My name is Omar Hussein (he/him), a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with my Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Currently, I practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with elements of Person-Centered Therapy.
I was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia to two immigrant parents from Kenya and Uganda. As a result, I consider myself bicultural, which involves having to balance the customs of my faith and cultural traditions of my family with the expectations that come with living in Western society. While this can no doubt be difficult to navigate, and sometimes contradictory, I learned that having different viewpoints can be advantageous and make our lives much more colourful in the long run. Our identity, no matter how unique and diverse, is something I believe we should take pride in and seek to understand. This is especially necessary when it comes to making decisions about our career, education and personal relationships.
In 2015, I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in History and Humanities at Simon Fraser University. Initially, I had aspirations to complete my Master’s at Oxford and become a professor. However, after I graduated, I underwent an emergency surgery which prevented me from doing so. While there were moments where I felt defeated and lost, this period of uncertainty is one I am incredibly grateful for. Not only did it force me to take time to recover and rediscover my passion, but it also allowed me to try my hand at different careers and volunteer opportunities. As a result, through discussing and listening to those I came in contact with, I found myself sharing my experiences and helping others uncover a deeper level of understanding. Hence, counselling seemed like the natural fit.
In addition to identity and career counselling, I am also incredibly interested in the importance of the mind-body connection. Having worked as a camp counselor for youth and young adults, I decided to start my own soccer camp for low-income families. For over five years, I witnessed firsthand just how significantly physical health, mental health and spiritual health can influence one’s personal state of wellbeing. This carried over into my practicum which took place at Aster Wellness Centre in Port Coquitlam.
Seeing a wide variety of clients with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, or even PTSD, changed me and really made me realize and appreciate just how unique each of us are. We all learn and operate differently, and taking the time and effort to find out what works for each of my clients helps them to make genuine progress in their lives. The bond that we create opens up a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing without pressure, fear of judgement or ridicule. So, whether it be breaking down a difficult problem into workable goals, sitting with an uncomfortable emotion, or just listening to understand rather than respond, this unconditional positive regard and empathy can help one feel full and worthy. And, it is that pride, passion and respect for others uniqueness that explains my desire to become a counsellor. To learn, understand, and guide through lessons and experiences, and help with whatever hardship you may face.