Ria Nishikawara (MA, RCC)

Ria Nishikawara

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Part of the magic of being a counsellor is having the opportunity to accompany people in their journeys of self-discovery. Sometimes we encounter obstacles that we don’t have the tools or experience to navigate on our own. These painful life experiences can leave us feeling disconnected from ourselves, one another, and our sense of purpose in life.

At the same time, these challenges present us with immense opportunity for growth and deeper meaning. I believe people are inherently creative and resourceful. When we have access to the right kinds of support we will naturally move toward healing. I collaborate with clients to build an environment of safety, curiosity, and nonjudgment in which to explore their inner worlds, and engage more fully in life.

Professional Experience:

I entered my MA in counselling psychology at UBC with a background in social justice. During my training, I held an internship working with LGBTQ+ identifying folks around a variety of issues including sexuality and gender identity, and another supporting people struggling with their own or their loved ones’ substance use. I also spent six years with the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC supporting clients struggling with self-injury, suicidality, and a range of mental health challenges.

Within all of these roles I have had the privilege of working with clients from diverse backgrounds and with a broad range of concerns, including PTSD, complex trauma, sexual violence, depression, and anxiety. My research interests include chronic pain, chronic illness, and disability prevention. I also bring with me my background in dance and performance, and belief in the healing powers of creative expression.

I have completed additional post-graduate trainings in:

  • Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy—Trauma Training
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

I am also a registered clinician with the Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP).

My deepest gratitude to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Sto:lo peoples, on whose unceded and occupied lands I am honoured to live and work.

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Warm, Gentle, Non-Judgemental Client-Led Counselling

"Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning."
~ Maya Angelou



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Counselling Schedule and Appointment