I work with you to dig deep into who you are, what you've experienced, and where you're headed. Everybody deserves to find meaning and purpose in life.
Therapy begins with my listening attentively to your story. You are the expert on you, and I'm here to help you grow, heal, and change. You already have the strength to do those things, but perhaps you need some support to get things moving. We'll work with your emotions, draw out your gifts, and make space to approach longstanding problems from a different angle.
When I listen to your story, I want to see you for your true self, to find the things about you that are unique and wonderful and worth turning a spotlight on. I want to see you move from strength to strength, and I've seen enough tough stuff to know that it's possible.
I'm a Registered Psychotherapist with experience in a whole range of settings, particularly medical and community-based services. (Those include but aren't limited to: hospitals, mental health, medical rehabilitation, women's shelters, long term care, homeless shelters, boarding homes, and private practice).
My psychotherapy training took place in hospitals, where I learned to offer support to people in any number of painful life situations in the role of hospital chaplain. Prerequisite to my clinical training was a Master's degree at the University of Toronto (mine is a Master of Divinity). My previous life involved a lot of music, like classical singing and playing bass in a band. I still consider my current path a form of creativity.
I've met a lot of people, and with the great majority of them I had the privilege of diving deep into their life story and their particular perspective on being human. This is the central joy of my professional life: the privilege of listening, and the chance to offer recognition and regard to people. I want to look at a person and seek to really know them, and commit to liking what I see.
I am a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. In addition, I'm an Associate Member of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care. I adhere to the Codes of Ethics for both organizations.
My office space is located near Christie and Bloor in Toronto, a short walk from Christie subway station.
Questions are welcome. You can email me at ... or get in touch via the contact form.
I offer services for individuals, couples, and sometimes groups. Sessions are generally one hour long.
I meet with each potential client for an initial consultation. This allows you to learn more about my services and determine whether you feel I would be a good fit for you as a therapist.
You may want therapy for any number of reasons. Being a person is complex! There is no guidebook, and we all accumulate hurt along the way. What have you been longing to address? You may discover other things you'd like to look at as the therapy unfolds, but here is a sampling of common starting points:
emotional patterns. Maybe it's a familiar downward spiral of feelings you wish you could escape; maybe it's a tendency to be drawn to people who don't treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Maybe you're having a hard time shifting these patterns on your own.
thriving with mental illness. You're getting help, but living a full life is a bigger, more complex goal. You want to flourish, not to merely cope; to be seen for your gifts, not just your challenges. You want to explore new ways to be your most awesome self.
grief. You've lost someone dear to you (maybe it's a dear one you haven't met, as in pregnancy loss), and you don't know what life is supposed to look like from here. You don't even know if you're doing grief right (hint: there is no right way). What you do know is that you'd like to be more at peace than you are now.
healing. Perhaps you've got a longstanding hurt that keeps resurfacing, and you don't quite know what do do about it. Perhaps some forgiveness needs to happen (toward yourself, or toward others). Whether it's through deepening a spiritual practice or through another kind of inner work, what you'd love is to wake up one day feeling free from the pain.
sexuality. everyone's got it, and it can get pretty mysterious. One thing's for certain: it's one of the most powerful forces human beings have going for us. What if your sexuality could be a more healthy, integrated, joyful part of the whole you?
These are topics I have devoted extensive research to, and for which I've sought out more intensive learning experiences. The things I've learned in these areas inform and enrich my approach in a great variety of situations.
Spirituality. While many mainstream therapists are not trained to address spirituality, I have extensive training and experience in addressing these issues. That might mean working through your values and beliefs, or working with feelings about your spiritual experiences or religious community. But a spiritual approach may be much broader than that. There's a lot of overlap between spiritual and existential issues: they're there in the things that make you you, the things that move and motivate you, the things that bring significance and the ways you make your impact.
Mental Health. I spent years working in community based mental health services, both as a chaplain and as a peer support worker. I am passionate about talk therapy becoming more widely available to people who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, with the knowledge that medical treatment is only one part of a fulfilling, meaningful life, and only one aspect of recovery. Psychotherapy can help you add to your wellness toolbox with practices that help you cope, or it can help you find the meaning and motivation that fuel your growth.
Relationships and Sexuality. Perhaps you're seeking to deepen or heal your relationships, or perhaps you're seeking relationships, period. There are always knots of emotion to untangle, and there's always room for growth when it comes to intimacy. One thing that I will add is that in addition to couples' counselling, I offer services specifically designed for single people. And no matter who you are, from a married person in the midst of parenting; to a single person learning to love and integrate your sexuality into your overall awesomeness (even the weird parts); to a celibate monk: your sexuality is bound to raise some question marks some of the time, and it's worth looking at.
The connection between therapist and client is the most important thing in therapy. It's about trust, authenticity, and feeling like you've really been recognized and held in high regard. That's the heart of the whole thing.
Working in community and clinical settings, I've gotten used to counselling people from every walk of life, on the spot. My approach includes the flexibility to meet people right where they are, no matter who they are. As a result, I've developed the following toolkit.
I offer a style of psychotherapy that enables me to draw on various different schools of thought. My practice is grounded in Common Factors (with the person-centred philosophies of Carl Rogers setting the tone). Common Factors are the shared factors that make evidence-based psychotherapeutic practices the most effective. In a session, this forms the home base of my approach. I assess continually and move between modalities based on your needs.
You will see me draw on emotion focused, narrative, relational, or acceptance and commitment therapies. I will also use tools from CBT, DBT, and solution-focused therapies, and I train in new techniques on an ongoing basis.
I also frequently draw on practices such as mindfulness or compassion meditation, or techniques that encourage you to access your creative/imaginative/visual side. If you have a spiritual practice, we'll look at that too- it's part of the big picture as well. I file things like this under "How to Human": time-tested techniques for living a full human life.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through the contact form.