Our Mental Health Professionals

Agnieszka Szymanowicz-Yalcin, M.Ed. (Psych), RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Agnieszka believes that every person is unique and an expert of their own life experience. Therefore, she adopts an integrative approach in counselling to aid in addressing client’s challenges. She tailors her approaches according to the client’s needs, and this includes humanistic, client centered, cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, multicultural, developmental philosophies, narrative, solution focus, brief, positive psychology, mindfulness base stress reduction, motivational interviewing, anti-oppressive, empowerment and trauma informed lens within community perspective to promote healing and strengthen resiliency. Agnieszka aims to approach individuals with compassion, flexibility, and non-judgment to support their growth, healing process and improving quality of life.

She offers counselling in both Polish and English. She has completed a Master’s Degree in Education with specialization in counselling psychology. She is a full member of the Collage of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario, CRPO.

Amal Ahmed, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Amal’s foremost focus is to provide a safe, warm, and validating therapeutic space where clients can feel heard and understood. She uses an integrated approach to help bring awareness and emotional processing and pulls from narrative and attachment family therapies with the hope of expanding on client’s strengths.

Amal has experience working with a variety of clinical issues, such as depression, anxiety, burnout, life-transitions, and relationship challenges. She has also worked with individuals struggling with anger, school difficulties, and strenuous family dynamics.

Amal is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and has completed a Master’s Degree in Counselling and Spirituality.

Amira Nazarali, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Amira is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She approaches counselling from humanistic and existential perspectives, which means that she views clients as innately having the inner resources to confront challenges, gain insight into themselves, pursue their self-determined goals, and create greater meaning and purpose in their lives.

Amira sees her role as providing clients with support, some appropriate tools, and an enabling environment for them to engage in their own individual process of growth. She strives to approach her clients with warmth, empathy, acceptance, authenticity and an appreciation of the uniqueness of every individual’s lived experience in the world.  She believes strongly in collaborative, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practice.

To best suit the individual needs of each of her clients, Amira draws upon a range of approaches and therapeutic models. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Approaches and Positive Psychology. She is open to working with clients of all ages, but has specific experience working with youth and young adults as they grapple with concerns such as depression, anxiety, social and interpersonal challenges, academic and workplace stress, and as they navigate personal identity, life changes and adjustments.

Amira completed her graduate degree in social work at the University of Toronto. She also holds a graduate degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, with a specific interest in equity and social determinants of physical and mental health. Before her counselling role, she spent time working in the global health and humanitarian assistance field.

Aya El Balaa, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Aya aims to provide a warm, judgement-free, and supportive space where the client feels safe and understood. She provides an empathetic presence that allows clients to be their authentic self and feel cared for and validated. Aya works with clients to help them identify their goals. She then works closely with her clients in developing strategies and skills that highlight their resilience and strengths. She helps them regulate their emotions and provides them with tools to help them cope with stress, improve their relationships, and bring about the desired change in their lives. 

Aya is an integrative therapist using modalities such as Emotion Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, tailoring the approaches to meet the clients’ therapeutic needs. 

Aya works as part of the Refugee and Newcomer program as well as the Adult Individual program to help people who are experiencing clinical issues in relation to stress, anxiety, depression, adjustment in life transitions, self-esteem, separation, intimate partner violence, and more.  

Aya offers counselling in both Arabic and English. She has completed a Masters Degree in Counselling and Spirituality. She is a Registered Psychotherapist Qualifying with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). 

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

Clinical Manager, 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.

Caroline Duniya, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Caroline holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) in good standing with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Her main goal is to make her clients feel welcome and supported during the therapeutic process. Caroline’s therapeutic approach is informed primarily by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy as well as Narrative Therapy. She works collaboratively with each client, tailoring her approach to meet her clients’ specific needs.

She is a therapist who guides her clients towards their goals and equips them with the skills that they will use to manage life challenges by themselves in the future. Caroline’s warm and empathetic nature creates a safe space for every client she encounters. She’s experienced working with adult individuals and is also bilingual; she provides therapy in both English and French.

Dalia Wood, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

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, bullying 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 full member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, CRPO.

Evelyn Wong, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

In her work with individuals and families, Evelyn provides a person-centred, non-judgmental and compassionate space to explore and navigate a range of life experiences including critical illnesses, addictions, grief and loss, interpersonal relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations.

Evelyn views her role to be that of a co-navigator in the process of psychotherapy. Her goal is to journey with individuals and families in their quest to reconnect with what is most important to them, with a focus on promoting resilience and growth for each individual and family that she works with.

Practicing from Narrative Therapy and Attachment-Based frameworks, Evelyn also draws on other therapeutic modalities (Emotionally Focused, Feedback-Informed, Trauma-Informed, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy-Informed, and Internal Family Systems) to help individuals and families chart their own roadmap from where they are to where they would rather be.

Evelyn holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Carleton University and a One-Year Training Certificate in Narrative Therapy from Dulwich Centre, Australia. Evelyn is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and is also a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW).

Florence Mak, M.A., C. Psych. Assoc.

Licensed Psychological Associate

Florence is a Psychological Associate registered with the Ontario College of Psychologists. Her clinical practice is guided by cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) while integrating principles and tools from solution-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness based cognitive therapy. Florence believes that each client is an expert of their own experience and therefore tailors her approach to meet their unique needs. She provides a non-judgmental, supportive, warm and empathetic environment. This setting allows for collaboration with clients to promote personal growth and help them reach their treatment goals

Florence has nearly ten years of experience treating those with a wide range of difficulties, from mild everyday stress to more complex conditions. Florence provides evidence-based treatment to adults with a wide range of presenting concerns. Florence has worked in counselling services in post-secondary institutions and a family health team providing individual and group psychotherapy. When Florence is not working, you will find her travelling, skiing, spending time with her family and dog.

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 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.

Geoff Pross, MA, CCC, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Geoff’s clients are looking to lead a balanced life with the perspective and tools to face challenges with resilience and optimism. Anxiety, depression, relationship challenges or addictions might be getting in the way of that balance. Geoff strives to create a genuine, human experience in counselling that allows clients to tap into their own resources for long term well-being. Geoff aims to seamlessly integrate problem solving, insightful reflection and theory into a natural and judgment-free conversation.

 

Geoff brings over 20-years experience supporting clients from diverse backgrounds and ages. His studies and practice have been informed by Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, Dialetical Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Client-centred therapy. Geoff completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology and has a diploma in Wilderness Recreation. He is registered as a Canada Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Ghadir Kawar, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Ghadir understands that the foundation of any therapeutic work is a strong therapeutic relationship between herself and her clients. She strives to build a warm, compassionate, judgment-free, and empathic space, in which clients can speak freely about their traumas, while feeling heard and validated.

Ghadir is an Arabic, English, and French speaking counsellor with the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers program. She works with adult clients experiencing a wide variety of emotional and psychological challenges in their lives.

Ghadir’s work draws from an integrative, person-centered, cross-cultural, and trauma-informed approach. She collaborates with each client, tailoring her approach to meet their therapeutic needs. Her clinical practice is informed by Attachment, Psychodynamic, Systemic, Cognitive-Behavioural, and Narrative theories.

Ghadir is a graduate of Ottawa University and holds an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology. Prior to that, she graduated from Carleton University with an M.A. in Psychology.

Jennifer Grindon, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

As a therapist, Jennifer aims to provide clients with a safe and supportive space where they can slow down and connect to themselves. She believes that each person has the innate resources to grow and heal when they feel seen and supported. Jennifer encourages her clients to explore how their past experiences are affecting their current life, with the intention of moving toward a satisfying life with meaningful connections.
Jennifer uses an integrative, collaborative therapeutic approach. She predominately works from psychodynamic, attachment, and emotion-focused lenses to support both individuals and couples. However, she understands that each individual and couple is unique, and therefore, she works to tailor her therapeutic approach to meet each client’s unique needs.
Jennifer has experience working with a wide variety of clinical challenges, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, chronic illness, grief, and relationship challenges.

Jennifer has a special interest in supporting couples in healing from a variety of challenges, including infidelity and conflict. She provides a safe and non-judgmental space to help couples improve their ability to communicate, and to better understand and meet each other’s needs. Jennifer’s main goal in couple’s work is to help couples understand their relational dynamics, to help them change patterns of disconnection and hurt and move toward deeper levels of attunement, understanding, and connection.
Jennifer is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) who graduated from the Univerisity of Ottawa’s Master’s in Education- Counselling Psychology program. Jennifer has worked in mental for over ten years and has experience working in community, hospital, private and school settings.

Jennifer Moanda, M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Jennifer graduated from the University of Ottawa where she completed her M.Ed in Counselling Psychology. She is currently a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and she is also a Canadian Certified Counsellor. 

Jennifer’s therapeutic approach is informed primarily by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. Jennifer strives to create a warm, welcoming and non-judgemental environment for clients where they will be able to explore their concerns in-depth while developing strategies to increase their sense of well-being. 

In her professional experience, Jennifer has had the opportunity of working in an addictions setting, providing both individual and group therapy.  Jennifer also holds an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Certificate as well as a Facilitator’s Certificate for SMART Recovery.  She has extensive experience working within an Employee Assistance Program and supporting clients with a variety of issues, including: anxiety, depression, grief, interpersonal & relationship challenges, mental health concerns, workplace stress and crisis intervention.

Jennifer is bilingual and provides counselling services in both French and English. She believes that clients possess the most knowledge about their own experiences and can create the change they want to see in their lives. With that frame of mind, Jennifer approaches psychotherapy as someone who accompanies clients on their journey towards their therapeutic goals and offers them insight & knowledge to help guide as needed. 

Jennifer Munroe, MSW, RSW

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: 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.

Julia Sage, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Julia has a passion for supporting people on their path to wellness. Her priority is building strong, collaborative therapeutic relationships and meeting people “where they are”.

Julia’s therapy practice is ever growing but is currently influenced by her experience as a student and teacher of yoga, Mindfulness-based interventions & Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.  She currently sees only adults. Her areas of specialty and interest include working with caregivers, anxiety including panic attacks, PTSD & OCD, depression, stress and issues related to navigating life transitions. She also has experience facilitating Mindfulness groups.

Julia is currently working with the Ontario Structure Psychotherapy (OSP) 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 anxiety and depression symptoms.  Referrals for this program are done through the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

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.

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.

Katherine Marr, MA, RP, CCC, Registered Psychotherapist

Clinical Manager, Centre for Children, Youth, and Families

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.

Kelly Firth, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Kelly uses a warm, empathetic, and client-centred approach in her work. She aims to create a compassionate and non-judgemental space and to empower her clients to achieve their unique goals. Kelly uses an integrative and collaborative approach by drawing from various therapeutic approaches, such as Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic theory, Internal Family Systems, and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT). Kelly collaborates with each client, tailoring her approach to meet their therapeutic needs.

Kelly is experienced in working with adult individuals and couples. Her areas of experience include working with anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, addiction, grief and loss, interpersonal relationships, and relationship conflict. Kelly is a LGBTQ2+ positive and kink-friendly counsellor and aims to honour the experience of all of her clients.

Kelly received her Master’s degree in Counselling and Spirituality with a specialization in Couple and Family Counselling from Saint Paul University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She is also a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Layla Matar, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Layla’s key importance is creating a safe space for clients to feel comfortable and relaxed to open up and unpack throughout their therapeutic journey. She brings a warm, non-judgmental approach to her sessions and seeks to be a caring witness to her clients and their stories. She wants her clients to feel safe and accepted for their full selves.

Layla uses an integrative and collaborative approach by drawing from different therapy and counselling theories; her work is tailored to best meet her clients’ needs. The approaches Layla uses help guide her clients to discover their hidden strength and resilience. Layla works with her clients’ strengths to support them in unpacking and exploring the issues and distress that bring them to therapy. The key therapeutic approaches which inform her practice are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Narrative Therapy, Art Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT), and Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT).

Layla is experienced in working with adult individuals and couples. Her experience involves working with depression, anxiety, trauma, self-development, childhood wounds, interpersonal relationships, and relationship conflicts.

Layla is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). She graduated from Saint Paul University with her Master’s in Counselling and Spirituality and has a Graduate Diploma in Couple Counselling and Spirituality.

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, primarily within 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 counselling and develop meaningful goals to serve as guideposts throughout the counselling 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 counselling, teaching and supervision.  She maintained a private practice for many years focused on assessment, counselling, and mediation.  Lisa has also worked in a large university counselling center providing individual and group therapy and as a hospital-based Staff Psychologist.

Marianela León de Mujica, M.Ed., RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Marianela brings warmth, gentleness and an ability to provide a safe environment conducive to self-directed growth and wellbeing. 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 an integrative person-centred, anti-oppressive approach with a cross-cultural perspective and a deep commitment to Social Justice. She is strained and use techniques from, Gestalt therapy, Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy, Self-compassion Focused Therapy, CBT, Art and Play Therapy and Narrative therapy.

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, is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and is member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. 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.

Marwan Abou Diwan, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Marwan A. Diwan is an internationally educated social worker who holds both a Master’s degree in Social Work and Educational Counselling and a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Sciences. He holds a Master’s degree in Living Languages / Translation as well and offers counselling in English, French, Arabic and Spanish.

Marwan is experienced in working with adult individuals and groups 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/PTSD, grief and loss, chronic mental health and Refugee and Vulnerable Newcomers, LGBTQ+, People living with HIV and identity-related issues.

Marwan is trained with a range of therapeutic models including, Humanistic approach, Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Hypnosis, Drama Therapy, etc. In collaboration with the individuals, he works with, Marwan tailors a personal care plan to assist individuals in returning to a place of health, ease, balance and comfort. Marwan work is person-centred and strength-based and respects everyone for who they are and who they want to become. Marwan’s working philosophy is 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.

In his home country, Lebanon, Marwan has combined his clinical counselling work with other professional activities with the Danish law enforcement agencies in the fields of anti-radicalization, communication, leadership, and other soft skills areas.

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 the 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, he 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, ageing, 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 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.

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 internalized racism and homophobia/transphobia.

Nicolas received his Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work from Carleton University. He also possesses a Bachelor’s 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.

Pamyna Bourgeois, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Pamyna provides a warm, safe, nurturing, and non-judgmental space where her client’s can explore and understand the patterns that keep them stuck while building new habits that align with their future self. Pamyna draws from Psychodynamic Theory and a trauma-informed lens to understand her clients. She also pulls from a variety of evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Strength Based, and Internal Family Systems.

Pamyna’s aim is to help her clients discover their true self, values, needs, strengths, and learn to set boundaries so they can begin living a life that feels authentic and meaningful. As a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Pamyna provides individual therapy to adults and her experience includes working with issues of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, co-dependency, past trauma, relationship issues, grief, and existential questions.

Pamyna is a graduate of Saint Paul University and holds an MA in Counselling, Spirituality and Psychotherapy.

Rana Musa, MA, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

I believe that we all experience challenges and yet through insight, compassion and action we are able to grow and transform. I offer clients a safe space through my warm, non-judgmental, caring and person-centered stance. I work from an integrative and collaborative approach drawing on various counselling theories based on clients’ needs and goals. My approach is primarily informed by Attachment, Psychodynamic, Systemic, Existential and Narrative Theories. I work with clients to build coping and resiliency while exploring sources of distress to confidently confront life’s struggles. I integrate cultural sensitivity that takes into consideration clients’ marginalized identities and the complexity this may add-should clients wish to explore and incorporate this into counselling. I have worked with individuals wanting to heal from a traumatic past or finding their path, and couples feeling stuck in dysfunction or wanting to heal from infidelity.

I offer counselling in both Arabic and English. I am a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario(CRPO). I graduated from Saint Paul University with a Master of Arts in Counselling and Spirituality and a concentration in Couple Counselling. I am also an Intake counsellor at The Counselling Group. My role includes completing telephone intakes with clients wishing to access services and working to match clients with a counsellor to fit their needs.

Rebecca Worden, MCCP, RP, MTA

Registered Psychotherapist, Certified Music Therapist

Rebecca offers a relaxed, safe space to share and explore your concerns. Whether you are tackling a new life challenge or moving forward from previous difficulties, she is ready to bring a thoughtful, caring presence to you. Rebecca takes a client-centred approach and honours the reality that you are the expert of your experience.

Rebecca is a registered psychotherapist with 25 years of experience in the creative art therapies and specializes in music psychotherapy. Accessing your creativity has the potential to open new possibilities and can offer solutions that seemed out of reach.  Even if you are not musically inclined, there may be valuable insight from exploring an instrument, discussing song lyrics, or sharing images in response to moving music.

Rebecca has received training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, and Culturally Responsive Socially Just (CRSJ) counselling.  In an eclectic approach, she works to combine different therapeutic models to meet your needs and tackle each concern in a unique way.

Rebecca received her Bachelor of Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University and her Master of Counselling in Clinical Psychology from Athabasca University. Rebecca is a certified music therapist with the Canadian Association of Music Therapists and a registered psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario in good standing.

Sabine Jean, M.Ed.

Counsellor

Sabine works in the Refugees and Vulnerable Newcomers program, providing social and insightful emotional support and counselling 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 in 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.

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 Narrative, Attachment, 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 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.

Shannon Bovey, M.Ed., RP, CCC

Registered Psychotherapist

Shannon works from a therapeutic posture of transparency and collaboration. She develops a 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).

Stephanie Wolfert, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Stephanie’s work with clients is collaborative, client centered and non-judgmental. She strives to create a safe and comfortable space for clients to identify and reach their goals. Stephanie supports clients in exploring challenges they face and moving towards their goals. She uses approaches including Dialectical Behaviour, Cognitive Behavioural, Narrative, Solution-Focused therapeutic modalities. Counselling with Stephanie involves components such as goal setting, psychoeducation, curious exploration, action planning, processing, reframing and mobilizing resources.

Stephanie 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.

Valerie Repta, MA, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

One of Valerie’s greatest strengths is her ability to connect with clients, 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 which remains 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 currently works in the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy (Mindability) program providing cognitive behavioural therapy to people dealing with anxiety, depression, panic, avoidance, obsessive-compulsive disorder and trauma. She works with individuals of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults and families. She values diversity, including working with people across the gender spectrum.

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.

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 an 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 of Arts in Psychology and a Master 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.

Wendy Cotton, MSW, RSW, Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Clinical Manager, 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.