There are many things I love about being a psychologist, but rising near the top is reframing clients’ beliefs and assumptions about the way things “should” be. And this is certainly true in the world of sex therapy. In working with individuals and couples for the last 15 years, just about everyone has a mental script about the way things should unfold during an intimate encounter, or how bodies should look, or how our gender should dictate how we behave. My consistent experience has been that while there are times these beliefs can be helpful, more often than not, they can make us feel stuck, and hold us back from the lives we want to lead. So by the time someone comes to see me, they feel little hope about their ability to change. And I promise – when you have the right support, and with the right amount of patience, persistence, and compassion, you can do amazing things.
A little bit about my background: After I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at McGill University, I completed two postdoctoral fellowships in sexual health in the U.S., and worked as a licensed psychologist with the Psychiatry Department at Columbia University in New York City. I then returned to Toronto to take up a position as lead Psychologist at the Adult Gender Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), before moving into full-time private practice. You’ll see a summary of my qualifications below.
Given my rigorous training and extensive work experience as a clinician and academic, rest assured you will receive treatment interventions that are up-to-date and based on the latest research findings. At the same time, my focus is on you as a person, and that means a recognition of, and deep respect for, your humanity. Sessions with me in therapy are typically informal and conversational, which helps to make issues, that can at times feel awkward and shameful, easier to discuss. My clients tend to describe me as warm, supportive, and deeply caring, with gentle doses of challenging – so that you can move towards the place where you want to be.
A summary of my qualifications is as follows:
M.A. in Humanities, York University, Toronto
M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, McGill University, Montreal
Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Institute in Gender and Sexual Health, University of Minnesota
Postdoctoral Fellowship with The Program for the Study of LGBT Health, Columbia University, New York City
Together, we’ll use cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and we’ll also consider attachment theory during our sessions. These approaches will help you to better understand and navigate your thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and patterns in intimate relationships.
When working with couples, I also often use emotion-focused therapy, and draw on diverse perspectives, different psychological disciplines, as well as my own clinical and research expertise.
Seeking therapy can often feel like a very vulnerable undertaking – especially when discussing topics that can feel ‘taboo’.
I want to reassure you of the safety of the space we will be holding, and what you can expect during session.
Together, we will create a truly safe, warm environment where you feel seen, supported, and encouraged to dive more deeply into your lived experiences.
I take a proactive approach during our sessions, and strive to set you at ease when discussing those vulnerable topics.
We will forge a positive bond where you can share your thoughts and feelings with, and in, confidence.
Ms. Umniyah Gilani (she/her) is the Client Care Coordinator at Dr. Philip Psychological Services. Umniyah earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and plans to attend graduate school in Clinical Psychology. She is warm and caring in her approach, and is deeply committed to providing clients, both prospective and current, with the best care possible.
If you have any questions regarding scheduling appointments, billing, or any general inquiries about our practice, you can reach Umniyah directly at email@example.com.