A mental health clinic for children, teens and young adults.
We help and heal using a combination of traditional therapies and natural wellness techniques.
Whole Heart Mental Health and Wellness was established in 2017 by Daisy Galeano, Nicole Filipe, and Dr. Stephanie Wiesenthal. Collectively, we have over 30 years’ experience working with children, adolescents, and families. Our mission is to help kids and their families live better lives.
Whole Heart is a collaborative team of experts from a wide field of specialities. Check out our amazing collective below!
Meet the team
Maya is a clinical social worker with experience working in various settings and with a broad age range of individuals. She currently works with older adults experiencing depression and anxiety at Baycrest Health Sciences, providing case management and counselling within the Psychiatric Day Hospital. She has previously provided individual counselling to students at York University and in high school settings. Maya has also worked with children and adolescents and their families as an academic tutor and as Camper Care Director at a summer camp in Nova Scotia.
Maya employs an eclectic, client-centred, and strengths-based therapeutic approach. She believes that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ way to provide support, as individuals express themselves and cope in different ways. As such, she is guided by the idea of meeting each client ‘where they are.’ Maya works collaboratively with clients to develop and work towards their goals, using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and mindfulness and grounding techniques.
Maya holds a Masters of Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in New York. She is registered in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
Claudine is a life coach who has worked in children’s mental health for over 15 years in school settings, agencies, and hospitals. She has always dreamed of being part of a wellness team that delivers holistic services and adds value to a community, and she is delighted to be part of Whole Heart.
Bridget is Paediatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in child and adolescent mental health. As a Nurse Practitioner, Bridget is able to provide diagnoses, order and manage medication, and provide psychotherapy. She feels all health care should be holistic and takes a client- and family-centred approach in her assessments and therapy sessions.
Bridget has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and their families, including those struggling with anxiety, obsessions and compulsions, gender diversity, attention deficit/hyperactivity, personality challenges, depression, autism, and eating disorders. She has a strong interest in the impact of sleep challenges on mental health. She understands the importance of identifying individual and family strengths and using these to foster overall wellness. Bridget believe nutrition, physical activity, and time in nature are essential components of health. She is passionate about the role of yoga in treatment of wellness and spends her free time on her mat, with her bunnies, or with family and friends.
Bridget has a Master’s Degree in Nursing and a Paediatric Nurse Practitioner certification from the University of Toronto. She started her nursing career as a Registered Nurse with adolescent medicine and psychiatry inpatient programs. She has worked in an eating disorders DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) program, paediatric sleep medicine program, and medical psychiatry program at top paediatric hospitals. Bridget has certification in both Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (including the use of CBT for insomnia) and has extensive experience providing child and adolescent psychotherapy. She provides parent coaching and family therapy, and holds certification in trauma informed and restorative yoga practices.
Anna has over a decade of counselling and psychotherapy experience. She started as a clinician at the Child Development Institute, primarily working with children who displayed aggression and supporting their families. She established her own individual private practice (Anna Ekins Counselling) in 2016 and joined the Whole Heart team in 2018.
Anna has worked with children, adults, and families with a variety of concerns such as anxiety, depression, trauma, attachment concerns, parental mental health concerns, pre- and postpartum support, grief and loss, and family dynamics.
Her training and experience includes various therapeutic modalities: Stop Now and Plan (SNAP), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), trauma-focused therapy, attachment-focused therapy, motivational interviewing, and solution-focused therapy.
Anna enjoys working with a diverse clientele. She welcomes individuals and families from all walks of life and is committed to incorporating an understanding and appreciation of clients’ realities (including race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion) into treatment. Anna has experience working with adoptive and foster families. She is also a registered clinician through the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Mental Health Counselling Services and the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP) through Health Canada.
Anna holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
Founder and Social Worker
Nicole has specialized in child and adolescent mental health for over thirteen years. She has worked hospital settings, and various schools and group homes across the Greater Toronto Area. Nicole has experience in facilitating mental health assessments, offering individual and family counselling, developing and carrying out care plans, and working alongside families, individual clients, and community partners.
Nicole works with a client- and family-centred point of view; building on the innate strengths and resilience that people bring to therapy. She believes wholeheartedly in fostering the overall wellness of an individual and embodies this in her practice; focusing on elements of the mind, body, and spirit. Some of Nicole’s most favourite times are hiking with her dog, on her yoga mat, cooking in the kitchen, and spending time with family and friends.
Nicole holds a Masters in Social Work from the accredited University of Windsor, a degree in Child and Youth Counselling, and a diploma in Child and Youth Care. She is registered and in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She holds a certification in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) from the Linehan Institute, and as a mind and body specialist. She has trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).
Therapeutic Martial Artist
Chris is a therapeutic martial artist who began his therapeutic career at Youthdale Treatment Centres. While working there, he came across the Integra Mindfulness Martial Arts Program and his dream of blending martial arts and therapy came true. Chris became a Sensei in the Young Warriors Program and the Mindfulness Martial Arts Program using the skills and techniques built in the Dojo to help improve the lives of children with emotion regulation issues and learning disabilities. Concurrently, Chris worked at the SNAP program as a Family and Child Worker helping teach emotion regulation as well as Parent Management Techniques to children and caregivers alike. He has since moved on to become a Senior Trainer/Community Facilitator helping build the SNAP program from the ground up across Canada. Chris is excited to begin taking on his own clients and use the skills built in his career to help children reach goals and regulate emotions.
Liz B. Gabison is a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Evaluator Fellow since 2007 and Return to Work Disability Manager with the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals. Liz Gabison is also a Registered Rehabilitation Professional since 2005 with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Human Biology, a Bachelor of Education degree, a Doctor of Chiropractic diploma, and a Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on Leadership. She is a certified functional and job site evaluator and served as a vocational expert for the Supreme Court of British Colombia, and as a member of the disciplinary board and a peer assessor for over 14 years for the College of Chiropractors of Ontario. She conducts Vocational Assessments with a focus on return to work and career enhancements.
Founder and Psychotherapist
Daisy is a warmhearted registered psychotherapist committed to helping children, youth, and their families. She has over fifteen years’ experience counselling, formulating behavioural modification plans, and facilitating skills workshops. Her diverse work background includes various settings: schools, residential, emergency departments, and acute in-patient psychiatric programs.
Daisy’s prime focus is children and youth with mental health disorders like anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, and suicidality. She draws from numerous treatment modalities and best practices, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and crisis intervention, which afford her the flexibility to meet a client’s unique needs.
Enthusiastic and creative in her therapeutic process, Daisy uses mindfulness, play, art, media, and physical activity to strengthen her therapeutic rapport. These activities establish trust and allow clients to freely, safely, and comfortably share their thoughts, feelings and struggles. She also uses these means to help them build the insights and skills they need to address challenges and overcome them.
Daisy cultivates a therapeutic relationship grounded in the belief that all people have innate virtues who are worthy and deserving of empathy and acceptance. She encompasses a strength-based and holistic framework to help facilitate pathways to self-fulfillment and wellness.
Daisy has a diploma with honours in Child and Youth Work with a certification in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy from the Linehan Institute. She is registered with the Ontario College of Psychotherapy and in good standing.
Daisy is happiest in the presence of her family and friends. She enjoys a a good book, travel, music, and mediative practices.
Laura is a psychotherapist who has been working in children’s mental health for the past 12 years. She has been a child and family therapist at children’s mental health agencies since 2012. She has extensive experience in individual, family, and group treatment. She supports families with children and youth who are struggling with issues like anxiety, sadness, feelings of anger, social struggles, attention and learning difficulties, family conflict, and behaviour challenges at home and school. Laura currently works at the Child Development Institute – Integra program where she focuses on therapy for mental health issues related to learning disabilities.
Laura explores how “big feelings” contribute to problems and challenging behaviours for children and youth. She uses a variety of therapeutic approaches to support children and youth in understanding and tolerating their emotions and in learning ways to regulate their feelings and behaviours. Laura recognizes that parent involvement is a key factor in promoting children’s mental health. She works with parents to navigate and respond to their children’s emotions and to promote parent-child relationships. She is passionate about including parents in therapy as much as possible.
Laura received her Masters of Science in Family Relations and Human Development from the University of Guelph and her Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology from OISE, University of Toronto. She has specialized training in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). She has also completed extensive training and supervision in Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) and Emotion Focused Skills Training (EFST) for Parents. Laura is a certified facilitator of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program and COPEing with Challenging Behaviours Parenting Program. She is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Sarah has spent the last ten years working with children, adolescents, and families in teaching and therapeutic roles, treating anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, life transitions, and trauma.
When she listens to clients’ stories, and begins to connect with who they are, Sarah is inspired by their resilience. She supports the change process and assists her clients as they meet their goals. As a clinical social worker and therapist, Sarah endeavours to create a safe space for healing, which includes incorporating an understanding and appreciation of clients’ realities (including race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion) into treatment.
Sarah’s primary approach is through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), trauma-focused therapy, and mindfulness. Through her strengths-based approach, she helps clients overcome obstacles, learn new coping skills, improve communication, and learn how to enjoy life more fully.
Sarah received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto and is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She is also a registered clinician through the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Mental Health Counselling Services through Health Canada.
Dr. Zoe Kichler
Dr. Zoe Kichler is a senior psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto who is completing a subspecialty in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has experience working in many mental health programs at various hospitals throughout Toronto and the GTA. She is interested in all areas of mental health, and particularly enjoys working with eating disorders
Dr. Gillian Kirsh
Dr. Kirsh is a licensed clinical psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders in children, adolescents, and adults.
Along with a private practice in North York, Dr. Kirsh oversees psychological treatment and psychoeducational assessments at Whole Heart Mental Health and Wellness. Since 2004, she’s held a position at North York General Hospital’s (NYGH) Eating Disorders Program. She was previously on staff at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinic at NYGH.
Dr. Kirsh completed her Specialized Honours degree in Psychology at York University in 1998. She received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Western University in 2000, and her Ph.D. in 2005. Dr. Kirsh completed her pre-doctoral internship training at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She focused on the assessment and treatment of anxiety; psychoeducational assessments for children with learning disabilities, ADHD, and head injuries; and research on adolescents with eating disorders. Dr. Kirsh completed a post-doctoral internship at The Hospital for Sick Children, where she conducted research and community outreach in the area of eating disorders prevention. Dr. Kirsh also worked in the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre and the Eating Disorders Program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton.
Erin is a psychotherapist who has worked in the field of mental health for more than 14 years. For the past 12 years she has worked in child and youth mental health at the Child Development Institute in Toronto where she has worked as a psychotherapist focusing on the treatment of anxiety, depression, stress, anger management, trauma, family dynamics and parenting. She has extensive experience with individual, family and group therapy.
Erin has been studying mindfulness and meditation for over 15 years. For the last 10 years she has been studying Tibetan Buddhist meditation. As a result of this study she has a strong meditation and mindfulness practice that is integrated into her life and her therapy approach, she is also a trained Meditation Instructor.
Erin uses a variety of therapy modalities to help children and caregivers to experience increased confidence, have better relationships and improved wellbeing. She works collaboratively with clients using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (somatic/body based therapy), Emotion Focused Family Therapy as well as trauma informed approaches.
Erin received her Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, she is in good standing with the college O.C.S.W.S.S.W. Erin has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as Sensorimotor and Emotion Focused Family Therapy. She has been a Guest Lecturer at the University of Toronto and co-facilitated workshops at the Mindful Society Conference.
Jack is a psychotherapist who has practiced in the public sector since 2013. His main areas of focus have been youth and families.
Jack helps individuals and families strive for the most hopeful outcomes of their therapeutic work. Through eight years of practice with adults, children, teenagers, and families of all walks of life, Jack has come to understand that we are always capable of learning and growing — no matter how stuck we might feel. Change is not only possible, but inevitable, and under the right circumstances, we can learn to channel our evolution in the direction we choose.
Jack practices mixed-martial arts and mindfulness meditation. He has six years’ experience as an instructor and has journeyed far and wide to train under specialized teachers in military and monastic contexts. He is an avid traveller, a clumsy (but enthusiastic) linguist, and a recklessly creative chef. He is proud to be a man who models emotional vulnerability and openness.
He received his Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto. Jack’s primary expertise involves tailoring experience-based therapies for youth who have complex or comorbid mental health diagnoses (learning disabilities, Autism (ASD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)). His preferred therapeutic modalities include Brief Solutions-Focused Therapy (BSFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapies, and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).
Ruth has over 13 years of experience working in mental health. She works within a client and family-centered approach viewing every individual and family as unique.
Ruth has worked in community, school and hospital settings, specializing in individual and family therapy, parent coaching, crisis support, and co-leading high conflict family mental health assessments and has over a decade of experience working at The Hospital for Sick Children within the Eating Disorders Program, Psychiatry Department and Transgender Clinic.
Ruth deeply enjoys and appreciates working with a diverse clientele and welcomes different family structures, ethnicities, religions and gender expressions. Ruth has vast clinical experience including working with anxiety, depression, emotional regulation, self-harming behaviour, complex mental health concerns, somatization, racial trauma, parent-child & family conflict and issues related to transgender youth and stigma related to obesity.
Ruth holds a Masters in Social Work from McGill University and was awarded a fellowship for her affirmed interest in working with children. She is registered in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association for Social Workers. Ruth holds a certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) from the McGill University Centre of Continuing Medical Education. She has training in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Systems Therapy and Family-Based Treatment for Eating Disorders in Adolescents.
Meaghan is a clinical social worker with 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families. She has experience working in child welfare, schools, and in a variety of hospital settings across the GTA and Durham Region. Meaghan has experience in offering individual and family counselling, collaborating and implementing care plans, completing crisis assessments, and creating safety plans, all while working alongside families, individual clients, and community partners.
Meaghan’s clinical experience includes working with school avoidance, learning challenges, anxiety, depression, emotional regulation, self-harming behaviour, complex mental health concerns, somatization, eating disorders, body image concerns, parent-child & family conflict, parent support and coaching, as well as navigating peer relations.
Meaghan works collaboratively utilizing a strengths-based, anti-oppressive, empathetic approach. She has a deep belief that individuals are the experts in their own lives and that her role in therapy is to create a safe space to explore their relationships and inner worlds.
Meaghan’s practice integrates her trainings in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Family Based Treatment (FBT), Narrative Therapy, and Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).
Meaghan holds a Master in Social Work from the University of Windsor, a degree in Child and Youth Counselling, and a diploma in Child and Youth Care. She is registered and in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Dr. Mandisa Nkungu
Mandisa Nkungu is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Formerly on staff at Michael Garron Hospital, she is now in private practice.
Ruby is a Toronto-based expressive arts facilitator and practicing visual artist. She recently completed the CREATE Institute’s Expressive Arts Therapy training program and is completing her final requirements to graduate.
Psychometrist (Ph.D Candidate)
Alex is a Masters-level therapist working under the supervision of Dr. Kirsh. Alex completed his Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Alberta in 2014. In 2017 he received his M.A., and he is currently completing his Ph.D. at York University in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology Program.
Alex has worked with a broad range of ages from children to adults with anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, learning difficulties, and autism. He has received clinical training in a variety of settings including the York University Psychology Clinic, the Toronto District School Board, the Hospital for Sick Children, and the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital.
Alex works from an integrative approach bringing together what he has learned from various sites and modalities in order to find what works best for each individual. Alex and Gillian Kirsh also conduct psychological assessments and bring the same curiosity and client-centered focus on the work they do in that domain.
Aliya is a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst and Ph.D. candidate (Behavior Science). Aliya specializes in mental health, psychiatric disorders, and developmental disabilities. Aliya has worked in pediatric tertiary care hospitals and Centers of Excellence, treating complex behavioral challenges with co-existing medical diagnoses.
MSW, RSW, RHN
Gillian is a clinical social worker, registered holistic nutritionist and mindfulness practitioner who has worked with children and families for almost twenty years.
She has experience working in child welfare, and at SickKids Hospital in Toronto working with children and their families struggling with anxiety, depression, somatization, adjustment to illness, school refusal and co-occurring mental and physical illness. At the same time, Gillian always had an interest in complementary health and the healing power of food, plants and nature as medicine, so she practiced holistic nutrition for many years before combining that with psychotherapy for a whole approach to wellbeing.
Gillian is formally trained in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Emotion-Focused Family Therapy, Brief-Solution Focused therapy, and Internal Family Systems, which she applies in a combination of ways with the clients she works with to meet them where they are at, while looking at every situation through the lens of attachment and trauma. Gillian believes in a non-pathologizing approach to treatment, whereby the best approach is to help all of the parts of ourselves – even the ones that are challenging – work more harmoniously together.
Now, Gillian uses her holistic approach to mental health to support mothers through postpartum anxiety and depression, and to empower parents to emotionally connect with their children and be the changemakers in their own family.
Gillian holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto and is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She is also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
Richard is a social worker with over thirty years of experience. He has worked in a number of community- and hospital-based mental health settings. He is currently on staff in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service at Michael Garron Hospital.
Richard specializes in multiple areas of treatment consist of parent support and coaching; strategies and support to manage anxiety and depression; and enhancing relationship skills to improve communication and problem-solving abilities for individuals, couples, and families. His skills and approaches include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).
Richard employs a calm, compassionate approach in the provision of care and treatment.
Cathy has over 30 years of experience as a therapist, supporting individuals and families as they navigate inevitable challenges and changes throughout life. She has worked in schools as well as community-based and hospital settings.
Cathy completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto. She is in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
She provides trauma-informed, talk therapy to teens and adults using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Mindfulness-Based CBT, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy.
As an experienced therapist, Cathy offers a safe space and experienced guidance to explore challenges and help individuals discover their resilience and innate ability to cope and thrive.
Katie has over 15 years of experience working in children and adolescent mental health. She has worked in a variety of settings including, hospitals, schools and community mental health providing individual and family therapy. She prioritizes adolescent and family engagement in the therapeutic process and her approach to therapy ensures that young people feel supported and comfortable.
For the past 9 years, Katie has worked at Sick Kids Hospital within the Psychiatry Department and the Division of Adolescent Medicine. Much of her experience is focused on assessing and treating adolescents experiencing anxiety disorders, depression and OCD using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Katie is able to develop treatment plans targeting specific anxiety, depressive and obsessive and compulsive symptoms. She works with young people and their families to ensure they feel supported and validated while they are building skills to challenge their symptoms. She works with all aspects of the adolescent’s life and ensures her practice is youth-focused.
Katie has extensive experience working with LGBTQ2S+ youth and has an in-depth experience of working with gender diverse children and adolescents. Working within the transgender youth clinic at Sick Kids she has 7 years of experience in supporting youth and families experiencing gender dysphoria. She has a passion for working with providing affirming anti-oppressive care.
Katie earned a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2012 and was awarded the Sick Kids student Humanitarian award for her empathetic and passionate care. She is registered in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Canadian Association for Social Workers. She is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto and continues to contribute to medical education and academic literature. Katie has trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Gender Dysphoria, Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Applied Behaviour Analysis.
Matteo is a recent graduate of York University, having graduated with a honours double major degree in Criminology and Culture & Expression. Matteo has aspirations of working with law enforcement, specifically with CSIS. His interests include sports and spending time with friends.
Dr. Lele Wang
Dr. Lee Wang is a Toronto-based psychiatrist currently completing her two-year Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Toronto. She has experience working with children and families in a variety of clinical settings and has trained in various hospitals in Toronto, including The Hospital for Sick Children, CAMH, and Michael Garron Hospital. Her clinical interests include ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and psychotherapy.
Dr. Wang obtained her medical degree at the University of Calgary and completed her general adult psychiatry training at the University of Toronto.
Founder and Medical Director
Dr. Stephanie Wiesenthal
Dr. Stephanie Wiesenthal is a psychiatrist who specializes in child and adolescent mental health. She has worked at Michael Garron Hospital since 2010, and co-founded Whole Heart Mental Health and Wellness in 2017.
Dr. Wiesenthal has a special interest in the diagnosis and management of anxiety disorders throughout their life span. She completed her medical and psychiatry training at the University of Toronto.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.