Authenticity is essential to me, so I would like to take some time here to share with you parts of my life that make me human.
My name Faiza traces its roots to Arabic origin and translates to the “holder of wisdom and knowledge.” People have called me an old soul for as long as I can remember.
I was born in Pakistan with a deep sense of empathy for humankind. As a child I witnessed various traumatic events including, war, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, extreme poverty, and systems of oppression such as patriarchy, exploitation, physical, sexual violence, powerlessness, and marginalization.
Thankfully, my family moved to Canada in an attempt to begin a life in a just and democratic society. Unfortunately, conflict, abuse and intergenerational trauma moved with us.
As an adolescent, I began my transition to a new country and faced the unique struggles faced by children of first-generation immigrant parents, dangling between two opposing cultures – individualism and collectivism. Finding characteristics of both within, I began working my way through the traumas and carving a path for myself. Add religion to the mix. This was undoubtedly a laborious undertaking. But, it was the beginning of my journey. Of finding and consolidating my identity. Navigating the pressures of two distinct worlds – ‘home’ and ‘outside.’
These early life experiences nurtured my desire to be different from other family members who were entrenched in the depths of intergenerational trauma; I nurtured my sense of kindness, and cultivated my sense of empathy and compassion for those who were suffering.
Over time, these grew into a passion to do something meaningful with my life. To make a difference.
It took intentional time and effort to begin putting the pieces together, to heal, to create self awareness, to learn and unlearn parts to include in my cultural identity and my sense of Self.
Why did I become a Therapist?
As a person, I have been instinctively drawn to truly ‘seeing’ people, gently peeling the layers, and unearthing the Authentic Self. I enjoy this process. It makes me happy.
My life has been filled with moments of warm curiosity and non-judgmental intrigue – foundational blocks of my counselling style. Moments when strangers have openly shared their life stories with me. Stories of adversity, courage, strength, and resilience.
Listening to people's stories is a profoundly gratifying experience for me. I am amazed and honoured by people’s vulnerability and their trust in me. I become deeply engrossed in the process of listening – empathizing, observing, being present with thoughts and emotions, noticing patterns, connecting dots, cultivating space and awareness, leading to precious moments of clarity and realizations.
As an intuitive INFP, I am drawn to meaningful self-reflection and intellectually stimulating conversations that seek to go beneath the surface, to the depths of the human psyche, hoping for insights and personal growth. So naturally, these parts of my persona permeate through my counselling style. I love observing and noticing with the gentle eyes of kindness and compassion while providing a secure base for people to begin their journeys of healing and self-exploration.
Having worked as a therapist for 14 years, I understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help. Therefore, I try to make the process as comfortable and safe as possible. I draw from various treatment modalities and tailor sessions to your unique needs using an integrative approach. Grounded in authenticity and genuineness, my therapeutic style is naturally warm, empathetic, and compassionate. I believe therapy can be life-altering when there is a good fit.
My journey of healing trauma began when I was a teenager. So in essence, I have been on this journey my whole life.
One of the gifts this journey has brought me is the ability to slow down, a moment-to-moment awareness, and attunement to emotional layers within me. I love to share these gifts my journey has brought me while holding space for you to discover your unique gifts as we embark on your journey together.
My work is more than a career for me; it is a calling. I love doing what I do! It brings me comfort and joy to know I helped make a difference, however big or small it may be, in someone’s life.
My areas of therapeutic interest holistic healing, women’s issues, particularly South Asian women or BIPOC women, and acute, complex, attachment, or intergenerational trauma.
As a work in progress, I enjoy learning, and so a lot of my time is spent attending pieces of training, listening to podcasts, reading research, articles, psycho-educational, and self-help books.
I love spending time in nature when I’m not working – hiking, kayaking, canoeing, capturing moments, or simply walking. This nurtures my mind, body, and soul, restores my sense of balance, brings comforting inner peace, and leaves me feeling rejuvenated.
As I look back, I am grateful I was able to fulfill my dream by creating a rewarding career and living a life aligned with my sense of purpose and core values.
I share my struggles here to normalize whatever you may be going through. As a survivor of traumatic experiences – war, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, I hope to remain grounded in my authenticity, raise my voice for awareness, and advocacy, end the stigma, shatter the shame surrounding trauma, and instill a sense of hope within you. I hope this humanizes me making it easier for you to reach out for support.
My journey began as a human being going through these struggles, feeling stuck, healing on my own and in therapy. I believe this is a lifelong journey of self-awareness and healing that I happily embark on every day with myself. This personal journey of healing and fulfillment has allowed me to learn and grow as a human and impart this knowledge to others through the years.
I believe we can be empowered to find our own answers. I believe we all have an intuitive voice and inner wisdom guiding us. As a therapist, my role is to supportively help you find it, voice it, and live it. I believe there is always hope, especially when it feels like there is none. So please know no matter how difficult things may seem right now, you can make it through. All you need is a little support and guidance.
Allow me to walk with you as you embark on your journey!