Bari Emam - Burnaby Counsellor

Bari Emam, MA, MC, RCC



  • BGS, UFV
  • MA, UFV
  • MC, City U

Healing Focus

  • Post Traumatic Growth
  • Family Systems
  • Couples / Relationships
  • Stress Management
  • Anxiety Reduction
  • Greif and Loss


I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BCACC (British Columbia Association of Clinical Counselors), specializing in post-traumatic growth, family systems, couples, and helping clients regulate their nervous system caused by a variety of life circumstances. I use the principles of attachment, polyvagal theory, and somatic experiencing as well as other therapeutic modalities. I have worked with youth, adults, families, and couples, helping them process their emotions, identify issues which cause disharmony in their lives and uncover their inner strength to restore a sense of harmony and flow in their life.

I have roots in Burnaby, where I graduated from high school. I completed a diploma in criminology at Douglas College, a Bachelor of General Studies at UFV, a Master of Arts at UFV, and a Master of Counselling at City University of Seattle.

I was a police officer for 20 years, where I became exposed to some of the most challenging human conditions in our society, including over 100 homicide investigations. I held various roles and received 15 different awards for my service to our communities. During this time, I met hundreds of people who were suffering on a daily basis because of life’s challenges. I found that the core issues for most people were lack of awareness, inadequate emotional support, negative societal influences, and not nurturing their inner goodness. I travelled to many parts of Canada, the United States, South America, and Europe and was able to find a connection with almost everyone whom I met. Towards the end of my time as a police officer, I was personally affected by a work culture of shame, blame, unfair treatment, harassment, and toxic masculinity. I realized that this way of life was detrimental to my health and left the job. I no longer believe in the rigid and judgemental ways which governed many aspects of my life as a cop, yet I walked away with a lifetime of incredible experiences which I can now use to help my clients.

I began a five-year healing journey where I focused on self-improvement, post-traumatic growth, spiritual awakening, the forgiveness of others, and cultivating the power of positive psychology. I found that the answers to many of our emotional and personal struggles are often hidden within ourselves, we just need to clean our foggy lenses to see things clearly, and almost everything in life can make sense.

Now in the healing profession, I believe that we all have the potential to experience a joyful and prosperous existence no matter what life throws at us, and I want to help my clients get there. One of my passions is to work with men whose inner goodness is hidden behind a mask of toxic masculinity. I achieve this by helping men detach from certain unhelpful gender and societal roles, process their emotions, and use the power of their intentions to set realistic and achievable goals. I use a trauma-informed and strength-based approach to assist my clients with finding emotional safety in the world, rising above life’s existential challenges, and live their best lives.

My loving wife of twenty years and I are also devoted parents. We strive to nurture our relationship while honouring the unique expression of each of our three young and energetic children. I also practice yoga, mindfulness, and meditation as part of self-care and am an avid gardener, a music lover and like building things.

I am also a published author. My book “Uprooted and Thriving” tells my life story as a child who left war-torn Afghanistan over 30 years ago and how I was able to make the best out of life under difficult circumstances. My final paper for graduate school was focused on the obstacles men face as part of toxic masculinity, which prevent their healing from trauma. I strive to promote a message of peace and unity between all humans by focusing on what brings us together while advocating for a socially just society where everyone matters.