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By Sadhna Herod

Meet Sadhna

Get to know Peak counsellor Sadhna Herod

Meet Sadhna
We are excited to introduce one of our newest counsellors, Sadhna!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about coming to counselling?
Reaching out for support, especially if this is your first time thinking about coming to therapy, can feel scary, daunting, and intimidating for many people. At least for myself, I know this was the case! All of these big feelings that may come up are very normal and can be expected when trying something new, especially when it involves vulnerability and deep trust. If I could give some advice to someone who is thinking about attending counselling, the following are words I would share/offer:

  1. Reaching out is one of the hardest parts and takes a lot of courage. It may feel scary, but once it’s over, it doesn’t feel as intimidating anymore.
  2. It’s okay to consult with different therapists! Sometimes finding a therapist is like dating. It may take some time (or not) to find someone who you feel like you fit well with. Therapists understand that you come first and you have the right to choose someone who feels right for you.
  3. Trust is one of the most important parts of any relationship, as it creates a strong foundation to explore, share, reflect in a way that feels safe to be vulnerable. It takes time to trust- I always share with clients that within the first few sessions (sometimes even in the first session), you’ll probably be able to gain a sense of whether your therapist is someone who allows you to feel safe, in a way that makes sense for you.

How do you practice self-care?
I try to be very intentional about my self-care, which encompasses a multitude of different things. Self-care can look like bubble baths, warm cups of coffee, reading a book, cuddling with my kitties, and baking a cake. These things are all great and are all things I very much enjoy. Sometimes, self-care can also look like doing the things that may feel tedious, but they are things we need to do to sustain ourselves, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. This can look like holding myself accountable to staying hydrated and eating meals that are nourishing (and tasty), staying on top of connecting with loved ones while balancing enough me time, and ensuring that I’m moving my body in a way that feels good for me. I believe that mental health should be viewed holistically, with many facets that contribute to either the decline or incline of our mental health, which include but are not limited to: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Relationships, Career/ School, Finances, Culture, Gender, and/or Religion. Self-care should be viewed similarly!

Why is intersectional feminism important to you?
In social work, one of the first concepts we are taught about is something called our “Social Location”. Based on factors such as our Race, Socioeconomic status, Gender identity, Age, Ability, Religion, Sexual orientation, Immigration Status, and Geographic location, this may influence the way we perceive ourselves, the people around us, and the overall world. Each one of us comes with our own unique set of values, beliefs, desires, strengths, and perspectives. With this being said, our social location contributes to our understanding of institutions and systems, as well as our ability to navigate and access them.

Intersectionality examines people’s lived experiences with their complex identities and how multiple forms of inequality and/or disadvantage can compound, helping bring visibility to unique experiences including marginalization, oppression, and vulnerability (Crenshaw, 1991). 

As a woman of colour who has experienced navigating systems within my own life, as well as having to see the women around me navigating these same oppressive systems, many times, this has left me feeling powerless. I believe that it is incredibly important to draw awareness and bring attention to the various perpetuating forces and systems, which allow us to process how the intersection of our identities may shape our experiences. 

Navigating and understanding how my own identities intersect, has encouraged and empowered me to formulate my own acts of resistance, allowing me to reclaim my power in ways that make sense for me. Intersectional feminism is important to me because like myself and the women in my own personal life, women across the globe experience varying degrees of marginalization and oppression, and through examining our intersections of identity, we work toward regaining power, autonomy, and justice.  

Related articles:
Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Identity politics, intersectionality, and violence against women. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241–1299.