Psychotherapy, Marriage and Family Therapy
As a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist for the past 30 years, I have often said that I approach my work from ‘the inside out’. That is, my efforts to understand my own life have laid the foundation for my understanding of the ‘problems in living’ that bring people to therapy, as well as the potential for resolution and renewal that an effective and meaningful therapeutic relationship can provide. It is my belief that, in addition to education and training, continued reflection on my own issues of emotion and relationship is essential, as it is only in this way that I may ensure that the therapeutic relationship remains reliable and benevolent for the client. In this context, the interweaving of thought, feeling and action can lead to positive change and a richer life experience.
I graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1979 and then a post-graduate Diploma in Child Study (Assessment and Counseling) in 1984 – a Master’s level degree from the Institute in Child Study, University of Toronto. A second master’s degree in Applied Psychology (Counseling) from the Ontario Institute fro Studies in Education, University of Toronto is close to completion. I have been a Clinical Member of the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family therapy for over 20 years.
My work in mental health has presented many opportunities for learning and growth. Initially, a psychometrist at a private clinic and later at the Hospital for Sick Children, I gained insight into the complex ways human beings attempt to come to terms with their lives. As a Marriage and Family Therapist at Peel Children’s Center for 11 years and in private practice in Bloor West Village for the last 20, I have provided therapeutic service to children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. In addition to marriage and relationship concerns, the work has encompassed a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, trauma recovery, physical and sexual abuse, physical illness and injury, as well as loss, separation, and divorce.
Psychotherapy, within the marriage and family framework can, but does not necessitate, the inclusion of any and all family members relevant to the issue at hand. As one of the first approaches to emphasize holism, it is distinguished by its effort to clarify the client’s struggles within the context of their most meaningful relationships, past and present. My goal is to understand the powerful interplay of influence between our biological predispositions, our intimate relationships, our beliefs and feelings about ourselves and the world, as well as the equally powerful impact of the social forces of culture, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and economy. This new understanding begins the process of healing, leading to changes in feeling and behavior, identity and self-worth – with the goal of living with more compassion, authenticity and peace of mind.