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Besma (Bess) Benali, MSW RSW
Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist

Are you an adult or teen struggling with relentless symptoms? Have you tried different strategies (perhaps medication, online readings, talking to family), even different therapies that simply didn’t work? Does this often make you feel “stuck” or powerless adding to a sense of frustration or self-blame? You are not alone!

I am a registered (licensed) Social Worker, Counsellor and Psychotherapist and a trainee in contemporary psychoanalysis. I also underwent intensive CBT training at The Royal Ottawa Hospital within the Mood and Anxiety Program. My belief is that as a client you deserve to be listened to attentively and wholeheartedly with compassion and empathy. Moreover, you want your therapist to be knowledgeable and competent so that your work can yield to symptom relief and positive changes.

I work with adults and with adolescents (12+) both for short term or more long term therapy, depending on their needs. I treat people struggling with varied issues such as Anxiety, Depression, OCD, relationship struggles, Anger management, stress at school or work, and much more.

I practice by teaching my patients about the mechanism of why they feel as they do. By better understanding “why” patients are able to create change. I value transparency and strive to offer that to all my patients, as well as help them find clarity in their health and life.

Choosing the right Ottawa Counsellor can be overwhelming that is why I offer a free telephone conversation (in French or English) to prospective clients. A brief discussion will allow you to get a sense of who I am as a therapist and if I am the right person to help you.

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Besma (Bess) Benali, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, RSW, Counselling Ottawa. I am trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Brief Psychodynamic Therapy, ACT, and mindfulness. Clients come to me because they are struggling and feel like they are trapped in a darkness that no matter what they have tried (and many have tried therapy before) they can’t pull themselves out. I help my clients understand themselves in ways no one has ever taught them before allowing them to see positive changes.

About Me

I have always been a people-oriented person. And a brief stint in the corporate world after I first graduated confirmed that it wasn’t a good fit for me – and helped steer me to go on to get a Master’s in Social Work with a view to a career in the helping field.

My experience post-graduation as a clinical social worker at the Acute Treatment Unit at the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa taught me a great deal about compassion, creating an environment of acceptance and the immense value of simply being there for others.

I then worked at the Royal Ottawa Hospital as a psychotherapist, at the Mood and Anxiety Out-Patient program, where I came to realize there was a dire need for mental health services in the community. People often have to wait long periods of time to access services, and even then, services may not respond precisely to their needs. So I started my private practice and now work almost exclusively with adults and adolescents, with a strong focus on guiding my patients towards positive life changes, healing, and a healthy mindset.

My direct experiences have taught me how to foster trust with individuals who need help coping with issues ranging from depression to parenting strategies. I recognize that seeking the support you need is a big step, and I can make that a smooth and caring process. My extensive training – both academic and on-the-ground- makes me able to provide you with the support you need.

When I am not working, I enjoy spending quality time with my family – especially my little nephew Rafi who cracks me up with his “special tricks”. I also enjoy traveling and reading – right now I am into historical dramas. I also like experimenting with new recipes – and trying not to burn them! These days I am exploring cooking with spring vegetables.