MIA Counsellor Bios (click name to view)
Dr. Natasha M. Ali is a Counselling Psychologist registered with the Psychological Association of Manitoba. She is also a member of the Manitoba Psychological Society. Natasha obtained her doctorate in Counselling Psychology in 2010 from New Mexico State University and completed her pre-doctoral internship in 2009 at the University of Florida (with both programs accredited by the American Psychological Association).
Natasha worked as a Psychology Resident & Diversity Coordinator at New Mexico State University’s Student Counseling Center from 2011 to 2012, and since 2012, as a Counsellor and Counselling Psychologist at University of Manitoba’s Student Counselling Centre. Natasha has accumulated more than 8 years of clinical experience providing individual, couple, and group counselling to university students. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Natasha obtained her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from McGill University, Quebec, after which she operated a private counselling practice in Toronto, Ontario for 3 years. There, she worked mostly with adults, couples, and families referred to her by an Employee Assistance Program.
Natasha uses what is called an integrative approach to counselling, drawing from humanistic, emotion-focused, cognitive-behavioural, and developmental approaches. She also considers the spiritual into mental and emotional healing. Regardless of what approach Natasha uses, she strives to listen and adopt a non-judgmental stance when working with you. She is comfortable working with a wide range of mental health concerns including, but not limited to: depression, anxiety, stress, relationship difficulties, adjustment concerns, identity development, eating difficulties, abuse, trauma, grief, and addictions. She thrives on working with diverse people of different ages, genders, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, physical abilities, and more. She enjoys working with couples, is willing to provide family consultations, and loves facilitating groups.
Natasha was born in Montreal to immigrant parents, and has lived most of her life in Canada. She grew up in a “liberal Muslim” household, and while studying in the USA, discovered the protective factor and resiliency that comes from practicing Islam. Natasha is honoured to work with you and looks forward to meeting you.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, Sophia Ali is a Social Worker who has experience in the areas of community development and health promotion. Her education background consists of a BA (Psychology) from University of Manitoba, BSW from University of Manitoba and she is currently pursuing her MBA from Athabasca University. She has worked at St Amant Centre, WRHA, St. Vital Parent Child Coalition, Youville Centre and is currently the Executive Director at Aulneau Renewal Centre. Registered as a Social Worker with the Manitoba College for Social Workers, Sophia is able to see adults, young adults and families needing additional supports. She has over fifteen years working with vulnerable sectors related to complex needs such as health issues, mental health, and locating appropriate resources in the community. Her background also includes working with immigrants, refugees, and teens. She has volunteered with the MIA Takaful Committee, and MCNA (Muslim Children in North America) most recently. She is able to provide counselling in Urdu, Hindi and English. Issues that she is comfortable in working with include abuse, attachment, self-compassion, communication issues, generational issues, cultural issues, depression, anxiety, grief and loss. Sophia uses the following approaches in her therapy: Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In her free time, Sophia spends time with her husband and three children, friends and family, and enjoys travelling and reading.
A graduate from the University of Manitoba’s College of Rehabilitation Sciences, with a Masters in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Aya is currently working at the Aulneau Renewal Centre providing counselling services with a focus on trauma, anxiety, depression, self-esteem/identity, poor emotional regulation, and sensory processing. She works for a variety of client populations from children to adulthood and seniors.
She has experience working at the Fort Garry Access Centre to provide clients with home care services to help them overcome physical and psychosocial barriers to live as independently as possible in the community. Aya worked at the Health Science Centre PsychHealth inpatient care with children and youth in suicide and self-harm, providing individual and group therapy sessions as well as educating clients and family members on coping skills. She also worked at Specialized Services for Children and Youth Centre (SSCY) with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, and other developmental disabilities.
Aya is passionate about using evidence-based interventions to enable clients to engage in occupations that are meaningful to them. Her philosophy is centered on the belief that all clients have the potential for recovery with a holistic focus (body-mind-spirit). She values client centered care by hearing their story, empowering and enabling them to set and achieve goals and overcome obstacles in their life. Frames of references/approaches she uses include but is not limited to: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Sensory Integration, Attachment and psychodynamic theory.
When Aya is not working, you can find her volunteering at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, where she is also a Board Member on the provincial committee advocating for a more recovery-oriented approach in our health care system and stomping out stigma in our community.
Aya is a registered member of the College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba (COTM) and Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).
My name is Yumna Gill and I am a Registered Social Worker. I received a Master’s of Social Work degree specializing in clinical practice from the University of Calgary and attained an undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Manitoba. I am currently employed as a social worker with Manitoba FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Centre. I have also had the opportunity to work at Independent Living Resource Centre with individuals with a disability. Over the past few years, I have also completed practica at the Knowles Centre and provided psychotherapy at Calgary Counselling Centre. Some of the issues I have assisted individuals with include anxiety and depression, self-esteem, managing stress, and trauma. My therapeutic approaches include Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I firmly believe in working in collaboration with others. In my spare time, I enjoy being with my family, reading and travelling.