Ira (ee-ra) Yakubovitz
Registered Social Worker
Ira has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University and she is registered in good standing with the British Columbia College of Social Work (BCCSW # 09122).
Ira is an experienced counselor with more than 20 years in the clinical field. She worked in a variety of settings: cancer care, adult and adolescent mental health, sexual and domestic violence, and more.
Ira has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Haifa University of Israel specializing in Domestic Violence services. She is trained in group facilitation as part of the post graduate program in Haifa University. Ira has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University, specializing in Mental Health in a diverse adult population.
After settling in Vancouver, Ira worked at the Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, Surrey Memorial Hospital as a social worker, working with youth and their families in urgent intense psychiatric care. Over the following years, Ira also worked at the Outpatient Mental Health Urgent Assessment clinic at the Children’s Hospital, supporting a multidisciplinary team in psychiatric assessment and developing initial intervention care plan, while triaging referrals to multiple care providers.
Over the past ten years, Ira worked as a social worker at the Patient and Family Counseling services at the BC Cancer Agency, working with cancer patients and their families through and post treatment. In this position Ira had an opportunity to work with individuals, couples, families and groups. Cancer diagnosis and treatment is a complex profound life changing experience that affects many areas of person’s life.
THE COMMON THEMES OF Ira’s THERAPEUTIC WORK (HOWEVER NOT LIMITED TO) are:
- Living with Uncertainty
- Anxiety and Depression Symptom Management
- Shifting Sense of Identity
- Relational/Interpersonal Challenges
- Serious Illness and Living with Disability
- Support for Caregivers & Providers
- Anticipatory Grief, Loss & Bereavement
- Loss of a beloved pet companion
- Cultivating a Sense of Meaning / Spirituality
- Middle Life Transitions
- Work-Life Balance
- Empty Nest Syndrome
Ira’s work combines a few therapeutic approaches and interventions from the following modalities:
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – Certified Facilitator of MBSR
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) – Level 1 in training
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Narrative Approach
- Somatic Interventions
You are the “specialist” of your own life. After all, you have a lifetime of experience living it. That being said, my role as a therapist is of a reflective mirror— noticing and reflecting back to my clients recurring themes, stories they tell themselves, and behavioral patterns for their own review. Together, we will pay special attention to body – mind connection by bringing awareness to our ability to tolerate distress in our bodies.
From this starting place we can explore your life experiences, your strengths, and existing resources that already work well for you. We will also reflect on existing challenges and additional coping skills that you may want to develop. Throughout our work together we will review the goals that you would like to achieve, adjusting our work as the process unfolds.
Ira’s core Values:
Open minded as I have lived in different countries, cultures, and through different life experiences that have taught me that we as humans have endless self- expressions and they are all valid.
Curiosity & Integrity
Curiosity is a core value I adopted while practicing mindfulness as an essential vital part of human experience and growth. Certain directness comes from my two cultural backgrounds where I was encouraged to say what I mean and do what I say.
That being said, Kindness is at the heart of my life experience, practice and guides all my interactions with people in life.
I’ve found mindfulness to be the most profound and universal practice that is applicable for many people in a variety of situations. It resonates deeply with my own life experiences and with my core values. It is incredibly rewarding to see people’s lives transform as they cultivate awareness and adopt kindness and compassion as a way of being.