Hi, I'm Alvina! Growing up as a Canadian-Guyanese woman, my family and I didn't really talk about mental health. The unspoken assumption was that we had bigger problems to deal with — forget talking about emotions! But the thing was, I did have emotions — big emotions. As the youngest female in my Hindu family, I was discouraged from dreaming of a life independent from my parents, but I craved independence. I felt inferior and frustrated as I watched men in my community get the opportunities I wanted for myself. And when my family didn't support some of my aspirations, I felt disappointed and shied away from sharing my dreams with anyone altogether. Because of this, I felt a growing sense of anxiety trying to figure things out on my own as a teenager and young adult.
After a lot of introspection, I began to piece together the root of these struggles. It wasn't that mental health wasn't important, it was that we needed to meet the bare necessities (like food, water, and shelter) first for survival as immigrants. It wasn't that I was unworthy of dreaming big, it was that women in my community were used to playing small. It wasn't that I had to keep my struggles a secret, it was actually my way of avoiding the feeling of disappointment. Over time, I learned to advocate for myself and to shift my beliefs, stepping into the mindset that I am worthy and capable of pursuing my own self-fulfillment. Becoming a mental health counselor is a testament to that, and having transformed my clients' lives through therapy is proof that it's possible to decondition yourself from old beliefs and break free from traditional molds.
Today, I specialize in working with high achieving teens and young adults who struggle with feeling less than others, overly worrying about what others think, and minimizing themselves as a result. I empower my clients to shift their narrative so they can live the kind of life they truly want by exploring, understanding and challenging the belief systems they've internalized from their upbringing. For me, there's no better feeling than celebrating with a client who's achieved their goals within therapy.
If you're ready to explore what's possible for you, get in touch to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
EDUCATION: BA in Psychology, York University, Toronto; MA in Mental Health Counseling, New York University
SPECIALTIES: childhood trauma, generational trauma, anxiety, addiction, self-esteem, relationship conflict