Through the use of salutogenic and biopsychosocial-spiritual frameworks of understanding, my therapeutic approach involves improving on a client’s psychological state through a focus on the holistic well-being of each individual. It is my steadfast belief that clients should not be defined by their pathologies and that every individual must be treated as more than their diagnoses or the sum of their undesired emotions and behaviours. All individuals exist along their own continuum of health and I recognize that, given the appropriate supports, conditions and environment, each and every individual can be nurtured towards growth, congruency and constructive transformation.
Within my therapeutic practice, clients are encouraged and supported to communicate their experiences in a safe, non-judgmental, and culturally sensitive environment, without fear of stigma, labelling or shaming. In this manner, I emphasize the importance of understanding the power of language within the therapeutic process, as a means of shifting the lens through which clients view themselves and the world around them. As such, clients are able to see marked improvements in their mental health and achieve greater self-awareness and self-worth as they work towards the reduction of self-stigmatization.
My aim is to assist clients in learning how to witness their subjective internal processes in a more objective manner, thereby improving individual abilities to intervene in harmful, established and sequential patterns that have hindered their healthy coping strategies. In doing so, clients learn to recognize their existing protective and risk factors, while building improved intra- and interpersonal relationships with themselves and others.
Above all else, my therapeutic practice is collaborative, client-centred and culturally informed. Depending on the needs of the individual, couple or family, I utilize a unique combination of evidence-based psychological approaches including: Existential Therapy, Meaning-Centred Therapy, Positive Psychology, Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Recognizing that current modalities for psychological study are rooted in Western beliefs and philosophies, not all client experiences can be understood through this culturally specific and Euro-centric lens. As such, the cultural, societal and spiritual practices and traditions of clients are examined and integrated into my therapeutic approach, so as to understand each client based on their specific background and experiences.
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Counselling services in Downtown Vancouver
At Reza Roodi Counselling & Consulting, the power and significance of language is highlighted in the provision of all services and there are certain familiar terms or phrases that are deemphasized for specific reasons. The use of the words addiction and substance abuse are common and widespread amongst those working in the counselling and/or mental health community, and while these words provide easy shortcuts for understanding the basics of the issue, this oversimplification serves to minimize and depreciate the scope of this phenomenon.
Without an in-depth exploration of the framework surrounding substance use issues, the average person possesses a preconceived notion of what addiction looks like, and as such, the use of this word further invokes stigmatization and the subconscious labelling and shaming of those with substance use issues. In turn, this prevents those struggling with substance use issues from seeking the help that they need as a result of the misuse of language. Similarly, the use of the term substance abuse implies intent and wrongdoing, thereby raising unconscious and detrimental feelings towards those with substance use issues through negative implicit cognitive biases.
In order to mitigate these issues, I implement the use of the phrase ‘substance use issues’ in place of both ‘substance abuse’ and ‘addiction’. While some practitioners in the field advocate for surrendering to a higher power through acceptance of the terms ‘addict’ and ‘addiction’, I believe that this approach implicitly suggests a state of helplessness and powerlessness. In addressing substance use issues through ongoing therapeutic work and other supported interventions, I believe that every individual possesses autonomy and agency, with the ability to improve their own circumstances with regards to their substance use issues. This is further applicable to the many other conditions where the term addiction has been used to describe individuals engaged in maladaptive and harmful behaviours with damaging consequences (eg. excessive gambling, internet overuse, obsessive sexual behaviours etc).
It is my belief that the proper use of language in conceptualizing and reframing ‘addiction’ is an important first step in the therapeutic process towards personal growth and a healthier sense of self.