I am a professional psychotherapist and registered social worker. I am a clinical member with OSP (the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists) and am registered as a social worker with OCSWSSW (Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers). I completed my Master's degree in Social Work at the University of Toronto, specializing in Diversity and Social Justice. My psychotherapy training was with TIRP (The Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy) and my undergraduate degree was in Women's Studies and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. I have additional training in relational couples therapy.
My work currently includes both a private psychotherapy practice and part time work as a therapist in a community agency. I have also worked as a counselor, case manager, wilderness therapist with youth living in the homeless shelter system, and as a crisis line counselor for women struggling with abusive relationships. As a Masters of Social Work student I had the opportunity to complete two practicum placements; the first at Toronto Western Hospital in Community Mental Health where I provided psychiatric assessments in conjunction with psychiatrists and engaged in psychotherapy with clients; the second at Blake Boultbee Youth Outreach Service, engaging in psychotherapy with youth and parents as well as co-facilitating a weekly therapeutic group.
I work collaboratively with you to deeply understand the issues you bring to each session. I believe that we all possess our own wisdom but sometimes life circumstances and difficult emotions can get in the way of accessing our inner truths. In order to help you reconnect with that wisdom I remain curious and non-judgmental about your experiences, paying special attention to the relationships in your life and the themes that emerge.
As we start to understand more about what is going on you will start to trust that our intention will always be to approach any experience you have had with empathy and curiosity. This way of approaching whatever you bring to the session can help you to feel accepted, seen and known. This therapeutic experience will allow you to start to live from a more authentic, secure, calm and grounded place. I work from this compassionate perspective because it is my experience that being deeply understood and accepted within a trusting relationship is what brings about healing.
There are many forces in our lives and in our society that impact how we feel about the world and the experiences we have. There are structural and social barriers that can have real material, emotional, financial, spiritual and physical consequences; the therapeutic relationship is not immune to the realities of inequity, marginalization, privilege and oppressions. I am aware of my positioning in society – both my sites of privilege and oppression – and I bring this awareness to the therapeutic process. I encourage clients who feel this aspect of their lives is relevant to their healing process to reflect on how their own positioning has affected their lives, relationships and even our relationship.
Finally, I will leave you with a quotation that encapsulates how I understand the therapeutic process to operate. It reads,
- Mapping the Healing Journey: The Final Report of a First Nation Research Project on Healing in Canadian Aboriginal Communities. P. 61