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    Zahra Somani, LMFT-Associate

    Welcome! My name is Zahra Somani and I am a couples, individual, and family therapist. I practice in this field because I believe life is better when we can face our emotions and engage more deeply and meaningfully with those around us.

    I also understand that that this is much easier said than done. That’s when having a strong therapist who isn’t afraid to pose the hard questions and sit with you as you face what comes can really make the difference. Let’s work together that so you can begin to reap the benefits of doing this difficult work.

    Couples Work

    A healthy relationship is one where all parties can engage with their own emotions, share their vulnerable selves, and be able to listen to and understand the emotions and needs of those around them.

    But it is just as natural to find ourselves in a moments of disconnection with those closest to us, when our emotions get the best of us, or when we’re unable to access that feeling of security with our partners.

    This is where therapy can help. I’ve successfully worked with couples on issues around:

    · sexual intimacy

    · infidelity

    · substance abuse

    · the stress of raising children with additional needs

    · and the lasting trauma around fertility and miscarriage.

    No relationship is perfect – we all struggle with something, but therapy can provide tools you can learn and patterns you can unlearn to help get you back to the basics of deeply connecting again.

    Individual Work

    For many of us, life has taken a toll. Between the constant access to information and the inability to turn it off, our brains are less able to cope with small or large stressors coming our way. Others of us are struggling under the weight of expectations, whether that’s parent guilt or the pressure to hold your emotions in because of gendered norms, social media comparisons, or the expectations that your younger self imposed on you.

    Individual work is empowering: as a client, you have the opportunity to discover how gratifying it can be to wrestle with your emotions, facing them head on as you work to find your voice, conquer your anxiety, or better understand yourself and the way you work.

    Individual work is dynamic: sometimes change happens in the answer to a question, and sometimes it takes a slower approach as thoughts seed themselves and take shape throughout the weeks. Change looks different on everyone. At the outset, we’ll identify what your goals are and what change might look like for you so that we’re working toward an outcome. 

    Individual work is tailored: working through grief, trauma, substance abuse recovery, sexual abuse, trying to find your identity, understanding how you fit in with your culture, your family, your gender, and your sexual identity—these require different approaches and modalities, and we’ll work together to find what clicks for you.

    Family Work

    It is normal to experience conflict, pain, joy, closeness, and distance—sometimes at the same time—despite caring deeply for one another.

    If we know and accept this, we can be better prepared to address challenges when they arise. Often these problems arise during life transitions: children becoming teens, the birth of a child, the loss of a family member, the change of a job status, divorce, and remarriage.

    Therapy can help support your family and set you up for success in working through these inevitable life moments. As a systems therapist, I am trained to work with your whole family to incorporate tools for better communication and to recreate that sense of connection and support that you desire.

    Areas of Research + Specialization

    My research, The Impact of Gender Role Expectations on South Asian Women’s Well-Being, Relationship Satisfaction, and Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors, has won more than $18,000 in grants and has been presented at:

    · World Family Therapy Congress (Spain, 2023)

    · Texas Association for Marriage and Family Therapist’s Annual Conference (Austin, 2023)

    · Muslim Studies Conference (Michigan State University, 2024).

    Over the last fifteen years, I have taught religious education within a predominantly South Asian Muslim community. I have worked at all levels—with students, parents, and school systems and mentored teachers and leadership in

    · Malaysia

    · Singapore

    · East and South Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa) and

    · across the U.S.

    Being an educator empowered me to lead with empathy and compassion and exercise pastoral care for children and families. It also provided insight into some of the challenges they faced, including varied family structures, socio-economic pressures, and generational and cultural divides.

    My experiences teaching and my master’s degree in Muslim Civilizations position me to drive discussions at the intersection of religion, culture, sex, and sexuality. In my experience within the South Asian community, conversations around sex and sexuality are often harmful and have long-lasting implications for quality of life, productivity, holistic wellness, and happiness, but it does not have to be this way. I’m here because I want us to have more hard conversations around shame, pleasure, and relationships. My goal is to continue creating space for minority voices via therapeutic conversations and by providing tools and resources so individuals can live authentically and feel fulfilled in their relationships.

    More recently, I’ve taken on the role of training C-Suite executives and directors of healthcare organizations, including Darmouth Health, Kline-Galland, and Inspir, to be more inclusive of the populations they serve.

    Credentials

    Masters of Science – Marriage and Family Therapy

    Texas Woman’s University; Denton, Texas

    Masters of Teaching, w/Distinction

    Masters of Arts, Education (Muslim Civilizations and Societies), w/Distinction;

    Institute of Education, University of London; London, United Kingdom

    American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Minority Fellowship Program

    Minority Fellow

    Certified SAGECare Trainer

    Zahra is supervised by Jennifer Kendall, PhD., LMFT-S (TX #203322)