Ask a Question: Therapy & Counseling

 

ask-a-question

Do you have a question you’d like to ask a therapist or counselor? Ask our educators below ranging from student therapists to licensed therapists.

IMG_20140627_202513 (2)Whitney Akhtar, LCSW , Champaign, IL

After converting to Islam following two years of study in 2005, I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies (minoring  in Islamic World Studies) and a Masters in Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.  I currently work as Licensed Clinical  Social Worker in Community Mental Health and live with my husband.

I have a particular interest in the mental well-being of women, not just because of the work I do, but because of my life experiences.  I  find it inspiring to see women and girls find their own strength when they have the tools of knowledge and support.

I feel that there is a lot of confusion, embarrassment and shame that can be cleared up with access to information.  I believe Muslim women have a right to sexual and reproductive knowledge so that they are better able to be physically and mentally well.  Women have a right to be informed about their bodies, methods of contraception, and what a healthy sexual relationship is.  Muslim women and girls, like all females, need to be able to access this knowledge without feeling like we are compromising dignity or modesty in the process. To ask Whitney a question, please email her at Whitney@heartwomenandgirls.org.

Alia HEART photoAlia Azmat, Doctoral Student, Clinical Pyschology, Chicago, IL

Hi friends! My name is Alia. I am currently a young professional navigating graduate school where I am studying to get my doctorate in clinical psychology. When I’m  not at work I love spending time outside—hiking, running, or reading a book (and falling asleep) in the sun. I am currently  reading Bell Hook’s  “All about Love” and Alice Walkers “A Cushion in the Road”.

I studied Global Health in college, where I focused on women’s perceptions on menstruation, contraception and gynecology  and learned public health solutions must be tailored to the cultural contexts of the communities they are looking to serve. I am  motivated to empower young women to learn about themselves and their bodies because I believe self-awareness and confidence are the first steps to making healthy, well-informed decisions.

My areas of expertise include body image/distorted eating, self-esteem and self-care, and interpersonal relationships. I am looking forward to furthering the cause of culturally sensitive, compassionate, and competent reproductive health care and being a resource and ear to anyone who needs one. To ask Alia a question, please email her at Alia@heartwomenandgirls.org.

henna bio picHenna Khawja, Social Worker, Plano, TX

Hey everyone!

My name is Henna and I have been working with HEART for just over a year now. My passion and professional training are both found in the field of Social Work, and looks like advocacy, activism, trauma counselling and arts education. The majority of my professional work has been with women and youth in Toronto, Canada; but, I have also worked with youth on the South Side of Chicago, differently abled youth in Islamabad Pakistan and youth in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In more recent years, I have focused on working with women who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, honour-related violence and forced marriage. Most importantly, in the past year, I have become a Mother myself, and now care about this work in a way that is more special and sacred than ever before. I believe sisterhood is powerful and that art is a healing force.

If you ever need to talk, share a cup of tea, listen to Hip Hop/R&B, exchange good vibes, or you just need to make some crafts – I’m your woman. Holler at me: henna@heartwomanandgirls.org.