Support Group

LGBTQ+ Refugees Hearing Support Group

Why This Group is Important?

The LGBTQ+ Refugees Hearing Support Group is essential because it provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals navigating the complex and often daunting refugee hearing process. LGBTQ+ refugees face unique challenges, including discrimination, trauma, and isolation. Additionally, there is much misinformation about Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) hearing processes and steps. This can lead to confusion, anxiety, and potential missteps in their cases.

Our support group addresses this gap by offering accurate, up-to-date information and expert guidance on the IRB hearing process. Participants will learn about the specific steps involved, from preparing their claims to understanding what to expect during the hearing itself. By dispelling myths and clarifying procedures, we help refugees feel more informed and empowered, reducing the uncertainty and stress associated with their hearings.

This group offers a critical space for emotional support, shared experiences, and practical guidance, helping participants feel less alone and more empowered. By fostering a community of understanding and solidarity, the group aims to improve mental health outcomes and facilitate smoother transitions during the hearing process, ultimately contributing to the well-being and resilience of its members.

In summary, our group not only provides emotional and peer support but also equips participants with the knowledge they need to navigate the IRB hearing process confidently and effectively.

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For the time being, we will be conducting appointments exclusively through virtual means.

Thank you for your understanding.

Experience You Can Count On


I am an Ottawa-based Registered Psychotherapist and have a full-time private practice. In the past, I worked in social service agencies for many years. I offer individual, relationship, and sex therapy in English, Arabic, and Armenian to adults 18+, and I do not work with minors.

In 2011, I earned a master’s degree in Counselling from the University of Ottawa. I am a Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario (CRPO#001132) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. In addition, I am a Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA#3058). My clinical training focuses on relationship and sex therapy and trauma/PTSD. Since 2013, I have been at Algonquin College as a seasonal professor, teaching courses in mental health and addiction.

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to publish peer-reviewed articles and contribute chapters concerning Counselling, coming out, and trauma related explicitly to LGBTQ+ refugees and newcomers to Canada. I have presented numerous workshops and continue to offer trainings nationally and internationally on the mental health of LGBTQI+ and SOGIE refugees and asylum seekers.


Professional Work

Early in my professional career, I specialized in individual therapy and served clients with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and grief. Since then, I have taken my clinical work to a higher level and gained more experience in four areas: PTSD and Trauma, Sexuality and Gender Identity, Sex and Relationship Therapy, and Refugee mental health issues. I have received various trainings in these areas since choosing to specialize. As an example, I received training from Division 56, Trauma Psychology, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Global Institute of Forensic Research in writing immigration evaluations for immigration courts. Furthermore, I have completed multiple trainings in trauma/PTSD therapy and relationship therapy (Poly. Kink). I have participated in numerous training opportunities in the field of sex therapy, sexuality, and gender identity. 

I am a LGBTQI+/poly/kink/CNM supportive and informed therapist.

Therapeutic approaches
In addition to Narrative Exposure Therapy for PTSD (NET), I have also been trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD and Experiential Therapy and Focusing. I integrate social justice and rights-based principles into my work as a trauma-informed therapist.

In recognition of my dedication to helping LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in Canada, I received the 2017 Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).

AffiliationsI have an international affiliate membership with Division 56, Trauma Psychology, the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Global Institute of Forensic Research.


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