The way I approach my counselling practice is relational, meaning I deeply understand our struggles to best be tended to when we have the felt experience of a safe other beside us, and that often, we cannot fully do this healing work alone. I believe it is my role as a therapist to establish a safe-enough space to allow one’s own self-leadership and healing to unfold. I aim to move through this work collaboratively and in a way that feels accessible and integral to the process of those I am sitting beside.
I use a systemic and intersectional feminist lens to understand the ways in which our familial, social, and global systems impact our individual experience, and I strive for an anti-oppressive practice that is heart-led and rooted in justice. I believe the counselling space can be an opportunity for both personal growth and collective healing. I strongly lean on compassion, curiosity, and the creative imagination as therapeutic tools and see these as balm for the parts of us that may feel stuck, exiled, or pained, to allow them to be seen and therefore nurtured.
Another major component of the way that I work is to not exclude the felt experience – the body – from the therapeutic process. What can we learn from what our bodies are telling us in the here and now? How can our felt experience come to be an integrated part of our self-understanding?
Being a queer-identified person, working with 2SLGBTQIA+ is fundamental to my practice. I have many years of experience working across various housing and healthcare settings with some of Vancouver’s most marginalized populations, and it is through this work that I have come to understand the true importance of personal story-telling and community care.
As a fellow human, also combing through the tangles of my own human complexities, I value transparency, authenticity, and shared vulnerability in this work.
Mahlia’s informed consent form can be found here.