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My name is Omar Hussein (he/him), a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with my Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Currently, I practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with elements of Person Centered Therapy.
I was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia to two immigrant parents from Kenya and Uganda. As a result, I consider myself bicultural, which involves having to balance the customs of my faith and cultural traditions of my family with the expectations that come with living in a Western society. While this can no doubt be difficult to navigate, and sometimes contradictory, I learned that having different viewpoints can be advantageous and make our lives much more colourful in the long run. Our identity, no matter how unique and diverse, is something I believe we should take pride in and seek to understand. This is especially necessary when it comes to making decisions about our career, education and personal relationships.
In 2015, I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in History and Humanities at Simon Fraser University. Initially, I had aspirations to complete my Masters at Oxford and become a professor. However, after I graduated, I underwent an emergency surgery which prevented me from doing so. While there were moments where I felt defeated and lost, this period of uncertainty is one I am incredibly grateful for. Not only did it force me to take time to recover and rediscover my passion, but it also allowed me to try my hand at different careers and volunteer opportunities. As a result, through discussing and listening to those I came in contact with, I found myself sharing my experiences and helping others uncover a deeper level of understanding. Hence, counselling seemed like the natural fit.
In addition to identity and career counselling, I am also incredibly interested in the importance of the mind-body connection. Having worked as a camp counsellor for youth and young adults, I decided to start my own soccer camp for low-income families. For over five years, I witnessed firsthand just how significantly physical health, mental health and spiritual health can influence one’s personal state of wellbeing. This carried over into my practicum which took place at Aster Wellness Centre in Port Coquitlam.
Seeing a wide variety of clients with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, or even PTSD, changed me and really made me realize and appreciate just how unique each of us are. We all learn and operate differently, and taking the time and effort to find out what works for each of my clients helps them to make genuine progress in their lives. The bond that we create opens up a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing without pressure, fear of judgement or ridicule. So, whether it be breaking down a difficult problem into workable goals, sitting with an uncomfortable emotion, or just listening to understand rather than respond, this unconditional positive regard and empathy can help one feel full and worthy. And, it is that pride, passion and respect for others uniqueness that explains my desire to start Warmth Wellness. To learn, understand, and guide through lessons and experiences, and help with whatever hardship you may face.
Hence, I could think of no better word to encompass all of that than "warmth".
Thank you, and warmest wishes!
Spring 2020 - Elbow Lake, British Columbia
Although we live in a largely multicultural society, ethnic minorities still undergo a wide-set of difficulties unseen to many. Larger issues include racism and oppression, as well as the struggle of keeping one's head down or the fear of standing up and speaking out. However, in addition to this, immigrants and first-generation Canadians also face bicultural identity issues, which involves trying to combine two, often incredibly opposing, cultures without feeling fully part of either.
Being an adolescent or young adult in today's society is no easy task. You have to juggle your home environment with work, school and/or other extracurricular activities, all whilst trying to discover who you are and what you want out of life. Add to that the pressure of familial and societal standards, and it can seem frustrating, contradictory and downright impossible. But, you're not alone. Through understanding, coping skills, and guidance, we can find the right balance together.
Masculinity and femininity are ancient concepts that have defined each of us at some point in our lives. What does it mean to be a "real" woman, or "real" man? These black-and-white gender norms are everchanging and can never truly encompass all that we are. Instead, they can make us feel alone, unwanted and unable to express ourselves. But, there is hope, and a proud community of individuals who understand the trials and tribulations that come on the journey to living as your true self. Be who you were born to be, own your uniqueness!
707 Henderson Avenue, Coquitlam, British Columbia V3K 1N7, Canada
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