Watch This First...

3-Hour Workshop Packed with Powerful Tools

LIVE on Zoom: February 2, 2024
12pm - 3pm Eastern (9am-12pm Pacific)

* Recording available 48hrs after the Live session

$594 Half-Price Exclusive Offer



(48-Hour Offer from Video Expires Jan 26, 2024)

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I almost gave up...

In my third year of practice as a new therapist, I landed a job working exclusively with South Asian clients through my faith community. I was so excited, because I was the person people came to naturally, and I knew I would be able to help so many people in this more formal and professional way.

I remember sitting across from my first client, a woman who had confided in me a couple of times over the years and was now coming in for a proper counselling session. Throughout the session, she couldn’t look me in the eye, kept the conversation on the surface, and seemed like she just wanted to get out of there.

I couldn’t figure out what was different and why she was suddenly finding it hard to open up. This kept happening, client after client, week after week, and I was getting desperate. I was being paid to help people, and I couldn’t seem to help anyone!

I got desperate...and that's when things changed

Finally, with one client, I tried something different, something I had never tried with a client in the therapy room. It was a small thing, but it worked.

I kept offering these small deviations from “normal” therapy, and I found clients opening up easily, often in the first half of the first session, even if they had never met me before.

This approach saved my practice, and has made me the go-to therapist for people in my community. The trouble is, that’s not enough. I want all therapists to know what I know and have the tested tools that are designed for the South Asian client.

Too many clients, after climbing the mountain of stigma to finally work with a therapist, are quitting therapy and never going back, and entire families are suffering as mental health needs go unaddressed.

What some South Asian Clients have to say about their experiences with mainstream therapy:

  • "I have tried six other therapists and none of them got me or my culture. What they asked me to do in therapy caused more harm than good with my elderly parents."

    Client SK, Ontario

  • "I can’t believe it took me ten years to find someone who actually gets what I’m talking about!"

    Client NL, Alberta

  • "Setting boundaries with my in-laws the way I learned in therapy has ripped our family apart."

    Client JS, British Columbia

  • "My therapist just doesn’t get what it means to be Brown."

    Client JJ, British Columbia

So what's the problem?

The problem is two-fold:
  1. the training you received wasn’t designed for this community
  2. and the add-on education out there...just doesn't meet the expectations.

So the issue is not that therapists aren’t trying to get skills and knowledge. The problem is it’s so hard to sift through everything that’s out there and actually find something of quality by someone who knows what they’re talking about, and has the research to back it.

Something that is current, engaging, and practical. And short. Because let’s be honest….time to a therapist is like water vapour in the desert – it just evaporates into thin air!

Supporting South Asian Clients In Therapy

Too many South Asian clients living in the West cannot find a therapist who understands their culture. Could you be the person they are looking for?

Learn what South Asian clients expect from you as a therapist and how to tailor your therapeutic interventions to their unique perspectives and worldviews.

This three-hour workshop introduces mental health professionals to some of the complexity and historical considerations in South Asian culture.

There are 8 million people of South Asian descent living in Canada and the United States, and with an additional 4 million in Europe, they are one of the largest growing cultural groups who are seeking therapy. As mental health becomes a less taboo topic, many young and older South Asian adults are looking for support.

Unfortunately, mainstream perspectives and approaches in psychology have not been designed for immigrant communities and people from collectivist cultures, and so there is a significant gap in what clients need and what therapists are equipped to provide.

Without a baseline understanding of where our South Asian clients are coming from, we become unsure of how to help, ineffective, and may even cause unintentional harm.

This workshop explores crucial elements that contribute to the South Asian experience, particularly for those first and second-generation South Asian clients living in Canada, the United States, and Europe. It helps therapists to understand the back-drop of values and beliefs that hums in the background for many of these clients. We will investigate root causes of, collective trauma, family disharmony and achievement-based identity to help give you meaningful tools and effective language.

Through exploring cultural context, identity, expectations, and family dynamics, therapists will be able to serve their South Asian clients with more confidence. Therapists will have practical tools to guide their clients through mental health issues, setting boundaries within a collectivist culture, an informed approach to self-esteem, and navigating family dynamics.

This LIVE 3-hour Continuing Education workshop is designed for new and seasoned therapists. The workshop will be recorded, and lifetime access to the recording and bonus materials are included in the registration fee.

$594 Half-Price Exclusive Offer



BONUS ... I couldn't wait to share this one simple tool you can use RIGHT NOW

Course Curriculum

    1. The Back-Story

    2. Defining Family

    3. Impact of Extended Family

    4. Circles of Influence

    5. Using the Circles of Influence Tool

    6. Course Overview

    1. Ramps...and Student-Mindset

    2. Course Map

    3. Historical Tragedies & Origin Stories

    4. "The Question" and It's Impact

    5. Exploring Bicultural Competence

    1. Faith Perspectives on Mental Illness

    2. Mental Health Continuum Model

    3. Some Other Voices

    4. Family as a Resource

    5. Expectations of Therapy

    1. Experiential Exercise - Cutting the Cord

    2. Meditation and Some Good Books

    3. Communication, Boundaries, Blazing the Trail

    4. Rapport, Trust, and Confidentiality

    5. Comprehensive Review of Tools

    6. Final Thoughts

    1. Completion Quiz

    1. Circles of Influence

    2. Bicultural Competence Cheat Sheet

    3. Mental Health Continuum Model

    4. Expectations of Therapy Info Sheet

    5. The Captain

    6. The Vicious Cycle

    7. The Pause Button

    8. Blazing the Trail

    9. The Sacred Fire

    10. 3 Tools for Family Relationships

    11. Books to Recommend

About this course

  • 3 hr Live via Zoom
  • 197 Member / 297 Non-Member
  • Lifetime Course Access

Get Continuing Education Credits

  • The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) has pre-approved this training for 3 Continuing Education credits.

  • You will receive a certificate upon completion of the workshop.

By the end of this course, you will be better able to understand:

  • Interpersonal norms and expectations in South Asian communities

  • The impact of religious and cultural narratives on help-seeking and therapeutic outcomes

  • The impact of collective trauma and emigration on identity formation

  • What South Asian clients expect from therapy and their therapist

  • Practical, culturally sensitive tools to address mental health issues, boundaries, self-esteem, and family dynamics

What Our Students Are Saying:

“I absolutely love that you've taken your knowledge and research and turned it into tangible tools that can be used in session.”

Manpreet A. - Surrey, BC

“As a South Asian grandmother, I think this training will really help people to understand the differences between our approach to family and how we have had a very different upbringing that often doesn’t connect with regular counselling.”

Saida W.- Richmond, BC

“This course was incredibly enlightening and full of "aha" moments. Most of the concepts brought forward were things I had never even considered before.”

Monique P. - Salmon Arm, BC

“Thank you for all the courses you offer. It has been amazing to see what I have learned about myself as well as the group. Sometimes, I learned different things about myself by taking some courses twice. I enjoy the check-ins and worksheets as well as the dialogue and experience. ”

Tasleem J. - Toronto, ON

“You are a natural on camera and such a great teacher. I loved having access to handouts and meditations and all the examples and phrases which really made things come to life. Learned so much! ”

Stacy C. - Edmonton, AB

“This workshop was a treasure trove of knowledge and practical tools. Dr. Saira captivates the professional as well as the regular person who has a thirst for learning with her sincerity, passion, and practical presentation.”

Rashida S. - Vancouver, BC

“Over the years as a cognitive scientist and psychotherapist, and having attended dozens of presentations along a similar (but not quite the same) line, Dr. Saira's workshop is by FAR superior in content, in functional practicality, in pedagogic benefits. In my humble view, given the Canadian ethos of multiculturalism and diversity, every counsellor must have a background and be informed in this important area of Canadian and global society. Congratulations Dr. Saira for an excellent and informative presentation. ”

Abdul H.- Vancouver, BC

Workshop Topics

  • Framing the Conversation
  • Colonial History and Impact of Partition
  • Unpacking Identity Formation
  • Navigating Bi-Cultural Competence
  • Exploring Role of Religion
  • Understanding Family Dynamics
  • Impact of Stigma
  • Therapeutic Alliance and Building Rapport
  • Practical Tools for Clients

About Your Instructor

Dr. Saira Sabzaali, PhD

Clinical Counsellor

Dr. Saira Sabzaali has a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology. She teaches Master’s students at Yorkville University and is a Clinical Supervisor that works with therapists new to the field.

She is the co-founder of Dragonfly Academy, an online learning community for people interested in personal growth and spiritual development.

She is also the Clinical Director of Dragonfly Wellness Centre, an inclusive and culturally-informed wellness hub based in Salmon Arm, BC that incorporates mind-body wellness with spiritual growth to facilitate integrated, outcome-driven, holistic transformation.

Dr. Saira is featured on Dragonfly Wellness TV on YouTube and has delivered two TEDx talks.

Instructor Credentials

Dr. Saira Sabzaali is an engaging and qualified educator with over 17 years of teaching and facilitation experience.

More From Our Students:

  • "Your down-to-earth, authentic approach is so refreshing. "

    - Zahara A. - Toronto, ON

  • "What I really love about Dr. Saira’s style is that, even though I am on the other side of the country, I feel like I am sitting right in front of her and she is talking directly to me."

    - Shafana M. - Toronto, ON

  • "Dr. Saira is a wonderful teacher. She always brings enthusiasm and infectious energy to the class."

    - Fareen H. - Calgary, AB


  • Will this course be useful for me if I'm not a therapist?

    Yes. While this course is designed for all helping professionals who work with (or hope to work with) South Asian clients, if you work in another field and want to learn more about this cultural community, you are welcome to join us!

  • If I am South Asian myself, is this course for me?

    Absolutely! Some of the concepts may be familiar for South Asian learners, but the tools can be applied by people of all cultural backgrounds. We invite you to interact with Dr. Saira during the live course and share your wisdom!

  • Is there a discount for students?

    Therapists-in-training, counselling interns, students in Education, Social Work and other related academic programs can receive 20% off the Member Price. To receive your exclusive coupon code please email us at [email protected] with your name, year of study, and name of academic program before you register.