Registered Psychotherapist | CRPO (#008555)
Seeking help can often feel overwhelming and scary – yet, if you are reading this message you have already taken one of the biggest and bravest steps in the journey towards health! Being able to meet weekly with a psychotherapist to discuss issues of distress – whether it is personal issues, relational/social problems, or even work-related stress – in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space can be transformative and indeed life changing. I commend you for taking this step!
I practice primarily within the Relational Psychodynamic framework, which means that when we work together you will not have a removed or overly clinical counsellor, but a real person who meets you not simply as a ‘patient’ but as the expert of your own life! Together, we can delve into even the toughest, scariest, and unspeakable topics in a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space. I believe that the best therapy happens when a deep trust forms between counsellor and client. With me you will find a warm, compassionate psychotherapist who feels honoured to meet you in all aspects of your life.
The clients I work with:
In my practice, I specialize in working with those who have faced trauma, especially through forms of abuse – emotional, physical, sexual, and self-harm. Related to my work on trauma, I provide therapy to those suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder.
Beyond my specialized practice, I work with adults and adolescents in an array of issues such as depression/suicidal ideation, anxiety/panic disorders, grief and loneliness, as well as eating distress and body image. I also work with couples to address how their past histories impact their current relationships.
I have a passion for promoting and caring for those who often are over-looked and marginalised in society and have therefore worked as an ally and advocate for clients from diverse populations. I have often been sought out to counsel those from the LGBTQI2SA+ community, as well as ethnically and economically diverse populations. I welcome all to my practice and believe that anyone – regardless of issue, ethnicity, gender / sexuality, spiritual belief, economic standing – is valuable and I seek to provide the best care to all I see.
How I practice:
As your therapist, I believe that there is no such thing as a ‘Band-Aid’ approach to counselling; therefore, instead of providing quick-fixes, I welcome us to dive into issues together. From the first session with me we will start to talk about the issues that have brought you to therapy and where these might have originated – granting us insight into patterns of behaviour that may have been useful in the past but now may be actually getting in the way of your health. In our second phase of therapy we will start to see patterns emerge based upon your past history. There is nothing taboo with me, and as we learn more about your past, we may uncover areas that were once unconscious – making connections on how the past and present often interweave in our day-to-day lives. In our third phase of therapy we will then start to make these changes – often using the therapy session as a safe place to try these out. Through looking at the past and the larger context of your social world we can start to get a clearer picture as to why you may be facing distress and with this insight, we will work together in overcoming these issues.
As I have trained in many paradigms, the process of therapy will be an integration of psychodynamic, person-centred and emotion-focussed therapy, as well as forms of CBT, interpersonal and mindfulness practices. I believe that as my client, you deserve a treatment plan that fits you! Therefore, by getting to know you and your unique needs, the therapy I provide will be an approach the seems most suitable for you.
A little bit about me:
I trained as a doctor of psychotherapy at the University of Edinburgh, UK. For the past decade, I have worked with at-risk youth in both Canada and the UK, working specifically with issues such as depression, suicidal ideation, low self-esteem/body image, anxiety, sexuality and sexual trauma.
I’ve worked adults regarding work-related stress, relationships / family functioning, depression, and personality disorders. I have also provided ‘Life Review’ work with elderly clients.
I have mentored and trained new psychotherapists in the UK and now in Toronto. Currently I work as a Registered Psychotherapist, and provide training and supervision to psychotherapists in Toronto. I am also an active potter and love getting messy at the pottery wheel - it is where the title 'Centred Self' came from: That interplay of being still and centred in ourselves, this is where therapeutic work can happen.
Current projects beyond my practice:
I have published in journals related to feminist research and psychotherapy and currently have several projects in press (see Articles).
I am the co-founder of the ‘Bodies Collective’ that collaborates with scholars around the globe at bringing the physical body back into recognition within the academy. Through the Bodies Collective, we have created a new way of doing research called ‘Bodyography’.
I have given numerous presentations at conferences in both North America and Europe and am also an active public speaker on mental health for universities in the UK and Canada. I also run trainings for new psychotherapists in the field through the University of Edinburgh.
However 'tidy' I look in my profile photo as a psychodynamic trauma psychotherapist, I find that being real is the most important part of the work I do.
I actually love to see how photos between my roles look pretty different: As a psychodynamically trained Registered Psychotherapist, a supervisor/trainer, as a dog mom, and finally as a ceramicist, messy at the potter's wheel.
As you can see from this picture, I had been at the wheel for hours, 'throwing' mugs, bowls and plates. Wearing my old t-shirt, my hair is a mess, no makeup on, I am completely content at my wheel. This is my happy place, and it is a beautiful form of therapy.
I have worked as a potter for the past decade, and for 8 years as a professional potter - selling pieces, doing commissions, and teaching pottery while completing my doctorate in Psychotherapy at the University of Edinburgh.
Every time I make a piece for someone, it is that person I think about as I throw the piece. I think of them holding the mug in their hands, serving salad in the bowl, or eating off a plate I have made. In this way, each piece gets to be crafted in a unique and personal style that has aspects of me and the 'customer' in it.
What I am realising is that there is a convergence of my two professions; I have always seen a connection between the two but didn't think that they could merge - until now!
In this video, I am making of one of my signature flower bowls.
Created in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) in 2017.
I am making a series of bowls for my own kitchen! The video demonstrates how to centre, and make a bowl. In Dex(terity) Lab studio in Toronto, ON., 2020.
This great description is what we potters give to the process of making smaller pieces on a larger amount of clay.