Zara Arshad, MSc, RP, PMH-C

Founder of My Ottawa Therapist and author of Stronger Together: A Couple’s Guide to Navigating Your Relationship After Baby

My Philosophy

I believe a problem does not exist within a person, it exists within a relationship, whether with a partner, a family member, or even with oneself. I deeply appreciate and accept the complexities of each individual and each relationship, as everyone is comprised of a mixture of thoughts, feelings, experiences, beliefs, fears, perceptions, and so on, all of which are not always in harmony. It is important for people to turn to healthy resources to develop tools in order to manage or resolve problems in their lives, much like one seeks a doctor to manage an illness or alleviate pain.

Therapy provides the opportunity to explore how your present patterns may be influenced by relationships and experiences from the past, inhibiting you from having more secure relationships and experiences in the present. Such exploration leads to insights into parts of yourself which creates opportunities for understanding, self-awareness, self-attunement, healing, and growth.

My Approach

As your therapist, I create a safe, comfortable, and non-judgemental environment where I allow you to express who you are – the good and the bad. During this vulnerable process, I offer gentle support in reaching your therapeutic goals, by helping you make sense of the issues you are facing, gain insight into your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, facilitate and enhance communication, connect with your inner resilience, implement changes, develop compassion towards yourself and others, and renew connections with people in your life. I also challenge you in order to help you grow and reach your greater potential. I use a strength-based and collaborative approach where I meet you where you are in your journey and help empower you to achieve the changes you want in your life. I believe with proper support, guidance, and sincere effort, you have the power to create change.

My Qualifications

  • Canadian Certified Perinatal Mental Health Counselor (CC-PMH): Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Trainings, 2021
  • Registered Psychotherapist (RP): College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario #005185
  • Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT): Master of Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, U.S.A, 2015.
  • I meet with Rita Girn, a Canadian Certified Counselor, Registered Social Worker, and a PMH-C on a monthly basis to consult about clients and to ensure professional and ethical competence. Meetings include other mental health professionals.
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