UPDATE – October 2020: My practice is currently full and my waitlist is closed. Please check back here for updates in the new year.
I provide psychotherapy to adults, youth, couples and families in Toronto. I specialize in trauma-focused work, anxiety, work with other therapists/helping professionals dealing with compassion fatigue/burn-out, and work around gender identity/ LGBTQI2S+ issues.
Therapeutic Approach, Modalities and Framework
My style is warm, grounded and practical. My approach is rooted in the latest developments in neuroscience, attachment and trauma that point to the brain/body’s innate wisdom and ability to heal using somatic (body) awareness and focused/directed mindfulness in the context of an attuned therapeutic relationship. My work is influenced by Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (a mindfulness-based, somatic, attachment and trauma-focused modality), Janina Fisher’s Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment (a parts oriented approach that integrates structural dissociation theory, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and IFS techniques) and Brainspotting (a neurophysiology-based modality for processing traumatic memory by harnessing the brain’s innate ability to self-scan and self-heal). I also have advanced training in Attachment-Based Family Therapy, an evidence-based approach for addressing adolescent depression and suicidality through strengthening the parent-child relationship. The approach we take will be responsive to your unique concerns. Please see my “Experience and Credentials” section for more information about my trainings.
I work from a gender affirming, harm reduction and anti-oppressive/anti-racist framework, which recognizes and engages with the impact of intersecting oppressions (racism, sexism, transphobia, transmisogyny, homophobia, ableism etc.) on my clients’ lives, as relevant to them and our work.
Areas of Expertise
I provide individual psychotherapy to clients struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma symptoms, relationship problems, gender identity-related concerns, LGBTQI2S+ issues, healing from interpersonal violence/abuse/neglect, grief, ADHD, parenting challenges, substance use, self-esteem, life transitions, compassion fatigue/burn-out, struggles with fertility and perinatal issues.
I provide family services to tweens/adolescents/young adults and their parents wishing to improve communication, strengthen relationships, improve mental health, build positive coping skills, and reduce conflict and tension in the family. This often initially involves individual sessions with the youth/young adult, and separate parent sessions. Later, parents and young people come together for a number of structured family therapy sessions. Family work can also include siblings and other family members.My family work is based on Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) – an evidence-based approach for improving adolescent mental health problems (depression, self-harming and suicidal thoughts) and strengthening parent-child relationships.
I provide services to couples (and other relationship configurations) working through the complexities of gender identity/transition/navigating transphobia and/or transmisogyny on their relationship. I also specialize in supporting parents of gender independent/trans/non-binary children and youth to support their child by building knowledge about trans/gender issues, working through fears and misinformation and strengthening their relationship. I enjoy working with parents and couples to support them to better understand how their nervous systems impact their interactions with their loved ones, how to repair past hurts, and how to grow a rich and meaningful life together and/or with their children.
Expertise working with LGBTQI2S+ communities
I bring personal and professional experience to my work around sexual orientation and gender identity, and enjoy supporting LGBTQI2S+ clients, their partners and families my practice.
- I have worked with trans / non-binary communities for the past 18 years from a gender-affirming, anti-oppressive, anti-racist and trauma-informed lens. I provide exploratory counselling for people considering questions about their gender identity, and can provide transition-related supports (including OHIP approval/”Second Assessor” surgical readiness assessments and letters), and referrals to other services.
- I specialize in parent support/ education/ consultation with caregivers wishing to be more knowledgeable and supportive of their trans/non-binary child, or those struggling to understand or accept their child’s gender identity.
- I see partners, siblings and children of transgender/ non-binary people who may be struggling with the impact of their loved one’s transition on them, or wanting to learn to be more supportive
- I have expertise in supporting LGBTQI2S+people to work through painful and/or traumatic experiences related to their parents’/partners’ reactions to their coming out and build self-compassion and self love.
I work comfortably and competently around issues including: negotiating and nurturing diverse relationship models (open relationships, polyamory, non-monogamy, intentional monogamy, etc.), sex, sexuality, sex work, BDSM, kink and intimacy issues.
When clients’ needs fall outside the scope of my practice and training, I am pleased to provide referrals to other qualified counsellors, psychotherapists or community agencies. I am always happy to provide a list of skillful trans/non-binary and/or QTBIPOC therapists also working around these issues.
How could therapy help me?
In my work with individuals, I support my clients to gain deeper understanding about themselves and their relationships, build skills to relate to difficult emotions or trauma symptoms, process painful childhood experiences, free themselves of long-standing limiting beliefs, improve their capacity for self compassion and to set boundaries, and to use the body as a pathway to understanding themselves and to healing. I love helping people learn skills to better regulate their nervous systems, heal from trauma, become better partners/parents/friends/family members, become kinder towards themselves, let go of shame and build lives that feel meaningful.
In my family and couples work, I support families/partners to improve their capacity to communicate honestly about emotionally charged issues, work through challenges in their relationship, repair relationship “ruptures” (painful conflicts, misunderstandings, or experiences of disconnection) and to build emotional skills to relate differently to each other — particularly in the face of strong emotions such as anger, fear and hurt.
I would be honoured to support you and/or your family through life’s challenges and transitions. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a free telephone consultation to discuss how I can be of support to you.