Our Mental Health Professionals

Agnieszka Szymanowicz-Yalcin, M.Ed. (Psych), 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 (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

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 bring awareness and emotional processing and pulls from narrative and attachment family therapies with the hope of expanding on client’s 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 strenuous family dynamics.

Amal is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and has completed a Master’s Degree in Counselling 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.

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

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.

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.

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).

Gabrielle Wilson, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Gabrielle believes that clients possess expert knowledge of themselves and she listens closely to their unique insights to guide the treatment goals and process. She works collaboratively with clients to develop an individualized program best suited to their needs. Gabrielle believes in the importance of a strong therapeutic relationship and approaches all clients with compassion, respect and warmth.

Gabrielle specializes in working with children, adolescents and families. She is passionate about fostering enhanced wellbeing through expressive art and play-based approaches. In her work with adult clients, she incorporates this same playfulness and creativity.

Gabrielle’s work is informed by a variety of therapeutic modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Structural Family Therapy. Outside of her work as a counsellor, Gabrielle is a musician/songwriter and she incorporates this knowledge into her work by developing narratives with clients to explore personal history, thoughts and emotions.

Gabrielle has worked in a variety of settings including women’s shelters, schools, community-based children’s mental health agencies and residential treatment homes. These experiences have led to a strong foundation in working with clients who have experienced trauma. She specializes in working with children and youth facing anxiety, depression, behavioural challenges, aggression and social difficulties. She also provides support for parents and works towards enhancing parent-child attachment.

Gabrielle completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She is a Registered Social Worker and is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Ghadir Kawar, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Ghadir understands that the foundation of any therapeutic work is a strong therapeutic relationship between herself and her clients. She strives to build a warm, compassionate, judgment-free, and empathic space, in which clients can speak freely about their traumas, while feeling heard and validated.

Ghadir is an Arabic, English, and French speaking counsellor with the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers program. She works with adult clients experiencing a wide variety of emotional and psychological challenges in their lives.

Ghadir’s work draws from an integrative, person-centered, cross-cultural, and trauma-informed approach. She collaborates with each client, tailoring her approach to meet their therapeutic needs. Her clinical practice is informed by Attachment, Psychodynamic, Systemic, Cognitive-Behavioural, and Narrative theories.

Ghadir is a graduate of Ottawa University and holds an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology. Prior to that, she graduated from Carleton University with an M.A. in Psychology.

Jennifer Grindon, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

As a therapist, Jennifer aims to provide clients with a safe and supportive space where they can slow down and connect to themselves. She believes that each person has the innate resources to grow and heal when they feel seen and supported. Jennifer encourages her clients to explore how their past experiences are affecting their current life, with the intention of moving toward a satisfying life with meaningful connections.
Jennifer uses an integrative, collaborative therapeutic approach. She predominately works from psychodynamic, attachment, and emotion-focused lenses to support both individuals and couples. However, she understands that each individual and couple is unique, and therefore, she works to tailor her therapeutic approach to meet each client’s unique needs.
Jennifer has experience working with a wide variety of clinical challenges, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, chronic illness, grief, and relationship challenges.

Jennifer has a special interest in supporting couples in healing from a variety of challenges, including infidelity and conflict. She provides a safe and non-judgmental space to help couples improve their ability to communicate, and to better understand and meet each other’s needs. Jennifer’s main goal in couple’s work is to help couples understand their relational dynamics, to help them change patterns of disconnection and hurt and move toward deeper levels of attunement, understanding, and connection.
Jennifer is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) who graduated from the Univerisity of Ottawa’s Master’s in Education- Counselling Psychology program. Jennifer has worked in mental for over ten years and has experience working in community, hospital, private and school settings.

Jennifer Moanda, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Jennifer graduated from the University of Ottawa where she completed her M.Ed in Counselling Psychology. She is currently a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and she is also a Canadian Certified Counsellor. 

Jennifer’s therapeutic approach is informed primarily by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. Jennifer strives to create a warm, welcoming and non-judgemental environment for clients where they will be able to explore their concerns in-depth while developing strategies to increase their sense of well-being. 

In her professional experience, Jennifer has had the opportunity of working in an addictions setting, providing both individual and group therapy.  Jennifer also holds an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Certificate as well as a Facilitator’s Certificate for SMART Recovery.  She has extensive experience working within an Employee Assistance Program and supporting clients with a variety of issues, including: anxiety, depression, grief, interpersonal & relationship challenges, mental health concerns, workplace stress and crisis intervention.

Jennifer is bilingual and provides counselling services in both French and English. She believes that clients possess the most knowledge about their own experiences and can create the change they want to see in their lives. With that frame of mind, Jennifer approaches psychotherapy as someone who accompanies clients on their journey towards their therapeutic goals and offers them insight & knowledge to help guide as needed. 

Layla Matar, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Layla’s key importance is creating a safe space for clients to feel comfortable and relaxed to open up and unpack throughout their therapeutic journey. She brings a warm, non-judgmental approach to her sessions and seeks to be a caring witness to her clients and their stories. She wants her clients to feel safe and accepted for their full selves.

Layla uses an integrative and collaborative approach by drawing from different therapy and counselling theories; her work is tailored to best meet her clients’ needs. The approaches Layla uses help guide her clients to discover their hidden strength and resilience. Layla works with her clients’ strengths to support them in unpacking and exploring the issues and distress that bring them to therapy. The key therapeutic approaches which inform her practice are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Narrative Therapy, Art Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT), and Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT).

Layla is experienced in working with adult individuals and couples. Her experience involves working with depression, anxiety, trauma, self-development, childhood wounds, interpersonal relationships, and relationship conflicts.

Layla is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). She graduated from Saint Paul University with her Master’s in Counselling and Spirituality and has a Graduate Diploma in Couple Counselling and Spirituality.