Bright Light Counseling Center
Beyond the Clinical: A Look at Our Therapists In and Out of Session: Abia
Updated: May 16
Sometimes it can feel like a mystery when searching for a therapist.
You read and scroll all of the websites, profiles, and clinical information, but you don’t usually get to hear from the therapist in their own words.
Bright Light Counseling Center decided to lift the veil and introduce our therapists, in their own words. Learn more about them both personally and professionally.
This month we are interviewing Abia Hashmi, MA, LCPC, LPC
(Nancy): What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?
(Abia): The thing I enjoy the most about being a therapist is that my clients end up choosing me, as their therapist, to tell their deepest darkest secrets! How awesome is that? I know it takes a minute or two to build a connection with a therapist, making sure it is the right fit. But, when that connection develops and they choose me to help them achieve their goals, tell their secrets to, to problem solve with, and more, it is a great feeling.
I’m a big advocate for mental health. The beauty of therapy is obtaining a new perspective
(Nancy): What do you like to do in your free time/for fun?
(Abia): Lately, I’m all about following YouTube van lifers and scheming up ways to get on the road myself and be one with van life. Other than that, I love working out, watching sports, going to sporting events, playing with my nieces and nephews, and hopefully soon more traveling!
(Nancy): What makes being a therapist worthwhile?
(Abia): Working with clients who are coming to therapy and want to work on their mental health. I’m a big advocate for mental health. I believe everyone should see a therapist at some point in their life, doesn't matter if they are going through issues or if they aren’t. The beauty of therapy is obtaining a new perspective.
I believe access to mental health care is needed more so now than ever. Making therapy more accessible allows people to get the care they need.
(Nancy): Are you currently binge watching any shows?
(Abia): I’m a sucker for teen dramas! Currently, I am binging Nancy Drew. I love it! Shipping Nancy and Ace! Funny story: this show came out in 2019 and I would watch it weekly as it is a CW show. I’m not sure what happened, but I never watched the season finale until 2 weeks ago (2022). I also learned that there are two more seasons! I am now re watching Season 1 to catch up on the rest! Another show is Single Drunk Female on Hulu! I love it! I think it shows the battle with addiction in a realistic way.
(Nancy): What is your favorite dish to eat?
(Abia): My favorite American- Italian dish is pizza! You can’t go wrong with Cheese Pizza, it’s the best! I do have favorite toppings! Al’s in Norridge, IL has the best thin crust. My order is half jalapeno and half garlic and mushroom! My favorite Pakistani dish is Mutton Biryani! The way my mom makes it is the best. She always makes it for my birthday! I wish I could make it as well as her!
(Nancy): What would you want someone who has never been to therapy to know about therapy?
(Abia): You don't have to be going through a crisis or feeling negatively to seek therapy. Therapy is for everyone, at all different times and chapters of life. It's a preventive measure and good for overall wellness.
(Nancy): What do you think makes your standout as a therapist?
(Abia): I think I'm very personable, genuine, and my jokes are pretty funny.
(Nancy): What have you felt most challenged by as a therapist?
(Abia): Most challenging thing about being a therapist I've experienced is accepting that I may not be the right fit for the client or vice versa. A good analogy I learned is that you can't fit a triangle into a circle, and that's a-okay!
(Nancy): Where is one place you would like to travel to and why?
(Abia): One place? I want to travel all over the world!! But, my one place would be Cape Verde. It's an island country off the coast of Africa. I discovered it from an episode of White Collar when Neil Caffrey escaped from the US. Its influence is a mix of European and African, and I believe they speak Portuguese. I think it's beautiful!
(Nancy): How have current events impacted how you approach therapy?
(Abia): We are constantly learning and growing! Therapy is evolving, as well! Change can be challenging, but it's doable. Telehealth existed, but is even more prominent now. I believe access to mental health care is needed more so now than ever. Telehealth makes accessing care so much easier. Making therapy more accessible allows people to get the care they need for issues that they are struggling with.