Home » Our Team » Dr. Ava Ghasemi-Holdich, PsyD, C.Psych.(CAN)

Dr. Ava Ghasemi-Holdich, PsyD, C.Psych.(CAN)

Clinical Psychologist

Short and long term therapy for adolescents (age 15-19), adults, and couples. Services offered in English and Farsi.

My therapeutic approach:

I believe we are wired for healing and growth. Experiencing emotional turmoil and suffering is part of life, but as humans we develop behaviors, thoughts and relationships that could make us feel stuck, depressed, isolated, angry or anxious to name a few. Through therapy we can identify patterns that are not so useful and develop new ones that help us feel calmer, more connected, content, creative, and more courageous. In other words, therapy is a healing ritual that helps us gain access to essential resources in ourselves and in our environment to better cope with life’s problems, to move forward and to grow. In my practice I draw from cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, internal family systems, mindfulness, and sensorimotor psychotherapy. I use talk therapy and incorporate experiential practices during session to crystallize what we discuss. I also assign small homework (e.g., things to think about or write about, or skills to practice) to keep the momentum of therapy going. We will also periodically revisit goals for therapy to ensure we’re on the right track.

I also work with couples who are experiencing conflict due to personal and/or external factors. My approach with couples is from a systematic perspective by taking into account the whole context of the relationship (individual and family histories, personality, culture, socio-economic factors) to help the couple use more adaptive coping skills, to heal past wounds and to improve the quality of their relationship. No relationship is perfect but finding more harmony and contentment is possible. In the event that one partner or both want(s) to end the relationship I can help the couple find a healthier approach to working through this transition and offering support in a safe and confidential space. In addition to the therapeutic modalities mentioned above, I also integrate the Gottman method when working with couples.

My areas of expertise:

  • Personal growth and self-awareness
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress management
  • Peak performance
  • Major life transitions and decisions
  • Career concerns
  • Identity issues (spirituality, sexuality, ethnicity, etc.)
  • Relationship problems
  • Trauma
  • Anger management
  • Grief and loss

My qualifications:

I am licensed as a clinical psychologist with the Dubai Health Authority. I am also licensed in Canada with the College of Psychologists of Ontario and authorized for autonomous practice with adolescents, adults and couples.

I hold a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Counselling Psychology from Adler University in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Since 2009, I have provided psychological services in the following settings and with a diverse range of clients:

Private Practice:

  • McDowall Counselling and Consulting Group, Toronto, Ontario, CAN
  • Chrysalis Centre Psychological and Counselling Services, Markham, Ontario, CAN

University Clinic:

  • University of California Counseling and Psychological Services, Merced, California, USA
  • Northwestern University Counseling and Psychological Services, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Outpatient Clinic:

  • Associates in Behavioral Science, Chicago, Illinois, USA

School Board:

  • United Stand Counseling Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA



Articles Featuring Dr. Ava:

Why Worry: ‘My wife’s in India and wants to come back, keeps nagging me. What can I do?’ Gulf News published September 16, 2020

Why Worry: COVID-19 means going back to India, where my husband cheated on me. Gulf News published July 23, 2020

Listen to Dr. Ava on Dubai Eye:

09 Jul 2019: Discussing and looking at how you stop the small stuff becoming the big stuff – psychologist Dr. Ava Ghasemi will be giving us her expert views. Listen here

Ava Ghasemi-Holdich verified by GoodTherapy.org

To make an appointment or request additional information  please complete contact form or call 052 510 2752.