Jennifer is passionate about supporting children, youth, and their families by using an attachment-based lens to rebuild trust and strengthen connectedness between children, youth, and their parents. Jennifer works collaboratively through a strengths-based and client-directed approach to support youth and family engagement. She listens closely to identify individual and family strengths, and supports clients to use these strengths to achieve the goals that are co-developed in session.
Jennifer has experience supporting clients with anxiety, depression, social-emotional difficulties including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavioural challenges, substance use, and harm to self and/or others. She has also worked with families who have experienced separation/divorce and/or have custody and access concerns, as well as with adopted and blended families.
Jennifer has worked in a variety of settings including community and hospital-based children’s mental health agencies, residential treatment homes, and within the criminal justice system. She has supported clients from diverse and marginalized populations who have experienced the ecological impacts of mental health, substance use, and intergenerational trauma.
Jennifer incorporates multiple modalities within her counselling approach, including: Emotion-Focused Family Therapy, Developmental Dyadic Psychotherapy, Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Jennifer maintains a trauma-informed lens with all clients.
Jennifer completed her MSW at the University of Queensland in Australia. She also has a Master’s degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, where she specialized in attached-based interventions. Jennifer is a Registered Social Worker and is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
Katherine believes that we, as human beings, are beautifully complex and perfectly imperfect. In her work, she holds the intention of helping people reduce their sense of overwhelm, increase their sense of belonging, find freedom from their suffering, improve their relationships with self and others, and improve their overall quality of life.
Katherine has been working in the mental health and social service field for over twenty years, with most of that time focused within the child, youth, and family service sector. She began her career as a child and youth care worker and programs coordinator in schools, community agencies, youth mental health treatment centres, as well as detox and addiction recovery programs. She has now been practicing counselling and psychotherapy in Ottawa since 2011 and has grown her career to include working directly with adults of all ages, as well as managing mental health services and providing clinical supervision to other therapists. Katherine is equally experienced in working people who suffer from complex, unresolved traumas as she is in working with people who are seeking support in acute moments of suffering or when they simply can’t see the solutions to their problems clearly.
Katherine holds a master’s degree in counselling psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver, B.C. She is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). In addition, Katherine is a Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), a mindfulness and meditation teacher, and is nearing the end of her practitioner training in Somatic Experiencing with Somatic Experiencing International. In her work with children, youth, and their families, she relies on her foundational training in Adlerian psychology and incorporates a variety of other approaches in which she is trained, such as Systems Theory, Collaborative Problem Solving/ Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Positive Discipline, and Positive Youth Development.
One of Valerie’s greatest strengths is her ability to connect with other people, understanding their perspective, to create a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship. In this warm and nonjudgmental atmosphere, Valerie works with clients to develop a toolbox of strategies to support them toward their goals.
Valerie has taught mindfulness since 2004 and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) since 2010 which remain a cornerstone of her practice. She uses mindfulness to increase awareness, acceptance, and self-compassion, and to support mental health when shown to be effective. She also draws on dialectic behaviour therapy, emotionally-focused therapy and interpersonal therapies. Valerie has been working in the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy program since 2018 providing cognitive behavioural therapy to people dealing with anxiety, depression, panic, avoidance, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma including treating PTSD. She works with individuals of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults, and families. She values diversity in all of its forms, including working with people from marginalized communities.
Valerie holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology (neuroscience), in which she studied the effects of mindfulness on health and well-being. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
Areas of ExpertiseAnger Management
, Bereavement & Loss/Grief
, Family Therapy & Transitions
, Isolation/Interpersonal Difficulties
, Mental Health
, PTSD & Trauma
, Special Needs & Behavioural Disorders
, Workplace Stress