With over 20 years of experience as a clinical social worker, I continue to feel rewarded in my work of helping people build resilience and overcome adversity. I am passionate about addressing mental health stigma through healing conversations and education on the importance of improving access to mental health care. This has been both a personal and professional journey for me in bringing awareness to what it is like to live with mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
Before becoming a social worker, I studied cultural anthropology at McGill University and upon graduation left to explore the world and experience different cultures. I lived in Japan for almost 3 years where I studied the Zen arts and had my first taste of “mindfulness” and the "practice" of being in the present moment. From Japan I pursued my personal interest in Western Buddhism by going to live at the San Francisco Zen Centre where I studied meditation and Buddhist psychology for another 2.5 years. This experience was pivotal in my own healing from depression but I felt that there had to be some practical and accessible way to bring these insights into the world outside of the meditation centre and engage in work that helps people through their suffering, particularly from physical and mental health problems. This led me to pursue a career in social work and continue to explore this connection.
After graduating in 2000 from U of T, I worked as a medical social worker at St. Michael's Hospital, an inner city hospital in downtown Toronto for over 15 years in the departments of psychiatry, family practice, cancer care and palliative care. I worked with a diverse, inner city population, typical of Toronto, and learned to how to provide services that are sensitive to cultural, socio-economic, racial, and sexual diversity.
In the latter years, I worked as a counsellor in psychiatry where I developed an outpatient group psychotherapy program and ran CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) groups for anxiety, depression and trauma. I also developed a 4 week, trauma informed program called MAST (Mindfulness Awareness Stabilization Training) with the support of a Bell Grant to improve access to mental health care to marginalized populations.
In 2013 I opened my private practice which became a full-time practice in 2017. This has allowed me to develop my own “neuropsychotherapy” practice that is grounded in evidence-based practices and integrates cutting edge, neuroscience-based therapies such as EEG neurofeedback, mindfulness and body-oriented therapies.
Outside of my counselling practice, I stay engaged in the community at large through teaching, public speaking engagements and workshops on mental health, mindfulness, and the brain. I have served as faculty for the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program at University of Toronto, Lecturer for Adler Graduate Professional Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, U of T, and served as a Faculty Field Liaison for the Faculty of Social Work, U of T. .
If my background sounds like a good fit for what you seek in therapy, please feel free to reach out for a free initial 15 minute phone conversation. My approach to therapy is collaborative and based on your individual needs and situation. I look forward to hearing from you!