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Q&A with Yorkville U MACP Student Graduation Speaker Maimoona Batool

Maimoona Batool

Maimoona Batool’s steadfast commitment to addressing the pressing needs of child psychotherapy was first ignited by her own personal struggle to access mental health support for her own child. 

An Emergency and Forensic Nurse when she first enrolled in Yorkville University’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program, she recognized the profound gap in these kinds of services for kids in her community, and felt compelled to do all she could to make a difference.  

“I embarked on a journey of self-study, community volunteering, and formal education, culminating in my enrollment at Yorkville University,” said Batool, who now serves as the founder and director of Wellness with Batool – a Vaughan, Ontario psychotherapy and wellness practice, where she focuses on child and adolescent mental health, trauma, and empowerment. 

Throughout her academic journey, Batool – who was recently asked to represent her classmates as Student Graduation Speaker at Yorkville’s upcoming convocation ceremony in Fredericton, New Brunswick – not only actively engaged in classroom discussions, group projects, and extracurricular activities, she also enriched the learning environment for her peers, while extending her impact beyond campus through volunteer work and professional development initiatives.  

Batool’s passion for advocacy extends to her dedication to supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. As a survivor herself, she brings a unique empathy and understanding to her work, empowering others to heal and reclaim their lives. 

She recently sat down to reflect on her time at Yorkville University and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:

What brought you to Yorkville University? Where were you in your life/career when you decided to continue your studies with us? 

I chose Yorkville University because it provided a program that fulfilled my needs as a single mother of three, while allowing me to continue my education without compromising my parental, personal, or professional roles. The online format was particularly appealing as it offered flexibility and convenience, enabling me to balance my studies with my responsibilities at home and work. At the time of deciding to continue my studies at Yorkville, I was already a seasoned healthcare professional with a background in nursing, seeking to expand my expertise into the field of mental health and psychotherapy.

What made you decide to pursue your Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology?  

The decision to pursue a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology stemmed from a deeply personal experience. As a parent confronted with the trauma experienced by my child, I realized the critical need for trained mental health professionals, especially in child psychotherapy. This realization, coupled with my desire to bridge the gap in mental health services in my community, propelled me towards seeking formal education in psychotherapy. Yorkville University’s program offered a comprehensive curriculum that aligned perfectly with my aspirations, making it the ideal choice for my educational journey.

What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at Yorkville University?   

The most significant takeaway from my studies at Yorkville University encompasses a combination of valuable lessons, relationships, and experiences. Firstly, the program equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and compassion necessary to be a catalyst for change in the field of mental health. From foundational courses to specialized training in trauma counselling, I gained a deep understanding of various therapeutic approaches and techniques. Moreover, the relationships forged with faculty, professors, and fellow students enriched my learning experience, providing support, guidance, and inspiration throughout my academic journey. Additionally, the hands-on experience gained during practicum reinforced my confidence and reaffirmed my passion for making a positive impact in my community.

What are your plans after graduation, both immediate and long term?    

After graduation, my immediate plan involves completing my certification in play therapy and working towards establishing the first Canadian-certified play therapy center in my community. This initiative aims to provide much-needed mental health support to children, parents, and caregivers facing similar challenges. In the long term, I aspire to continue advocating for mental health awareness and accessibility, while expanding my services as a group practice of mental health professionals.

If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?  

If I were to offer one piece of advice to an incoming student, it would be to embrace the journey wholeheartedly and remain open to learning and growth. Stay resilient in the face of challenges, seek support when needed. Reach out to your faculty, be inquisitive and ask questions, everyone is here to support you in your journey. Trust in your abilities, stay committed to your goals, and let your passion for positive change guide you forward.

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