Ria Nishikawara, M.A. Student

Clinical Resident

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: 
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Part of the joy of being a counsellor is having the opportunity to accompany people in their journeys of self-discovery. I have great admiration for the courage it takes to turn inward during times of struggle – for while we may not have control over the things that happen to us in life, I believe there is a lot we can do about how we respond to these events.

Sometimes we encounter obstacles that we don’t have the tools or experience to navigate on our own. These painful experiences can leave us feeling disconnected from ourselves, one another, and our sense of purpose in life. At the same time, these challenges present us with immense opportunity to strengthen our connection with ourselves – to grow, to heal, and to deepen our meaning in life. 

I work from the premise that our emotions and physiological sensations are like an internal compass that informs our needs and can guide our actions, if we know how to listen to them. As a counsellor, I collaborate with clients to build an environment of curiosity, safety, and nonjudgment in which to explore their inner worlds. Through tuning in to their internal cues – in the context of a safe and attuned relationship – the client has the opportunity to genuinely experience themselves, and connect to the essential information that allows them to naturally move toward their own unique answers.

Professional Experience:

I come to Brookswood with nearly ten years of experience in supportive fields. I began my work in social justice, which remains my foundation for my interactions with clients. I have held internships with Surrey Substance Use Services and Dragonstone Counselling, and I continue to work as part of the distress services support team with the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC. Within these roles I have had the privilege of working with clients from diverse backgrounds and with a broad range of concerns including: depression; anxiety; anger; trauma; substance use; self-harm and suicidality; LGBTQ identity, gender and sexuality; and chronic pain, chronic illness, and disability. I also bring with me my background in movement and dance, and belief in the healing powers of creative expression.

I practice from an integrated approach to counselling, drawing from a range of evidence-based approaches. I am particularly drawn to “whole person” approaches that incorporate modern research in empathy, emotion, neuroscience, and attachment theory, and am pursuing continuing education in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Therapeutic Enactment, and Focusing-Oriented Therapy, along with other body-based approaches to trauma.


To contact Ria and set up an appointment, please phone the Brookswood Counselling Offices at 778-278-3411 or email at

Location #107 20103 40th Avenue Langley, BC, Canada V3A 2W3    •    Email
Phone 778-278-3411    •    Fax778-278-0202
Our office hours are Monday - Friday.  Day and evening appointments are available.