I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW). I provide psychotherapy and counselling to adults, youth and families in Toronto. I specialize in providing parent support, education and consultation services to parents of transgender/non-binary and gender questioning youth.
Areas of Expertise
I provide individual psychotherapy and counselling to clients struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship problems (romantic, platonic, work-related or familial), sexual orientation and gender identity-related issues, healing from interpersonal violence/abuse/neglect, parenting challenges, parenting after childhood abuse, self-esteem, body image issues, life transitions and grief.
I provide family services to adolescents/young adults and their parents wishing to improve communication, strengthen relationships, improve adolescent mental health, build positive coping skills, and reduce conflict and tension in the family. This initially involves individual sessions with the youth/young adult, and separate parent sessions. Later, parents and youth/young adults come together for a number of joint family therapy sessions. Family work can also include siblings and other family members. My work draws strongly from 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 bring personal and professional experience to my work around sexual orientation and gender identity, and enjoy supporting LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning) clients and families of LGBTQ people in my practice. I have worked with trans communities for the past 16 years. I provide explorative counselling for clients considering questions about their gender identity, and can provide transition-related supports (including OHIP approval/”Second Assessor” surgical readiness assessments and letters to GPs or surgeons), and referrals to trans clients. I specialize in caregiver support/ education/ consultation with parents wishing to be more supportive of their transgender/non-binary youth, or those struggling to understand or accept their youth’s gender identity. I also work with partners, spouses and siblings of transgender/ non-binary people.
As a former sexual health counsellor in a downtown Toronto clinic, I work comfortably around issues including: coping with sexually transmitted infection diagnoses, 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 trained in multiple therapeutic modalities and the approach we take will be responsive to your unique concerns. I am particularly influenced by attachment-informed therapies, sensorimotor psychotherapy, trauma-focused therapies, mindfulness therapies, and emotion-focused therapy (EFT).
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 (sadness, worry, vulnerability, fear), improve their capacity for emotional regulation, self expression, self compassion and self attunement, and to use the present moment/the body as a pathway to healing, insight and desired life changes.
In my family work, I support families to improve their capacity to communicate honestly about important 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 also find that my background in Narrative Therapy and training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT and TF-CBT) are useful in my work with some clients. I work from a harm reduction and anti-oppressive 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.
For more information about my training, click on the Trainings & Conference Presentations tab, above.
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.