Breathing Space Counselling was founded in 2016 by two Master Therapeutic Counsellors, Nasreen Gulamhusein & Shahaa Kakar. We offer in-person and online counselling for individuals and couples. We also offer support groups and workshops for the wider community. Our offices are located in Port Moody, BC.
Breathing Space Counselling began in 2016 out of our shared passion to create a supportive, safe and connected place for mothers to put down their responsibilities for a short time and focus on their own inner work. This started with a Counselling Support Group for Moms that we ran for two and a half years. That group has now ended and what we offer has expanded to include private counselling for individuals and couples (in-person and online), community events to connect you with support and resources, as well as professional development opportunities for fellow counsellors.
So, why the name Breathing Space?
As we have walked the path of our own healing journeys, we have each learned so many things that have helped us grow, heal and expand. Along the way, one of the most impactful learnings has been to understand the difference between our thoughts and reality.
Through our childhood experiences (whether explicitly traumatic or not), we adopt suspicions about who we are (e.g. – not good enough, unloveable, a failure, etc.). We then look at ourselves and our lives through the eyes of these negative beliefs. They colour how we live, how we love, how we parent. This journey of discovering your negative beliefs — and how to compassionately work with yourself to undo them — takes time, gentleness, patience and practice.
In our personal healing journeys we have each had life-altering moments when we realized that our deep-seated, often unconscious, self-judgments were not true. It was through connection with others that we were able to arrive at these moments. It was there we discovered a ‘breathing space’ — an opening where a universe of possibilities arrived and we were willing to consider a different truth. We named our practice after this powerful moment. It is our hope that in what we offer, our clients experience this moment too.
We respectfully acknowledge that our work takes place on the unceded core traditional territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation, which lies within the shared territories of the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬtəməxʷ (Katzie), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), qiqéyt (Qayqayt) , Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and Stó:lō First Nations.
As an organization whose core mission is to offer therapeutic support to our communities, we understand healing to be both personal and collective. We stand in solidarity with Host Nations as they continue to steward and protect these lands and waters, and commit to our ongoing learning and actions in support of decolonization.
We believe in the healing power of connection and strive to make room for every voice.
We invite you to come as you are and we accept you where you’re at, no matter what. The “doing something different” is in the arriving, and staying curious as you dive in to discover the unexplored parts of your own heart.
We invite you to tell the truth: even when it hurts, even when it’s scary, even when it feels uncomfortable. Because real connection starts with authenticity.
Taking responsibility can often be confused with taking blame. We choose to see responsibility as a place of empowerment and growth. By cultivating awareness about the deepest parts of you, and how they impact your relationships, the power to choose something different becomes possible.
We honour each step towards trust as a sacred act. Change, and the growth that comes with it, is our only constant so we strive to become friends with the unknown. In doing so we hold onto the belief that the universe is working with us (rather than against us), no matter how hard the road gets.
We celebrate each person’s unique expression of themselves. Often self-judgement and self-doubt stops us from expressing all of who we are and living the life we want to live. We encourage you to unpack what stands in your way so your inner wisdom has the space to rise and your ability to live a freedom-filled life can naturally unfold.
We encourage and make the space for fun and play. We invite you to embrace the child in you — the parts that want to dream, play and create! We believe these parts are vital to the whole and healing cannot happen without them.
As Registered Counsellors, we hold strong to the belief that it’s not safe to enter someone else’s psyche and offer them support, unless we’ve entered our own and done our own work. We are committed to walking the walk of continued growth.