Get to Know Abia
Abia hashmi, LCPC, LPC
Pronunciation: AH-bee-yah HASH-mee
Hi, I’m Abia! I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the states of Illinois and Texas. I specialize in helping young adults and adults cope with stressors; getting unstuck as they work through difficult moments and challenges in their lives. When life gets tough, it’s easy to focus on the problems that are happening or the “weaknesses” you see in yourself. By overly focusing on these thoughts you start to believe that you are not good enough and feel like you are a failure. You can break this cycle. I strongly believe that each person has their own unique strengths that can give them the power to change the pattern. We will put our heads together to find new, creative ways to leave the old struggles behind. Together we will tackle the habits holding you back and reconnect you with your unique strengths.
I provide counseling services in English and Urdu.
I provide online counseling and psychotherapy for residents of Illinois, Texas, and Florida
and in office counseling and psychotherapy in Austin, TX
How I Help
Taking the chance to find help can be tough. You may feel nervous or wonder if I will understand how you feel. As a first generation South Asian immigrant, I know the term “mental health” is nearly non-existent in most South Asian cultures. I bring this understanding into therapy. Don't let your thoughts or the thoughts of others discourage you from reaching out for help and finding relief. Therapy can be hard work, with challenges along the way, but I am with you. I am here to make sure you get the most out of your efforts. I will provide support and encouragement as we explore the troubles holding you back. I will lend a listening ear and create a safe, comforting environment, to give you the chance to transcend the obstacles in your way. Together we will clear the path to a more deeply fulfilling, peaceful life.
Areas of Focus
Life Changes and Transitions
Do you feel emotionally “maxed out”? Like you have to solve everything on your own? Like there is no one to turn to for help or who will even understand what you are going through? Are you having trouble getting good sleep or feeling well rested? Do you find yourself worrying and asking yourself a million what if questions. Change is a struggle and we all struggle with it - doesn't matter if it is painful or positive. Making adjustments and transitions feels overwhelming and you may be stressed, confused, and irritable. Whether expected or not, the experience of change is not usually an easy one. Even when it is positive such as graduating from school or getting married, the change can be intense, challenging, or even disorienting. Though it may be hard to see at the moment, the feelings of confusion and fear can give way to the possibilities of redefinition. You will get there and I am ready to help you do it! Being an ally in the process of redefining your life is an opportunity that I am privileged to take on.
Women are strong, brave, powerful, and determined. We also experience many different stressors and jump through many hurdles in life as we strive to balance close relationships, careers, and responsibilities. Oh ya, and time for ourselves... our interests, self-care, fun, and down time. On a daily basis, do you find yourself struggling with stereotypical gender roles, your career, body image, health, or cultural issues? Do you feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities that are on your shoulders? Do you tend to break down in tears and then people tell you that you are too emotional, too sensitive, or even crazy? Does it feel like something is wrong with you? Do you start to take those words and make them your own? Do you question if you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or that you might be “failing as a person”? Let me tell you something, there’s nothing wrong with being called “too something.” Those are other people’s thoughts and judgements, they do not have to be yours. You aren’t alone, nor do you have to cope with these experiences in silence. I am here to help you see a new version of yourself and to help you find that bright light. Together we will get to the root of the problem, and help you find your way back to the power and passion you know is within you.
Racial and Cultural Identity
Do you feel like you are caught between two worlds and you don’t really feel like you truly belong in either. Are you noticing that you are overwhelmed and confused about who you should be? Are you noticing that you just feel out of place? Not belonging, not fitting in, figuring out who you are supposed to be, or what you are supposed to do… is exhausting. All of this is making you feel anxious, overwhelmed, and even depressed. It is even more challenging when you grow up with the tension of being expected to follow your parents’ culture or the dominant culture you are living in, rather than following your own path. Bringing together all the parts of your cultural experience is a difficult, life long process which can be made more complicated by a lack of acceptance by others or even questioning yourself if you are “good enough.” Your culture is one aspect of your identity. Having your unique perspective understood by another person is essential. Together we can work on the intersection of culture and the emotional troubles that you might have experienced including anxiety, loss, or trauma.
A bit about me
Hello! So, who is Abia, you may be asking yourself. Well, I was raised in a city with possibly the most beautiful skyline in the US...Chicago, IL. I am a first generation immigrant who takes pride in my culture and where I come from. I am a silly, caring, loyal, easy going person and am all about attracting good vibes. I love being bilingual and can speak Urdu. I come from a huge family, and often describe my family as the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
While I was not blessed with the skills to play sports or become an athlete myself, I am a big fan of Chicago sports, and a huge soccer (European) enthusiast. Go Cubs! Go Arsenal! I am excited to come down to Austin, and root for the Longhorns! In my free time, I like to plan my next travel destination whether I am with my best friend or flying solo. The list of places I want to explore are ever growing. I believe that we shouldn’t wait to see the world, but explore it as soon as we can!
There’s loads more to learn about me, but I am excited to learn more about you!
"There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn't.”
M.A. in Clinical Mental
Concordia University, Chicago
B.S. in Psychology
University of Illinois at Chicago
Licensed Professional Counselor,
TLHT Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Texas Public Complaint
The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council investigates and prosecutes professional misconduct committed by marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychologists, psychological associates, social workers, and licensed specialists in school psychology. Although not every complaint against or dispute with a licensee involves professional misconduct, the Executive Council will provide you with information about how to file a complaint. Please call 1-800-821-3205 for more information
For assistance please contact:
Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council
333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-450, Austin, Texas 78701
(512) 305- 7700, or 1-800-821-3205.