Co-Founder & Registered Therapeutic CounsellorShahaa Kakar, RTC
* COVID-19 UPDATE: In an effort to flatten the curve and help ensure our collective safety, I have moved all my sessions online until further notice. Please contact me if you’d like to know more about how online sessions work. Thank you and be well!
I often work with people who come to me because they are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, burnt out, fed up or desperate. It can be confusing and lonely when going through life’s struggles – and at times the well-meaning advice of friends and family doesn’t fully get to the root of what needs to be healed.
As a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, I believe that every person has inner wisdom that can help them navigate through difficult times. I provide a safe and caring environment where people can process what they’re feeling and gain the insight they are looking for. Sometimes we all need support to reconnect with our own inner compass.
Whether you are in crisis, or simply ready to change some deep seated patterns that are no longer working for you, it’s a huge step to decide to get professional help. I am here to help and I encourage you to reach out!
I offer counselling for individuals with a focus on the following areas:
- Anxiety & Depression
- Self worth / self esteem issues
- LGBTQ Positive Counselling
- Gender affirming care for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people (whether general counselling or gender specific issues)
- Post-Partum Depression / Anxiety
- Parenting support (navigating parenthood & the emotional impacts of parenting)
- Loss and grief (whether because of death or other losses)
- Life transitions (changes in career, relocation, relationship changes, etc.)
- Relationship issues (conflict, disconnection, communication struggles, etc.)
Counselling Philosophy / Therapeutic Approach
Counselling is not a formula. Each person is unique and your healing process is unique too. I work with my clients to chart a path towards healing that works for each individual. I draw on a number of counselling modalities, including Trauma Informed practice, Bowen Family Systems Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Transpersonal Psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness practices. I also draw on my intuition to help get to the root of what is happening for my clients and support them to find their own answers. I will work with you to determine your own goals for therapy, with me as your guide and supporter.
We all carry both intergenerational wounds and intergenerational wisdom and therapy can help us learn what to draw on and what to put down from our unique family inheritance. Drawing on family systems theory, we may explore your family to identify what is being passed on through the generations and what is landing on you from your family of origin. This can include unconscious family rules about life, how we deal (or don’t deal) with feelings, and much much more.
Transpersonal psychology is grounded in the belief that we are more than the sum of our experiences and we each have a unique purpose and unique gifts to offer the world. Transpersonal psychology also understands our anxiety as rooted in our sense of separation and disconnection from ourselves and from each other. Drawing on this framework, I will encourage you to explore your own spiritual beliefs, personal values and unique purpose in the world.
I strive to be inclusive and intersectional in my practice. I am welcoming to people who are LGBTQ/2S; I am body positive and sex positive; and I deeply value the diversity of human experience and expression.
I commit to meeting you where you are at with radical compassion, curiosity, acceptance and honesty. I work alongside you to create a therapy environment that works for you – including the pace of therapy and what kinds of modalities/practices work for you. I will walk beside you offering gentle encouragement and a steady belief in your ability to learn to tap into the part of you that is always solid, full of wisdom and able to create the life you want for yourself.
Client’s Words of Love
“Often it’s the things from long ago that affect you in the present day and suddenly, one day, you can’t ignore them anymore. Shahaa has helped me gain clarity and acceptance, gratitude and calm. She is a pleasure to work with, and her insights about the human condition help me accept myself, and my place, in this big, beautiful world.”
“I was referred to Shahaa as I was grappling with anxiety, as well as some family of origin and relationship issues. Shahaa was instantly a good fit. In addition to making me feel completely at ease, she was able to call on her knowledge of psychology and human nature to explain some of what I was feeling and experiencing – helping me to understand the WHY of how I was feeling and reacting in certain situations, in addition to working on solutions. I had several huge “Aha!” moments working with Shahaa. I will draw upon these new insights as I navigate this next chapter. Thank you, Shahaa – you’re a really gifted counsellor.”
“Shahaa is an incredible counsellor. I started seeing her after my first baby to process the Post Partum Depression (PPD) I’d experienced and to prevent it for our second. Thank goodness between my Naturopathic treatments and the counselling, I didn’t experience PPD this time. But Shahaa was an important support post partum this time because it coincided with my mother’s death. She went above and beyond and I’m so thankful for her.”
“Shahaa is not just “another therapist”, it seems she was born to help people grow. She gets right to the heart of a problem and helps us see that there is always a way out. She is kind and deeply caring. She whole-heartedly connects to people she cares about and really cheers them on as they move forward in life.”
“I recommend Breathing Space Counselling with my whole heart and soul. Shahaa is deeply kind, non-judgemental, and insightful, with intersectional political and systemic analysis. I trust her completely.”
“The reason that I started counselling was to deal with my depression in young adulthood. I had seen two other counsellors before stumbling across Shahaa’s counselling services 6 months ago and I am so happy that I did! It has been really lovely working with Shahaa, as a counsellor she holds the space to express my emotions and feelings but also is able to challenge my points of view and look at things from a perspective that I hadn’t even thought of before to bring about a lot of awareness within myself. She has been able to help me with depressive thoughts, anxiety, relationship turmoil, career transitions and healing past hurts to move forward with my life. I have gained a lot of insights after each session, learning more and more about myself, how to better manage and deal with my emotions and feelings, and how to let the kindness and love in. I find Shahaa very inspiring as a counsellor with the work she does in the world and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending her to anyone looking for counselling services!”
Education & Training
Counsellor Training & Designation:
- 3-Year Counsellor Training Program in Applied Transpersonal Psychology from Clearmind International Institute, 2011-14
- Professional Designation: Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (RTC #2222), registered with the Association of Counselling Cooperative Therapists of Canada (ACCT).
- The Edge – Addictions & Attachments Workshop, 2017
- Understanding Post-Partum Depression Training Session, 2017
- Somatic Therapy Training Course, 2017
- Family Constellations Workshop, 2018
- Trauma-Informed Care Workshop, 2018
- Vulnerable Leadership Workshop, 2018
- Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy Workshop (AEDP): Transforming Trauma Through Fierce Love, 2018
- Parenting After Trauma Workshop, May 2019
- The Art of Couples Counselling Workshop, June 2019
- Relational Somatic Therapy 200-hour course, March 2020 – September 2020
I am currently available for sessions on Tuesdays (10am-5pm), Thursdays (12-9pm) & Fridays (10am-5pm). Please note that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, I am only offering online sessions. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to know more about how online sessions work.
Extended Health Benefits
Some extended benefits plans provide full or partial coverage for counselling services provided by a Registered Counsellor. After each session, I will provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your extended health benefits provider. Contact your insurance company to find out if your plan covers the fees of a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor.