Stephanie is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and registered social worker (RSW) who has been in the field for over 25 years. Throughout the course of her practice, trauma has been a consistent thread woven throughout the experiences of those she has served. Stephanie has been privileged to support people in several areas including acquired brain injury, addictions, intimate partner violence, mental health, concurrent disorders, sexual violence and complex trauma, as well as provide individual, marital, family and group therapy to a diverse range of ages and needs in both community and institutional settings.
Stephanie has her own private practice where she provides counselling, clinical supervision and consultation and training to various community organizations. Her expertise and interest lies in supporting people with navigating the outcomes of various types of trauma, addiction, violence, neurodivergence and mental health concerns, including the ways in which these issues often intersect.
Pina has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto, and both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Social Work degree from McMaster University. Pina practices predominantly from a CBT-based treatment modality and enjoys working with individuals of all ages and cognitive abilities. Particular areas of focus include working creatively with children and youth, with individuals who have experienced trauma, in particular historical Indigenous trauma, and individuals living with chronic health conditions. Along with her clinical practice, Pina has discovered a new-found passion in creating, writing and instructing courses. Outside of clinical practice, Pina is an avid believer in volunteerism and spends much of her free time providing support in a variety of forums to the Type 1 Diabetes community.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Cathy Barrick leads with enthusiasm, creativity and a drive to create impact within the not-for-profit sector. Cathy drives innovation through fundraising and program development. Cathy believes that not-for-profits should step up and shine by increasing their social profit margins.
Cathy has worked in the not-for-profit sector from the start, beginning her career as a gerontological social worker. Her degrees in gerontology, social work and sociology have allowed Cathy to develop a clinical practice supporting individuals, couples and families address issues throughout their lives. Cathy has a particular interest in supporting seniors and their families as they face a diagnosis of dementia.
Her leadership of organizations for the last 20 years continues to evolve with a focus on creating an environment where staff feel both valued and supported in their efforts to do good.
As a recent Intrapreneur Fellowship graduate of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Cathy tackles organizational challenges and change from the inside out. Using design thinking to drive success, Cathy believes we can change the culture of the not-for-profit sector.
Amy is a Learning Consultant at Wilfrid Laurier University. She helps students with academic learning skills, time management and exam prep. She also delivers multiple workshops weekly on these same topics. Amy also worked at Laurier co-op for three years before now working in Student Success. Previously, she was the Manager, Human Resources at Waterloo Public Library. She holds the CHRL (Canadian Human Resources Leader) designation. She worked in the non-profit sector position for almost 10 years, preceded by 10 years working in private retail and manufacturing settings as an HR generalist. Amy graduated from McMaster with a degree in psychology and completed the HR management post-diploma course from Sheridan College. She completed her Masters of Education in Student Affairs from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2020.
Amy has trained or facilitated in all of her roles, and since 2013 has been a contract instructor at Laurier and co-op advisor at Conestoga College. She employs an experiential training style in her classroom that encourages students to interact with one another and the material. Amy uses videos, case studies, personal experiences and hands-on learning activities to enhance the learning process.
Dina is a registered marriage and family therapist living in Ancaster, Ontario. She is the associate director of the Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) certificate program at OISE/Continuing & Professional Learning, University of Toronto, co-director of the Canadian SFBT Centre and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.
Dina trains and consults with mental health agencies on integrating SFBT with single session therapy (SST). She also provides direct clinical supervision and SFBT training to agencies, graduate students, and therapists. Dina’s clinical experience includes over 15 years of practice at a children’s mental health clinic in Hamilton, Ontario. She received an award of distinction from the City of Hamilton for her brief therapy work with children, adolescents and their families in 2017. She now has a private practice in Ancaster. She is passionate about SFBT and SST, and enjoys seeing the difference it can make.
Patricia is a clinical social worker and accredited family mediator with more than 30 years of experience. She has worked in children’s mental health, education and private practice. Patricia provides adolescent, adult and family counselling addressing a broad range clinical issues. She offers consultation, professional development and training to educators, health care and mental health workers. She also speaks to elementary and high school parent communities on raising resilient children and teens. Patricia is a family mediator and a member of the Waterloo Region Collaborative Law Association. She promotes positive alternative dispute resolution strategies to help divorcing parents and families with a range of divorce related services, including: creating parenting plans, divorce coaching, adjustment counselling with children and teens, parenting coordination and family reunification.
Diane is a registered psychotherapist, Certified Trauma Integration Clinician, EMDR-trained therapist, and clinical supervisor in private and group practice. Diane has provided counselling services for children, youth and adults in a variety of community mental health and private settings since 2006. Diane is passionate about collaborative, creative and compassionate counselling service with those who are experiencing serious illness, grief and bereavement. Diane has a specialized focus in trauma and bereavement in parents, including perinatal grief/bereavement. Currently, Diane provides grief and trauma-focused individual and family counselling, education and clinical consultation through Andrea Warnick Consulting, as well as her private practice, located in the Durham region of Ontario.
Kirstin has worked in the field of addictions and mental health for 20 years. She currently provides mindfulness groups to people with depression, anxiety and high stress. She has worked as a supervisor, educator and program planner in addictions. She will complete her yoga certification in September 2023. She has been engaged in innovative projects related to mindfulness meditation and has led mindfulness groups for chronic pain, depression, smoking and other addictions. Kirstin has formal training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and has extensive experience providing mindfulness training to healthcare professionals who plan to add mindfulness to their clinical practice.
A life-long resident of Kitchener, Nancy has over 20 years of experience as a senior leader at United Way Kitchener Waterloo & Area and United Way Waterloo Region Communities. Nancy has also served as the Interim Executive Director for HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health in Guelph. Her experience includes strategy and business development, grantmaking, cross-functional team leadership, community engagement and fundraising. Nancy has worked closely with community organizations, local government and other funders. Nancy has established her own coaching and consulting business, focused on leadership coaching, engagement, team building and life coaching. She is also currently working as the Resource Development and Engagement Lead for Kawasaki Disease Canada, is an Office Manager locally, and serves on the Board of Directors for Bridges to Belonging.
Nancy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo, Master of Arts degree in Leadership from University of Guelph, Adult Teacher/Trainer certificate from Conestoga College, Management and Leadership certificate from Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, and is an alumnus of Leadership Waterloo Region.
Robin is a certified emotionally focused therapy (EFT) trainer, supervisor, and therapist. Presently, Robin is a faculty member in the graduate program for Wilfrid Laurier University where he teaches the EFT Externship and Core Skills in the Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy program. He designed and taught the first EFT Core Skills equivalency course to be offered at a Canadian university with his colleague, ICEEFT supervisor Debbie Wang at Laurier in 2021. In the past few years, Robin has taught EFT at York University in their social work program and was invited by Mount Sinai Hospital to speak at their level two trauma clinic in 2016. He is a former adjunct faculty member at the Living Institute of Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy where he taught EFT for five years. Robin trains EFT for local centers and communities in Fredericton, Cambridge, Toronto, York Region and Edmonton and he co-trained at the Toronto Externship with Sue Johnson in October 2020-2021. As an international EFT trainer, Robin has taught in the U.S. and UK and looks forward to teaching in Iran in the fall. For the past three years, he has been a regular consultant for Hold Me Tight retreats organized by Toronto Beyond the Blue a not-for-profit organization providing therapeutic services for the Toronto police force and their families. Robin is a co-founder of the Toronto Centre for Emotionally Focused Therapy and has been a director for the Centre since 2005. Robin is a registered psychotherapist and has been in private practice in Toronto for 21 years where he sees individuals, couples and families and provides supervision for therapist working towards certification in EFT.
Thomas is a social worker and director of clinical supervision at Qualia Counselling Services, where he offers the gold standard for CBT clinical supervision to Qualia and community clinicians. In addition to providing CBT supervision, Thomas continues to pursue his CBT passion by treating clients and delivering the cognitive behaviour interventions to those dealing with mental health challenges and life stressors.
Thomas can teach the gold standard because he has striven so excellently to achieve it. Thomas has completed a variety of rigorous training programs through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He has received extensive, ongoing CBT mentoring, training and supervision which has helped him emerge into the director of supervision role he holds.
Additionally, Thomas teaches CBT in a variety of contexts including workshops, conferences, university lectures and medical residency programs.
Lauren is the president and CEO of Bridge C-14, a national non-profit organization providing a network of peer-to-peer connections and community supports through all stages of medical assistance in dying (MAiD). In early 2017, Lauren met Jan Ditchfield, the founder of Bridge C-14 and joined its founding board of directors. Lauren is deeply passionate about providing individuals touched by MAiD with compassionate support throughout their journey with assisted dying and took over the organization after Jan stepped down from day-to-day operations in June 2019.
Lauren is also a social worker at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). She holds a permanent position in the Medicine Department at the Civic Campus and was a member of the MAiD team at TOH and with the Champlain Regional MAiD Network.
Lauren holds a social service worker diploma from Lambton College, a certificate in dementia studies from Lakehead University, as well as a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from Carleton University. She is a registered member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW).
Lauren was named as one of the OASW inspirational leaders for 2019 for her work with MAiD, has spoken at local, provincial and national conferences, and has been a guest instructor for the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)'s Advanced Practice Gerontological Social Work course for health professionals working in the Sinai Health System, the NICE Learning Series on Aging and with Wilfrid Laurier University's Death, Dying and Bereavement certificate program. Lauren is also the instructor for the Bridge C-14 educational series.
Scot founded the Brief Narrative Practices Project as a means to provide specialized quality training to service providers working in time constrained therapeutic contexts. Alongside more than 18 years of direct practice he has been teaching ‘brief’ narrative and single session walk-in therapy for more than a decade locally and abroad. Scot offers the curriculum through a spirit of adventure and exploration, inviting participants to practice, stretch their skill set and transfer specific learning into everyday practice. Alongside this Scot has worked extensively in the Neighbouring Communities and Pen Pal Project; narrative practice informed relationship building initiatives between First Nations and their neighbours. Scot's most recent publications include Brief narrative practice at the walk-in clinic: The rise of the counterstory, and Quality Assurance at the Walk-in: Process, Outcome, and Learning (2014 and 2013, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work) and the co-editing of the book Masters of Narrative and Collaborative Therapies: The voices of Andersen, Anderson, and White (2011 Routledge Publishing).
Sarah is rigorously trained in CBT and has additional training in emotionally focused therapy for couples and families. Sarah is a registered psychotherapist and a registered marriage and family therapist. Sarah has decades of clinical experience focusing on a variety of mental health issues, addictions, couples and family system issues. She loves to work with couples and families around relationship issues (communication, conflict, mediation, affairs, parenting, etc.) using EFT and CBT. Sarah is the Couples and Family Clinical Lead at Qualia Counselling and contributes research and supervision. Sarah has experience teaching CBT workshops and courses.
Rick Csiernik (they/them/their) is a professor within the School of Social Work, King's University College in London, Ontario. Rick is a White settler currently living on Dish With One Spoon Treaty Territory. Rick has written 10 books, edited nine, including The Essential Guide to Psychoactive Drugs in Canada, Homeless, Housing and Mental Health, The Drug Paradox, Substance Use and Misuse: Everything Matters, and Responding to the Oppression of Addiction. Rick has contributed to 250 peer reviewed publications, made over 300 public presentations and been part of research teams receiving over $5 million in funding during his career. Rick, who has been a social worker for four decades, has been recipient of both the King's University College and McMaster University Continuing Education Teacher of the Year awards as well as the Hugh Mellon Excellence in Research Award, Ontario Volunteer Award, and Jeff Wilbee Award for leadership in the field of addiction.
Lorral is a registered psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She has an MA in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and a postgraduate diploma in Addictions Treatment and Prevention from Georgian College. Over her 20+ year career, she has worked in the field of addiction and mental health in a variety of capacities including residential, hospital, and outpatient settings providing both short-term and long-term therapy. Lorral has worked with diverse client populations including those with concurrent disorders, mandated clients, women and children, cross-cultural populations, couples, and family members. She has also designed and delivered training workshops for healthcare professionals and has experience in the management of government initiative projects. Presently, Lorral is living and working in the Cayman Islands providing therapy to individuals, couples, and families. A career highlight for Lorral occurred in 2018 when she launched her online private practice www.healthecounselling.ca offering video, phone, and chat therapy sessions to those aged 18 and over residing in Ontario.
Kari-Anne has a specialization in children’s mental health and working with preschool to adolescent aged children and youth, treating mood and other mental health issues. Kari-Anne appreciates and uses creative and play-based adapted cognitive behaviour therapy and other best practice, evidence-based modalities. Kari-Anne works in full-time private practice at Qualia Counselling Services working with a range of issues including anxiety, OCD, depression and trauma. Within her clinical practice, Kari-Anne takes a collaborative and strengths-based approach by encouraging individuals to recognize their own resilience, skills and expertise. Kari-Anne also has a passion for visual arts and the role that they can play in helping individuals find healing. Her calm and warm demeanor helps to make clients feel welcome and safe.
Dara is a reproductive counsellor and founder of Informed Fertility, a Toronto-based counselling service specializing in family building and providing services across Canada. In practice since 2000, Dara’s focus includes reproductive counselling and mental health support, as well as research, advocacy and education. Dara works with individuals, couples and groups, drawing from numerous therapeutic models, positive psychology and coaching methodologies. She works closely with clinics and affiliated professionals across Canada and the U.S., as well as with international patients from around the world coming to Ontario for fertility treatment.
In her daily practice, Dara supports people through the profound emotions of infertility and loss, provides grief and relationship counselling, pragmatic decision-making guidance, help in developing effective coping and stress reduction strategies, and in building resilience and boundaries. She is committed to supporting those using assisted reproduction due to sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship status or underlying medical conditions. Dara counsels people freezing gametes for social, identity and medical reasons, intended parents undergoing IVF, using donors and/or surrogates, those embarking on co-parenting arrangements, and adults navigating the complexities of being donor conceived. She conducts assessments for donors and surrogates, provides mediation between parties when conflicts arise, and facilitates patient support groups. Once pregnancy is achieved, she is available for ongoing support through this stage, into post-partum and parenting.
Dara is committed to providing services that are inclusive, empathetic, personalized and helpful, informed by her educational background and years of clinical and research experience, and inspired by her own long journey with infertility, IVF and ultimately, surrogacy. She works closely with professional and community organizations and is a regularly invited consultant and speaker at conferences, workshops, community organizations, university campuses and fertility clinics. She is actively involved in government consultations, beginning in 2002, when she delivered an invited presentation to the Canadian Legislature House of Commons, Standing Committee on Health, in regard to Bill C-13 (legislation that led to the Assisted Human Reproductive Act), to when she was an invited witness at the Ontario Legislature in 2016, presenting before the Standing Committee on Social Policy regarding Bill 28 (the All Families are Equal Act). In the years between and on an ongoing basis, Dara is involved in numerous other government consultations, as well as industry research and professional education, sits on the Ethics Committee of a large Toronto fertility clinic and is the Chair of the Counselling Special Interest Group (CSIG) of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS).
Dara holds a Master of Social Work degree (MSW) from the University of Toronto and Bachelors’ Degrees from York University (BSW) and McGill University (BA). She is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and the Saskatchewan Association of Social Worker (RSW), a member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), as well as ASRM’s Mental Health Professionals Group (MHPG).
She is also a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW), and a professional member of Fertility Matters, a patient support and advocacy group.
Dara lives in Toronto, Ontario with her partner, two daughters (both carried by gestational surrogates
after her long journey with infertility) and two dogs. For more information, go to: www.informedfertility.ca.
Andrew is the founder and director of Broadleaf Health, a multi-disciplinary emotional and behavioural care clinic in Ontario. Dr. Ekblad has been intensively trained by Dr. Edna Foa, PE treatment developer. He holds certification as both a PE trained therapist and PE trained consultant, indicating the heightened training and demonstration of skills required for these levels of certification through the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. He has over 15 years of clinical and research experience in the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) through dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). Dr. Ekblad leads educational seminars and workshops for hospital, university, and community mental health practitioners throughout Canada. He has conducted trainings on PE to a range of groups including clinicians based in hospitals, and clinicians based in military contexts (e.g., on Canadian Forces Bases) Dr. Ekblad has presented original research at international conferences and published academic articles on DBT, BPD, emergency department care of suicidal patients, substance abuse, mindfulness and mentoring. He is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at McMaster University. Dr. Ekblad received his PhD in clinical psychology from Duke University.
Melissa (she/her) is a registered social worker (RSW) with a BA in psychology and anthropology, master of social work, a master of arts in anthropology and a PhD in anthropology. She is a play therapy intern and member of the Canadian Association for Play Therapy. Melissa is the founder and owner of Bloom: Child & Family Therapy in Waterloo and Kitchener, an ultra-creative evidence-based group practice in children's mental health and family well-being, as well as co-owner of Mel & Kel Co. that focuses on women’s health, relationships and community. Melissa has received multiple awards for her research, which has been implemented in hospitals, schools and counseling agencies. She has published a book and several academic journal articles. Melissa has taught courses at Western University, Wilfrid Laurier University and Sheridan College, and spoken at academic and community forums. Melissa has worked with neurodiverse adults, children and youth for over five years in therapeutic settings and in research and advocacy for over 15 years. Along with working in the field, Melissa is neurodiverse and is raising three neurodiverse children.
Charity is a cognitive behaviour therapist with many years of experience specializing in CBT for trauma, Indigenous adapted, and cognitive behaviour play therapy. She is president and CEO of Qualia Counselling Services, which has CBT clinics across Southern Ontario, and partners with Wilfrid Laurier University to offer the cognitive behavioural therapy program. Charity is passionate about working with priority populations, especially using CBT in flexible ways to deliver mental health interventions that result in real change. Charity identifies as Indigenous and is passionate about and focuses much of her CBT work and training on helping Indigenous people heal from historical trauma. Charity also serves as the Indigenous Director of Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and was recipient of the Ontario Association of Social Workers Inspirational Leader Award in 2023.
Sue is a clinical social worker living, teaching, and practicing in Waterloo, Ontario. With over 35 years of practice, Sue views the world through a trauma informed lens and embraces ongoing opportunities for integrating theory and practice. Sue teaches at a variety of universities and is an Associate with Cardinal Counselling and Mediation in Waterloo. Sue is a mother, daughter, partner, and friend who views learning as a lifelong endeavour and tries her very best to live a balanced life!
In partnership with Sandy Jardine, Sue develops and delivers workshops to various agencies, professionals, and community groups.
Maria is a registered social worker and practices psychotherapy with clients ages 16+, addressing a diverse array of presenting issues. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from Calvin University, a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. In addition to psychotherapy practice, her career has also involved teaching English internationally, and working in refugee resettlement and refugee and newcomer mental health in a variety of capacities in both the United States and Canada. Maria began to study and train in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) during her MSW, and quickly became passionate about the model. While she has trained in a variety of models, ACT has remained foundational to her practice of psychotherapy from day one, and she has engaged in ongoing training and study of the model. She has been a member of the KW-Guelph ACT Consultation Group since 2016, and has been a co-facilitator/coordinator of the group since 2018. Maria deeply values and strives to embody compassion, curiosity, respect, and authenticity in her therapy practice.
Amar Ghelani is a registered social worker, PhD candidate, and instructor with the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Social Work. He has 16 years of experience supporting individuals, families, and groups with complex mental health concerns in addiction treatment, prisons, shelters, schools, mobile crisis, outpatient mental health, and healthcare settings. His research focuses on cannabis and mental health, psychosis, trauma, crisis intervention, harm reduction, recovery, and psychosocial assessment/therapy. He has specialized training in CBT, DBT, and suicide intervention, as well as a certificate in trauma counselling.
Amar's research is published in leading academic journals, including Clinical Social Work, Early Intervention in Psychiatry, Psychosis, and Health and Social Work. He has received numerous awards and grants for his research, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship. He has presented at various conferences and is passionate about teaching professionals in the mental health field.
Carolyn has an extensive amount of crisis-oriented and outpatient experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families for over 15 years. Among other specialties like mood disorders, substance use disorder and suicidal ideation, Carolyn is a trauma specialist with extensive training in a variety of settings (police services, child welfare, mental health clinics). Carolyn takes pride in providing evidence-based interventions. She participated as a research assistant in the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect, 2008 (CIS-2008). She has published a peer reviewed book chapter and articles on these topics. Carolyn has also taken on leadership and training opportunities, including acting as a field instructor for social work students and doing presentations on research findings and mental health in the workplace.
Sarah has over 10 years clinical experience working with clients across the life span, specializing in child and adolescent mental health in both acute care and outpatient settings. Sarah has been a vital part of the Qualia Counselling and teaching team since the clinic first opened.
Cara is a registered social worker, social work educator, and holds a certification in thanatology. Cara has a private practice where she works with individuals of all ages and families facing issues such as grief, traumatic loss, PTSD, violence, and mental health challenges. Cara is a lecturer in the Thanatology and Disability programs at King’s University College, Western University, and at the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. Cara’s doctoral research focused on the grief and mourning experiences of people labelled with intellectual developmental disabilities. Cara was the team lead for the development the Intellectual Disability and Grief module for Canadian Virtual Hospice (mygrief.ca). Cara has had the privilege to work with many children, youth, families and students throughout her more than 30 years in practice. Her work with MADD Canada’s Youth Victims of Impaired Driving has spanned over 15 years, and in 2017 Cara was awarded MADD Canada’s Citizen of Distinction Award for this ground-breaking program. Cara has also developed and facilitated numerous community-based bereavement support programs, including: Missing Pieces: The Grief Puzzle (in partnership with local school boards); T.L.C. for Kids; P.A.L.S. (Peer Adolescent Loss Support); and Growing Through Grief for young adults.
Jennifer is one of Qualia Counselling's leading cognitive behavioural therapists, specializing in CBT for children, adolescents and families and working within Indigenous communities. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, child, youth and family major, from the University of Guelph and a Master of Social Work degree and CBT certificate from Laurier. Additionally, Jennifer has a background in human development and has worked extensively alongside individuals with developmental disabilities, providing both individual and group support. Jennifer is also closely affiliated with Crane Lake Discovery Camp, where a wilderness therapeutic approach is used to reach at-risk youth with various mental health and behavioural challenges. Jennifer's passion for child and adolescent mental and developmental health has been a driving force in her social work career.
Sandy is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University and has been a clinical social worker for more than 20 years. She is a Maritimer through and through and an Acadian in her roots.
Sandy is a Clinical Traumatologist and is trained in critical stress management and compassion fatigue/secondary traumatic stress. She facilitates debriefs to various groups and in various settings, from hospitals to local agencies to first responder workplaces. She provides education and training to workplaces across the country as a trainer and consultant.
In partnership with Sue Gallagher, Sandy develops and delivers workshops to various agencies, professionals, and community groups. She is the owner of her private counselling practice in Kitchener, where she specializes in trauma-focused work.
Leah Jeffery currently works as a clinical manager within the developmental sector and is a part-time professor at Georgian College in the interprofessional mental health program. With a Masters degree in social work, she has spent the last 20 years in the field of human services. Specializing in complex trauma and mental health, Leah has worked with a number of mental health and developmental service agencies providing crisis and trauma services. She has a part-time private practice where she offers psychotherapy to adults with a variety of mental health issues through Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT). As a Mental Health First Aid trainer since 2001 and trainer with Safeguards Training, she has provided training and consultations across the province in the areas of trauma and trauma informed care, dual diagnosis, ACT and Mental Health. Outside of work, Leah loves to spend time with her four children and husband and for self care, Leah finds rejuvenation surrounded by nature with a good book in hand!
Veena is an individual, couples and family therapist. She is also an experienced clinical supervisor. Veena has been providing clinical supervision since 2003; she is a CAMFT Approved Supervisor, and has been teaching clinical supervision courses and workshops for more than 12 years.
Veena has a particular interest in anti-oppressive practice (AOP). She has worked extensively with new immigrants, refugees and Indigenous peoples in helping them reclaim their lives from the effects of oppression and trauma. She has also provided workshops and trainings in anti-oppressive practice.
Veena graduated from the Couple and Family Therapy program at the University of Guelph in 2000. She has largely worked within the non-profit service sector, as Director of Training, Multicultural and Trauma Services at K-W Counselling Services, where she directed the intern training program for more than 12 years. She spent a couple of years working in the remote isolated communities of the Western Arctic region, and spent some time in Belarus, working with Doctors without Borders.
Dr. Sarosh Khalid-Khan is an adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. In addition to her previous administrative and research roles in the department, she has been involved in spearheading and co-developing the Family Therapy Training Program in the Division of Child and Youth Psychiatry as well as the dialectal behaviour therapy (DBT) program. Dr. Khalid-Khan completed her adult psychiatry residency training at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, affiliated hospital of University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy. She completed her Child and Adolescent Psychiatry residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, previously the Philadelphia Child Guidance Centre where Salvatore Minuchin initiated and formalized structural family therapy. Dr. Khalid-Khan received family therapy training at the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Centre under Dr. Marion Goldberg who trained directly under Minuchin and adapted Minuchin’s model to ecosystemic structural family therapy (ESFT). In the past few years, Dr. Khalid-Khan has been collaborating with her colleague Patricia Marchand in teaching psychiatry residents and social work students the ESFT model. Part of Dr. Khalid-Khan’s research involves looking at outcomes of DBT and ESFT.
Annette has a master’s degree in social work, is a registered marriage and family therapist and is an advanced attachment focused therapist. She has worked in children’s mental health for over 30 years as a therapist, supervisor, manager and clinical director. She was the owner/director of the Leaside Therapy Centre, a multi-discipline clinic in Toronto, for 10 years. She has had a private practice for over 30 years. She specializes in attachment focused therapy for adults, couples, adolescents and adoptive families.
Annette has received advanced training in attachment focused therapy and has been a member of an advanced consultation group in this model of therapy. She is trained to score the Adult Attachment Interview. She offers consultation to mental health agencies and consultation/supervision to individual professionals and provides training on child and adult attachment to organizations, including Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Social Work, SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health, Safeguards, Mission: Empowerment.
Annette has written and published two books: It’s Attachment: a New Way of Understanding Yourself and Your Relationships and Secure Parent, Secure Child: How a Parent’s Attachment Shapes the Attachment of the Child. Both are published by Guernica Editions and available on Amazon and Caversham Books. Her first book has been translated into Chinese and will be into Arabic and Spanish.
Kat is in private practice as a drama therapist in Connecticut, USA, where she focuses on doing embodied work with folx who have traumatic life experiences. Kat also develops content for Greenleaf Integrative, a consulting organization specializing in burnout prevention for helpers and healers. She has served as faculty at New York University and the Kint Institute, focusing on cultural awareness and intersectionality in creative arts therapy. She is the past Director of Secondary Education for ALIVE/Miss Kendra Programs through the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, CT.
Patricia received her Bachelor of Arts in political science with a specialization in women’s studies at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University. She later completed her Bachelor of Social Work at McGill University and completed her Master of Social Work at the University of British Columbia.
Patricia has worked in oncology and palliative care at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Military Family Resources Centre during the Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, and currently works at Hotel Dieu Hospital site with Kingston Health Sciences Centre in Kingston, Ontario where she is an adjunct lecturer in the department supervising Residents and Fellows in the art of family therapy.
Working through the lens of trauma, Patricia uses a plethora of therapies such as ecosystemic structural family therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (individual and group based), emotion focused family therapy, interpersonal therapy (IPT), emotion focused therapy, eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) and brainspotting.
Patricia has a core belief that families can heal and need skilled committed people to help them along the path to wellbeing. Teaching these skills are a privilege and she hopes to ignite this passion to anyone who seeks to grow their knowledge base in family therapy.
Patricia also has a private practice in Kingston, Ontario.
Alison is a social worker and psychotherapist who provides psychotherapy and coaching at her group practice. Over her years in practice, Alison has developed an interest in mentoring and supporting other therapists, which is derived from her experience in creating and growing her own practice. A researcher and planner by nature, Alison developed The Practice Companion as a resource to support therapists in building and growing their practices. She has used her experience and knowledge to create resources that are informed by her mistakes, her successes and the lessons she has learned along the way.
In addition to her clinical work and practice-support, Alison has been a professor and guest lecturer for post-secondary students in the fields of social work, professional practice and psychology. She provides corporate training and facilitates workshops on various topics such as self-care, managing life changes, mental health, communication skills and compassion fatigue. Alison has been a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers since 1995 and is committed to supporting fellow social workers achieve success in private practice while remaining mindful of their self-care as they balance the roles of clinician and business owner.
Christine is a registered psychotherapist, registered drama therapist and board certified trainer with experience teaching drama therapy methods nationally and internationally. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, where she specializes in critical and anti-racist approaches to trauma-informed school interventions and in arts-based approaches.
Christine has taught for Lesley University in their expressive therapies program, for Laurier in their social work program, and was the co-director of a post-graduate drama therapy certificate program in the U.S. She serves as the associate editor of Drama Therapy Review, the official peer-reviewed journal of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) and has published multiple articles and book chapters on critical approaches to trauma and the use of drama therapy and the arts for social action, clinical practice, and in school-based settings.
Prior to completing her doctorate at Laurier, Christine worked as the Director of Public Health and Social Policy at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, Connecticut, where she led a multi-city trauma-centered drama therapy program in the schools called ALIVE. In addition to specializing in the use of drama therapy with those who have experienced trauma, she has expertise in using the arts with youth, school-based settings and in social justice work.
Kelly is a passionate and highly experienced therapist specializing in personal and sexual development. As a certified sexologist, relationship therapist, owner, and clinical director of Bliss Counselling & Psychotherapy, she has empowered countless individuals and couples to cultivate blissful lives and relationships. With a strong academic background and extensive knowledge of human sexuality, Kelly brings a wealth of expertise to her role as an instructor. Her impressive credentials include degrees in psychology and sociology, a master's in forensic sexology, an MBA in healthcare administration and additional training in EMDR therapy, couples therapy, and sex therapy. Kelly's expertise and recognition in the field have led to features in reputable publications and hosting her own talk show. With a commitment to guiding transformative journeys of self-discovery, Kelly is dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of sex therapy and equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the field.
Shaun has over 20 years of experience working especially with children and adolescents as well as adults, caregivers and families. Shaun’s specialty and focus has been in education, mental health, cognitive behaviour therapy and psychological/psych-ed assessment and treatment. Working for a variety of school boards and clinics, Shaun has been fiercely committed to his own and others’ education from the primary to post-graduate stages; teaching at elementary, university and post-graduate levels. Shaun currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta.
Dena is a registered psychotherapist and holds a master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in traumatic bereavement. For 24 years, Dena provided individual and family counselling to those grieving the loss of a loved. She is a founding member of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) and the local chapter for Bereaved Families of Ontario. Dena has recently retired from her private practice in order to focus on teaching others what so many have taught her. As the professional consultant for WRSPC, she trains and supervises clinicians working with those who have suffered a traumatic loss. Dena works closely with local agencies as well as agencies throughout the province to establish standards of care in the field of complicated grief. It is Dena’s personal experience with loss which complements her knowledge and understanding of the challenges of grief.
Janet is a registered social worker and is currently working as the clinical director for Body Brave, Eating Disorders Treatment Centre and is in private practice at Qualia Counselling Services. Janet has been practicing in the field of social work and held positions on executive teams across community healthcare, acute healthcare and in long-term care settings. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education in adult education from Brock University, and undergraduate degree from University of Waterloo. Additionally Janet has obtained her CBT certificate in Trauma.
Janet has a passion for teaching and has taught, both in person and virtually, at Laurier in the undergraduate social work program: Introduction to Social, Values and Practice and Ethical, Legal and Financial Issues in Case Management at McMaster University. Currently, Janet is on the faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and is a longitudinal facilitator.
For the past 35 years, Michelle has worked through the continuum of care in the addiction field. She has achieved certifications in gambling, gaming and addictions. She is also a registered Social Service Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and a member of the Ontario Social Service Worker Association. Michelle is currently working at The Residence at Homewood as an Addiction and Recovery Management Specialist and Digital Lead.
Michelle has been intrigued with problem gambling since 1989 and has had the pleasure to work in all areas of the gambling field throughout her career: treatment, prevention and research. She was a co-investigator on a research project titled A Comprehensive Review of Problem Gambling Self-Assessment Tools for Use on an Internet Platform and was honoured to present the findings at the 15th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking in Las Vegas.
Michelle has been fascinated with relapse prevention throughout her career and has proclaimed that “relapse prevention is the cornerstone of addiction counselling.” She has developed relapse prevention programs for gambling and substance use. She also facilitates mindfulness-based relapse prevention programs for addictive behaviours. She is currently facilitating a virtual group (Road to Recovery), which explores key relapse concepts.
Michelle is passionate in promoting digital wellness through mindfulness. She is a freelance writer/contributor for https://mindful.technology and a community expert with INTENTA. She engages with graduates of the INTENTA Gaming Disorder Clinical Training by initiating discussions, answering questions, sharing clinical experiences and resources.
Michelle has also co-authored a book My Parent’s Aren’t NOOBS! This heartfelt story for children and parents highlights the importance of technology (video games) with today’s generation of youth and promotes healthy video gaming habits.
Michelle has presented on gambling, gaming, shopping, technology and substance use at a variety of forums throughout her career.
Marg is a social worker with over 30 years of clinical experience working in the mental health field. Since 1999, she has been a part-time faculty member with Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, teaching clinical courses on individual and group therapy and mindfulness models, as well as providing a variety of workshops through the faculty’s Professional Development office. She has been a social work field advisor for Laurier, a sessional instructor at Renison University College’s School of Social Work and has acted as a field supervisor for many students over the years. Marg also sees clients and provides clinical consultation through her private practice.
In 2016, Marg initiated a local consultation/study group for professionals interested in learning more about acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a topic she has presented on at the international level and provided customized training for a variety of community organizations. As well, she contributed to, and developed, eating disorders treatment, prevention and professional development services in the Waterloo region, previously as co-founder of the Eating Disorders Awareness Coalition, a non-profit charity. Marg’s current research interests are related to the impact of mindfulness practice on new social work practitioners. She has published on that topic as well as on motivational interviewing with teens, self-esteem enhancement groups, families whose loved ones have an eating disorder and mother-daughter relationships, and has conducted workshops on numerous topics across Canada. In another life, she is also an award-winning quilt artist whose work has been selected for exhibition in local museums as well as national and international exhibitions.
Bridget has an abundance of experience as a seasoned clinician helping others, especially using her skills as a certified cognitive behaviour and dialectical behaviour psychotherapist. Bridget has a profound passion for working with priority populations, such as individuals with acute mental health concerns, those with histories of trauma, the Indigenous population, and women in the corrections system. Bridget is also passionate about bringing the power of her post graduate training in Compassionate Inquiry (where she studied directly under Dr. Gabor Maté) to her clients and students.
Frank Pew is a registered social worker and psychotherapist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of adolescence, transitional-aged youth (18-25) and adult mental and emotional health. Over the past 15 years, Frank has worked in a variety of outpatient mental health care settings in Canada and the USA. His career started off in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he worked in community mental health and specialized in crisis intervention. After relocating to Guelph, he continued working in community mental health as a crisis worker for several years at Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo and Wellington (CMHA WWD) formerly know as Trellis Mental Health.
After completing his Masters of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2013, he worked as the clinical lead at CMHA WWD where he pioneered the development of one of the largest DBT-informed programs in Ontario. Frank has been in private practice since 2016 and is the founder/director of Pew Psychotherapy, a boutique psychotherapy practice in downtown Guelph that specializes in the provision of evidence-based treatment interventions for emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, anxiety, depression and OCD.
Frank is intensively trained in several evidence-based treatment modalities, such as dialectical behaviour therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, prolonged exposure, acceptance and commitment therapy and exposure and response prevention. Throughout his clinical career he has gained extensive experience working with trauma survivors, and people with borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, addictions, suicide, and non-suicidal self-injury.
Vi is a registered social worker with a certificate in diversity, equity and inclusion from Cornell University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto. She has been practicing for over a decade as a social worker, providing direct service and policy system change work. She comes with experience in post-secondary education, healthcare, the legal system and children services. As a child of refugee parents, Vi became inspired by her parents’ experience as Vietnamese boat people to pursue a career in social work. Her passion and experience in the field has focused on increasing and providing access to destigmatizing mental health services along with a focus on advancing equity, inclusion and diversity efforts to ensure compassionate, trauma-informed and person-centered care.
Through her 20+ year career journey working in financial services and higher education, Jennifer found her passion in working with leaders to develop both themselves and their teams.
Jennifer's areas of specialization include leadership development and coaching, workplace team coaching and development, and designing and delivering training. She is also an experienced process facilitator.
Jennifer has taught in the post graduate human resources program at Conestoga College in Kitchener, ON and professional development courses with the Canadian Human Resources Professional Association.
Her clients include Axonify, Bonfire Interactive, Cisco, Communitech, Dejero, Fiix Software, Geotab Inc., Magnet Forensics, Homewood Health, Listowel-Wingham Hospital Alliance, The Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Bank of Canada, Economical Insurance, Ryerson University and Wilfrid Laurier University/WLU Students’ Union.
Jennifer holds professional designations in both human resources (CHRL) and training and development (CTDP), in addition to certifications including Dare to Lead™ (Brené Brown), team performance coaching (Team Coaching International), emotional intelligence practitioner (EQ in Action), Everything DiSC Workplace™ (Wiley Publishing), Crucial Conversations™ (Vital Smarts) and Personality Dimensions™ (Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc.). She also recently completed her workplace coach certification training through the International Coaching Academy (Australia).
In addition to her numerous certifications, Jennifer holds both an undergraduate degree and business diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo) and a master’s certificate in organizational development and change from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, ON.
Melissa is a registered social worker with over 15 years experience in the field of mental health and addiction counselling. She has experience working in both the public and private sector. Melissa has held various positions in Grand River Hospital's Adult Outpatient Mental Health and Addiction program delivering individual and group therapy. In addition to her experience with crisis and acute mental health interventions, Melissa has also worked in private clinics and now owns her own private practice where she offers a number of evidence-based modalities (CBT, DBT, EMDR, IFS) to best serve clients anywhere along the continuum of mental health and wellness.
Melissa has completed her professional coaching certification (PCC) with the International Coaches Federation. With a hat tip to Johan Hari concept of rat park, Melissa believes that rehumanizing workplaces by deepening relationships and connecting to purpose can help foster resiliency around mental health and substance misuse. Melissa is particularly passionate about coaching front-line care providers for sustainability in careers with high rates of burnout.
Melissa holds a BA (Hons) in psychology from York University and a Masters of Social Work from Laurier. As a continual learner, Melissa is certified in the Daring Way™ (highly experiential methodology in developing shame resiliency based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown) and loves teaching and learning from new students.
Maxxine Rattner was the founding social worker at Kensington Hospice; for a decade, she attended to the complex psychosocial and practical support needs of diverse patients and their families, and coordinated and implemented the hospice’s bereavement support program.
Currently, Maxxine writes, teaches, provides clinical supervision and training, and does research and advocacy work on palliative and end-of-life care, non-physical suffering, and grief. Her work seeks to create more space within palliative care literature and practice for the harder parts of living with, and dying from, a life-limiting illness, and to support patients, families and clinicians with these aspects.
Maxxine holds an MSW from the University of Toronto, a post-graduate certificate in palliative and end-of-life care from the Smith College School for Social Work, and a PhD in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a Psychosocial Specialist with Canadian Virtual Hospice’s clinical team, a founding member of the Canadian Grief Alliance, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care.
Susan is a social worker and is a currently working as a clinical lead with Qualia Counselling Services. Sue has been practicing in the field of social work primarily in healthcare and mental health. Sue specializes in CBT for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She holds a Master of Social Work and Master of Education from the University of Toronto and a CBT certificate from OISE and Wilfrid Laurier. Sue’s passion and experience as an advocate for her clinical work has evolved to include mentoring and educational roles within Qualia and community clinicians.
Susan has experience and training in many areas including CBT, CBT and anxiety, CBT for mental health, CBT for children, CBT for psychosis, CBT for trauma, CBT for women’s reproductive mental health and CBT for voice hearers. Susan teaches CBT in a variety of contexts and areas including workshops, lectures, courses including online, remotely and in person.
Ian currently works as a consultant and educator for community-based organizations and hospital systems to establish high-quality trauma-informed standards of care and effective service delivery approaches. He provides clinical training in trauma, mental health and addictions best practices. Ian also provides clinical supervision to therapists who operate in private practice and within community-based agency settings. Ian worked for many years as the Regional Clinical Supervisor for Addictions and Mental Health at the Niagara Health System. Ian has been a speaker at international, national, provincial and regional conferences and an organizational trainer in the clinical areas of substance abuse, trauma, concurrent disorders, mental health, youth at risk, youth threat assessment, motivational interviewing, organizational trauma-informed practices, vicarious trauma, trauma and mindfulness, polyvagal and structural dissociation theory and CBT for frontline workers. He has completed his certification as a advanced clinical supervisor from Smith College, School of Social Work in MA, USA. Ian also owns and operates a private practice in Niagara.
Laurie enjoys working at the policy and service system level of care for all people and is a strong advocate for implementing trauma-informed service systems in Canada. Laurie completed both her BSW and MSW at the University of Calgary and started her career as a youth worker and clinical social worker in both child welfare and children’s mental health sectors. Later in her career, Laurie moved into administrative positions as director of services and acting executive director. Laurie has been consulting since 2011 and enjoys working with a variety of organizations and employers in the broader non-profit sector and government. Presenting and training others on trauma-informed theory and practice is a true passion. Initially trained on the sanctuary model of trauma-informed care, Laurie has since pursued extensive study on a variety of approaches that cover all service sectors, including mental health, addictions, developmental services and the justice system to name a few. Laurie’s early experience as a clinician keeps her interested in trauma specific interventions and cutting edge approaches in social work.
Kate is a practicing clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience, concentrating in child and adolescent mental health.
Kate worked as an individual, family and group therapist for 29 years at an outpatient hospital mental health clinic for children, adolescents and their families who experienced complex mental health concerns. She specializes in the areas of trauma, anxiety and depression, externalizing behaviours, attachment and relationship issues, family violence, and acute concerns and incorporates a variety of theoretical frameworks work and therapeutic modalities. In addition, Kate offered extensive consultation and numerous workshops to community partners. Kate currently has an active private practice where she works with youth, adults and their families of diverse family forms.
Kate has been a part-time educator at the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University for 23 years, teaching a variety of courses for the graduate program including; Introduction and Advanced Family Therapy, Reflexive Practices, Ethics, Crisis Intervention, Integrating Theory and Practice and Group Therapy and for the undergraduate program, Social Work Practice with Children and Families. Kate also taught Addictions and Mental Health at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo.
Ceilidh is a certified child life specialist and an assistant professor in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care at McMaster University. Since 2001, Ceilidh’s research, clinical work and teaching have focused on supporting children and families living with a child’s or parent’s serious illness, dying or death. Her research has been focused on lived experiences of illness and grief with an emphasis on communication and relationships from the perspectives of young people and their parents.
Sarah has spent the last 16 years working within the gender-based violence (GBV) movement in Ontario. As a white, non-binary, queer, middle class, settler and survivor they strive to be responsive and accountable to the ways their positionality impacts how they show up to gender justice and trauma healing work. With roles across nearly a dozen organizations and initiatives focused on responding to issues of gender-based violence, they have extensive experience working with individuals (and their supports) who have experienced interpersonal, institutional or state violence. Sarah uses trauma counselling, group work, advocacy, education, systems work, non-punitive accountability models, facilitation, art projects and activism as paths to challenge sexual violence and create safer and more accountable communities. They have delivered speeches and facilitated discussions nationally and internationally on gendered and sexual violence, focused on trauma informed responses and strategies for prevention and alternative accountability practices.
Sarah is currently the Sexual Violence Response Manager at Wilfrid Laurier University, a consultant for both profit and non-profit organizations, and a member of the advisory council for the Transformative Accountability & Justice Initiative.
Jennifer is a registered social worker with over a decade of eating disorder (ED) experience. She completed her PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University with a focus on mothers’ experiences of having a child diagnosed with an ED. Jennifer is one of the few clinicians in Canada that is a certified Family Based Treatment (FBT) clinician for pediatric EDs.
Jennifer’s professional experiences vary from inpatient mental health, intensive outpatient, community, and private practice settings. She has worked in both adult and adolescent eating disorder populations and is trained in various evidence-based modalities for eating disorders.
Jennifer is also a contract faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University and Yorkville University, where she teaches clinically-oriented courses. Jennifer also has a private practice where she works with families and youth, and provides supervision to clinicians. Currently, Jennifer works at Grand River Hospital’s outpatient pediatric program as their program developer/evaluator and clinical lead.
Michael is founder and director of the Strategic Change Group, a niche consulting firm that helps empower individuals, teams and community organizations to achieve their maximum potential and reach peak performance. Michael has over 20 years of experience working with individuals and teams to plan out, implement and track projects that help them improve their service delivery model, reduce costs, find efficiencies, or work more effectively together. He does this by bringing to bear over 20 years of experience in operational improvement, organizational design, process improvement, change management, Lean six Sigma and High Performance (and High Performance Team) coaching. He has managed over 113 projects of various sizes, planning and coaching teams to reduce costs, improve service levels, increase quality levels and transform their service delivery models.
Michael has set up project management offices, completed PMO audits, created numerous project controls across his 113+ projects, and managed projects ranging in size from $8,000 to $220 million.
Michael has led seminars on managing successful projects for the Project Management Institute, the Institute for Public Affairs of Canada, the University of Toronto, PAVRO and numerous others. Michael has his diploma in change management from Cornell University and has been certified in project management, ITIL v3 (IT Information Library) and Lean Six Sigma. Michael is working towards his certification in High Performance Coaching. Michael holds a Masters in International Economics from the London School of Economics.
Sarah is a registered psychotherapist, Canadian certified counsellor, and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner. She holds a trauma-focused masters in counselling psychology and has additional training in EMDR, Brainspotting, Deep Brain Reorienting, structural dissociation theory for ego state and parts work, Body Memory Recall, the Touch Skills Training for Trauma Therapists, the Somatic Resilience and Regulation – Early Trauma Training (touch for attachment rupture and repair), and trauma-focused equine-facilitated therapy and ecotherapy. She also weaves mindfulness and DBT-inspired skills as well as psychodynamic therapy, attachment-oriented psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, animal-assisted therapy and Indigenous principles into her work. She has been involved in the field of animal-assisted interventions since 2003, including the development of standards of practice, and is the creator of EQUUSOMA®, a training model incorporating Somatic Experiencing®, attachment theory, and polyvagal theory into horse-human interaction professions. Fluent in English and French, she is a sought-after trainer and frequently delivers trainings and workshops throughout the province and Canada on trauma-informed care and treatment. For more information, please visit sarahschlote.com and equusoma.com.
Washington Silk (they/them) is a registered social worker. They hold a BA in anthropology from the University of Lethbridge (2010) and a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University (2013). Wash is a passionate transgender and queer social worker with over 10 years of clinical and community experience. They are a white settler from Alberta. They have lived experience of ADHD and learning disabilities. Their life experiences informs their approaches and motivation for the work. Wash has focused their career on providing support that enhances people’s sense of wellbeing. Wash has been a trans care educator for the past six years with a focus educating social workers, mental health care providers, medical professionals and education professionals.
For over 20 years, and in various settings, Sylvie's work has included supporting those struggling with substance use, addiction and mental health challenges. In a full-time role in an outpatient community program, she provides individual and group counselling to people coping with substance use, gambling, video gaming and overuse of technology. In addition, she helps support family members who have loved ones dealing with these issues. Sylvie immensely enjoys working with university students struggling with substance use or having family members struggling with substances. She has facilitated the development of programs and sessions concerning various addiction issues. In addition, she presents education sessions to various clients, other health professionals and community partners. Sylvie has always had a particular interest in supporting families living with addiction. She believes it is vital to help families find support and healthier ways to cope.
Sylvie is a registered psychotherapist and a member of Ontario's College of Registered Psychotherapists. She has diplomas in social service work and drug and alcohol counselling and a BA in Social Development Studies. She has been instructing in the Addiction Certificate program at Laurier since its inception, which led to her completing her Master of Education in Adult Education. In the fall of 2019, she began Phoenix Rising Psychotherapy, her part-time work in private practice to support a broader range of people and utilize her training in The Daring Way™, a highly experiential methodology on the research of Dr. Brené Brown.
Jaisa is an occupational therapist with 15 years of experience in neuro-rehab. In 2010, a spinal cord injury led her to discover the benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion. She then went on to become a medical qigong and Chinese shamanic medicine practitioner and teacher of the mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindful self-compassion (MSC) programs.
Jaisa’s inspiring journey of healing is published in the book Purpose in Paralysis: From Chronic Pain to Universal Gain which became an Amazon bestseller. Jaisa now lives and works in Toronto where she teaches mindfulness, self-compassion and medical qigong at the Proactive Pelvic Health Centre and the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.
Hannah is a Certified Play Therapist, Supervisor, and an Approved Training Provider with Canadian Association for Play Therapy. She is a Certified Practitioner, Consultant and Trainer in Theraplay and DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy). Hannah has more than 30 years’ experience working with children and families who experience life challenges including developmental and emotional difficulties, trauma and loss. Hannah provides supervision and consultation to therapists and organizations, and conducts training workshops nationally and internationally. Hannah is also an author of children’s books and therapeutic games. www.hannahsunreid.com
Andrew is co-owner of Taylor Newberry Consulting (TNC), a company based in Guelph that specializes in helping non-profit groups make better use of research evidence. He is a program evaluation consultant with more than 20 years’ experience and has worked with a wide range of government departments, social service agencies, grassroots groups and foundations on program evaluation projects. He is also an experienced trainer. TNC’s approach to program evaluation employs a participatory, developmental approach and focuses on generating practical, useful information that can inform action. Andrew teaches program evaluation at the University of Guelph and acts as Resident Evaluation Expert at the Ontario Nonprofit Network.
Anna is a Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor with over 25 years’ experience in the social services. She trained extensively in Canada and abroad with a focus on feminist, narrative and collaborative therapies. She is a former Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Anna currently works in private practice in the GTA offering individual and couple therapy and clinical supervision to both new and seasoned therapists alike.
Lysa is a registered social worker and psychotherapist whose clinical focus for two decades has been grounded in the care of individuals and families living through grief and trauma, with a deepening focus on complex trauma and dissociative disorders in recent years. Prior to moving into full time private practice in 2018, her organizational work included positions with the Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre and the Hospital for Sick Children. In addition to her client work, Lysa also teaches, writes and offers clinical consultation. She has been engaged in contemplative practice in various streams of yoga and Buddhism for over two decades. Lysa is passionate about supporting people of all ages living through adversity, loss and trauma to give voice to their experiences and to discover their own innate wisdom and resilience.
Elisha is the founder of A Mindful Change, a private practice in Guelph that specializes in mindfulness-based practices and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). She also works with many southern Ontario agencies in the development, implementation, training and supervision of DBT within their programs. Over the last 18 years, Elisha has held many clinical and managerial roles within the mental health inpatient and community-based sectors. Within all her roles, Elisha has facilitated clinical implementations of DBT, as well as provided education, training and supervision in the practice of DBT, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and other evidenced-based interventions. In the last several years, Elisha has provided training and supervision at all levels of DBT within hospitals, live-in treatment homes, community outpatient and school-based programs. Elisha has a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and an Honours BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph.
As co-founder and president at Credence, Marg Van Herk-Paradis specializes in working with workplaces to address conflict, transform organizational culture and clarify organizational mission and vision through the use of creative tools. Having worked extensively across North America, Marg specializes in facilitation, coaching and mediation for groups and individuals. Marg has worked with universities, social service organizations, not-for-profits and a variety of faith-based organizations.
Marg’s professional experience includes over 25 years in not-for-profit organizations, of which 17 years were in a leadership position. She has a BA in applied social science from Concordia University in Montreal and recently completed a Masters degree at Conrad Grebel University College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo. Marg is a Qualified Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada and a member of the ADR Institute of Ontario. She is a certified MBTI trainer for individuals and groups.
Omer completed a general arts degree from King’s University College in 1999 and travelled overseas to teach English for a period of five years. He then completed his Bachelors of Social Work at King’s University College, University of Western Ontario and worked as an addictions/mental health counselor and then a program coordinator at Addiction Services of Thames Valley in London. He completed his Masters of Social Work also at King’s University College in 2009. In September 2011 Omer assumed the role of the Regional Coordinator of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Services of Southwestern Ontario, offering specialized case management to individuals with complex needs, often including addictions and/or mental health concerns, with a special interest in the correctional system. Omer was also the identified ABI system navigator for the Southwest Local Health Integration Network, working collectively with the other ABI system navigators by focusing on the service delivery system and addressing any gaps. Omer is currently a Coordinator of the Operational Stress Injury Clinic at St. Joseph's Health Care London – Operational Stress Injury Clinic at the Greater Toronto site.
Wanda has worked in the field of mental health and well-being for 33 years, as a social worker and administrator. Wanda has taught group work in the Master of Social Work program in the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University for 21 years and is committed to educating practitioners about the integration of theory and group counselling practice. Throughout her career she has maintained a counselling, coaching and consulting practice in addition to her administrative role.
With over 15 years of clinical experience, Sarah specializes in working with children, youth,
adults and families experiencing a variety of mental health challenges. Currently, Sarah has a private practice and works in a postsecondary environment providing brief interventions to students seeking mental health and well-being support. Sarah is trained in several therapeutic modalities including ACT, CBT, solution focused brief therapy, narrative therapy and creative arts therapies. Sarah is also an experienced researcher, writer and educator with a successful record of accomplishments designing, developing and facilitating award-winning educational curriculum for a variety of clinical audiences.
Barbara is a leader in children’s mental health and well-being with over 30 years’ experience in the field. Her training and knowledge of the impact of child and youth trauma has been a strong focus during her career as well as the interconnections between staff wellness and organizational trauma and stress. Barbara is currently employed by School Mental Health Ontario as an Implementation Support Coach and Learning and Training Portfolio Support. She is on secondment from her position of Mental Health Lead with the Waterloo Region District School Board, influencing the education system as it attends to student mental wellness. Her work in part is focused on equipping staff in schools with identity affirming resources for implementing everyday practices in schools such as brain calming strategies, self-regulation strategies and other universal practices to incorporate well-being into students’ lives. She also develops identity affirming resources to support school mental health professionals, and supports school boards across the province on implementation of these resources. Barbara’s work embeds anti-oppression throughout.Barbara previously served as the Director of Services, as well as a manager and a clinician in the Child and Family Therapy Program in a large children’s mental health organization in the Waterloo Region. She operationalized effective treatment and organizational interventions that attended to client and staff well-being, resiliency and trauma healing. Barbara currently has a private practice providing clinical supervision to practitioners, training and workshops, program development and individual sessions for clients.
Andrea is a registered psychotherapist whose passion lies in helping families and communities support people of all ages who are grieving the illness or death of someone close to them. With a degree in nursing, a Masters degree in thanatology (the study of dying and death) and years of nursing and counselling experience both in Canada and abroad, Andrea brings to her work a rare mixture of medical and psychosocial expertise.
For seven years Andrea was a grief counsellor at the Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre in Toronto, where she was also the director of Camp Erin Toronto, a free overnight bereavement camp. Andrea developed and teaches the five-day certificate program in Children’s Grief and Bereavement at SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health in Toronto, and was a founding member of Ontario’s Children and Youth Grief Network. She was also a founding board member of the Nightingale Centre for Grieving Children, Youth and Families in Guelph.
Andrea is a member of the clinical team at Canadian Virtual Hospice (CVH) where she responds to questions about children and grief asked by professionals and family members from across Canada. Andrea was the project lead for the development of CVH’s free online grief resources KidsGrief.ca and KidsGrief.ca for Educators.
Andrea lives in Guelph, Ontario, from where she runs Andrea Warnick Consulting, a group practice of over 30 therapists who provide grief therapy across Ontario and grief education across Canada.
Jennifer has been in the addiction counselling profession for 25 years and is currently working in her own private practice, Will Thrive Psychotherapy and Consultation. She graduated with a BA in psychology from Laurentian University, achieved a post-graduate diploma through Georgian College in the Addictions Treatment and Prevention program and has completed a Masters in Counselling Psychology. She has earned a certificate in cognitive behaviour therapy from McMaster University and is a registered member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Jennifer has enjoyed a diverse career in the addiction counselling field including group and individual counselling in both residential and intensive day treatment settings as well as in the community with substance dependent clients. Additionally, she specialized in the problem gambling/behavioural addiction field for over 15 years and has worked in both the public and private sectors.
Jennifer’s current work within her own practice has allowed her abundant opportunities in utilizing a cognitive behavioural therapy approach along with its therapeutic branches, with individuals suffering from anxiety, mood, trauma and addiction related struggles. Her work extends to couples and families and is offered both virtually and in-person.
Over her career, Jennifer has presented at conferences nationwide and has been regularly featured as a guest expert on multiple media platforms. She has developed and facilitated a number of workshops for helping professionals and adult learners, and has been a workshop facilitator with Wilfred Laurier since 2015.
Anathèle has been working as an occupational therapist since 2009, and in outpatient mental health since 2012. She is also a registered psychotherapist. She has specialized in evidence-informed care for severe and persistent mental illness, and now is working as a CBT clinician with the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Program, which seeks to increase access to mental health care for residents of Ontario. Working as a CBT clinician has provided her with the opportunity to work with a wide variety of persons in mental health. Now more than ever, the state of the world is highlighting the importance of access to quality and timely mental health care for everyone.