgmental space where I can facilitate your exploration of the world from your individual viewpoint. I wholeheartedly respect and value your worldview with a deep sense of acceptance and openness. We can then learn and practice together the appropriate, relevant, and culturally sensitive interventions that meet your personal needs. I will meet you where you are and incorporate your values into the counselling process, as appropriate.
In embracing my awareness, you will be provided with the supportive and confidential environment where you can discuss your concerns with ease. I specialize in addressing concerns related to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and trauma recovery to the clients who are survivors of past / current abuse, those who are struggling in their relationships, work, school or finding their identity. I work from an integrative approach to counselling where I utilize Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), Trauma-Focused Therapy and Mindfulness and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) interventions, according to the unique needs of the clients. I will warmly welcome indigenous clients and individuals from various ethnic and racial backgrounds. Furthermore, I am proficient in Urdu and Hindi languages and will provide an inclusive space for those who prefer services in these languages. I offer both telehealth and in-person sessions at my private practice, ensuring accessibility and flexibility in client support.
If that resonates with you and you need a safe space to discuss your concerns and reconstructing new meanings, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-266-2198 to connect with me.
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