My journey to becoming a counsellor was, in many ways, inevitable. Growing up in Iran during the Cultural Revolution, I fought to make sense of the world and to build my own congruency in an environment that was changing and evolving on a daily basis. As an adolescent, I decided to leave my country of origin and ventured off in search of my own path, one that would ultimately lead to a period of nomadic displacement. I spent my youth criss-crossing the globe, settling for some time in Eastern Europe, before heading north to Scandinavia, then onwards to South East Asia.
Before eventually settling down in Canada, my years spent travelling and wandering provided me with an insatiable curiosity about the human psyche and the yearning for connection and communication with people from all corners of the Earth and from all walks of life. Having spent years adrift and uprooted gave me insight into the true resiliency of the human spirit and the desire to assist others to reach their own capacity through therapeutic growth. In many ways, my journey to becoming a counsellor was long and arduous, informed by both personal challenges and triumphs. In the end, these same experiences are the ones I draw from to find commonality across social and cultural differences, and it is this desire and ability to connect that makes me an effective and compassionate counsellor.
As a Psychotherapist and Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors and a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society, I have 25 years of experience working as a counsellor, interventionist, consultant, and facilitator. With counselling experience in a number of different capacities, including my private counselling practice, as well as government- and privately-funded substance use treatment centres and detox facilities, my counselling skills and approaches have been honed and developed to support clients with differing needs and backgrounds.
Educated at the University of Liverpool with a Masters of Science in Counselling Psychology, my dissertation focused on the impacts of stigma upon individuals with substance use issues, which remains an area of interest that continues to influence my therapeutic process with regards to my approach to mental health as a whole. As a Certified International Drug and Alcohol Interventionist, I am also interested in the development of the therapeutic process beyond the traditional counselling relationship in relation to both behavioural and substance use issues. With additional education and certification in Conflict Resolution, Creative Process in Group Counselling and Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy, my education, in tandem with my work experience and lived history, provide me with a unique perspective and approach in my therapeutic work with clients.
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) - License #16693
BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
Graduate Member (MBPsS) - Membership #496638
The British Psychological Society
Leicester, United Kingdom
Certified International Drug & Alcohol Interventionist (CIDAI)
National Association of Drug and Alcohol Interventionists
Philadelphia, United States of America
Master of Science, Psychology
University of Liverpool
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Bachelor of Business and Liberal Arts
Simon Fraser University
Counselling Skills Diploma
Vancouver Community College
Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy - Level I
Satir Institute of the Pacific
Conflict Resolution Certificate
Pitt Meadows, Canada
Creative Process in Group Counselling
Ross A. Laird, PhD