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becoming a therapist



My journey to becoming a therapist wasn't as clear-cut as you'd anticipate, in my opinion, I took a long way around. My career started in my second year at Fanshawe College during my Child and Youth Work diploma when I completed a placement at residential treatment and youth justice facility. The clients were male and female adolescents with a wide range of presenting issues with often child welfare involvement or other complex histories. I worked in several different units for several years and while the experience was eye-opening, inspiring and difficult at times, I found myself wanting to prevent youth from attending a facility and being more proactive in my career.


This initiated my application to Wilfrid Laurier University where I completed my Bachelor of Social Work. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I had a dream/goal of working for the Children's Aid Society. I felt if I could work within the system that sent youth to residential treatment I could try to be a part of the change at the root. Sadly, I came to realize working within child welfare was not what (a) I expected it to be and (b) what I could handle. I found myself again more focused on the mental health of my clients and how if we could manage or address their mental health (instead of using band-aid methods) I could make lasting change. While this may sound great, the demands of the job didn't allow for this type of work. After much consideration, I decided to leave the position. I had applied for my Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology and wanted to begin transitioning into the therapy world before my placement.


From here, I started working at a public-funded children's mental health agency while completing my graduate degree. While it challenged me in every way possible, I fell in love with it! The ability to provide a space for people to be vulnerable, grow, explore, challenge, cry, laugh, make connections, etc. the feeling and experiences lit a fire inside of me. I started supervision to advance my learning and understanding of the therapeutic approaches, and interventions and push myself to improve. Sadly but gratefully, my time at this agency had to end and that is when I transitioned into providing therapy for children, youth and families via Kids Zen and working to open my own part-time practice focusing on adults.


If you are still reading this, thank you because this is when I get to "My W H Y"


Why am I a therapist?


Because throughout all my experience it comes down to one thing, supporting people where they are at and truly believing they are worth and capable of more. I am privileged to sit in a room with people sharing their deepest vulnerabilities, questioning their actions or experiences, stepping outside their comfort zone or empowering themselves to make a difference. I am grateful and humbled to join my clients in these experiences and that is My W H Y!


Thank you,

Ali











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