Our Counsellors

Angela Spinney, MA, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Angela’s ability to quickly create a warm and empathic environment allows clients to safely explore and process the underlying emotions related to their experiences.  She values working collaboratively with clients to determine the best path for them to find resolution and is well-trained in a range of counselling modalities.

Angela’s primary approach is experiential and attachment-based. That is, she follows the client’s immediate emotional experience to help them explore and process their feelings, while also helping them gain a better understanding of how their past relationships may have influenced their current experience of the world.  She works effectively with clients who have experienced traumatic events, both recently and historically.

Angela’s work with couples and individuals focuses on creating a secure connection and deepening emotional intimacy. She also provides pre-marital, separation and poly-affirmative counselling and is an LGBTTIQQ+ positive counsellor. Angela has experience working with clients from a wide range of backgrounds and with varied concerns, including depression, anxiety, identity and self-esteem issues, loneliness, loss, anger, relationship distress, and trauma.

Angela graduated from Saint Paul University with a Master of Arts in Counselling and Spirituality and a graduate certificate in Couple Counselling and Spirituality.

Carmen Urbina, M.Ed., RP, Registered Psychotherapist

Clinical Manager and Counsellor in the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers Program

Carmen’s educational journey includes a five-year program in Education, majoring in science and minor in counselling from the University of Chile and a master’s degree from the University of Ottawa. In addition, Carmen completed a three-year post-graduate program to become a Gestalt Psychotherapist at the Gestalt Institute of the National Capital. Furthermore, Carmen completed the one-year Advanced Clinical Supervision Certificate at the prestigious School of Social Work, Smith College, Massachusetts, USA.

Carmen has worked extensively in the field of cross-cultural counselling supporting newcomers to Ottawa for over twenty years, first as a counsellor and later as clinical supervisor and program manager. She has been instrumental in developing and sustaining resources in the community to make Ottawa a more inclusive and welcoming city highlighting the mental health needs of immigrants and refugees settling in Ottawa. She has trained and mentored dozens of students and young clinicians interested in developing cross-cultural counselling skills and has collaborated closely with other service providers such as lawyers and teachers.

Carmen believes in the power of active listening and unconditional positive regard as a first step to silently acknowledge the client presence and willingness to trust and engage in a therapeutic process that builds a positive model of a relationship with oneself and with others regardless of where the person is from or the present circumstances.

Carmen is keenly interested in listening to people’s experiences and how the cultural/social norms and the individual uniqueness shape the person’s evolving identity and the capacity to reach their potential. Carmen uses many of the well-known counselling approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Emotion Focus Therapy and Narrative Therapy supplemented by a socio-cultural perspective that uniquely reflects the client’s preferences. Carmen is bilingual (English/Spanish) and works with individuals and couples.

Jennifer Goldberg, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Jennifer believes in fostering introspection and self-acceptance in order to promote positive relationships with both the self and with others. She offers a safe, non-judgmental space for clients to work on personal growth and positive change.

Jennifer practices with an integrative, collaborative approach. Much of her approach is comprised of a unique blend of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory, and Emotion-Focused techniques. She works with clients to reach their goals by tailoring her therapeutic approach to meet their unique needs.

Jennifer has experience working with a wide variety of clinical issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, and relationship challenges. She has also worked extensively with individuals struggling with anger and aggression.

Jennifer has a special interest in working with couples, with a specific interest in working with couples to heal following infidelity within the relationship.  She provides a safe, therapeutic space to help couples improve communication and to better meet each other’s emotional needs. By establishing an understanding of relationship dynamics, Jennifer assists couples to change patterns of escalation and hurt, and to foster deeper levels of connection.

Jennifer is a Registered Psychotherapist and graduate of the University of Ottawa Master’s Degree in Education Counselling Program.

Shannon Sweeting-Woods, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Shannon’s collaborative, intuitive, and compassionate approach makes connecting with clients one of her greatest strengths. She offers a supportive environment where clients feel heard. Shannon believes that a central part of her role as a therapist is to evoke, within each individual, their own inner wisdom, strengths, resources, and values, while also supporting them in making connections between their family of origin experiences, lived experiences, social location, and the issues they face, in order to facilitate healing, growth, and change.

Shannon works with individuals, couples, and families and has trained in Emotionally Focused Couples/Family Therapy. She has also completed Beginning I in the Somatic Experiencing® Method of Trauma Resolution. Shannon’s clinical practice is differentiated based on client diversity and needs but is heavily informed by Attachment, Psychodynamic, Feminist, and Narrative Theories, while also incorporating Mindfulness strategies. Her use of these approaches is grounded in an understanding of trauma and the multiple possible paths to healing. In her work with couples, Shannon supports partners to develop an understanding of their interactions, and to shift from reactivity to responses that are connected and attachment affirming. She believes that when attachment needs are met, couples have the capacity to resolve the problems/issues they face together.

Shannon has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Education and is an Ontario Certified Teacher. Her experiences working with children, youth, and adults with exceptionalities, in a teaching role, has provided her with sound knowledge and understanding of the challenges and issues facing these individuals within the school system and work environments.

 

Sophia Weaver, MA, RP(Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Sophia Weaver is a bilingual counsellor who provides services in both English and French. Her therapeutic approach is based on the belief that each individual is the expert on their own experience. She offers her clients support in discovering and exploring challenges in a safe, positive and non-judgmental environment. Sophia works from a stance of collaboration, to assist people in navigating their life’s journey and finding their way back to wholeness.

Sophia’s areas of specialty are couple counselling, blended family issues, separation & divorce and parenting adolescents. She has experience working with individuals and couples from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and with varied concerns, including depression & anxiety, grief & loss, sexual & relationship distress, parenting challenges and family of origin issues. Sophia works with all clients to establish a strong alliance within the counselling relationship. With couples she focuses on helping couples to create a safe haven within their relationship as a way of deepening intimacy and increasing relationship satisfaction.

Sophia’s therapeutic work is informed by the following approaches: Object Relations/Self Psychology, Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, Imago Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Experiential, Systemic, Psychodynamic and Person-Centered orientations.

Sophia is in the process of applying to become a qualifying member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapists Association (CCPA).

Stephanie Dugdale

MA, RP, CCC, Registered Psychotherapist

With a gentle and compassionate approach, Stephanie seeks to help individuals and couples explore their experiences to facilitate change in their lives. She works collaboratively with her clients as they build a stronger sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance. Stephanie works with clients with a wide range of struggles, including anxiety; stress; fearfulness; depression or a feeling of despair and disharmony in life; postpartum difficulties; disordered eating and body image confusion; loss and grief; relationship and interpersonal difficulties; sexuality; LGBTTIQQ issues; separation and divorce; and domestic violence.

A central theme in Stephanie’s work and training has been helping trauma survivors. Stephanie utilizes a model that begins through the creation of a secure counselling relationship. She works with adults and youth who experienced childhood trauma and sexual abuse as well as people struggling to overcome a family of origin issues.

In her work with couples, Stephanie supports partners to explore what happens in their interactions with each other. Through the process of establishing trust and communication, partners can move from protective reactions to connecting responses, from defended positions and insecurity to the freedom, fulfillment and sense of security that comes from feeling able to truly access and show themselves to each other.

A graduate of St. Paul University and a Canadian Certified Counsellor, Stephanie has a Master of Arts in Counselling and has trained in both individual and couples counselling.