Our Counsellors

Mawdah Albatnuni, MA(Q), RP(Qualifying), Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Counsellor

Mawdah believes deeply that her role as a counsellor is to create a warm, non-judgmental, safe space where her clients feel heard and validated. She values offering a client-centred, cultural lens and through this supportive and collaborative stance, her clients are encouraged to become more aware of their strengths, values, and self.  She believes that every person has a story to tell.

Mawdah is an English and Arabic speaking counsellor with the Refugee and Vulnerable Newcomers program. Through a client informed process, Mawdah tailors her approach to best suit her clients’ individual needs. Using an integrative approach she draws from various therapeutic models including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Positive Psychotherapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Whatever the techniques used, Mawdah works from a trauma-informed lens as well as a cultural frame. Mawdah works with adult individuals, families, Fyouth, and children. Her areas of interest include identity formation, anxiety, self-esteem, behavioural difficulties, grief, and depression.

Sarah Alderwick, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Sarah provides counselling to individuals facing a wide variety of emotional and psychological challenges in their lives. With compassion, caring and acceptance, Sarah’s strength lies in building strong therapeutic relationships with her clients.  She strives to support clients to draw from their inner strength and wisdom to help foster positive change in their lives. Sarah creates a safe and open environment to assist with a variety of challenges including: anxiety, depression, interpersonal issues, domestic violence, grief/loss, and postpartum difficulties. She welcomes opportunities to work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and is LGBTTIQQ+ positive.

Sarah collaborates with each client, tailoring her approach to meet their therapeutic needs. Her practice draws from Attachment-Based, Feminist, and Cognitive-Behavioural Theories, and is Trauma-Informed. She is passionate about social justice and poverty reduction. She has worked in a variety of community settings and has extensive experience assisting clients to navigate the different social services, housing, and welfare systems.

She completed her Master’s of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University, is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Worker and Social Service Workers, and is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Nadeen Almubarak, MEd, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Nadeen believes that people always resist their trauma using their personal strengths and resources, and that with compassion, empathy, self-acceptance, and the support of a therapist, survivors can write their lives in terms that they prefer.

Nadeen is a counsellor in the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers program and supports individuals as they transition to and settle in Canada. She offers counselling both in Arabic and English.

Nadeen works with adult clients experiencing depression, anxiety, and those who have gone through trauma, including war trauma, sexual abuse, and intimate partner violence. Her therapeutic approach is multicultural, as she believes that taking into account the context in which people grew up and live is an important factor in the healing process. She believes that this is especially necessary in working with diverse clientele, especially those who migrated from different countries and cultures, as they balance and redefine their identity. Through a Feminist Narrative framework, Nadeen supports clients as they expand their resilience, learn to improve their relationship with their body, draw on personal meanings, and re-write their experience.

Nadeen is also an Intake counsellor for the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers program. Being the first contact with clients interested in our counselling services, she tries to understand the clients’ story, goals, and needs to ensure they receive the services they are looking for.

Nadeen has a Master Degree in Education, with a specialization in Counselling Psychology. She is also a Canadian Certified Counsellor and is a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

Shannon Bovey, MEd, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Shannon works from a therapeutic posture of transparency and collaboration. She develops rapport with clients quickly through her warm and non-judgmental presence. Shannon’s practice draws on elements of existential humanistic therapy, mindfulness, narrative and emotionally focused therapies, in order to meet clients’ unique needs. She uses her well-developed empathy, openness, genuine curiosity and patience, in order to co-construct a comfortable and safe therapeutic relationship with each individual she meets. Shannon believes that when people feel seen and heard without judgment, there is enormous potential for desired change. She views her role as one of facilitating a process of slowing down to notice, discover, and connect with personal needs, values, strengths, and abilities. She has worked with individuals on issues of anxiety, depression, self-worth, sadness, anger, post-traumatic stress, loss, interpersonal challenges, and trauma. She is LGBTQ+ positive, and welcomes ways of being which may be different from dominant societal discourse and expectations.

Shannon has a varied educational background, having completed programs in criminology, creative writing, psychology and education. This background brings creativity and unique perspectives to her work. She received her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Ottawa, and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor. She is also a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Nicolas Chranowsky, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Nicolas provides a warm and non-judgmental space where clients can express themselves openly and work towards positive personal growth. Through his client-centred approach, he recognizes the importance of tapping into the client’s wisdom and using this powerful resource throughout the therapeutic process. Nicolas believes counselling provides the opportunity to explore meaning, strengths and new possibilities, and his role is to facilitate this process.

In his work, Nicolas uses a Narrative approach, incorporating Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic theory, Mindfulness and expressive art. Nicolas operates through a compassionate lens that is sensitive to intersectionality, recognizing cultural and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and the impact of sexism, ageism, ableism, racism and transphobia/homophobia. Nicolas is an LGBTTIQQ+ positive counsellor.

Nicolas is a visual artist who often uses his passion for expressive art in his counselling work. He believes that for many people the arts can be a form of expression that transcends verbal capacities. Nicolas has worked with isolated seniors, adults with chronic illness, as well as newcomers and refugees. His areas of interest include anxiety, depression, self-esteem, trauma, addictions, as well as internalised racism and homophobia/transphobia.

Nicolas received his Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University. He also possesses a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from McGill University. Nicolas is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and is also a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Wendy Cotton, MSW, RSW

Clinical Manager of Individual Counselling

Wendy’s practicing philosophy is that every person deserves an opportunity to heal, to grow and to seek support in doing so: “Our personal growth has a profound impact on how we understand ourselves and function in the world. When we create change within ourselves, we can develop healthier relationships with others, and with the world around us. We are all worthy of this process.”

Wendy has worked in the counselling field for over twenty-five years. In her work with adult clients, she reflects an appreciation of diversity and the unique knowledge that clients hold about their history and current situation. She helps people manage emotionally challenging situations and life transitions, and is experienced in working with anxiety, depression, family of origin dynamics, sexual abuse, grief and loss, and trauma-related issues. Wendy works with the modalities of Narrative Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Attachment Theory, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness and Experiential-Systemic Theory. Her approach to therapy is collaborative and inclusive, and she offers a calm, respectful, and supportive environment where clients feel understood and encouraged.

Wendy’s counselling experience includes EAP counselling, intensive in-home therapy, group facilitation, Play Therapy, and private practice. Wendy also has many years of experience working specifically with adult survivors of sexual abuse and early childhood trauma.

Wendy holds 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, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Jessica Courville, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Jessica’s approach to therapy is nonjudgmental, warm and strengths based. She deeply values the collaborative relationship that develops between client and therapist and approaches a person’s experience with a compassionate lens. Jessica places an emphasis on the “here and now”, endeavouring to assist others in creating more space between their actions and reactions.

Jessica specializes in working with adults who experience anxiety, depression, chronic stress, trauma, grief, gender & sexuality issues, self-esteem and anger.  Her practice incorporates Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Therapy.

Jessica is currently working with the Increasing Access to Structured Psychotherapy (IASP) project, a province-wide initiative funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that provides access to structured CBT therapy for adults with mild to moderate anxiety, depression symptoms and other complex mental health conditions, such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.

Jessica holds a Master Degree in Counselling Psychology (M. Ed.) from the University of Ottawa.  She is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

Derek Cozzi, M.Ed., CCC

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Derek provides an affirming and non-judgmental space where clients can safely explore personal concerns and begin making meaningful shifts in their lives. Derek values transparency and collaboration, and strives towards building strong, positive relationships with clients. Believing that clients are the experts of their lives, Derek works with them to discover their strengths and resilience, bolster self-agency, and conceive new possibilities and ways of being.

Derek uses an integrative Narrative Therapy approach, incorporating elements from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). His genuine, warm, and compassionate nature is known for helping clients feel safe and comfortable. Derek takes a post-Feminist and intersectional approach to counselling that acknowledges social identities and the impact of oppressions on well-being. Derek is a LGBTTIQQ+ positive counsellor. His areas of interest include: identity exploration, anxiety, depression, self-esteem/self-worth, anger, loss, and interpersonal challenges.

Derek completed his Master’s of Education in Counselling Psychology at the University of Ottawa. He also possesses a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) degree in Psychology from Ryerson University.

Stephanie Dugdale, MA, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

With a gentle and compassionate approach, Stephanie seeks to help individuals and couples explore their experience 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 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.

Michael Gershuny, MSW, RSW, Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Director of Counselling and Mental Health Services

Michael Gershuny is an internationally educated social worker who holds both a Master’s degree in Social Work and Educational Counselling. He is a registered member of Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Michael’s main role is the Director of The Counselling Group. In this role her works closely together with the staff counsellors to ensure and further develop the high quality of services provided by the Group.

In addition, Michael provides counselling to individuals, dealing with a wide range of emotional and psychological issues. His areas of specialty and interest include interpersonal relationships, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, trauma, grief and loss, aging, chronic mental health and, LGBTQ+ related issues and identity related issues. Michael is bilingual and offers counselling in both English and Hebrew.

Michael is trained with a range of therapeutic models including psychodynamic, narrative, CBT and existential therapy. In collaboration with the individuals he works with, Michael tailors a personal care plan to assist individuals in returning to a place of health, ease and comfort. Michael’s work is person-centred and strength-based and respects each individual for who they are and who they want to become. Michael’s working philosophy is that that the individual’s inner and external resources are the main drives for their recovery and will help them in achieving meaningful change in their life.

Jennifer Goldberg, MEd, 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.  In addition, Jennifer incorporates current topics arising out of her couples therapy sessions into themes and issues covered in Couples Corner, a monthly blog post for thecounsellinggroup.com.

 

As one of the Intake counsellors at The Counselling Group, Jennifer acts as the first point of contact for new clients looking for counselling services. Part of her role is to complete new intakes over the phone and to ensure that each client is matched with a counsellor that is best able to meet their needs.

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

In addition, Jennifer incorporates current topics arising out of her couple’s therapy sessions into themes and issues covered in Couples Corner, a monthly blog post for thecounsellinggroup.com.

Sabine Jean, M.Ed.

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Sabine works in the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers program, providing social and insightful emotional support and counseling to address both the immediate and long-term psychological needs of refugees and newcomers. She has experience working with immigrants, and has a sensitive awareness about their life experience which fosters a better understanding of their needs and focuses on building a trusting therapeutic relationship. By understanding the complexity of a migration journey, Sabine makes sure she creates a comfortable and safe environment for clients to feel supported and heard. Sabine’s strengths are practicing active listening, her unconditional positive regard and her capacity to always prioritize the client’s well-being.

Sabine uses various therapy models in her practice such as Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, elements of Play Therapy and Client Centered Therapy from a culturally sensitive perspective. Sabine has experience working with individuals and families; providing counselling in areas including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, anger management, relationship distress, migration, those who have gone through traumatic events and other life transitions. She also works with youth and children who experience difficulties managing their emotions.

Sabine is a graduate from the University of Ottawa who has a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and previously a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and offers counselling services in multiple languages such as French, Spanish, English, and Creole.

Shannon LaValley, MEd, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Shannon’s work with clients is guided by the understanding that all individuals and families strive to do well. Shannon collaborates with clients to assess what is currently challenging in their life at home, school, or work and to build or access valuable skills to meet these challenges. As a family therapist, Shannon supports families in rebuilding connectedness and understanding for one another.

Shannon provides compassionate and playful therapy to children, youth, adults and families. Shannon works with therapeutic approaches such as Collaborative Problem Solving, Narrative Therapy, Play Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Strength Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She integrates neuroscience in her work with clients who have been impacted by trauma.

Shannon is experienced in working at community-based children’s mental health agencies and schools. She specializes in addressing severe emotional, social, and behavioural difficulties for children and youth and supporting parents in problem solving with their children. Shannon is a therapist with the Centre for Children, Youth, and Families and JFS Ottawa’s mental health program supporting Syrian refugees and vulnerable newcomers.

Shannon completed her Master’s in Education at the University of Ottawa. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

Marianela León de Mujica, MEd, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Marianela brings warmth, gentleness and an ability to provide a safe environment conducive to self-directed growth and well-being. She believes that people deserve kindness, understanding and support as they navigate new chapters and challenges in their lives.

Marianela works with the Refugee and Vulnerable Newcomers program and offers a wealth of experience supporting Immigrants, Newcomers and Refugees in both Spanish and English.  She holds a person-centred, anti-oppressive approach with a cross-cultural perspective and deep commitment to Social Justice. Marianela works primarily with adult clients experiencing issues such as symptoms of depression, anxiety, grief and loss, relational challenges and traumatic stress. Marianela also specializes in domestic violence prevention, parenting skills and pre-/post- immigration & cultural issues.

Marianela holds a Master’s Degree in Education and Counselling and is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. In her home country, Venezuela, Marianela combined her clinical counselling work with other professional activities at Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador, as a professor and social researcher of family, community and education.

Victoria Martindale, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Victoria approaches her work with warmth, compassion, and empathy. She strives to create a safe space for her clients to process emotions, live in line with their values, and find meaning in their experiences. Victoria has experience working with youth and adults. She has a particular interest in working in areas of self-esteem, trauma, anxiety/panic, depression, grief/loss, and identity issues. Victoria is a LGBTQ+ positive counsellor and has past experience working as a counsellor in Post-Secondary School and private practice settings.

Victoria’s therapeutic practice is primarily influenced by a Narrative, Strengths-based, and Collaborative perspective. She also incorporates techniques from self-compassion, Mindfulness, Positive Psychology, Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Victoria holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a Master’s of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Victoria works at Jewish Family Services of Ottawa as part of The Counselling Group and The Walk-In Counselling Clinic.

Karen McIntosh, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Therapy is a process of growth and discovery within a caring, professional relationship. Karen’s clients can expect to feel heard, valued and validated, and deeply cared for. She guides clients in identifying their individual goals and supports them in their movement toward living life in line with their preferred way of being, while seeing them as whole and capable as they are. She holds space for self-discovery and self-acceptance. Finally, Karen strives to bring lightness, humour, and playfulness to the heavy issues affecting her clients.

As a therapist, Karen works with adults across the age span, experiencing struggles such as anxiety, panic, depression, stress, and anger. She is client-centred, working with client’s expertise in their own lived experience and their strengths to collaboratively set goals and work toward them. She is an integrative therapist, using such approaches as narrative therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, and mindfulness, dependent on the client’s needs, goals, identity, culture, and preferences. Karen works from a trauma-informed and anti-oppressive lens. Finally, she works to incorporate a mind-body awareness into her work with a social justice perspective.

Karen is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the College and is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Reina McSheffrey, MEd, RP, CCC-S

Registered Psychotherapist

Reina takes a holistic approach, looking at the whole individual (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) and believes that the answers lie within us. Her approach in counselling is direct, down-to-earth and empathetic.  She works as a partner in self-discovery using eclectic interventions and theoretical orientations.

In her practice, Reina utilizes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, integrating Attachment, Emotion-focused and Humanistic theories. Reina works primarily with adults and her areas of interest include: relationship issues, self-esteem & boundaries, enhancing communication skills, trauma, anger management and parenting issues. Reina also specializes in supporting individuals who have experienced intimate partner violence and is an LGBTTQ+ positive counsellor. She manages “Transformations”,  the anger management group that is offered through TCG.

Reina maintains “Supervisor’s Certification” with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and is a licensed supervisor with the CRPO, providing field supervision to university interns training for a counselling career.

Reina graduated from Queen’s University and Carleton University with degrees in Psychology. She is also a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Master’s of Education (Counselling Psychology) program.

Tara MacMaster, MA, RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Tara believes that each of us deserves to feel deeply heard without judgment, approaching her work with warmth, compassion, and utmost respect for the stories of people’s lives.  She understands that life events, relational difficulties, or mental health concerns can significantly impact one’s ability to feel steady, connected, and whole.  Tara aims to be fully present, relatable, and real as she helps her clients see possibilities and nurture transformation. She holds openness and humour as integral parts of successful therapy.

Tara has training and experience working with people navigating difficult life transitions, moving through grief, healing from abuse and trauma, and coping with depression, anxiety, and sleep issues.  She helps people identify unhealthy reactions, behaviours, and beliefs that can limit relationships or leave us feeling lost or unfulfilled.  Tara offers clients focused and purposeful conversations that help them move towards lasting and meaningful change in their lives and be more fully themselves.

Tara approaches counselling with an integrative blend of Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural, and Narrative theories of counselling.  As each person has a unique way of considering their struggles and strengths, as well as preferences in how they choose to work together, therapy is tailored to meet individual needs.  Tara has a special interest in present moment focus, self-compassion, and the regulating power of the outdoors.

Tara is a Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario and a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling and Spirituality from Saint Paul University and has completed training in Self-in-Relationship Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and trauma-informed practices.

Jennifer Munroe, MSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

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: 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.

Kathryn Owens, MSW, RSW, Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Clinical Manager of the Centre for Children, Youth and Families & Clinical Manager of the Centre for Couples and Relationships

Kathryn has cultivated an expertise in providing psychotherapy with children, youth and families. She brings curiosity, creative energy and her abilities to listen deeply and think clearly in her work. Kathryn believes that individuals and families have deep resources of inner wisdom, and when drawn upon and cultivated, these resources inherently expand and lead to the creation of a healthier mind and more playful and engaged life.

Kathryn believes it is the responsibility of the therapist to provide clients with specialized knowledge and skills in a climate of safety and compassion; creating an opportunity for clients to move towards a healthier and more satisfying life.

Kathryn has worked extensively and specifically with children, youth and families around the impacts of mental health, abuse, trauma, bereavement, separation/divorce, and the impacts of migration trauma experienced by refugees and vulnerable newcomers. Kathryn is committed to being a fierce co-conspirator for persons marginalized and / or racialized by the dominant culture.

She is trained in and utilizes a variety of therapeutic approaches including: Narrative practices, play, Psycho-Dynamic thinking, CBT/DBT, family therapy, attachment and Emotionally Focused therapies and Mindfulness. Kathryn is committed to incorporating current research and best practices into her counselling practices.

Kathryn is a Registered Social Worker/Psychotherapist and provides psychotherapy, management and supervision to the Centre for Children, Youth and Families.

Kathryn received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Toronto in 1992; is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She is also an approved NIHB Service Provider and offers services to clients referred from Victim Services, and Health Insurance and Auto Insurance.

Valerie Repta, MA, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Valerie provides warm and non-judgmental counselling, as one of her greatest strengths is her ability to connect with clients to create a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship. In a collaborative and compassionate environment, Valerie works with clients to develop a toolbox of strategies to support them in facilitating change toward their goals.

Valerie has taught Mindfulness since 2004 which remains a cornerstone of her practice. She uses Mindfulness to increase awareness, acceptance and self-compassion, and to treat mental health issues where shown to be effective. Valerie also draws on Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, Emotionally-Focused Therapy and Interpersonal Therapies. She has an interest in neuroscience and its implications for mental health and well-being. Valerie works with individuals of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults and families. She values diversity, including working with individuals across the gender spectrum.

Valerie is currently working in the Increased Access to Structured Psychotherapy (IASP) program providing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to people dealing with anxiety, depression, panic, avoidance, stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and trauma.

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 Canadian Association of Social Workers.

Julia Sage, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Julia has a passion for supporting persons on their own path to wellness and incorporating mind-body approaches to healing. Her priority is building strong, collaborative therapeutic relationships and meeting people “where they are”.

Julia’s therapy practice is influenced by Mindfulness-based approaches, her experience as a student and teacher of yoga, & Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.  She works primarily with adults, with a particular focus on diversity and inclusivity.  Her areas of specialty and interest include working with caregivers, behavioural issues in the context of dementia, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, loss/grief, stress and issues related to navigating life transitions. She also has experience facilitating Mindfulness groups.

Julia is currently working with the Increasing Access to Structured Psychotherapy (IASP) project, a province-wide initiative funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that provides access to structured CBT therapy for adults with mild to moderate anxiety, depression symptoms and other complex mental health conditions, such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.

Julia holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers and with the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

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’s of Arts in Counselling and Spirituality and a graduate certificate in Couple Counselling and Spirituality.

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’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 are grounded in an understanding of trauma and the multiple possible paths to healing.

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. Her main areas of specialty in counselling include: anxiety/panic; depression; interpersonal relationship issues; self-esteem; special needs; historical/current abuse; and grief/loss.

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.

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 mentor 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.

Sophia Weaver, MA

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).

Lisa Webne-Behrman, PhD, C. Psych

Licensed Psychologist

Lisa Webne-Behrman, PhD, C. Psych, is a Licensed Psychologist and registered member of The College of Ontario Psychologists credentialed in the areas of Clinical, Health, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Lisa has worked extensively with clients on issues of adjustment to disability, persistent pain, anxiety, mood challenges, stress, and navigating transition. She also has an extensive background in dispute resolution mediating interpersonal and organizational disputes and facilitating processes to address complex problems within primarily healthcare and education.

As a psychologist, Lisa values a facilitative approach that promotes individual strengths and self-determination, fostering a safe and respectful environment for personal reflection and growth. Lisa works in partnership with clients to understand priority issues for counseling and develop meaningful goals to serve as guideposts throughout the counseling process. While utilizing an integrative approach, Lisa draws more heavily from those therapies that emphasize mindfulness, acceptance, and effectiveness of action. As such, she works with clients to strengthen psychological flexibility and build strategies to address personal distress.

Lisa has worked as a Psychologist for more than 25 years in varied capacities including counseling, teaching and supervision.  She maintained a private practice for many years focused on assessment, counseling, and mediation.  Lisa has also worked in a large university counseling center providing individual and group therapy and as a hospital based Staff Psychologist.

Gabrielle Wilson, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Gabrielle believes that clients possess expert knowledge of themselves and she listens closely to their unique insights to guide the treatment goals and process. She works collaboratively with clients to develop an individualized program best suited to their needs. Gabrielle believes in the importance of a strong therapeutic relationship and approaches all clients with compassion, respect and warmth.

Gabrielle specializes in working with children, adolescents and families. She is passionate about fostering enhanced wellbeing through expressive art and play based approaches. In her work with adult clients, she incorporates this same playfulness and creativity.

Gabrielle’s work is informed by a variety of therapeutic modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Structural Family Therapy. Outside of her work as a counsellor, Gabrielle is a musician/songwriter and she incorporates this knowledge into her work by developing narratives with clients to explore personal history, thoughts and emotions.

Gabrielle has worked in a variety of settings including women’s shelters, schools, community-based children’s mental health agencies and residential treatment homes. These experiences have led to a strong foundation in working with clients who have experienced trauma. She specializes in working with children and youth facing anxiety, depression, behavioural challenges, aggression and social difficulties. She also provides support for parents and works towards enhancing parent-child attachment.

Gabrielle completed her Master’s of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She 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.

Dalia Wood, Registered Psychotherapist

Counsellor

Dalia’s primary therapeutic focus aims at creating a safe and comfortable space for clients to feel heard and supported facilitating the unfolding of stories. She believes that clients are the authors of their own story. Some of Dalia’s strengths are active listening, positive regard to the client’s journey and history, and prioritizing resiliency and client’s strengths.

Dalia specializes in working with individuals who are experiencing concerns related to depression and anxiety, life changing transitions, intimate partner violence, school difficulties, bulling and self-image issues.

Dalia’s work is informed by modalities such as Narrative Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral therapy and Solution focused brief therapy.

She offers counselling in both Arabic and English. Dalia has completed a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy. She is a qualifying member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, CRPO.

Sara Youbi, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Sara works from a strength-based approach and invites each client to explore and discover their inner strengths, resilience and problem solving skills. She is knowledgeable of the structural and societal factors that could pose as barriers that may impact a person’s ability to thrive. Sara meets client’s where they are in their journey and collaborates with them as they navigate their healing process. She is passionate about social justice and social inequalities in health.

Sara’s clinical practice incorporates Narrative Therapy, Anti-Oppressive Practices, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques and aspects of Mindfulness from a culturally sensitive and Trauma-Informed approach. She provides counselling to individuals adults facing a wide variety of emotional and psychological challenges in their lives. Sara has worked in a variety of community settings and has extensive experience assisting clients to navigate the different social services, housing, and welfare systems. Throughout her profession in the social services, she has worked with seniors, adults with chronic illness, as well as newcomers and immigrants parents.

Sara completed her Master’s of Social Work at The University of Ottawa and is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and is a member of Canadian Association of Social Workers. Sara provides counselling in multiple languages including French, English and Arabic.

Stacey Young, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist/Psycho-Educational Assessments

Stacey’s overall therapeutic approach to counselling is multi-faceted. She assesses each client’s needs and then provides the support and guidance to help them reach their potential and improve their quality of life. This type of client-centered approach involves focusing on solutions and finding attainable goals.

Stacey’s experience in the field of counselling has involved working with clients struggling with depression, trauma, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, separation/divorce, custody and access issues, and anger management. She has practiced in the field of psychology for more than sixteen years and has gained extensive experience counselling children, adolescents and adults, including work with families. Cognitive Behavioural techniques are frequently used with clients and have been found to be helpful in making positive changes.

Stacey has also provided student support, both within a school setting and as a consultant to students, teachers and parents. She has assisted students and their families with a variety of difficulties, such as school-related concerns; behavioral difficulties; emotional issues; family dysfunction; loss; and, separation/divorce.

Stacey has the capacity to administer psycho-educational assessments and provide evaluation of children aged six to sixteen. Psycho-educational testing can provide useful information about your child’s cognitive ability and grade level equivalency across a broad range of academic areas. These comprehensive assessments involve combining information from parents and teachers, along with the testing results, to diagnose difficulties with such issues as attention, learning and emotion. Testing can help facilitate the academic success of your child since it provides information on your child’s cognitive level and potential, how your child’s mind best learns, and your child’s strengths and weaknesses

A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Ontario Institute for Studies of Education, Stacey has her Master’s in Psychology. She is a Registered Psychotherapist and a Canadian Certified Counsellor.

Samiyah Zawawi, M.Ed., RP(Qualifying), CCC, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Counsellor

Coming from a cross-cultural background, Samiyah has always appreciated the richness of each individual’s history and narrative. Samiyah works collaboratively with clients from diverse populations, and draws on her own lived experiences and cultural understandings. She values creating a safe environment where clients can build self-awareness and the capacity to overcome challenges.

Samiyah has extensive experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma, anxiety related challenges, depression, identity loss, migration, grief, and attachment based issues. Samiyah’s experience working with immigrants, refugees, and vulnerable populations has led her to develop a holistic therapeutic approach that focuses on client needs. Samiyah draws from Narrative Therapy and Attachment Informed Therapy techniques while incorporating the client’s values to provide an enriching experience.

Samiyah holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Counselling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She provides counselling in English, Arabic, and Spanish. Samiyah values her ability to provide services in the client’s native tongue, as this is not only a bridge of communication, but also the root of one’s culture.