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Sara Hassan

I am a therapist with experience working with anxiety, depression, substance use, and life transitions, with children, adolescents and adults. 

I believe in respecting each person’s unique motivations in seeking therapy, and aim to provide a safe and non-judgmental space in which we can work at each client’s pace. I strongly believe that unconditional positive regard is an essential foundation of therapy and rapport-building, a place where client and counsellor growth stems from. Furthermore, I connect with existential and psychodynamic work as both theoretical orientations probe further beyond a “presenting problem” and provide much depth to the therapeutic work. Through the conversational therapeutic process, a narrative forms — together, we can delve deeper and gently challenge old narratives to create new, healthier ones to guide you. 

I received my B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University in 2015, and my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2018, from Suffolk University in Boston. I completed an internship in a middle school in Boston, working with inner-city teenagers who struggled with trauma, anxiety, depression, social skills, sexuality and identity issues. In addition to my individual caseload, I led and co-led many social skills and after-school groups, some therapeutic in nature and others recreational, a few of which were created by LEAP, of Harvard's collaboration with McLean Hospital. I am passionate about the arts and engaging children with various creative modalities, frequently integrating writing and visual art into my sessions with children and adolescents. I created a drama-therapy-inspired group for a small group of students that was ongoing throughout the year — particularly with children, I believe in engaging them in therapy through more creative, pleasurable means to process their lives and feel comfortable in conversation.

After receiving my Master’s degree, I worked as an intake counselor at a substance abuse outpatient clinic in Manhattan, seeing a wide variety of clients, from teenagers to seniors, struggling with addiction and past trauma. The experience of meeting people of all cultural and racial backgrounds, of all walks of life — ex-convicts, veterans, students, businessmen, artists, homemakers — was an invaluable education that I treasure. The conversations I was able to have with these New Yorkers taught me a great deal about the human condition, the pervasiveness of trauma histories, and most importantly, the necessity of interpersonal rapport and warmth with people who are brave enough to ask for help in their most vulnerable hour. I hope in my work as a counsellor to continually do the same with new clients: to put them at ease and help them feel seen, knowing how difficult and rewarding it can be to express your struggles and life story to another. 

In my own life, I have always been inclined towards probing, meaningful conversations, and I have a deep love of the arts. I am passionate about storytelling, especially in theater and literature, and feel that there is a great connection between creative narratives and the therapeutic dialogue, where the client is empowered to shape and tell their own story.

I have a permit in progress with the Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec (OCCOQ), in transferring my U.S. degree to Québec. I also intend to become a member with the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ) to eventually acquire my psychotherapy licence, and am currently working under supervised practice towards that goal.

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