With over ten years of experience with a wide range of clients, life challenges, and settings (including schools, the child welfare system, social service agencies, hospitals, mental health organizations, and various provincial ministries), Fola brings valuable knowledge, experience, skill, respect and cultural responsiveness to her work with each client.
“It is a privilege to be able to bear witness to someone’s story when they may not have had the chance to tell it before.” – Lindy Alexander
Our passion and professional specialty at BRI is working with youth, families and individuals to support positive mental health, overall well-being and success, and effective strategies for coping with challenges and transitions. Our team strives to encourage, enlighten and empower children (6-12), adolescents (13-17) and adults (18+) at every stage in their journey to becoming more resilient individuals. Our team of Social Workers and psychotherapists work to help people navigate difficulties, build strengths and coping strategies, and emerge from life struggles stronger, wiser, and more resilient than before. We will work with you to develop the most effective goal setting plans and interventions tailored to meet your unique needs, goals, and situation.
We are currently offering services across the GTA and throughout Ontario by phone or video.
BRI works with compassionate & collaborative counsellors to support our clients, they are:
CARING & COMPASSIONATE: We're often asked what makes BRI different from other counselling services. Our response is that at our core, we are compassionate counsellors who genuinely care about our clients. BRI is a warm, safe, welcoming space where clients are encouraged to bravely express their authentic selves and to grow to reach their full potential. At BRI, our clients arrive as strangers, experience care and camaraderie, and leave as part of our extended family. We put in the work to make sure our clients learn the skills and mindset they need to become more resilient, to build strengths and confidence, to set and achieve the goals that are most important to them, and to make progress toward success in the important areas of their life.
PROFESSIONAL: Our team at BRI exemplifies professionalism in its entirety. Each counsellor has completed a degree in Social Work from an accredited University, completed over nine years of experience in the field, and is a registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Our counsellors, like our clients, are each unique and special. BRI Counsellors range in age, experience, background, and approach in order to meet the needs of all our clients from different ages and groups. Each counsellor brings special skills, experiences, and unique value to the BRI TEAM. For example, each counsellor offers a unique professional speciality to BRI related to their mental health experience, skill, and focus. Overall, the team exudes passion, commitment, knowledge, and experience.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY, RESPONSIBILITY & INCLUSION: One very important strength of the BRI Team is that our counsellors are all diverse and primarily reflect the Black African and Caribbean Diaspora. The counsellors at BRI believe in the community and truly want to make a difference in the lives of all individuals, but especially the black and brown communities who have endured and continue to face systemic oppression and racial trauma. Our counsellors are grounded in anti-oppression, anti-racism, and anti-stigma principles, along with mutual respect and cultural sensitivity, especially with regards to assessments, identification of issues, and interventions and strategies that are culturally relevant and appropriate to meet the needs of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.
FOCUS ON RESILIENCE, STRENGTHS, HOPE, & EMPOWERMENT: Our counsellors strive to equip, enlighten and empower all individuals to cultivate greater hope, skill, and success and to transform their lives in meaningful ways. We enjoy helping clients to identify and amplify their strengths, resources, hopes, goals, and achievements, and to find pathways to success.
OWNING & RETELLING OUR STORIES WITH RESPECT & PRIDE: The BRI team knows that every person has a unique and valuable story, with both positive and negative elements included. Our counsellors truly believe that it is a privilege to bear witness to and hold space for each person's unique powerful personal story. All the elements of your life are part of your identity but how you see and tell the story of your life is what is most important. Too often, our stories are told to us by others who try to label us, define us, and belittle us. Often we are pressured to adopt negative elements in our stories that don’t belong to us and that weaken and limit us. At BRI, we help clients to rediscover their strengths, resources, goals, hopes, and successes and to re-write and re-tell their stories in ways that are enlightening, empowering, and create more possibilities and opportunities to thrive and succeed.
WORKING WITH AN INTERSECTIONAL LENS
BRI Counselling is committed to respecting, supporting, and promoting equity, diversity, inclusion. We utilize an intersectional lens in understanding identity and the structural and systemic elements that impact people’s lives. Understanding, equipping, and empowering clients on their journeys to cope with and overcome structural forms of racism, discrimination, injustice, and inequity is central to the values and vision of the BRI team. Racially and culturally, many BRI staff identify as Black people of African descent from the continent of Africa as well as the Caribbean. The rich diversity of our staff team also includes people who identify as multi-ethnic. We recognize that race and culture ground many of our racialized clients’ identities, and that additional intersecting elements of identity further broaden the complex realities of our clients’ lives, including class, immigration experiences, language, gender, sexuality, education, and religion. These multi-layered identities influence how clients view and interact with the world. These identities also impact how clients are viewed, treated, and experience the world, in the form of structural, systemic, and institutional inequities, discrimination, violence, abuse, and harassment, including racism, classism, sexism, misogyny, and heterosexism.
We acknowledge with humility and respect that Become Resilient Individuals (BRI) Counselling Centre is situated on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississauga of the Credit. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect. BRI Counselling is grateful everyday to live and work here.
AFRICAN CANADIAN HISTORY OF ENSLAVEMENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
It is also important to acknowledge Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation and marginalization as it has had a devastating impact on people of African descent. The existence of systemic anti-Black racism and inequality in child welfare, education, housing, employment, health, criminal justice, politics, and other areas can be directly traced to the complex legacies of the dehumanizing enslavement of African people in Canada. Canada has neither recognized nor educated the public adequately about the historical facts related to slavery and the anti-Black racism it has produced. Despite this, Black Canadians have made outstanding contributions to Canada in every field, which is all the more remarkable given the legacy of slavery. It is necessary to recognize the history of Black Canadians in order to build a more just society, free from discrimination.