Education and Work Experience
Master of Social Work 2001 - 2003
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON
Awarded the Student Leadership Award
Honours Bachelor of Arts 1996 - 2000
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
Interdisciplinary Option: Legal Studies & Criminology
I began my career in the helping profession while completing my undergraduate degree. I worked at Marillac Place providing support to young mothers both pre and post pregnancy. During that time, I also volunteered working with homeless youth at ROOF, now known as oneROOF Youth Services. From there I went on to complete my Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, completing placements at Mary’s Place Emergency Shelter and Catholic Family Counselling Services, now Carizon, where I was hired on as a summer student.
I graduated with my MSW in 2003 and began working with Guelph Family and Children’s Services as both an intake and ongoing child protection worker. Two years later I moved to Toronto, where I worked as a hospital social worker in adult outpatient mental health, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, followed by work on the high-risk pregnancy unit at Mount Sinai. In 2006, I decided to return home to Kitchener-Waterloo and spent almost a decade working with parents/caregivers and children/youth struggling with emotions, behaviour, mental health and relationships, in clinical roles at Front Door: Access to Child & Youth Mental Health Services, Lutherwood, and The Urgent Response Clinic at Grand River Hospital. For the next few years, I continued clinical work providing counselling to university students at Renison University College, University of Waterloo.
In 2018 I decided to start my own practice allowing me to provide timely, effective, client-centered services and create more balance in my own life. One of the many things that sets my services apart is my experience working in community, academic, and hospital settings. I bring strong advocacy skills and the ability to help clients navigate mental health, education, and social service systems. I run my practice on a part-time basis for a few reasons:
1) It allows me more balance in my own life, being a mom to two beautiful kiddos with very different (and often complex) needs.
2) It gives me time to practice what I preach and continue to engage in my own healing journey.
3) Because of the first two points I listed I am able to be fully present in sessions with you and offer my best therapist self. It is important to me to have time to prepare and reflect after each session with you, so I have made a point of protecting this in my schedule.
More About Me & My Approach
I am a highly valued Social Worker with over 20 years’ experience in the field resulting in extensive knowledge in assessment and treatment of mental health. I am experienced in providing psychotherapy to children/youth; post-secondary students; and adults.
My work is informed by the following approaches: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Ego-State Interventions/Working with Parts, Attachment, Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavourial Therapy (DBT), Polyvagal Theory, and Mindfulness practices.
I work from an inclusive, trauma informed, strengths based and client-centered focus, carefully assessing and treating each individual in the context of their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
In the past I have co-facilitated parent support groups for parents of teens struggling with mental, emotional and behavioural issues. I have presented on the topics of mental health, suicide prevention, self-care, managing anxiety, time management, and study skills. I am well versed in community resources and a strong advocate for clients.
While doing community work, I was trained as a Practicum Supervisor, responsible for training and supervising Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) placement students for over a decade.
I am registered and in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), and also a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW), EMDR Canada, and emdria.
I believe in the importance of meeting you where you are in life and helping you to figure out the next steps in achieving wellness. I am known for my nurturing approach; drawing from my own lived experience and professional training to help guide our work together. I see my role as helping to empower you on your journey; to slow down, reflect and tune into the inner knowing we all have, yet often ignore. To quote Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah's book, the question shouldn't be, what's wrong with us, rather what happened to us?* Therapy can help unpack this and to recognize how what happened to us continues to show up in our current relationships, beliefs, and day-to-day functioning.
*What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, by Dr. Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. & Oprah Winfrey, 2021