“I delight in being me delighting in being with you delighting in being yourself.”
– Source Unknown
I combine Relational Psychotherapy with Internal Family systems, Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment, Somatic Therapy, and art therapy theories.
One of my great passions is to bring healing to those who have experienced trauma through their lifespan. I have spent many years working with people struggling with trauma and I am constantly learning from them as well as through the education I am always engaged in. I use this learning to work with my clients to help them come into closer connection to themselves, through embodied change through the process of psychotherapy.
Together, we will build a strong, collaborative, and secure relationship with the goal of modeling future connected relationships in your life. I offer help and support in reframing old beliefs that no longer serve you and updating those beliefs to better fit your life today.
It is my goal to hold the lantern on the path to your authenticity and developing a secure self until you can hold it safely.
Please contact me to get the support you need and to begin moving down the path towards healing.
Collingwood Psychotherapy & Yoga Center
My Path So Far:
I have been interested in psychology and alleviating human suffering since I was a teenager. I would spend hours at the library in high school studying psychology and psychoanalysis, likely to help myself. This interest led me to pursue social work in college at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Québec, 1987), but I eventually moved into fine arts, graduating with a college degree in fine arts from college de Saint-Laurent, (Montréal, Québec, 1990). After college, I pursued my life as a visual artist doing body painting, direct painting (where you paint in front of a crowd and auction your painting at the end of the event). During that time, I was also working as a touristic guide driving a horse and carriage around the old town of Montreal.
In 1994, I started a major of art history/minor in painting studio at Concordia University in Montréal. At the end of the tourist season, I started to work as a groom/trainer for the Blue Bonnets Raceway, a horse racing track in Montreal, Quebec.
Financing university became difficult, and non-traditional work for women was pushed forward by women centers in Quebec and seemed very promising. I decided to put my university studies on hold to become a toolmaker. I worked in the field of die casting (a manufacturing process in which molten metal is poured or forced into steel molds) for 12 years. It was difficult working in a male-dominated field, and this led me to a change of career. I chose to return to Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work in 2009.
In my early studies in my Bachelor of Social Work, it became apparent that I wanted to learn about children’s welfare, which is the study of services and institutions concerned with the physical, social, and psychological well-being of children, particularly children suffering from the effects of poverty or lacking normal parental care and supervision. During my BSW studies, I was the mother of a young baby; my studies and my experience intersected as I explored both theoretically and experientially how nurturance and attachment relationships increase the neuronal connections in babies’ and young children’s brains. I was fascinated by how these early experiences impact people’s future success in relationships, emotional regulation, communication, and abstract thinking. This has continued to be a strong interest of mine in my work with my adult clients, particularly in those who experienced trauma in their early years.
After my graduation (2014) from my BSW, I worked for 2 years as a social worker supporting vulnerable women with advocacy, accessing services, counselling, and court support at Colibri, Centre des Femmes Francophones du Comté de Simcoe. In 2016, I accepted a counsellor position with Athena’s Sexual Assault Counselling and Advocacy Centre, where for 6 years I provided counselling and psychotherapy to women who had experienced or were experiencing abuse. During this time, I discovered that psychotherapy techniques that seemed most effective were those that considered emerging understanding of neurobiology to facilitate whole-brain integration, self-discovery, and authenticity. I also enjoyed facilitating workshops on the neurobiology of trauma and how to apply this understanding to practical solutions for healing trauma.
More recently, I have begun to study and practice equine assisted psychotherapy and to centre my MSW thesis around this form of therapy as it applies to trauma survivors.
I am excited to be working with CPYC as I appreciate and am committed to the neurobiologically informed, trauma-based relational psychotherapeutic perspective we offer.
Therapeutic Theories I Work With:
My approach draws from multiple modalities and theories such as:
- Relational Psychotherapy
- Somatic Experiencing
- Polyvagal Theory
- Structural Dissociation Model
- Subsequential Model
- Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment
- Internal Family System, Person Centered
- Solution Focused, Motivational Interviewing
- Attachment theories
- Equine-assisted psychotherapy
- Master of Social Work (In progress)
- Bachelor of Social Work with Honors (2014)
- Natural Lifemanship TI-EAP, level I – II certified (2022) (Trauma-informed, equine-assisted psychotherapist and equine professional)
- Working with trauma survivors – Tara McGee, MSW, RSW (2018-2022)
- Internal Family System- PESI- Dr. Richard Schwartz (2020)
- Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment – CPTI, CPTII – PESI- Dr. Janina Fisher (2020-2021)
- CPI – Crisis Prevention Institute (2020)
- Motivational Interviewing (2020)
- Sustainable Livelihood (2020) (framework to work with vulnerable populations)
- Narrative Feminist Therapy – Dr. Catrina Brown (2019)
- First Stage Trauma Treatment – Dr. Lori Haskell (2018)
- Helping Trafficked Persons Training (2017) MCIS/Ministry of Attorney General/Ontario Victim Services.
- Conference on Sexual Consent – Trent University (2016)
- First Aid Mental Health – Chigamik Community Health Centre (2015)
- Volunteer Grief Facilitator Training – Seasons Centre for Grieving Children (2014)
Diplôme d’Études Professionnelles en Dessin Industriel – Institut Aviron, Montréal, Québec, 1996
Diplôme d’Études Professionnelles en technique d’usinage(machiniste)- Centre Anjou, Montréal, Québec, 1998
Diplôme en Fabrication de moules – Centre intégré de mécanique, de métallurgie et d’électricité CIMME- Montréal, Québec, 2000
To provide clients with an accepting, friendly space to discover their healing path and to develop therapeutic relationships that sustain, inspire and guide them.
To provide clients with highly skilled, self responsible and self aware psychotherapists and yoga therapists who are always striving to learn about advancements in their fields and to continually develop themselves.
To create psychoeducational opportunities for clients to empower them to learn about their symptoms and how they can move towards healing and growth.
To provide innovative training programs that develop highly competent, self aware, self responsible, and inspiring psychotherapists and yoga therapists.