Ria Nishikawara enjoys supporting people in improving their connections to themselves, to community, and to life. Her background in dance and the performing arts has given her a strong belief in the healing powers of creative expression, and attuning to the body. Ria identifies as a queer woman of mixed-decent, who lives in Vancouver, BC, on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh.
Ria works as a counsellor at Brookswood Counselling – a trauma-focused clinic and training centre – where she uses an integrative approach, drawing from social justice and creative practice alongside modern research in empathy, emotion, neuroscience, and attachment theory. She also works with the distress services support team for the Vancouver Crisis Centre, and is currently completing her MA in counselling psychology at UBC, where her research is in the experiences of people with Fibromyalgia accessing healthcare services. Previously, she worked as a counselling intern with Dragonstone Counselling, a social-justice and feminist-oriented counselling centre providing financially accessible services to underserved populations including LGBTQQIA, people of colour, and people with chronic health conditions and disabilities.
Her personal, creative, and self-sustaining practices include dance and authentic movement, mindfulness meditation, photography, and taiko (Japanese folk drumming).