About me

Welcome. I provide embodied trauma, attachment, and nervous-system informed psychotherapy and family therapy from an intersectional lens. I also provide trauma-informed, gender-affirming transition-related counselling to individuals and families. I work virtually with therapy clients living in Ontario and do clinical consultation work with people and organizations across Canada and the US.

I am a white, queer, cisgender femme settler of English/German heritage, with a background in intersectional feminist organizing and community sector work. I started working as a counsellor 20 years ago and as a psychotherapist 14 years ago and I am currently training as a death/end of life doula. I completed my Masters of Social Work (MSW) in 2010 at the Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

I lived and worked in Tkaronto/Toronto for 15 years until recently, however I now live in the Kjipuktuk/Halifax area. My child and I have found refuge during the pandemic in forests and on the beaches of Mi’kma’ki – the beloved, unceded homeland of the Mi’kmaq. I hold the sacredness of this land, my responsibility to it and to its inhabitants, and the horrors that led to my people being here in my heart and in my view as I move through my days. My work is rooted in my deep love for my queer/trans communities and is one way I try to account for the harms of my people in this lifetime.

I am invested in collective liberation and see my own healing, growth and capacity for self-reflection and repair – as a white person, a settler, a parent and as a therapist – as a small step towards that goal. My personal psychotherapy and engagement in collective somatic healing practices from the traumas of patriarchy and white supremacy culture are foundational in my life. Daily ritual, relationship-centred parenting and gentle, embodied, reciprocal relating with the land the holds me, the more-than-human world, and with the people around me are sacred and life-affirming practices that nourish me and support my work.

In addition to private practice, I provide clinical supervision/consultation to a number of agencies and therapists and I give lectures, trainings and conference presentations on my embodied, trauma-informed, attachment-focused work with trans/non-binary youth and their parents.

In order to offer my clients effective and ethical psychotherapy services, I receive on-going clinical consultation from leaders in their respective fields. My consultants include Dr. Janina Fisher (the developer of Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment) Ava Rose, LICSW and Jan Ohm, RP (certified Sensorimotor Consultants), Dr. Suzanne Levy (the co-developer of Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) and Mariya Payne Javed (a certified Brainspotting consultant). I also consult and conspire regularly with brilliant peers who specialize in developmental trauma work within LGBTQI2S+ communities using an embodied anti-racist, anti-oppressive, feminist, sex positive, neurodiversity affirming, harm reduction lens.

Community-based experience

I worked for many years at downtown accredited Children’s Mental Health Agency in Toronto in their LGBTQI2S+ program, providing individual, group and family therapy to youth and their parents/caregivers/siblings around issues related to gender identity, sexual orientation, self harm, depression, anxiety and/or problems at home or school. In this capacity, I reimagined and redeveloped the Families in TRANSition program (a psycho-educational group for parents of transgender/non-binary youth) by weaving in an attachment-focus and neurophysiological/somatic components aimed at strengthening the relationship between trans youth and their parents, promoting youth mental health, and building caregiver knowledge and self-regulation/communication skills to support trans youth in this crucial time in their lives. In 2016 I was a contributing author for the 2nd Edition of Families in TRANSition: A Guide for Parents of Trans Youth, which can be downloaded for free here: https://ctys.org/wp-content/uploads/CTYS-FIT-Families-in-Transition-Guide-2nd-edition.pdf

Prior to becoming a psychotherapist I was involved in counselling, frontline community work and organizing work in Toronto and Montreal around issues related to sexual health, HIV/AIDS, intersectional feminism, anti-racism and anti-oppression training, and creating trans positive / gender affirming spaces and services. Between 2007 and 2012 I was involved in a number of academic research projects at Women’ College Hospital, the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, and School of Social Work at Ryerson University.

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).

Formative learning experiences & professional development trainings

2022

  • A Year to Live, Wilka Roig, January 2022 – ongoing
  • End of life doula training (40 hours), INELDA, Wilka Roig and Nicole Heidbreder, Online live training with practicums, April – May 2022
  • Foundations of Somatic Abolitionism (14 hours), Resmaa Menekam and Carlin Quinn, Online live training, April 2022
  • Assistant for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Trauma Themes, Kekuni Minton and Katriona Curry, Online live training, November 2021 – June 2022

2021

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Developmental Injury – Level 2 (126 hours), Online live training with practicums, January 15, 2021 – November 2021.
  • Brainspotting and Addictions (18 hours), Roby Abeles, Online live training with practicums, January 22 – 30, 2021.
  • Safe and Sound Protocol Certification, Online training, January 2021.
  • Brainspotting Certification with Mariya Payne-Javed, November 2020 – March 2021
  • Assistant for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Trauma Themes, Kekuni Minton, Online live training, September 24, 2020 – May 20, 2021.
  • Somatic Abolitionism – My Grandmother’s Hands Guided/Embodied Study Group, Karine Bell, July 2020 – July 2021

2020

  • Certificate in Somatic Embodiment and Regulation Strategies, Linda Thai, MSW, Online training (10 hours), October – December.
  • Brainspotting Phase 3 (25 hours), Online live training with practicums, Dr. David Grand, November 20-22, 2020.
  • Brainspotting Masterclass (20 hours), Online live training, Dr. David Grand, November 6-8, 2020.
  • Advanced Training for the Treatment of Complex Trauma and Dissociation (50 hours), Dr. Janina Fisher for the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Online live training with practicums, May 22, 2020 – November 1, 2020.
  • Brainspotting Phase 2 (25 hours), Online live training with practicums, Katherine Allan, October 17-19, 2020.
  • Brainspotting Phase 1 (25 hours), Online live training with practicums, Dr. Jane Evans and Dr. Marjorie Robb, September 11-13, 2020.
  • IFS Circle: Foundations of the IFS Model, IFS Institute, Online training, April 2020 – ongoing
  • Three-Day Intensive Internal Family Systems (IFS) Experiential Workshop (18 hours), Dr. Frank Anderson, Toronto, ON, January 9 – 11, 2020
  • Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Course, Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project and CAMH, online training, January – February 2020
  • Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing

2019

  • DARe Module 4 – From Wound to Wellness: Victim-Perpetrator Dynamics and Disorganized Attachment, Diane Poole Heller, PhD, online training (9.25 hours), December 2019
  • Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing

2018

  • Two-Spirit Cultural Safety Training, Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC), Toronto, August 3, 2018

2017

  • Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma, Janina Fisher, PhD, webinar series, September 2016 – December 2017
  • Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) Certification process, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Suzanne Levy, PhD, 2016 – in-progress

2016

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level 1 (80 hours): Affect Regulation, Survival Defenses and Traumatic Memory, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Toronto, ON,  May 2015 – December 2016
  • Coordinating and Completing Referrals for Gender Affirming Surgeries – A pilot training and feedback session, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), August, Toronto, ON, 2016
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) – Advanced , Level 2, (18 hours), Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Suzanne Levy, PhD, and Guy Diamond, PhD, March 16 – 18, 2016

2014

  • What Counsellors Need to Know About Hormone Therapies and Trans Surgeries, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), December 12, Toronto, ON, 2014
  • New Directions in Child and Adolescent Trauma Treatment: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach (12 hours), Toronto Sexual Abuse Treatment Programs, Anne Westcott, M.A, LICSW, October 23 – 24, 2014
  • Providing Counselling and Support to Clients who are Transitioning, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), August 12, Toronto, ON, 2014
  • Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TFCBT), Medical University of South Carolina Web-based Learning Course, completed June, 2014
  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Externship (28 hours), Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education, University of Toronto, Sue Johnson, PhD and Gail Palmer, MSW, Toronto, ON, May 27-30, 2014
  • Challenging Teens, Struggling Parents — Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Sian Phillips, PhD, Student Focused Worker Initiative, MCYS, Toronto, ON, May 22, 2014
  • Teaching Affect Regulation Skills to Traumatized Adolescents and Adults, Ontario Association of Social Workers, Lisa Ferentz, MSW, Grimsby, ON, May 8, 2014

2013

  • Mindfulness for Health Care Professionals, The Neuronova Centre for Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management, Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix, October – December, 2013
  • Attachment-Focused Family Therapy (12 hours),  Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education, University of Toronto, Annette Kussin, MSW, November 15 – 16, 2013
  • Attachment-Based Family Therapy, Level 1 (18 hours), Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Guy Diamond, PhD and Suzanne Levy, PhD, October 23 – 25, 2013
  • Supporting Gender Independent Children and their Families, Rainbow Health Ontario, Toronto, ON, Hershel Russel, M.Ed., September 25, 2013
  • Certificate in Trauma Counselling for Front-Line Workers, CTYS, Toronto, ON, Natalie Zlodre, MSW, March-April, 2013
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (Attachment-focused Family Therapy)  Level 1 (24 hours), Theraplay Institute, Chicago, IL, Daniel Hughes, PhD, February 12-15, 2013

2012

  • Emotion-Focused Therapy for Complex Trauma (EFT-CT) (12 hours), York University, York, ON, Dr. Sandra Paivio, May 3-4, 2012

2011

  • Radical Acceptance: Buddhist Meditations That Heal and Awaken the Heart, Omega Rhinebeck Campus, Rhinebeck, NY, Tara Brach, PhD, July 8-10, 2011.
  • Engaging Traumatized Clients who Avoid Attachment, Closeness and Painful Feelings, Dr. Robert Muller, Hincks Dellcrest, Toronto, ON, January 31, 2011
  • Watch Wait and Wonder (12 hours), Hincks Dellcrest, Toronto, ON, Dr. Mirek Lojkasek, January 20-21, 2011

2010

  • Motivating Clients to Change Addictive Behaviour (12 hours), TAPE Educational Services, Toronto, ON, November 19-20, 2010
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Frontline Workers: Essentials for Anxiety, Depression and PTSD (12 hours), Hincks Dellcrest Centre, Toronto ON, September 27-28, 2010
  • Toronto International Summer School of Narrative Practice (33 hours), Narrative Therapy Centre, Toronto, ON, July 5-9, 2010

2009

  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (12 hours), Leading Edge Seminars,Toronto, ON, Dr. Sue Johnson, June 4-5, 2009
  • Narrative Therapy Intensive (25 hours), Hincks Dellcrest Centre, Toronto ON, David Epston, May 4-8, 2009

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.

Lindsay Elin (she/her)

lindsayelinMSW@gmail.com