Having graduated from George Brown College with a diploma in Child Care Work (now better known now as Child and Youth Care [CYC] or Child and Youth Work [CYW], I worked for several years in children’s mental health care facilities. Working with children and understanding child development has been essential to my growth as a therapist of both children and adults. Recent research in neurobiology has provided the evidence for what I learned as a child therapist: our life experiences shape and mold our brains and our emotional lives.
I returned to school to pursue an undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies at York University. I wanted to understand how and why violence, particularly to children, is so predominant. The dynamics of power, who holds power and who doesn’t, was the focus of my studies, which led me to work more with adults who were marginalized due to poverty and mental health concerns.
My graduate work in Social Work at the University of Toronto focused on the experience of men who had experienced child sexual abuse, and the next phase of my life was dedicated to child sexual abuse issues. I was part of the community who created The Gatehouse Child Abuse Advocacy Centre. A first of its kind in Canada, The Gatehouse is a multi-service centre for people of all ages whose lives had been affected by child abuse. After a successful period as the Executive Director of The Gatehouse, I decided to start my private practice.
In addition to my university education, I also engaged in a private psychotherapy training program, focusing on a variety of psychotherapeutic theories and techniques. I embraced aspects of many theories that I felt would benefit my private practice. Traditions of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic approaches grounded me to explore more contemporary theory such as the intersubjective. I continue to explore current research and writing on neuropsychological theory, trauma theory, cognitive behaviour theory, and many others.