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.
Robyn is a social worker with experience supporting individuals in various settings, including hospitals and community agencies. She has a particular passion for supporting children, adolescents and young adults through an array of mental health and interpersonal issues, including but not limited to, anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, and self-esteem.
By attuning to your needs throughout every step of the work together, Robyn seeks to create a nonjudgmental space that welcomes open dialogue and promotes safety. Cultivating such a space helps clients to feel valued, accepted and understood, and allows for Robyn and her clients to establish a meaningful connection, from which healing, growth and change can take place. Robyn will work collaboratively with you, at your pace, to ensure that your needs and goals are addressed. In doing so, Robyn supports her clients in harnessing their strengths, to navigate life’s challenges and lead fulfilled lives.
Robyn believes in a client-centred, eclectic approach to therapy, meaning that she meets the client where they are and develops a treatment plan based on their individualized needs. She draws on various evidence-based practices including, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness, while embracing an anti-oppressive and trauma-informed lens.
Robyn holds a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto. 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 Burke, CYW., Life Coach
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.
In over 30 years of mental health experience, Cathryn has been honoured to accompany many adults, adolescents and families on their journey toward greater emotional well-being and contentment. She believes you deserve to speak your truth and to be understood with compassion and empathy. She understands we all face times in life that can feel overwhelming, especially in times of change and transition. Raising a family is one of the toughest jobs out there. We experience losses that can be painful and complicated, whether a relationship ends or someone important dies. Sometimes we recognize it’s time to develop healthier ways of being in our relationship with ourselves and others.
Cathryn believes that thinking, feeling and doing better starts with a conversation about where you are at—here and now, and building on your unique strengths to meet your social, emotional and relationship goals. Using a strengths-based, collaborative approach she will support you to gain a sense of confidence and empowerment to handle the challenges you face today as well as build resilience for the future drawing selectively on several theories for helping such as narrative therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, solution focused therapy, and mindfulness.
Cathryn’s resume of work experience includes, Toronto District School Board, Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Michael Garron Hospital (Formerly Toronto East General Hospital), Child and Adolescent Mental Health at St. Joseph’s Mental Health, Adult Psychotherapy Treatment Unit at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Formerly Whitby Mental Health Centre), Family Resource Therapy Centre, Essex County Council, UK.
She holds a MSW from the University of Toronto and a BSW from King’s College at Western University. (Formerly the University of Western Ontario.) She is a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
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 is a trauma & anxiety therapist who seeks to support people as they transform unhelpful patterns created by past experiences. Her goal is to help you get past those feelings of being stuck, avoidant, or fearful so you can experience the shift needed for a hopeful future. She uses an emotional-focused, mind/body approach and is committed to providing non-judgmental, compassionate and collaborative care. Anna wants her clients to feel like they are in control of their life and are making choices based on listening to themselves and what matters to them, instead of trauma or anxiety responses that come from things that happened in the past.
Anna trusts clients as experts in their lives who know what they need, be it coping skills and strategies, exploration of the past or problem solving for the future. She works with clients to develop a plan for therapy to meet their goals drawing from evidence-based models and treatments including:
- Attachment therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Emotion-focused therapy and Emotion-Focused Skills Training for Parents
- Somatic, body-based therapies
- Trauma-focused therapies, including EMDR, Flash, and TF-CBT
- Parts work
Anna is a Certified EMDR Therapist and 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.
Co-Founder, Managing Director, Intake Therapy Coordinator, and Social Worker
Nicole is a social worker who has specialized in child and adolescent mental health for over fifteen years. Her dedication and passion for helping children, youth and families has allowed her to work in a variety of settings; such as hospital based programs; both in patient, out patient and the ER. She has also worked in schools and group homes across the Greater Toronto Area. Nicole has experience in facilitating mental health assessments, offering individual and family counselling, as well as parent coaching. She caters her approach to each individual client and family by pulling on evidence based treatment modalities.
Nicole works within a client- and family-centred point of view; building on the innate strengths and resilience that people bring with them 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. Nicole will pull from a variety of modalities to meet the needs of the client she is working with. Nicole works with a variety of presenting concerns: Anxiety, Depression, Self Esteem, School Related Issues, Peer and Parent relational stressors, emotional dysregulation and daily life stressors.
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 the Adler Institute and as a Mind and Body specialist. She has trained in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Attachment Theory.
Laura is a registered social worker since 2014, and has over 10 years of experience working with children, youth, and families. She supports individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, parenting, emotional and behavioral challenges, trauma, relationship difficulties, attention and learning difficulties, autism, and life transitions.
Using a collaborative, non-judgmental and warm approach, she helps clients identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that keep them stuck in a problem. She is passionate about supporting her clients reconnect to their wisdom and strengths, build new skills and take steps towards meeting their goals.
Laura uses elements from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotion-Focused Family Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy.
She completed her Masters of Social Work at the University of Toronto and is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Laura provides services in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
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.
Co-Founder, Managing Director, Intake Therapy Coordinator and Registered Psychotherapist
Daisy is a warmhearted registered psychotherapist committed to helping children, youth, and their families. She has over fifteen years’ experience with 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 over 15 years. She has been a child and family therapist at children’s mental health agencies and in private practice since 2012. She has extensive experience in individual, family, and group treatment. Laura 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 previously worked at the Child Development Institute – Integra program where she specialized in 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 provides therapeutic support to parents to help them explore their parenting experiences and to develop their confidence in being able to best meet their children’s needs. Laura is passionate about including parents in therapy as much as possible and, if appropriate, she prefers to work from a parent consultation model where she supports parents to provide therapeutic interventions to children within their home environments.
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.
Janet is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner specializing in child and adolescent mental health. As a Nurse Practitioner, Janet is able to make diagnoses, order and manage medications, and provide psychotherapy. She has over twelve years of nursing experience working with children, adolescents and their families, in both community and hospital settings globally. In the last few years, she has also been working with children and adolescents living with chronic pain and comorbid mental health concerns.
Janet is a passionate Nurse Practitioner committed to providing quality mental health services. She uses a strengths-based approach and values establishing therapeutic relationships where clients feel empowered to take steps forward into their own growth and recovery journey.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling around the world and learning a new language. She would also like to continue to work on her cooking skills.
Janet received her Master of Nursing at the University of Toronto and completed her Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Ryerson University.
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.
Varenya is a social worker, who is registered with the The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). She graduated from the University of Windsor, Masters of Social Work program.
Varenya’s experience is vast. She has expertise working in the non profit sector. She is trained and accredited in the Canadian Association for Play Therapy, and the Triple P Primary Care and Fear-less program, a program utilizing evidence-based techniques to support positive parenting. She has worked in collaboration with school boards, sits on various committees in York Region, has worked in a treatment center for children and youth with mental health issues, and has a multitude of experience managing programs for the school board aimed at promoting attachment between parent and child. Varenya also has expertise treating individuals and families who struggle with grief and loss, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, social anxiety, and attachment-based issues.
Varenya’s therapy embodies a mix of art and mindfulness-based therapy techniques, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, solution focused therapy, and emotion focused family therapy. She is a compassionate, caring, and warm social worker whose approach is always client centered.
Kelly is a Registered Clinical Social Worker (MSW) practicing psychotherapy. She received a Master of Social Work through the University of Toronto and has been employed in various community and hospital-based settings since 2013. Kelly works collaboratively with adult clients presenting with a range of concerns, working together to understand the current problem and formulate a comprehensive treatment plan. Kelly believes in a flexible approach to therapy and strives to create an environment that is anti-oppressive and accessible to a broad range of clients. Because therapy is not one-size fits all, Kelly integrates a variety of therapeutic styles and modalities to best address the presenting concern including Dialectical Behavioural, Cognitive Behavioural, Mindfulness-Based, Trauma-Informed, Solution-Focused, and Emotion-Focused.
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.
Dr. Mahgul Malik
Dr. Mahgul Malik is a psychiatrist who specializes in child and adolescent mental health. She has been working with the department of child and adolescent mental health at the Credit Valley Hospital since 2017 and in private practice. Her clinical interests include ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and OCD. She enjoys working with children, adolescents and transitional ages youth. She is passionate about improving access to mental health particularly among the immigrant and marginalized populations. In her spare time, she enjoys baking and spending time with her family.
She joins Whole Heart Mental Health and Wellness as a consulting psychiatrist, who provides diagnostic assessments and treatment recommendations. Dr. Malik is not offering ongoing follow up or psychotherapy at this time.
Languages spoken: English, Urdu,
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).
Meditation and Mindful Exercise Teacher
Laura leads mindful exercise and meditation workshops and classes for adults and teens.
As a senior leader in strategic marketing and communications, Laura has spent her career working in fast paced, high pressure roles. Feeling she was running low on effective stress management tools that worked for her, Laura discovered Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in 2010 and completed an intensive program based on the work of Jon Kabat Zinn. She went on to complete her 200-hour Meditation Teacher Training Program and has taught privately, in workplaces, health care settings, in-person and online — all while continuing to work in her full-time, high-pressure roles.
Laura’s approach to meditation is “practical”; her goal is to make meditation accessible and meaningful for everyone who practices with her – especially those who never thought meditation was for them! Laura derives immense joy from helping others source their own inner calm within the outer chaos and brings a deeply intuitive style to her teaching.
Her teaching is rooted in a variety of styles and her classes may include mindfulness, movement-based practices, progressive relaxation or body scan, yoga meditation, guided visualization, breath work and more.
In addition to her meditation credentials, Laura holds a Master of Arts in Journalism, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (with a concentration in law and ethics), and is a lifelong yoga practitioner.
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.
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.
She joins Whole Heart Mental Health and Wellness as a consulting psychiatrist, who provides diagnostic assessments and treatment recommendations. Dr. Nkungu is not offering ongoing follow up or psychotherapy at this time.
(RNCP) Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner
Sari has a strong passion for promoting a gratifying lifestyle through food and nutrition. She offers a safe environment for her counselling clients, fostering positive experiences around food while building a sense of ownership and independence. She invites clients to work through roadblocks with curiosity and compassion, providing opportunities to re-establish nourishing relationships with their bodies.
Over the past six years, Sari’s work has focused on eating disorder treatment, in both clinical, community and private practice settings.
Sari completed the Ontario College Certificate in Culinary Management and became a Certified Chef. She then completed a post-graduate in Food and Nutrition Management. From there, she went on to finish the Nutritional Consulting Program with Alive Academy and was granted the designation of Certified Nutritional Counsellor (CNC) and Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner (RNCP). She is registered with the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants (IONC). Sari has additional education and training in mindful eating, motivational interviewing, EFT (Emotions Focused Therapy with Eating Disorders) and 2SLGBTQIA+ friendly programming.
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.
Sarah Rashid, RSW, MSW
Sarah is a Registered Social Worker who completed her Bachelor and Masters of Social Work degrees from Ryerson University. Her approach to therapy is founded in anti-oppression, trust, and helping clients to find their inner strengths and renewed happiness.
Sarah has spent the past four years working with youth, young adults and families in diverse social work settings. She is skilled in supporting families struggling with conflict as well as families supporting a loved one with exceptionalities including ASD and developmental disabilities. Sarah is happy to support youth and adults looking for support with anxiety, depression, suicide/self harm, family conflict, and other day to day barriers you may be struggling with.
Sarah has training and experience including the following modalities in her therapeutic approach:
Trauma Informed therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
High Five Certified for child development
Eye Movement-Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.
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 clinical social worker with over thirty years of experience. He has worked in a number of community and hospital-based mental health settings. His most recent assignment was at Michael Garron Hospital in their Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services where he worked in their out patient service for close to fifteen years. Continuing in private practice, Richard utilizes multiple treatment approaches with a particular focus on parent support and coaching, couples therapy and individual and family therapy. Strategies and skills teaching are aimed at supporting individuals and families enhance communication and problem solving skills, manage stress and be better equipped to cope in their relationships. Through psycho-education and support, families and individuals are supported to be better equipped to cope with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Richard’s skills and training include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior therapy, Interpersonal Therapy (ITP) among others. Richard emphasises a calm, compassionate approach to providing treatment with the aim of providing the client with a safe, engaging and comfortable space in which to receive care.
Counselling student, under the supervision of Katie Stadelman, MSW RSW
Dianne is a psychotherapist working under the supervision of Katie Stadelman (MSW, RSW) as she completes her final year of a Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University of Calgary. She has experience working with children, youth, and adults in community settings and has focused her research on emotional development, coping strategies, habit formation, behavioural change processes, work-family conflict, and filial play therapy.
Dianne is gentle by nature, respectful, and compassionate. She is passionate about helping people overcome obstacles in their lives and work towards a more balanced sense of being. She promotes self-compassion as a significant element of the change process. Dianne avidly collaborates with parents/caregivers to empower them to become a primary source of support to their children. She takes a client-centered, trauma-informed, systematic approach drawing on various therapeutic applications to tailor each session to suit her clients’ individual needs. Dianne may include elements from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing (MI), attachment theory, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and narrative therapy.
Through your work together, Dianne will strive to understand you and your perspective so collaboratively you can overcome difficult situations, develop new skills, and plan where you want to go next.
Thiviyan is a clinical social worker with experience working alongside children, adolescents, and adults from a wide range of populations. He is an open-minded and empathetic practitioner who has tremendous patience with his clients. Using a collaborative approach, Thiviyan works alongside his clients to shape their own journey through therapy.
Thiviyan prides himself on explaining abstract therapeutic concepts in a relatable way to his clients. He employs techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) in his practice. He is passionate about sharing his wealth of counselling knowledge with clients to equip them with the strategies and techniques needed to manage challenging situations.
Thiviyan has written a book titled “When I’m at a 10 Anger.” The book teaches children about mindfulness through story telling.
He has just published another book, entitled “When I’m at a 10:Sadness” which can also be found on Amazon at You can use this link for the book: https://amzn.to/3DIvzGq
Thiviyan obtained his Master of Social Work from Western University. He is registered, and in good standing, with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Thiviyan’s hobbies include playing basketball and board games with friends.
Amanda Smith, MSW., RSW
Amanda is a registered Social Worker with 16 years of experience in the field of Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She has worked in a wide array of Inpatient and Outpatient hospital and community-based settings and has spent the past 9 years providing Individual, Family and Group Counselling to children, youth and families impacted by mental illness (Anxiety, Depression, Personality Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as well as additional life stressors including current and past trauma, complex family dynamics, interpersonal relationships and negative self-image. She has a keen interest in the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and utilizes the behavioral approach of Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) to assist in challenging both obsessive thoughts and compulsions associated with this disorder. Amanda has extensive experience completing mental health assessments, creating and implementing treatment plans and connecting with community partners when needed.
Amanda’s main priority within the therapeutic process is fostering a non-judgmental space for individuals to openly express their challenges and concerns. She acknowledges that each individual and family presents to therapy with a unique set of strengths, needs and life experiences and therefore works to cater the therapeutic process by drawing from her training in the therapeutic modalities of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Attachment Focused Therapy (AFT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFBT).
Amanda completed her Masters of Social Work degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and is in good standing with both the College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.
Amanda is happiest spending time with her family, traveling and enjoying the outdoors.
Crystal Smith has been a clinical child and youth counsellor for over 6 years and is currently completing a Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Crystal specializes in supporting children and youth who struggle with mental health challenges and disorders at varying levels of acuity. Crystal operates from a strengths-based perspective that guides therapeutic treatment.
Crystal has a natural calm and compassionate demeanour and understands the impact of words, tones, and attitudes when providing support to children and families. Crystal is proficient in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Adolescent Behavioral Activation (ABA). Along with empathic intuition, Crystal utilizes her knowledge of various psychotherapies to employ an open and flexible approach to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of each client. She helps young people build confidence and skills, learn strategies, and attain goals.
Crystal is highly skilled at working with individuals experiencing or diagnosed with anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, trauma, behavioural difficulties, parent-child conflict, peer conflicts, school avoidance, and challenges associated with autism.
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.
Elysia is an experienced clinical social worker who specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families. Elysia has worked in community and hospital settings as well as provided consultations with school boards and Children’s Aid. Elysia is experienced in supporting individuals and families presenting with mental health challenges, mood disorders, trauma, family conflict, parenting issues, peer relationships, anxiety, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and grief and loss. Elysia employs a client-centred, strength-based approach to counselling while utilizing a trauma-informed therapy model. Her non-judgmental approach creates a safe space for clients to explore their experiences while learning new skills to facilitate positive, lasting change in their lives. At the heart of her practice is a belief that the client is the expert in the room and tailor’s her therapeutic approach to the client’s needs.
Elysia holds a Masters in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. She is registered and in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, the Ontario Association for Social Workers, and the Canadian Association for Play Therapy. Elysia’s practice integrates her trainings in Play Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy, Family Based Treatment (FBT), and Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT)
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.
Dr. Wiesenthal provides diagnostic assessments and treatment recommendations. She is not offering ongoing follow up or psychotherapy at this time.
Anna De Luca
Anna is a passionate and enthusiastic registered psychotherapist with over 20+ years in children’s mental health in the hospital sector, providing inpatient and outpatient direct client care. She has significant experience helping children, youth, and their families with acute mental health presentations and supporting them through some of the most difficult and stressful times. Anna has extensive experience in assessment, evidence based treatment for individuals, groups, parent skills coaching, and behavioural modification. She has a broad knowledge base of mental health disorders including; mood disorders, anxiety, OCD, and personality disorders, as well as supporting through daily life stresses.
Anna is an honours graduate of the Child and Youth Work program and dedicated herself to advancing her knowledge with a specialization certificate in CBT as well as extensive certificate trainings in DBT. She also utilizes other evidence-based treatment modalities of Unified Protocol, Solution-Focused therapy, Attachment Theory, and Strength-Based work. She believes in the value of a holistic approach that intertwines psychological, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health. This means treatment plans are individualized and engagement can be hands on learning. She uses her playful nature and creativity to foster connection. She strives to ensure her space is welcoming and accepting to all. Working collaboratively with you, her goal is to help you discover your inner strength and resiliency to create lasting life changes.
During down time, Anna finds joy in the company of her family and others while entertaining; The combination of cooking, the forest and camping, and she is in her glory!
Social Worker Student
Bethany (she/her) is a Master’s level Social Work student at the University of Windsor, where she is completing her training to become a registered social worker with a focus on counselling and psychotherapy. She holds a Master of Public Health from the University of Toronto, with a specialization in occupational and environmental health.
Bethany has seven years of combined experience in healthcare, human services, community programs, research, and social policy. She has experience working in mental health roles with youth and adults and brings skills in bereavement support, group facilitation, and brief supportive counselling.
Bethany is familiar with the theories and practices of brief-solution focused therapy, mindful self-compassion, CBT, DBT, and ACT. She is committed to taking a strengths-based, client-centered, compassion-focused approach in practice.
Sarah is a clinical social worker who has worked with children, youth, adults, parents, and families in community mental health and residential settings. She has experience supporting clients with challenges such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, family conflict, identity concerns, school stresses, and trauma.
Sarah strives to create a non-judgemental, warm, and collaborative environment to help clients feel safe and empowered to explore their concerns and achieve their goals. She believes that each of her clients has the strength to achieve their mental health goals and live a happier, healthier life. Her role as a therapist is to provide a safe environment and work with each person to help identify and address any barriers to harnessing that strength.
Sarah holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto. She is trained in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, and Solution-Focused Therapy and tailors her services to each client’s unique hopes, abilities, and challenges. Sarah’s practice is also attachment-focused, strength-based, and trauma-informed.
M.A. (School & Child-Clinical Psychology) Learning Specialist & Educational Consultant
As Whole Heart’s Educational Consultant and Executive Function coach, Claire also offers Dynamic Assessment and Cognitive Educational Therapy services. With extensive and diverse experience in the fields of education and psychology, Claire provides a unique and well-rounded approach to helping children and young adults strengthen their thinking and learning skills. Claire has established several student intervention programs, served on Senior Administrative Teams at private and international schools, and delivered dozens of workshops to students, parents and educators. Her passion has always been to empower students of all ages by helping them learn how to overcome and break through their challenges using a strategy-based approach. Claire holds a Masters of Arts degree in School and Child-Clinical Psychology and achieved PhD candidacy from OISE/University of Toronto. She also has a pending designation as Board Certified Cognitive Specialist (BCCS).
Shannon is a dedicated Registered Psychotherapist who values the beauty of the therapeutic relationship. With over 20 years of experience Shannon has worked in supporting children, youth, and their families in a variety of community, school, mental health and hospital based settings. Shannon strives to create inclusive spaces so individuals can learn and heal from their experiences.
Shannon brings compassion, understanding, and creativity to her client sessions while utilizing evidence-based, trauma informed practices such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy. Shannon believes that everyone should have a safe place where they are able to share, sit with, and work through their experiences.
Shannon’s experience includes, but is not limited to, working with individuals who are facing life transitions, emotional regulation, interpersonal relationships, self-esteem management, trauma, anxiety, and depression. Shannon hopes that when you join with her that you will gain a deeper understanding of your needs, gain new strategies and skills, as well as gain a new perspective on bringing balance to your overall mental wellness.
Shannon graduated with honours from the Child and Youth Worker program at Centennial College, she later went on to complete her Bachelor in Community Welfare through the University of Western Sydney. Shannon has a desire for education and continues to engage in training opportunities to further her therapeutic interventions. Shannon is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists.
Cindy Zloty, RN
I am a registered nurse who has been working in the mental health field for over 21 years. I have expertise in CBT, DBT, and IPT therapy techniques with children, adolescents, transitional aged youth and adults.
I have been an inpatient mental health nurse, working with families, children and youth presenting with acute psychiatric conditions. I also worked in the school board, as a psychiatric nurse, providing mental health and addiction counselling within the school setting.
More recently, I was a member of an intensive outpatient hospital program providing comprehensive DBT therapy for 8 years to clients living in the community.
I feel extremely rewarded to see my clients travel from a place of suffering and hopelessness to one of hope as they build a life worth living. With therapeutic support and skills instruction, clients can gain control over their emotions, thoughts and behaviours. I have witnessed in my clients, improved self esteem, relationships and a desire to live more fully in their lives and community.
Kadeem Daley, MSW, RSW
Kadeem Daley is a compassionate and dedicated social worker who specializes in providing mental health services to children and adolescents in outpatient settings both public and private settings. With a Master’s degree in Social Work and over a decade of clinical experience, Kadeem has a deep understanding of the complex challenges that young people face as they navigate the ups and downs of growing up.
Kadeem has a particular passion for helping young people overcome issues related to trauma, anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders. Drawing on evidence-based therapeutic approaches, Kadeem works collaboratively with his clients and their families to develop personalized treatment plans that prioritize their unique needs and goals.
Kadeem holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, he has experience working at North York General with the in-patient and outpatient mental health program for children, adolescent and teens, and over several years of experiencing working in the emergency departments completing psychological assessments for SunnyBrook & Scarborough General Hospital.
Kadeem’s approach is warm, collaborative, and emphasizes on the therapeutic relationship to build rapport and understanding. He creates a supportive environment for clients to share and uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Narrative therapy to provide clear, concrete and supportive tools and strategies to address their unique concerns/goals.
Nicole specializes in counselling to children, adolescents and families with social emotional challenges and behavioural needs including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and gender dysphoria, among others. Utilizing a client-centered and strengths-based approach, she integrates core concepts such as child development, attachment, diversity, and trauma perspectives when working with clients in both individual and group settings.
Nicole believes that every individual comes with a unique experience, and thus includes a variety of therapeutic styles and modalities to best address the presenting concern, including Dialectical Behavioural, Cognitive Behavioural, and Emotion-Focused Therapy.
Nicole holds a Masters of Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. She is registered in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Worker.
Social Worker, MSW., RSW
Sue has been working in the field of Social Work for 30+ years, receiving her MSW at the School of Social Work at New York University in 1993. She is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers in good standing. Sue currently works in the school system in Toronto and has previously worked in community health and various agencies in both New York and Ontario, providing counselling and psychotherapy to a range of clients.
Sue works from a client-centered and strengths-based perspective. Her approach is eclectic, drawing from many different evidence-based practices including: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. She works with clients struggling with a wide variety of issues, including: anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, relationship issues, self-esteem, women’s well-being, major life transitions, school issues and family issues. Through her years of practice, she has worked with children, youth, adults, families and couples. In all of her work, she is devoted to working through a trauma-informed and anti-oppressive lens. She believes that each person has inside of them the wisdom to heal and grow and that her role is to help each client access that wisdom. Together with the client, Sue works collaboratively in a safe and supportive environment, in order to help people reach their goals.
Are you trying to seek clarity in your life but struggling to do so? Are your usual coping skills just not working? Are you revisiting previous life events, patterns or difficulties? Or are you dealing with a big transition or life changing event? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might find it useful to speak with a therapist. Psychotherapy can help you to identify feelings and gain clarity for next steps, and to build/rebuild coping mechanisms. It can also be helpful in learning to break patterns that are no longer working for you or to navigate new challenges and face transitions in your life.
Social Worker, MSW., RSW
Kristina earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from York University and a Master of Social Work degree with a specialty in Health and Mental Health from the University of Toronto. Kristina started her career at Kinark Child and Family Services where she first found her passion for working with children and teenagers living with mental health issues. Later in her career, Kristina moved to Vancouver, BC to provide psychotherapy to adults living with substance use disorders, and mental health issues during the peak of the Fentanyl Crisis. Kristina later returned to Ontario to offer care in the public sector for one of Ontario’s largest Community Hospitals, where she provided individual and family therapy to children, and teenagers living with Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Perfectionism, Specific Phobias, and many other mental health issues. Outstandingly, Kristina has solidified her knowledge and skills for the treatment of OCD, Tics, and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours (skin picking, hair pulling etc.) after completing specialized courses through the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy that partnered with the International OCD Foundation.