I have 18 years experience working as a front-line counsellor and 11 years experience as a psychotherapist. I completed my Masters of Social Work (MSW) in 2010 at the Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work at the University of Toronto.
In addition to my private practice, I worked for many years at downtown accredited Children’s Mental Health Agency in their LGBTQ2S+ program, providing individual 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 redeveloped an attachment-focused, somatically-informed, psychoeducational group for parents of transgender/non-binary/gender questioning youth called Families in TRANSition – focused on 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
I also give lectures, trainings and conference presentations on my work with trans youth and their parents.
Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, I provided counselling and front-line services in the fields of mental health, sexual health, the HIV/AIDS sector, the feminist sector and within LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities in Toronto and Montreal. 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 value professional development and I receive on-going clinical consultation in order to offer my clients effective and ethical psychotherapy services.
Professional Development Trainings
- Two-Spirit Cultural Safety Training, Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC), Toronto, August 3, 2018
- Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma, Janina Fisher, PhD, webinar series, September 2016 – ongoing
- Trans Health Connection Professional Mentorship Program, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO), May 2014 – ongoing
- Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) Certification, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Suzanne Levy, PhD, November 2013 – ongoing
- 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, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, Suzanne Levy, PhD, and Guy Diamond, PhD, March 16 – 18, 2016
- 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, 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 (TF–CBT), Medical University of South Carolina Web-based Learning Course, completed June, 2014
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Externship, 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
- 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, Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education, University of Toronto, Annette Kussin, MSW, November 15 – 16, 2013
- Attachment-Based Family Therapy, Level 1, 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, Theraplay Institute, Chicago, IL, Daniel Hughes, PhD, February 12-15, 2013
- Emotion-Focused Therapy for Complex Trauma (EFT-CT), York University, York, ON, Dr. Sandra Paivio, May 3-4, 2012
- 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, Hincks Dellcrest, Toronto, ON, Dr. Mirek Lojkasek, January 20-21, 2011
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Leading Edge Seminars,Toronto, ON, Dr. Sue Johnson, June 4-5, 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.