Dubai

Mahawish Ijaz

Counseling Psychologist

About Me/Bio
Hi! I’m a child and adolescent Psychologist specialized in working with ages 10 to 25 who are struggling with anxiety, depression, low impulse control, low self esteem and trauma. I completed my Bachelors from U of Colorado and Masters in Mental Health Counseling from U of Cincinnati in the US. I’ve been practicing since 2016. I use interventions from CBT, TF-CBT, Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Most importantly, I’m client centered which means I take the time to connect with you to make sure you feel comfortable opening up. I enjoy my work and look forward to helping you in your journey to healing.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Clinic Name
BE Psychology Center for Emotional Wellbeing
Clinic Address
HDS Business Center, Office 2404, Cluster M, JLT
Country
United Arab Emirates
Work Phone Number
Languages
EnglishUrdu
Practice
In Person

ABOUT Mahawish Ijaz

Profession
Counseling Psychologist
Credentials
MA in Mental Health Counseling (USA)
Licensing Authority
CDA and CSWMFT (US)
Types of Services
Therapy
Therapy
IndividualsChildren
Additional Services
Educational Workshops
Years of Experience
6
Specializations
AngerAnxietyBody ImageDepressionEmotion RegulationGriefImpulse controlLife crisisOppositional DefianceSelf EsteemSelf-HarmingSexual AbuseStressSuicidal IdeationTrauma and PTSD
Approach
Acceptance and Commitment (ACT)Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)EclecticNarrativeRational Emotive Behavior (REBT)Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)
Age Group
8 to 1213 to 1516 to 1819 to 2122 to 64
Work Hours
Sunday - Thursday
Preferred Contact Method
Office
Preferred Booking Method
Phone

How I can help you
I am specialized to work with ages 8 to 25 in treating a range of psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, trauma, and self-harming. My experience stems from working with children and adolescents both in the US and UAE. My primary goal is to develop a safe and trusting relationship with you and your child as this is the vehicle of the healing process. My experience with cultural diversity further deepens my ability to connect with you and practice with cultural humility. The way I view the therapy process is that it takes time and consists of recognizing, expressing, releasing, embracing, understanding, feeling, letting go, unlearning and learning. It can be powerful to speak to the part of ourselves that may not have received light and nurturing. It can help us feel unstuck. Exploring how we coped and discovering whether these coping mechanisms still serve is can help us make changes. This process cannot be rushed or forced. And it is important to recognize that growth is not linear. Parents are an important part of the process and as such I help you understand your child’s mental health and ways in which we can work together to alleviate issues. This is with keeping confidentiality in mind. What your child discusses with me stays in the room with me, with the exceptions of safety related issues. Parental involvement should not be at the expense of hindering their therapeutic relationship. My counseling approach is individualized and comprehensive. I use eclectic interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy. I facilitate well-being by exploring the impact of life experiences, developing physiological and emotional regulation, as well as building safe and dependable relational supports. I also offer trauma-informed care to address childhood trauma by using Trauma-Focused CBT. Additionally, I facilitate Girls Circle, a group designed to empower young females through a process of creative exploration, self-reflection and sharing towards building healthy self-esteem and connections with others. I also provide workshops on mental health topics for schools ranging on anxiety, bullying, self-esteem, and social media. I am also trained to raise awareness on Trauma-Informed education. I train school professionals to look beyond challenging behaviors by showing them the connections between underlying stress and learning, as well as providing practical classroom and relational strategies. I firmly believe that learning cannot take place without supporting mental health needs first.
Why I am specialized in this field
I have always been naturally curious about psychosocial development. But what draws me to working with children and adolescents is the recognition that early treatment is key to fostering healthy minds and preventing issues later in life. Growing up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I did not see access to mental health services, let alone an understanding that mental health needs exist and need to be addressed. This strongly influenced by decision to pursue an education in Counseling Psychology. My practice has only affirmed my belief that child and adolescent years are delicate, and that if we can equip children with the mental and emotional skills and healthy relational connections, that they will only feel more empowered to handle life’s storms. What keeps me motivated and invested in my work has more to do with providing a safe, caring, and empathic relational experience where clients can feel safe to open-up. This is where the healing happens. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and so I’m deeply humbled when clients decide to embark on this journey of expression where they decide to unfold their stories piece by piece, and experience feeling heard, seen, and understood. Too many times stigma and fear can get in the way of this. But the therapy space is different, and it is centered on the principles of trust and non-judgement. I have learned so much from my clients over the years and it is truly heartwarming to witness the strength and resiliency of their human spirit.
What I say to people who feel nervous or have concerns about therapy/assessment
Children and adolescents can often feel put off with attending therapy. Most commonly, they feel ashamed due to the stigma and lack of understanding. They misperceive therapy to be for those who are “crazy” or that asking for help means they are “weak.” If you feel this way, it can be helpful to recognize that therapy is meant to be as important as a doctor’s visit. Just like we see a doctor for our physical needs, from time to time we need to visit a therapist to address our mental health. I often tell my clients, why should their mental health be any less important than their body. Our brain is a powerful organ which controls everything that we do, and it needs to be looked after as well. And that one way to do is to nurture it by giving it the attention, love, and care it deserves. And there is never anything wrong in doing this!
What measures I use in assessments
At the initial appointment, I will meet with both the parent and the child to conduct a psycho-social assessment. This allows me to understand my clients holistically. Being focused on the problem is like having tunnel vision. We may miss other things that are important to understanding how we can get to relief and foster wellbeing. I will assess to understand functioning at home, school, and other influential environments. Strengths are also assessed as these are the foundation to more growth. I administer a Trauma Questionnaire to the parents, and provide both parent/client a symptom scale to measure different areas of functioning. The overall purpose of collecting this information is to ensure that you are receiving the help in the right areas. The second purpose is to help understand what underlies the issues. My goal is to help get to the root of the problems. After this, therapy goals are mutually developed and therapy sessions continue one- on-one with your child.

I would love to connect with you!

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