At Thrive, our team of expert psychologists in Dubai are here for you.
Our Dubai-based team of dedicated psychologists provide confidential and affordable individual psychological therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. Learn more about our full range of counselling and psychological services, such as our strategies for the treatment for depression or anxiety. We have an expert in art therapy and play therapy, which is especially effective in helping children with both emotional and behavioral issues. We also offer marriage counselling and relationship therapy with Dr. Sarah Rasmi.
At Thrive Wellbeing Centre, our psychologists work with children, adolescents, and adults. We can support you with therapy and counselling for:
Overcoming depression, sadness, or general unhappiness
Managing anger and aggression
Reducing anxiety, stress, and worry
Dealing with panic attacks
Marriage counselling, couples therapy and relationship counselling
Overcoming school issues, such as bullying, separation anxiety, and school refusal
Navigating grief, loss, and bereavement
Processing traumatic experiences (including abuse)
Improving body image and self-esteem
Raising happy and confident kids
Parent-child relationship challenges
Managing your child's misbehavior
We offer a safe, judgment-free space, no matter what type of support you need.
Meet our Team
Our team of Dubai psychologists are all highly-educated, well-trained practitioners, lecturers, and consultants.
Dr. Sarah Rasmi - CDA-Licensed Psychologist & Managing Director
Dr. Sarah is a licensed Dubai psychologist. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in Canada, where she specialized in parenting and family relationships. She runs Thrive while teaching and conducting research at the American University of Sharjah. Prior to this, Dr. Sarah was a professor at United Arab Emirates University, Heriot-Watt University (Dubai), and the American University in Dubai.
Get in touch with Dr. Sarah if you need support with common mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, phobia, or panic. She can also help you navigate your personal relationships, whether it’s through couples counselling or parenting support. Dr. Sarah utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, a widely used type of talk therapy (psychotherapy), and other evidence-based therapy methods.
Malak Kamel - CDA-Licensed Psychologist
Malak is a licensed Dubai psychologist. She received her Masters in Counselling Psychology from McGill University in Canada. Malak has counseling and therapy experience in Canada, Egypt, the UAE (Dubai), and Trinidad and Tobago. She teaches psychology courses at the American University of Sharjah and Zayed University in Dubai.
Malak is passionate about supporting adolescents (10+) and adults. Get in touch with her if you need support with depression, anxiety, stress and anger management, loss and bereavement counselling, or dealing with past trauma.
Dr. Ola Pykhtina - Child Specialist (Art Therapist and Play Therapist)
Dr. Ola is a DHCC licensed psychologist, working as an art and play children’s therapist at Thrive. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Newcastle University in the UK. Dr. Ola has counseling and therapy experience in Canada, Dubai, and the UK. She has taught psychology courses at Heriot-Watt University in Dubai and the American University of the Emirates.
Dr. Ola uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), child-centered therapy, sandtray therapy, and Jungian therapy in her work with children, young people, and parents. She offers therapy for children aged 3 and up.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between therapy, psychotherapy, and counselling?
Many people use the following terms interchangeably: psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist, therapist, and counsellor. Yes, all of these professions focus on human behavior, emotions, and cognitions. At the same time, there are some important differences.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illness. They can prescribe medication, such as anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic drugs.
Psychologists are people who hold a doctoral degree in psychology, whether its an intensive, research-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or a practical Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.). A licensed psychologist is able to provide counseling and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapists are those who hold a Master’s degree (M.A. or M.Sc.) in psychology, counselling, or a related field. Similar to psychologists, licensed psychotherapists can provide counseling and psychotherapy.
Therapist and counsellor can mean a lot of different things. We recommend that you evaluate the practitioner’s educational background. At a minimum, your practitioner should hold a Master’s degree in counseling or psychology and be licensed or registered with a related body. In Dubai, you want to look for a CDA, DHCC, or DHA license.
A life coach is someone who can help you identify and work towards goals. They are not qualified or trained to provide support for any mental health challenges. It is important to know that becoming a life coach usually takes between 16 and 100 hours. Becoming a psychotherapist or psychologist usually takes between 6 and 12 years.
What should I expect at my first mental health appointment?
Many people feel a sense of relief when they book their first appointment, and a sense of nervousness as it approaches. This is normal. Please rest assured that we will do what we can to make you feel comfortable. You can always reach out to us if you have any questions before your appointment and will be happy to answer them.
We encourage you to come to therapy with some idea of what you want to get out of your treatment. You will be able to discuss these goals with your therapist during the first session. Together, you will identify the way forward and take the first step.
As we begin this journey together, we want you to reassure you that all of our communications and interactions will be confidential and inline with our values: Trust, Honesty, Respect, Integrity, eVidence-based, and Empathic.
Where will the therapy take place?
You will meet your therapist in one of our comfortable and private consultation rooms at our psychology clinic in JLT, Dubai. Your loved ones are welcome to sit in our waiting area while you are in your session. We have complimentary refreshments and internet access, as well as some toys and books for your children to enjoy. There is also a playground and many restaurants and coffee shops on the ground floor of our building.
How long will I be in therapy for?
This will depend on a number of factors, including the nature, severity, and duration of your presenting problem; your existing coping strategies and commitment to the therapeutic process; how much social support you have; and the amount of stress you have in your life.
Another very important factor is the therapeutic alliance. Research shows that people are more likely to benefit from therapy if they feel a connection with their therapist. You might not click with your therapist and that’s ok - we encourage you to try someone different rather than stopping therapy altogether. Your therapist will review this during your first appointment.
Where can I park during my session?
There is a big RTA lot on the ground floor of our building. It can be quite busy, but the turnover time is usually very fast. Our clients are usually able to find a spot within a few minutes. We recommend arriving a few minutes early just in case. There is a valet service available between 9am and 6pm - you’ll need to speak with them about the fees.
Reaching out for support can be tough, especially when you feel that you are the only one or that you should be able to solve your issues on your own. Remember, you are not alone and seeking support shows strength and not weakness.
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