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Sadhna Herod

MSW, Registered Social Worker #15363

What have you learned from your work?

“We are all walking each other home.”- Ram Das

This is one of my favourite quotes and I think speaks beautifully to what I have learned doing this work. As a person who has on both ends of the therapy couch throughout my life (being a therapist and also being a client in therapy), I have realized that human beings all experience so much pain, suffering, hardship and adversity, yet also, are able to experience deep love, passion, hope and strength, sometimes even experiencing both oppositions at the same time, simultaneously. This work continues to reinforce how resilient humans are, despite each and every one of us experiencing adversity and it is damn admirable.

What experience or background do you bring to your counselling that is uniquely yours? How are you, as a therapist?

Growing up and being labelled as the “shy” and “quiet” child in my family, I always felt that I could never exert my needs or speak up for the things that mattered. Peeling beneath this layer, I am a woman of colour who was growing up with immigrant parents, so concepts such as “self compassion” and “loving myself” were non-existent at the time. My parents tried their absolute best with what they knew, but experienced their own cycle of intergenerational trauma and did not have the privileges to be able to process and navigate their own identity and experiences.

This pattern of “toning myself down” followed me and through my own healing journey, I began to make sense of my experiences and discovered my own resilience and ways of speaking up and advocating for myself and others. Along with learning and being comfortable with taking up space, being heavily tattooed is another way that I express myself, unapologetically!

As a therapist who has also seen multiple therapists throughout my life, this has given me a rich opportunity to reflect on ways that I want to show up for my clients and self in therapy. My own journey of self discovery has allowed me to value and embody authenticity in and out of the therapy room. In sessions, I am comfortable with swearing if you are. I may laugh with you, use sarcasm, and be your hype cheerleader. I may also challenge you, holding the utmost best regard for you in mind. One of my greatest strengths as a therapist from what I’ve been told by clients is my ability to be warm, genuine, and trustworthy. I am simply walking beside you on your journey, helping you navigate and make sense of it all.

What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?

Through navigating my own experiences of trauma and abuse, this led me to begin my own version of my messy, imperfect healing journey.

If I’m being completely honest, my healing journey that once began years ago has never ended. I am still discovering and learning new things about myself everyday, along with developing new insights and narratives towards experiences that have taken place in my life.

The most integral and important thing that contributed to this healing work was learning to show up for myself by recognizing that I was worthy and have always been worthy of gentleness, warmth, compassion, and support.

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

This work can be soul work. It can be challenging, messy, eye opening, and yet, so worthwhile. Helping people discover and recognize their own resilience, along with unpacking certain experiences and narratives that we hold to believe to be true about ourselves, others and the world around us, can reveal hidden fears, hopes, dreams and ambitions to help us make sense of our experiences. Searching for hope and meaning is an integral part of therapy that I find most rewarding from working with people so closely.