Our Counsellors

Carmen Urbina, M.Ed., RP, Registered Psychotherapist

Clinical Manager and Counsellor in 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.

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.

Dalia Wood, BA, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Dalia’s primary therapeutic focus aims at creating a safe and comfortable space for clients to feel heard and supported facilitating the unfolding of stories. She believes that clients are the authors of their own story. Some of Dalia’s strengths are active listening, positive regard to the client’s journey and history, and prioritizing resiliency and client’s strengths.

Dalia specializes in working with individuals who are experiencing concerns related to depression and anxiety, life-changing transitions, intimate partner violence, school difficulties, bullying and self-image issues.

Dalia’s work is informed by modalities such as Narrative Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Solution-focused brief therapy.

She offers counselling in both Arabic and English. Dalia has completed a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy. She is a full member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, CRPO.

Jennifer Goldberg, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Jennifer believes in fostering introspection and self-acceptance in order to promote positive relationships with both the self and with others. She offers a safe, non-judgmental space for clients to work on personal growth and positive change.

Jennifer practices with an integrative, collaborative approach. Much of her approach is comprised of a unique blend of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory, and Emotion-Focused techniques. She works with clients to reach their goals by tailoring her therapeutic approach to meet their unique needs.

Jennifer has experience working with a wide variety of clinical issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, and relationship challenges. She has also worked extensively with individuals struggling with anger and aggression.

Jennifer has a special interest in working with couples, with a specific interest in working with couples to heal following infidelity within the relationship.  She provides a safe, therapeutic space to help couples improve communication and to better meet each other’s emotional needs. By establishing an understanding of relationship dynamics, Jennifer assists couples to change patterns of escalation and hurt, and to foster deeper levels of connection.

Jennifer is a Registered Psychotherapist and graduate of the University of Ottawa Master’s Degree in Education Counselling Program.

Samiyah Zawawi, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Coming from a cross-cultural background, Samiyah has always appreciated the richness of each individual’s history and narrative. Samiyah works collaboratively with clients from diverse populations and draws on her own lived experiences and cultural understandings. She values creating a safe environment where clients can build self-awareness and the capacity to overcome challenges.

Samiyah has extensive experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma, anxiety-related challenges, depression, identity loss, migration, grief, and attachment-based issues. Samiyah’s experience working with immigrants, refugees, and vulnerable populations have led her to develop a holistic therapeutic approach that focuses on client needs. Samiyah draws from Narrative Therapy and Attachment Informed Therapy techniques while incorporating the client’s values to provide an enriching experience.

Samiyah holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Counselling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She provides counselling in English, Arabic, and Spanish. Samiyah values her ability to provide services in the client’s native tongue, as this is not only a bridge of communication but also the root of one’s culture.

Sara Youbi, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Sara works from a strength-based approach and invites each client to explore and discover their inner strengths, resilience and problem-solving skills. She is knowledgeable of the structural and societal factors that could pose as barriers that may impact a person’s ability to thrive. Sara meets clients where they are in their journey and collaborates with them as they navigate their healing process. She is passionate about social justice and social inequalities in health.

Sara’s clinical practice incorporates Narrative Therapy, Anti-Oppressive Practices, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques and aspects of Mindfulness from a culturally sensitive and Trauma-Informed approach. She provides counselling to individuals adults facing a wide variety of emotional and psychological challenges in their lives. Sara has worked in a variety of community settings and has extensive experience assisting clients to navigate the different social services, housing, and welfare systems. Throughout her profession in social services, she has worked with seniors, adults with chronic illness, as well as newcomers and immigrants’ parents.

Sara completed her Master of Social Work at The University of Ottawa and is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and is a member of the Canadian Association of Social Workers. Sara provides counselling in multiple languages including French, English and Arabic.

Sophia Weaver, MA, RP(Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Sophia Weaver is a bilingual counsellor who provides services in both English and French. Her therapeutic approach is based on the belief that each individual is the expert on their own experience. She offers her clients support in discovering and exploring challenges in a safe, positive and non-judgmental environment. Sophia works from a stance of collaboration, to assist people in navigating their life’s journey and finding their way back to wholeness.

Sophia’s areas of specialty are couple counselling, blended family issues, separation & divorce and parenting adolescents. She has experience working with individuals and couples from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and with varied concerns, including depression & anxiety, grief & loss, sexual & relationship distress, parenting challenges and family of origin issues. Sophia works with all clients to establish a strong alliance within the counselling relationship. With couples she focuses on helping couples to create a safe haven within their relationship as a way of deepening intimacy and increasing relationship satisfaction.

Sophia’s therapeutic work is informed by the following approaches: Object Relations/Self Psychology, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, Imago Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Experiential, Systemic, Psychodynamic and Person-Centered orientations.

Sophia is in the process of applying to become a qualifying member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapists Association (CCPA).