Why did I become a Social Worker?
My journey as a Registered Social Worker began in my teenage years, when I sought
out support after being completely overwhelmed with emotions and life transitions. I didn’t know it then, but my experience with a social worker fueled my passion forever. For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to work with people, and for many years I contemplated a career in psychiatric and pediatric medicine. I pursued social work because I find purpose and value in the journey of growth, self-discovery, and building a life worth living.
Social Work is truly a way of life for me, involving ongoing self-reflection and personal
growth. My career in Social Work
is one of the most meaningful aspects of my life, and I am grateful for the people I have met through this journey. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to do what I love everyday, through meaningful conversations, ongoing education, and meditation.I value people’s individuality and believe each person is the expert of their own lives,sometimes all we need is for someone to listen and help us put things into perspective. “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatestmeasure of courage.” - Brene Brown
Amrit Ahluwalia MSW
What is my education & training?
I completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies and Gerontology from McMaster University. During my time at McMaster University, I completed my Undergraduate Thesis in Understanding the Therapeutic Benefits of Memoir Writing in Older Adults. Following my graduation from McMaster University, I went on to work with the City of Hamilton, in the Department of Health and Safe Communities. At this time, I also began my Master of Social Work, at the University of Windsor.
My practicum took place at Trillium Health Partners - Credit Valley Hospital, with the Crisis Intervention Team, and the Eating Disorders Program. I completed a second practicum at 211 Toronto, where I had the opportunity to utilize my leadership skills as an Organization Design and Strategy Executive, along with continuing to support the organization through Covid-19.
Apart from my education, for over 7 years, I have worked directly within the community alongside marginalized groups, providing emergency and crisis support. I have worked with a number of clients to rediscover their strengths and achieve their goals.
I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to train in approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Radically Open Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness and Meditation, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
What are my areas of clinical focus?
I work with young people and adults, of diverse backgrounds, to develop healthy relationships
with themselves and others. I am a firm believer that our environment and relationships play a
large role in shaping our mental health, and well being.
Over the years, I have developed a clinical interest in the following areas:
● Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating Patterns
● Self-Esteem & Body Image
● Early Childhood Trauma
● Mood Disorders
● Attachment Styles
● Familial and Relationship Conflict
● Grief and Loss
● Abuse and Trauma
● Change and Life Transitions
● Boundary Setting
What do I love about being a social worker?
Social work is a collaborative effort, a process involving new beginnings, transformation, endings and grief. Social Workers have a unique privilege, providing space for individuals to empower themselves, and facilitate transformative conversations for individuals of diverse
backgrounds. It’s an honour when people tell me their stories, especially when I’m the first person they have spoken to about their concerns. I have an incredible amount of respect for individuals seeking help - it can be incredibly scary to talk to someone you’ve never met, about some of your deepest struggles. I know that each situation or scenario is unique and different, this pushes me to continuously learn and grow from those I work with. I am dedicated to providing a comfortable and honest therapeutic experience for each client.
What are the techniques I use most?
As a therapist, I understand the anxiety, and uncertainty of starting therapy for the first time.
This is why I practice an approach that focuses on allowing our conversation to flow naturally. I
believe that having someone to talk to outside of your social circle can help offer different
perspectives. I bring compassion, and a non-judgemental mindset into each session, creating a
space where you are free to be whoever you are.
My collaborative approach tends to emphasize the “solution”, instead of the problem. I utilize an eclectic approach to therapy, which allows me to tailor therapy specific to your needs and concerns, in a non-judgemental environment. My practice is influenced by radical acceptance, mindfulness, and compassion. I strive to offer an honest, and supportive, environment for you to understand your thoughts, feelings, and actions - helping you move forward and live your life the way you want. It is my belief that healing occurs differently for
everyone, and there is never a one-size fit all approach. I have used a variety of techniques
from common therapeutic modalities including:
● Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
● Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
● Narrative Therapy
● Family Based Treatment
● Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
● Solution-Focused Therapy
● Meditation and Mindfulness
What attracted me to team-based health?
An integrated approach to health is very important for me, particularly when it involves past experiences of trauma, mental illness, and general stress. As humans, we tend to wear our emotions on our physical bodies, which can overtime create physical ailments. This is also true for the opposite, where physical ailments have led to a deterioration in our mental health. It’s incredibly important to think of our physical and mental well-being, as interconnected, and equally as important to take care of both.
In a team-based model, we have the capability to draw from each other's strengths, keeping us informed and empowered. I believe that collaboration and a team-based approach fuels creativity, critical thinking, and an energy that inspires daily. As a team we have the capability to approach care from a lens that values the mind, body, and soul.
If I’m not at work, where can you find me?
You’ll most likely find me spending my time with my loved ones, including my labradoodle Khloe. I love to spend my time (...and by that I mean hours) in the self-help section at Indigo with some Starbucks. When I’m not doing that, I’m probably planning my next trip. I love to travel, and I’m fortunate that I’m able to visit and explore places I’ve never been. My favourite destination so far has definitely been Italy! I love staying active outdoors, it’s truly my form of self care to connect with nature, whether it’s hiking, or a walk by the river.