Our Mental Health Professionals

Abraar Elmi, M.Ed. , RP (Q)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Abraar uses a compassionate, collaborative and strength-based approach to work with clients to identify goals and develop personalized therapy plans. She creates a safe, non-judgmental space for individuals to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours while developing new coping strategies while strengthening existing ones. Abraar adapts her approach for each individual’s needs and draws on elements from various therapeutic approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-Focused therapeutic modalities, and person-centered therapies.

Abraar is passionate about providing support to the 2SLGBTQ+ community and marginalized communities. Her areas of interest include relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, grief, ADHD, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem issues, and challenges related to life transitions.

Abraar is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). Abraar completed her M. Ed in Counselling Psychology at the University of Ottawa.

Agnieszka Szymanowicz-Yalcin, M.Ed., RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Agnieszka believes that every person is unique and an expert of their own life experience. Therefore, she adopts an integrative approach in counselling to aid in addressing client’s challenges. She tailors her approaches according to the client’s needs, and this includes humanistic, client centered, cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, multicultural, developmental philosophies, narrative, solution focus, brief, positive psychology, mindfulness base stress reduction, motivational interviewing, anti-oppressive, empowerment and trauma informed lens within community perspective to promote healing and strengthen resiliency. Agnieszka aims to approach individuals with compassion, flexibility, and non-judgment to support their growth, healing process and improving quality of life.

She offers counselling in both Polish and English. She has completed a Master’s Degree in Education with specialization in counselling psychology. She is a full member of the Collage of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario, CRPO.

Amal Ahmed, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Amal’s foremost focus is to provide a safe, warm, and validating therapeutic space where clients can feel heard and understood. She uses an integrated approach to help raise awareness and facilitate emotional processing, drawing from narrative and attachment family therapies with the hope of expanding on clients’ strengths.

Amal has experience working with a variety of clinical issues, such as depression, anxiety, burnout, life transitions, and relationship challenges. She has also worked with individuals struggling with anger, school difficulties, and challenging family dynamics.

Amal is a Registered Psychotherapist and has completed a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Spirituality.

Amira Nazarali, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Amira is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She approaches counselling from humanistic and existential perspectives, which means that she views clients as innately having the inner resources to confront challenges, gain insight into themselves, pursue their self-determined goals, and create greater meaning and purpose in their lives.

Amira sees her role as providing clients with support, some appropriate tools, and an enabling environment for them to engage in their own individual process of growth. She strives to approach her clients with warmth, empathy, acceptance, authenticity and an appreciation of the uniqueness of every individual’s lived experience in the world.  She believes strongly in collaborative, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practice.

To best suit the individual needs of each of her clients, Amira draws upon a range of approaches and therapeutic models. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Approaches and Positive Psychology. She is open to working with clients of all ages, but has specific experience working with youth and young adults as they grapple with concerns such as depression, anxiety, social and interpersonal challenges, academic and workplace stress, and as they navigate personal identity, life changes and adjustments.

Amira completed her graduate degree in social work at the University of Toronto. She also holds a graduate degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, with a specific interest in equity and social determinants of physical and mental health. Before her counselling role, she spent time working in the global health and humanitarian assistance field.

Aya El Balaa, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Aya aims to provide a warm, judgement-free, and supportive space where the client feels safe and understood. She provides an empathetic presence that allows clients to be their authentic self and feel cared for and validated. Aya works with clients to help them identify their goals. She then works closely with her clients in developing strategies and skills that highlight their resilience and strengths. She helps them regulate their emotions and provides them with tools to help them cope with stress, improve their relationships, and bring about the desired change in their lives. 

Aya is an integrative therapist using modalities such as Emotion Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, tailoring the approaches to meet the clients’ therapeutic needs. 

Aya works as part of the Refugee and Newcomer program as well as the Adult Individual program to help people who are experiencing clinical issues in relation to stress, anxiety, depression, adjustment in life transitions, self-esteem, separation, intimate partner violence, and more.  

Aya offers counselling in both Arabic and English. She has completed a Masters Degree in Counselling and Spirituality. She is a Registered Psychotherapist Qualifying with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). 

Bita Haghdadi, M.A., RP (Q)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Bita has always been interested in psychology and western culture, which led her to immigrate to Canada to complete her graduate studies in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Her desire to connect with and help people makes being a therapist both professionally and spiritually fulfilling.

As a therapist, she provides a non-judgmental, empathetic space for her clients to explore, learn, and grow into mental wellness and their best selves. Furthermore, as a professional who has been educated in both non-western and western environments, she is positioned to assist her clients in mediating between their needs and the available resources.

Her psychotherapy approach is integrative. However, as a therapist, Bita believes the client is the expert on their journey. Bita and her client will determine the best psychotherapeutic techniques to explore together, addressing the client’s specific issues, the depth of the interventions, and the length of their engagement.

Some of the modalities that Bita applies in her psychotherapy services include Humanistic and Existential therapy, Logotherapy, Mindfulness, Trauma-informed therapy, Jungian therapy, Emotion-Focused therapy, and Cognitive-Behavioral therapy. Bita provides individual counseling and psychotherapy services for a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues, emotional and intellectual disturbances, self-knowledge, self-love, and self-confidence.

Bita can provide services in both English and Farsi. She is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO)

Carmen Urbina, M.Ed., RP

Clinical Manager, The Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers Program

Carmen’s educational journey includes a five-year program in Education, majoring in science and minor in counselling from the University of Chile and a master’s degree from the University of Ottawa. In addition, Carmen completed a three-year post-graduate program to become a Gestalt Psychotherapist at the Gestalt Institute of the National Capital. Furthermore, Carmen completed the one-year Advanced Clinical Supervision Certificate at the prestigious School of Social Work, Smith College, Massachusetts, USA. In addition to her qualifications, Carmen also offers clinical consultation and supervision to other clinicians in the community.

Carmen has worked extensively in the field of cross-cultural counselling supporting newcomers to Ottawa for over twenty years, first as a counsellor and later as clinical supervisor and program manager. She has been instrumental in developing and sustaining resources in the community to make Ottawa a more inclusive and welcoming city highlighting the mental health needs of immigrants and refugees settling in Ottawa. She has trained and mentored dozens of students and young clinicians interested in developing cross-cultural counselling skills and has collaborated closely with other service providers such as lawyers and teachers.

Carmen believes in the power of active listening and unconditional positive regard as a first step to silently acknowledge the client presence and willingness to trust and engage in a therapeutic process that builds a positive model of a relationship with oneself and with others regardless of where the person is from or the present circumstances.

Carmen is keenly interested in listening to people’s experiences and how the cultural/social norms and the individual uniqueness shape the person’s evolving identity and the capacity to reach their potential. Carmen uses many of the well-known counselling approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Emotion Focus Therapy and Narrative Therapy supplemented by a socio-cultural perspective that uniquely reflects the client’s preferences. Carmen is bilingual (English/Spanish) and works with individuals and couples.

Dellan Woodger, M.Ed, C.C.C., R.P. (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist

Dellan works using an eclectic therapeutic approach, which draws on multiple therapeutic orientations in order to adapt to a client’s individual needs. His experience is primarily with person-centred and third-wave approaches; most frequently utilizing the following therapeutic methods: narrative therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), acceptance commitment therapy (ACT), and compassion-focused therapy (CFT). Dellan’s approach to counselling is highly collaborative and utilizes clients’ strengths and values to assist them as they navigate life’s challenges. Dellan has lived experience as a queer, neurodiverse, and transgender man. These identities informed his interest in narrative and client-centred approaches which emphasize the client as the expert in their own life.

Dellan’s primary experience lies in working with youth, families, 2SLGBTQIA+, and neurodiverse individuals. He holds an M.Ed in counselling psychology from the University of Ottawa. Dellan is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and a registered psychotherapist (qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Eudes Munive, MA, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Eudes is a highly motivated registered psychotherapist with the CRPO and a Canadian Certified Counsellor. Eudes completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a master’s degree in education with a specialization in counselling psychology, both from the University of Ottawa.

Eudes maintains a theoretical and practical orientation during interventions, working with a collaborative, holistic, and supportive model. Eudes provides clients with a safe environment by being nonjudgmental, empathic, and authentic. Eudes seeks to join people in their present circumstances, promoting self-awareness and insight. Helping clients understand how to see themselves, others, and the world.

Eudes strongly believes that each person is unique, has fundamental beliefs, values ideas, culture, and motivation to change. Eudes believes that people must undergo intentional changes to become more effective. Eudes draws upon a range of approaches and therapeutic models. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical behavioural Therapy, Emotion Focus Therapy and Narrative Therapy.

Eudes uses people’s sociocultural perspective in his practice. Eudes wants people to feel safe and understood. Eudes speaks English, French, and Spanish, and works with individuals and families.

Evelyn Wong, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

In her work with individuals and families, Evelyn provides a person-centred, non-judgmental and compassionate space to explore and navigate a range of life experiences including critical illnesses, addictions, grief and loss, interpersonal relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations.

Evelyn views her role to be that of a co-navigator in the process of psychotherapy. Her goal is to journey with individuals and families in their quest to reconnect with what is most important to them, with a focus on promoting resilience and growth for each individual and family that she works with.

Practicing from Narrative Therapy and Attachment-Based frameworks, Evelyn also draws on other therapeutic modalities (Emotionally Focused, Feedback-Informed, Trauma-Informed, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy-Informed, and Internal Family Systems) to help individuals and families chart their own roadmap from where they are to where they would rather be.

Evelyn holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Carleton University and a One-Year Training Certificate in Narrative Therapy from Dulwich Centre, Australia. Evelyn is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and is also a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW).