Our Mental Health Professionals

Bahara Hamidi, BA, (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Bahara believes that the therapeutic alliance is an important catalyst of change. As such, Bahara strives to create an open and nurturing environment that empowers individuals to reach their full potential and to build a more purposeful life. Bahara takes a structured, collaborative, and relaxed approach to help clients set and meet therapeutic goals.

Bahara’s therapeutic orientations are Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MCBT), Trauma-Focused, Solution-Focused, and Attachment-Based Therapy. In addition, Bahara’s approach to therapy is holistic in nature in that it considers the mind, body, and spirit connection.

Bahara has a background in diversity, equity and inclusion work and has experience working with clients who are racialized, part of the LGBTQ2+ community, and persons with disabilities.

Bahara offers therapy in Dari, Farsi, and English. Bahara is a member of The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Katherine Marr, MA, RP, CCC

Clinical Manager, Centre for Children, Youth, and Families

Katherine believes that we, as human beings, are beautifully complex and perfectly imperfect. In her work, she holds the intention of helping people reduce their sense of overwhelm, increase their sense of belonging, find freedom from their suffering, improve their relationships with self and others, and improve their overall quality of life.

Katherine has been working in the mental health and social service field for over twenty years, with most of that time focused within the child, youth, and family service sector. She began her career as a child and youth care worker and programs coordinator in schools, community agencies, youth mental health treatment centres, as well as detox and addiction recovery programs. She has now been practicing counselling and psychotherapy in Ottawa since 2011 and has grown her career to include working directly with adults of all ages, as well as managing mental health services and providing clinical supervision to other therapists. Katherine is equally experienced in working people who suffer from complex, unresolved traumas as she is in working with people who are seeking support in acute moments of suffering or when they simply can’t see the solutions to their problems clearly.

Katherine holds a master’s degree in counselling psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver, B.C. She is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). In addition, Katherine is a Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), a mindfulness and meditation teacher, and is nearing the end of her practitioner training in Somatic Experiencing with Somatic Experiencing International. In her work with children, youth, and their families, she relies on her foundational training in Adlerian psychology and incorporates a variety of other approaches in which she is trained, such as Systems Theory, Collaborative Problem Solving/ Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Positive Discipline, and Positive Youth Development.

Kelly Firth, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Kelly uses a warm, empathetic, and client-centred approach in her work. She aims to create a compassionate and non-judgemental space and to empower her clients to achieve their unique goals. Kelly uses an integrative and collaborative approach by drawing from various therapeutic approaches, such as Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic theory, Internal Family Systems, and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT). Kelly collaborates with each client, tailoring her approach to meet their therapeutic needs.

Kelly is experienced in working with adult individuals and couples. Her areas of experience include working with anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, addiction, grief and loss, interpersonal relationships, and relationship conflict. Kelly is a LGBTQ2+ positive and kink-friendly counsellor and aims to honour the experience of all of her clients.

Kelly received her Master’s degree in Counselling and Spirituality with a specialization in Couple and Family Counselling from Saint Paul University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She is also a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Mikaela Wasserman, M.Ed. , RP (Q)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Mikaela creates a warm and compassionate environment in therapy. Guided by the values of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness, she takes a client-centred approach in her work. Mikaela works with her clients in a collaborative manner to help them reach their therapeutic goals. She uses an integrative approach, practicing humanistic psychotherapy informed by training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Narrative Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), while also drawing from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness practices, and Psychodynamic and Internal Family Systems theories. The approach taken for each client is designed uniquely to meet their expressed needs and goals.

Mikaela works with individuals and couples of all genders to navigate a variety of difficulties by creating a safe, non-judgmental, and supportive environment. She has clinical experience and training in sex therapy, trauma, interpersonal conflict, and grief/loss, as well as managing issues related to depression, anxiety, shame, and anger. Mikaela is an LGBTQ2+ positive and sex positive counsellor and wants to respect the individual experiences of all her clients.

Mikaela Wasserman is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a University of Ottawa graduate of the Master of Education Counselling Psychology program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology with a specialization in Behavioural Neuroscience from Concordia University. She has substantial research and clinical training in human sexuality.

Shakiba Ahmadi, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Shakiba offers clients a warm, gentle, and supportive presence, accompanying them as they move through the therapeutic process. Rooted in Humanistic and Trauma-Informed lenses, she fosters strong therapeutic relationships, and emphasizes a sense of safety, trust, collaboration, and empowerment in her work. She works with clients to identify their unique goals, then takes a flexible stance, exploring and drawing from different approaches to fit the needs of her clients. Ultimately, she aims to hold an intentional space where clients can gain insight to their experiences, meet themselves with self-compassion, and build on their strengths.

In her clinical work, Shakiba has worked with issues such as complex PTSD, anxiety and avoidance, self-esteem, identity issues, multicultural issues, and LGBTQ2+ issues. She has drawn from different approaches such as Client-Centered Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), to name a few.

Shakiba offers therapy in both English and Farsi. She is working as part of The Counselling Group, including within its Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers Program, and at the Walk-in Clinic. She is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and holds a Master’s degree in Counselling and Spirituality.

Wendy Cotton, MSW, RSW, Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Clinical Manager, Individual Counselling

Wendy’s practicing philosophy is that every person deserves an opportunity to heal, to grow and to seek support in doing so: “Our personal growth has a profound impact on how we understand ourselves and function in the world. When we create change within ourselves, we can develop healthier relationships with others, and with the world around us. We are all worthy of this process.”

Wendy has worked in the counselling field for over twenty-five years. In her work with adult clients, she reflects an appreciation of diversity and the unique knowledge that clients hold about their history and current situation. She helps people manage emotionally challenging situations and life transitions, and is experienced in working with anxiety, depression, family of origin dynamics, sexual abuse, grief and loss, and trauma-related issues. Wendy works with the modalities of Narrative Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Attachment Theory, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness and Experiential-Systemic Theory. Her approach to therapy is collaborative and inclusive, and she offers a calm, respectful, and supportive environment where clients feel understood and encouraged.

Wendy’s counselling experience includes EAP counselling, intensive in-home therapy, group facilitation, Play Therapy, and private practice. Wendy also has many years of experience working specifically with adult survivors of sexual abuse and early childhood trauma.

Wendy holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.