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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 find great meaning and purpose in alleviating disturbances in people’s lives. This is what has helped steer me towards a Master’s in Social work with a view of a career as a psychotherapist. My goal is to provide relief from troubling emotional and physical states and help people towards more fulfilling lives.

My experience post-graduation as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist in two local hospitals – the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and the Montfort Hospital – has taught me a great deal about compassion, creating an environment of safety and acceptance and the immense value of simply being there for others.

It has also made me aware that there is 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, the services may not respond precisely to their needs. So I started my private practice where I invest heavily in training and continuing education, 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 mind-body connection.

Recently I have become certified in EMDR – or Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing – and I am pleased to provide this highly effective therapy for patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), past or present trauma, environmental and complex illnesses, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia.

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