Technical Education and Training:
MSW (Master of Social Work) - University of Toronto
BA (Psych)/BSW - McMaster University
Certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Advanced Trauma Training - Hincks Delcrest/OISE
additional training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, Emotion Focused Therapy and the Emotional Freedom Technique
I believe that:
People are generally doing the best they can with what they know
The human spirit is incredibly strong and resilient
People have both the right and the need to make choices and decisions that are right for them
People need to be active participants in their own journey. I may facilitate your healing... you do the actual healing
With guidance, patience and education, any person can lead a more meaningful, fulfilling and authentic life
We're never too old to learn the skills necessary to make positive changes
I'm delighted that you're taking the time to look into the background of the person you're looking to work with. Afterall, you're going to be trusting me with some pretty confidential information. It's important for you to feel confident with my credentials, my skills and that you can relate to me because we are going to share a pretty important journey together.
I've been working with individuals and couples now for almost 10 years. It has been and continues to be a great privilege to walk with clients during some of their most difficult and painful moments and to watch them grow and become changed and at times tranformed by their experience. For many of us comes the realization that to be human requires continual growth and effort to lead the kind of lives that we want to live. Like a garden, we cannot expect to reap it's rewards unless we tend to it regularly.
I have a Master's in Social Work and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Social Work. I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. In addition to my private practice, I have worked in policy research and development, hospital social work and consulted with different levels of government. I have trained and been a guest or keynote speaker at different government functions and for a number of local community agencies and organizations.
I also possess an extensive background in business where I worked in sales and executive roles in technology, telecommunications, healthcare and non for profit companies. I have been an employee, a manager, and a business owner. I know the challenges from those perspectives and as a therapist, I have learned the skills to navigate my way, and that of others, through these challenges.
I want to say that social work chose me... but the reality is we chose each other, because I had to accept the challenge. I had many experiences early on in my working career that challenged me to revisit my priorities. During my pregnancy and after, I struggled with losing my sales territory during my maternity leave and having to rebuild, losing a colleague and friend to suicide, dealing with my young son's life threatening food allergies in systems that weren't especially supportive of his needs and limitiations. Up until these points, I was a consumate corporate ladder climber. As a result of these experiences, I sat back and did some serious soul searching and decided there had to be more to life. My advocacy side kicked in as did my desire to learn to navigate complex systems that make it difficult for people to get ahead... herein enters social work. I returned to university and completed two undergrads and a graduate degree in Social Work and Psychology before going into practice for myself. To say it has been quite a personal and professional journey would be an understatement. One I have been blessed (and yes, sometimes cursed) to walk.
I find myself coming full circle again. While I love my therapeutic work with individuals and couples, I want to take a more proactive role in educating businesses and their employees about mental health so people can take preventative measures where possible and access help sooner where necessary. I also want to work with building communication skills that are the cornerstone for any relationship whether it be in your personal life or your professional life. We do what we know... and for many of us... communication skills weren't something that was modelled well. Fortunately, this is a skill that can be learned and developed with practice.
With age and experience comes wisdom and I would hope compassion for self and others, perhaps a little patience sprinkled in and if you're lucky, a really wicked sense of humour. At least that's what I like to tell myself. We are only guaranteed two things in life... we come into this world and we leave it one day... what we do in between is up to us. Rest assured that while we cannot always choose our circumstances, we sure get to choose how we respond. There in lies our power... to choose and to choose well... this requires awareness, understanding, skill and one hell of a good guide to accompany us on some of those journeys. I look forward to being that person for you.
Other interesting Information:
I'm from Montreal originally and speak both English and French
I have a wonderful son, two sweet papillon dogs
I am passionate about travel, learning new things, gardening, reading and foreign films