Tania Bakas, Associate Counsellor
My name is Tania (she/her). The road towards becoming a counsellor has been anything but linear; here’s my story, in brief, on how I arrived to be doing what I love. In the late 90’s my younger self wanted to be a therapist; however, life had other plans for me (!) and I dropped out of college. After spending several workaholic years in advertising, I burnt out, and realized that the corporate world had distanced me from having deeper authentic connections with people; so, for my own good I had to recreate the way I was living, personally and professionally. This led me to train in different holistic healing modalities, which, in retrospect, was also a quest for my own personal healing. I started my holistic healing practice in North Vancouver, BC in 2005, and I enjoyed it for over a decade.
I went back to university at the age of 36 when I reached a lull in my practice and wanted to change the way I offered support; I knew I had to advance my knowledge on how to help people overcome their wounds and to find new ways to help them empower themselves and create meaningful changes in their lives. My mantra is IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. Because it’s true. It’s never too late to shift direction, seek growth, want to change or redefine your life, and I bring this philosophy with me into the counselling room too.
I recently completed my studies for a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at Simon Fraser University. As part of my degree completion I’m now finishing my research which focuses on how ex-prisoners make meaning of their lives after they reconcile with those they’ve harmed and rejoin their communities. My recent work in the community has centred on responding to and helping people overcome the impacts of relationship/childhood abuse and violence.
Drawing from my professional and academic experience, my focus as a counsellor is to help you develop a deeper understanding of the things you are hoping to change or overcome, co-create new skills and tools for facing life’s challenges that work best for YOU, provide a non-judgemental space to be heard, and to process, together, the concerns that you decide to bring forward into our counselling session. My counselling experience has predominantly centred on overcoming relationship, family, and intergenerational trauma, working with adults who have experienced childhood abuse or neglect, rebuilding self-esteem and developing healthy boundaries with self and others.
I believe healing happens when we learn how to meaningfully re-integrate past wounds into the present without having to re-experience the past; in other words, no need to scratch old wounds, but let’s have a look at the scars from a safe distance and see what they are telling us. Healing/positive change also includes learning how to make healthier choices for yourself, understanding your own needs better, and creating healthier relationships with yourself and others. I have tools and strategies for getting there and we choose together how to explore these things. Ultimately, you’re in the driver’s seat and I’m here to help you reach your destination.