Ali Shahrami, Psy.D., M.Ps.
My first psychology professor was well known for his humour. Whenever anyone asked “How are you?” he always answered “Things couldn’t be better, otherwise they would be.” I didn’t understand what he meant but, as a young student, I was too afraid that he might fail me if I questioned him, so I stayed quiet. When I finally gathered up enough courage to ask him about it, I discovered that he was actually a very warm person and quite different than what I expected — he eventually became my mentor! Being so wrong about him helped me to realize how thoughts and beliefs were keeping me afraid and struggling in other areas of life. From then on, I have felt passionately about helping other people to realize how their own thoughts and beliefs can also create struggle or a sense of well-being.
So many years later, as a therapist, I strive to be non-judgmental, warm, open and encouraging with my clients. I always try to work collaboratively and to bring a sense of humour into my work because better things happen when we’re both comfortable. I am a good listener and I use analogies and real-life examples to help clients understand my views about what they’ve told me. Understanding helps people make positive changes in their lives, but so do new skills and tools that I can teach.
I enjoy working with children, older adolescents and adults, and my skills help me to work with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. My training as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) enables me to help people change a wide range of problem behaviours using evidence-based techniques, including the types of issues related to ADHD.
I am registered as a Psychologist with The College of Psychologists of Ontario and am currently completing my Doctorate in clinical psychology at the California Southern University. When not at Shift, I work as an Advance Practice Clinical Leader at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).