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Welcome to

Serene Heart Counseling and Psychotherapy Services

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.

- BEN OKRI

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Team

Saima Zaheer
Not Accepting New Clients

Clinical Director, M.Ed Psych, RP, CTIC

Marriage & Couple Therapy Family Counselling Trauma & PTSD Pre-marital Counselling Parenting Children's mental health Play Therapy

Experiencing distress in your life, feeling stuck in negative patterns and conflicts can be challenging and hard to cope with. I believe that the first step toward well-being is cultivating the awareness and understanding of one’s patterns. As your therapist, I will support you on your journey to holistic wellness by empowering you to explore your key strengths and wisdom.

I am trained in Emotion-Focussed therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Gottman Method and Dialectical Behaviour therapy all set within a relational, trauma-informed and strengths-based framework. I have extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults and couples. Together, we will work to develop the necessary skills to face and overcome your challenges and live a more meaningful life.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi

Team

Cecy Daniel
Accepting Clients

Clinical Manager, Social Worker, Senior Psychotherapist, MSW, RSW

Marriage & Couple Therapy Trauma Mental Health Concerns

Therapy can be daunting but also a sacred, fulfilling journey for it rebuilds relations with others as well as one’s own self. It allows fears, weaknesses and sufferings to exist but more importantly to be transformed into strength, hope, clarity and recovery. I work hard with my clients to strengthen their sense of agency/choices, widen their capacity to self-reflect, evaluate, regulate any difficult thoughts, emotions, actions & psycho-educate on topics relevant to them.

I am trained in Emotion-Focussed therapy, Solutions-Focussed therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and have experience working with adolescents, adults, couples and families. I empower clients to validate their inner strengths, work through their weaknesses, self-advocacy skills to voice their needs.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Malyalam

Team

Kersti Abawi
Accepting Clients

Associate Psychotherapist, EMDR, Narrative Therapy, CBT, MSBR

EMDR For Trauma Anxiety Depression Life Transitions Couples Counselling

I have been working in the field for over 25 years. I have a degree in Adlerian psychotherapy. Clarity is my hope for each person I meet with. Whether your struggle is with depression, anxiety, disordered eating, a relationship, or past or present trauma – clarity means a better awareness and understanding of yourself.

Knowing yourself allows you to make choices best for you, consciously. It can be challenging to unravel all of the often-conflicting messages we hear and tell ourselves. But it is crucial for living an authentic, whole, and joyful life. I offer a safe, judgment-free space to be listened to and heard. I believe that feeling “seen” unlocks inner wisdom and resilience.

I am trained in EMDR, Narrative Therapy, CBT, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and attachment-based interventions. Currently, I am also completing my Somatic Experiencing training. SE is a somatic trauma treatment that involves techniques to release trauma from the body, closely partnered with and complementary to Polyvagal Theory.

Languages Spoken: English, Estonian


Team

Ramiro Armas Austria
Accepting Clients

Psychoanalyst, PhD, TPS, CPS, IPA

Adolescent Adult Sexuality Separation Anxiety Trauma LGBTQ+ Couple and Marriage Counselling

I am a compassionate psychoanalyst with more than ten years of clinical experience supporting patients of diverse gender, age and ethnic backgrounds. I am at present a member of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society, the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association. I integrate a myriad of current techniques and approaches with varied technologies that best suit the clients’ needs. My main areas of focus are adult and teenage sexuality, gender, addiction and trauma, particularly parent-child separation trauma. Together with the patient, we build a Time and a Space to RECALL the untold past, to REFLECT in a coherent way on our emotions and bodily experiences, and RECONCILE with our desires and fantasies, no matter how devastating these may appear to be. We then recall, reflect and reconcile in order to attain a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Languages Spoken: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German

Team

Varsha Ramkumar
Accepting Clients

Associate Psychotherapist, RP(Q), MA.

Anxiety and Depression Grief COVID-19 related mental health concerns Marriage Counselling

Truth be told, all of us go through many storylines and create our own unique narratives as we go about our daily lives. We are the authors of our lives. And in therapy, I truly respect that. You will see in our sessions, as you and I work together to build a therapeutic relationship, I will make every effort to help you make sense of your unique experiences and support you on your journey.

I intend to create a safe environment for you, where we would focus solely on your key strengths and apply these to cater to your needs. My practice is guided by a trauma-informed; feminist, relational and strengths-based framework employing techniques from Narrative Therapy, (SFT) Solution-Focused Therapy and (CBT) Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. I have extensively worked with adolescents, adults, and seniors. I follow a collaborative, compassionate and empathetic approach to therapy. Together, we would explore your strengths and develop strategies that would help achieve therapeutic goals and move us ahead in the healing process.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam

Team

Anum Waqas
Accepting New Virtual Clients

Associate Psychotherapist, RP(Q)

Individual Therapy Teens Children Parenting Play Therapy Adolescent

My purpose as a counsellor is to assist in fostering the strengths that the client already possesses. I strive to work on building a client’s self-esteem and confidence. I believe that everyone is their own expert and I strive to work with the client and assist them in developing coping skills.

I work to provide strategies for them to understand and process their emotions more effectively. I aim to create a therapeutic space in which clients feel safe, respected, and supported. I practice psychological treatments that are evidence-based. My approach integrates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-focused, client-centred and Mindfulness.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu

Team

Saad Khan
Accepting Clients

Associate Psychotherapist, (Q)

Couple Therapy Parenting Parent-teen conflict Trauma Therapy

Hi, My name is Saad Khan. I have a BSc Honours in Kinesiology and Health Sciences, with a minor in Psychology, from York University. Following that, I completed my Masters in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. I am an active member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).

The field of mental health has been a passion of mine since high school. I have spent a decade working and volunteering in various mental health facilities, including hospitals and clinics. Having served with the Canadian Armed Forces - Reserves, as a Medic, I have been able to see the various effects of trauma, burnout, inter/intra-personal conflicts, and more, amongst individuals. I have had the opportunity to serve a wide demographic including veterans, law enforcement personnel, first responders, healthcare workers, amputees, and many more.

I have extensive experience in addressing trauma, depression, and anxiety-related issues. I utilize a variety of evidence-based modalities including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT), and Narrative Therapy.

I look forward to supporting your growth and journey to resilience, through meaningful dialogue and self-exploration.

Languages Spoken: English, Urdu, Hindi

Team

Shabnam Chahal
Accepting Clients

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) MACP, BA

Anxiety Self Esteem Stress Cognitive Behavioural (CBT) Adolescent

Choosing to start therapy can feel overwhelming and intimidating at times, however, my goal is to make this experience as comfortable as possible for you. Through my work I strive to build a strong collaborative relationship with my clients, providing them with a safe non-judgmental environment where they are receiving an ample amount of support and empathy.

I highly value a client-centred approach therefore I am dedicated to constructing a treatment plan that is unique to every individual’s needs, goals, and strengths. As I have lived experience surrounding some of the challenges that first-generation, Punjabi-Canadian individuals may undergo, I hope to use that experience to relate to and connect with clients who come from a diverse range of backgrounds.

I am interested in supporting individuals who are experiencing challenges with stress, anxiety, depression, concerns around self-esteem/self-confidence/self-acceptance, and/or improving one’s overall well-being, through building adaptive coping mechanisms and implementing positive life transitions. I am trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Solution Focused Therapy, Strength Based Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Culturally Sensitive Therapy, and Emotion Focused Therapy

Languages Spoken: English

Team

Harveen Dhatt
Accepting Clients

Associate Psychotherapist RP(Q)

Adolescent Anxiety Depression Mental Health Children

Hello, my name is Harveen Dhatt (She/Her) and I recently graduated from the master of the counselling psychology program at Yorkville University after completing my practicum at Serene Heart Counselling.

I have successfully completed my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Honours at York University. I have experience working with a diverse population of children, youth, and adults. I am also certified in suicide prevention. I am under the supervision of Saima Zaheer M.Ed psych, RP, CTIC, and Clinical Director of Serene Heart Counselling & Psychotherapy Services, whom I receive supervision on a weekly basis.

I have experience working with a variety of clients including those who are dealing with stress, depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship issues. I am trained in a variety of approaches including trauma-informed, mindfulness-based, solution-focused, cognitive-behavioural, and person-centred.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Punjabi

Team

Daphne Siddique
Accepting Clients

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Women's health Relationships Depression Anxiety PTSD Couples Therapy

My name is Daphne Siddique and I have been an advocate for women who have dealt with mental, physical, emotional and sexual abuse from a very young age. I have volunteered with many different shelters and realized that I could only offer limited support. This inspired me to complete my Masters in clinical counselling which I am currently enrolled in at Tyndale University and am completing my internship here at Serene Heart Counselling, under the supervision of Saima Zaheer M.Ed psych, RP, CTIC.

I believe that being seen, heard and understood are vital in all relationships, however, this is first crucial in creating awareness within ourselves. I assist my clients to delve deeper into creating a space for regulating their own feelings and nervous systems first and to provide simple techniques to effectively identify personal emotions authentically.

Currently, my experience and training include a plethora of different modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Emotional Focused, the Bowlby Method, Solution-Focused, Client-Centered, Narrative, Psychoanalytic Therapy and Mindfulness Techniques. These strategies assist in effectively nurturing clients dealing with relationship trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and family conflicts and encourage new awareness to create positive change in a safe non-judgemental environment.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu

Team

Kelsey Beson
Accepting Clients

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Individual Counselling Parent-teen Conflict Family Dynamics

With over 10 years of experience, I've dedicated myself to supporting individuals and nurturing parent-teen relationships.

In individual therapy, envision me as your compassionate companion on the path to self-discovery. I offer a compassionate and insightful approach, blending clinical expertise with humour to create an empowering and comfortable healing environment.

I believe in understanding how systems of oppression shape individual experiences, inviting you to explore this dimension in your therapeutic journey.

In addressing parent-teen conflict, our collaborative goal is to improve relationships by enhancing communication, understanding, and empathy within your family dynamic.

Together, we'll work on identifying underlying issues, patterns of interaction, and developing healthier ways for both parents and teens to relate to each other. Through techniques like communication skills training and conflict resolution, we aim to bridge the generation gap and create positive changes for a more harmonious family life. Join me on this transformative journey towards improved emotional well-being for everyone involved.

Languages Spoken: English

Feyza Kilic

Feyza Kilic
Accepting New Clients

Intern Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), MA, BA

Adolescent Anxiety Depression Mental Health

Everybody has a story to tell. A therapy room is the safe place you have been looking for to pour out your heart. A therapist is one who will professionally stand by your healing and exploration journey. Feyza is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) who is currently in the last stage of completing her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. She is also an active member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Previous education includes a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree with great distinction in Psychology from York University and another degree with high honours in Behavioural Sciences from Seneca College. She is a young professional with a passion for mental health care and a desire to help people reach their full potential. She is excited to support individuals with evidence-based interventions under the supervision of Saima Zaheer, RP, while completing her internship at Serene Heart Counselling and Psychotherapy Services.

Languages Spoken: English, Turkish

Maria Ahmed

Maria Ahmed
Accepting New Clients

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Addiction Trauma Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Cognitive Behavioural (CBT)

We all have experienced difficult encounters that leave us questioning our world view or even ourselves. Some challenges we cope with well on our own, building strength and resiliency for the future. Unfortunately, some challenges we cannot face alone. Allowing ourselves to reach out and find the right support and encouragement during such difficult times takes courage and can be crucial to our well-being. Difficult experiences can break us down or build us up. I aim to create safe emotional spaces to help people explore, cope with, or overcome their difficulties towards acceptance, serenity, inner peace, empowerment, and healthier relationships. My process for each session involves supporting people to be able to express and understand feelings, develop new ways of thinking or behaving, and skill development for stress management and behavioral change. I help clients feel validated and supported during your difficult times with active listening and goal-oriented therapy focused on experiential change. My methods include narrative therapy, CBT, CPT and DBT. I have a Master of Arts Degree in Addictions Counselling. I have supported many clients over the last three years overcoming trauma and addictive behaviors for more functional and meaningful living. Finding the right support is a difficult task and can oftentimes be a daunting experience. I am here to connect with you and work collaboratively to meet your unique needs. I am happy to provide a short phone consultation to determine if my background and personality are a good fit for your therapy needs. Let’s connect and explore your journey of self-discovery.

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu

Mike Wiebe

Mike Wiebe
Accepting New Clients

Psychotherapy Intern

Sexuality Depression Anxiety PTSD & Trauma Couples Therapy

Being invited to come alongside you for a season as we navigate troubled waters is a great honour. I view counselling as a life-on-life journey where we work together to discover what healing and wholeness can look like for you. My name is Mike Wiebe, and I am currently completing my Master of Divinity in Clinical Counselling at Tyndale. I completed an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies several years ago and am very excited to join Serene Heart as an intern. I will be under the supervision of Saima Zaheer M.Ed psych, RP, CTIC, whom I will meet with weekly. I have previously worked as a pastor in a small, rural community which provided me with many opportunities to walk alongside people through some of the most difficult times in their lives. I have walked along side people in various settings and through various issues including, prison ministry, providing support to homeless and impoverished people, mentoring, mental health issues, addiction recovery, issues related to human sexuality, marriage preparation, separation, divorce, violent and traumatic events, and suicide. These experiences and more have given me a passion for helping people find hope, healing, and wholeness.

Languages Spoken: English

Team

Hanaa Rashid
Accepting Virtual Clients

Associate Psychotherapist, MEd, MSW, RSW, CMCB

Parenting Pre-marital Trauma Anxiety

Navigating today’s world can be challenging especially for children and their families. I believe that building trust and providing children with a safe space to express themselves is the first step toward initiating change. I am passionate about working with children, parents and families who are experiencing stress, anxiety, conflicts and everyday challenges.

In my work, I try to empower and build resilience through attachment-based and strengths framework employing techniques from Narrative Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Collaborative Problem Solving and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I am also trained in family-centred interventions, play therapy and providing parenting support. Together, we will create a safe, non-judgemental space where you will feel heard and supported in your healing process

Languages Spoken: English, Hindi, Urdu

Team

Rida Fatima
Accepting New Clients

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Hello, my name is Rida Fatima and I graduated from the master of counselling program from Yorkville University in December of 2022. I also completed my practicum from Serene Heart Counselling where my clientele included those dealing with depression, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, relationship issues, trauma, etc. I am currently under the supervision of Saima Zaheer M.Ed psych, RP, CTIC, and Clinical Director of Serene Heart Counselling & Psychotherapy Services.

My advent to mental health studies was deeply motivated when I volunteered at different community organizations working with children and youth experiencing various behavioural and cognitive challenges. I decided to complete my undergraduate degree from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in Psychology and Health Studies.

I also worked as a community mental health counsellor with South Asian Canadians Health & Social Services (SACHSS) and volunteered with two help lines, Distress Centre of Greater Toronto and Naseeha. I am also certified in suicide prevention. Finally, I am trained in various theoretical approaches such as, cognitive behavioural therapy, solution-focused, person-centred, trauma-focused therapy.

Team

Emily Arthur

Administrative/Intake Worker

Emily is a recent psychology graduate from the University of Guelph and is currently working towards her Masters of Counselling at Yorkville University. Her passion and commitment to mental health, mindfulness and mental well-being drew her to Serene Heart Counselling. Emily believes in varying approaches to mental health, including holistic approaches and talk therapy. Emily is excited to be a part of the Serene Heart Counselling team to support individuals in accessing their desired services that will support their personal growth. Emily is happy to answer any questions or provide guidance as needed. You can reach Emily at: intake.shc@gmail.com

Languages Spoken: English

Team

Serene Haq

Serene is a recent graduate from Brock University, with a BSc. Honours in Neuropsychology. Serene believes that positive childhood interventions can create cascading effects in the lives of children. She wants to combine her interests of Neuroscience, Psychology and Pediatrics to help make a difference. She is thrilled to join the SHC team and looks forward to helping anyone who comes into the office. You can reach Serene at intake.shc@gmail.com.

Team

Fatima Vayani

Student Intern Administrative/Intake Volunteer

Fatima is a 3rd year psychology and business student at the University of Waterloo and plans on completing her master’s at the University of Waterloo with a concentration in Clinical Psychology. Fatima has been passionate about mental health from a young age and felt drawn to joining Serene Heart Counselling due to the diversity in the team and welcoming environment they have fostered. Fatima is very excited to be a part of the team and hopes to support you with all your requests! You can reach Fatima at: intake.shc@gmail.com