MEET OUR THERAPISTS

Michelle Gibson, MSW, RSW

I am a practicing Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker (OCSWSSW). My goal in therapy is to create a space from which you feel safe to explore what is hurting you or holding your back from the life you would like to be living.

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As a trauma specialist, I work primarily with concerns that stem from past experiences that leave a lasting impact of feeling stuck, helpless, hurt and/or hopeless. I work with anyone who feels impacted by their past including (but not limited to) those living with complex grief and loss, PTSD, Complex PTSD, Anxiety, Dissociative Disorders, and Borderline Personality Disorder. If your story includes parts that feel unfinished, burdened or stuck, than my areas of specialty are likely a good fit for you. If youre wondering if I can help you, please contact me and we can determine together if I am the right fit for you.

I work collaboratively with my clients primarily from an Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy and EMDR Therapy perspective. I have also trained in a number of modalities that may be useful for our work including somatic therapy, ego state therapy, attachment therapy, hypnotherapy, and mindfulness. Each of these approaches has their time and place in therapy and we work with your needs and preferences to determine best fit.

In addition to psychotherapy, I am an adjunct professor where I teach in undergraduate and masters-level classes in psychotherapy theories and skills, trauma informed and specialized practice, and human development. I also regularly facilitate workshops that are open to the public and those hosted at private organizations throughout Canada. I enjoy sharing my practice insights with others as well as taking in the wisdom of others which makes teaching an added bonus of the work that I do.

In my spare time, you can find me travelling, enjoying the outdoors, reading, and spending time with my partner, daughter and dogs.

You can reach me at [email protected]

Abby Ajvaz, MSW, RSW

I am a Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. I have a passion for working alongside clients who are feeling held back by their past experiences. By specializing in trauma, I support individuals living with anxiety-related disorders, personality disorders, PTSD, complex PTSD, moral injury, and more. I draw on many therapeutic approaches as it allows me to create an individualized treatment plan to support each person on their unique journey towards healing and recovery.

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My practice incorporates a blend of various therapeutic approaches such as mindfulness, meditation, EMDR, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and somatic therapy. I recognize and value each person’s capacity for resilience and change. I am dedicated to creating a safe, non-judgmental environment to provide exceptional individual therapy. If you’re wondering if I can help you, please contact me and we can determine together if I am the right fit for you.

When I am not working, you can find me streaming the latest Netflix docuseries or outdoors playing with my dog, Stitch. 🙂

You can reach me directly at [email protected]

Anisha Chana-Zarola, MSW, RSW

Life transitions, relationship challenges, loss, and illness can leave us feeling powerless. With my warm, attentive and non-judgmental approach, we can explore such circumstances. My intention is to provide a safe and sincere space in order to support you through uncertainty, grief and discomfort.

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As a Registered Social Worker with the OCSWSSW, I operate from an anti-oppressive, strengths-based and trauma informed lens. Some of the modalities I utilize include motivational interviewing, solution focused, cognitive behavioural, mindfulness and narrative therapy. I offer both individual and group therapy focused on intimate relationships, complex grief and loss. I am particularly interested in how our early experiences impact our lives today, including the most important relationships in our lives. If you’re wondering if I can help you, please contact me and we can determine together if I am the right fit for you.

I am a person who embraces, honours and respects diversity. Moreover, compassion and connection are at the foundation of my practice. You have qualities and skills that have helped you to overcome adversity. The goal is to have you feeling empowered to communicate, make decisions and set boundaries. In our time together, we will shine a light on the strengths, traits and resilience that is within you.

Thank you for taking the time to review my profile. It would be a privilege to accompany you in your journey through physical, psychological, social and emotional wellbeing.

When I am not working, you can find me spending quality time with my family.

You can reach me directly at [email protected]

Summer Thorp, MSW, RSW

Stories have always intrigued me because they helped me to understand how other people think and see the world. My interest in stories led me to social work: as I worked in the community, in the non-profit sector, I learned the power of personal narratives to limit or expand the opportunities that my clients chose to pursue.

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I began my education with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Justice and Peace Studies. Next, I earned a Master of Education, with a focus on Indigenous post-secondary education policy, and a Master of Social Work, with a focus on direct practice. I am a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

My work with clients is a mix of narrative, strengths-based, compassion-focused, systemic, solution-focused, and somatic therapy. I am also a certified online therapist. I am interested in exploring with you how your past and current experiences impact you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Through my work in the community and my education, I identified periods of transition as my area of practice. Transition periods can come at all stages of life. They can include a new diagnosis, the loss of employment, the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the start of a new career, recovery after illness, or a faith crisis. Periods of transition can be intimidating and challenging, and I am here to support you as you write new stories to reframe your life. If you’re wondering if I can help you, please contact me and we can determine together if I am the right fit for you.

Outside of work you can find me browsing farmers’ markets near and far for new taste adventures, handwriting letters to family and friends, and dancing like nobody’s watching.

You can reach me at [email protected]

Trehani Fonseka, MSW, RSW

I am a Registered Social Worker (OCSWSSW) and therapist. I began my career in research after obtaining an Honours Bachelor in Health Sciences from McMaster University, and a Master of Science with an adjunct neuroscience specialization from the University of Toronto. I have 12+ years of experience studying biopsychosocial markers of mental illness and treatment response, in addition to engaging in outreach/knowledge translation projects to improve the accessibility of mental health services and information for clients and families. However, this purely academic lens made me feel as though something was missing from my work, so I obtained a Master of Social Work from King’s University College at Western University where I received clinical training in mental healthcare for young children, youth, and adults.

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As a therapist, I offer counselling to youth (ages 12-30) who present with a variety of concerns, such as those pertaining to anxiety, depression, emotion regulation, relationships, and school/work. I work with clients to co-create a therapeutic plan by exploring factors that may contribute to the issue(s) at hand but also personal strengths and coping strategies that can be leveraged within recovery. 

My therapeutic approach is highly relational, as I believe that connection is integral for healing. Yet, I also draw on CBT, DBT, solutions-focused, and internal family systems therapies, among others. Due to my interdisciplinary nature, I further integrate medical science by offering psychoeducation on the role of the brain in symptom onset and treatment.

Taking steps toward healing can be an intimidating process but you do not need to do it alone. If you’re wondering if I can help you, please contact me for a free 15-minute phone consultation and we can determine together if I am the right fit for you.

Fun fact: When I am not working, you can find me tackling a home décor or photography project, lounging with my pups, or watching movies with my family.

You can contact me directly at: [email protected]

Kate Barnes, MSW(Candidate), RSW (Supervised)

My pronouns are she/her and they/them. I am a recent graduate and am qualifying as a Registered Social Worker. I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Psychology from Western University and a Master’s of Social Work from King’s University College. I have worked in a variety of settings over the last decade, including post-secondary institutions and community-based agencies, and have provided SafeTALK sessions (a suicide prevention and intervention training) to over 350 people in hopes of creating a suicide-safer community for all. My most exciting work, however, is working one on one with folks like you to create change in their lives for the better!

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I enjoy working with adult individuals who are looking for new strategies to identify strengths, navigate transitions due to change or loss, and/or overcome life obstacles. I am also passionate about working with members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and those questioning their (a)sexual or gender identity. Taking a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach, I recognize the unique challenges and resources that you bring to session and commit to working collaboratively with you to build a brighter tomorrow.

I practice from a number of modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy, and am committed to finding an approach that meets your needs. If you’re curious to know more about what working together might be like, please contact me and together we can determine if I am the right fit for you!

When I’m not in the office, you can find me training to run a half-marathon, listening to music from all timelines and genres, cooking some kind of pasta dish, or watching Netflix with a Diet Coke.

You can reach me directly at [email protected]

Erin Johnson MSW, RSW

I am a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist with degrees in Psychology and Social Work. During my career, I have had the opportunity to work with diverse populations in both hospital and community settings. My therapy involves the integration of a variety of modalities including cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and solution-focused techniques. I work the most frequently with people who are experiencing depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation, shame, and histories of trauma.

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The most rewarding part of my job is working with people as they learn to relate to themselves with more self-compassion and understanding. Afterall, we cannot bully ourselves into feeling better. The solution to emotional suffering is not to make ourselves suffer more. By putting our experiences in a different context, we are able to shift from our painful past learning to a present that is consistent with our actual beliefs, hopes, and values.

Therapy is a collaborative process. I know things about mental health, including current research, therapeutic techniques, and what has worked for other people. You know things about yourself and your life, including your past experiences and your hopes for the future. We work together to help you make the next steps towards the life you want to be living.

When not at work, I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, and getting involved with social justice causes. I am a huge fan of critters of all shapes and sizes and will always be interested in seeing photos of yours.

You can reach me at [email protected]