MEET OUR THERAPISTS

Michelle Gibson, MSW, RSW

I am a practicing Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker (OCSWSSW). As a trauma specialist, I work with any concerns that stem from past experiences that have us feeling stuck, helpless or hopeless. I work with anyone who feels impacted by their past including (but not limited to) those living with PTSD, Complex PTSD, Anxiety based disorders, Dissociative Disorders, and Borderline Personality Disorder. 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.

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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, hypnotherapy, and mindfulness. I draw from different therapies to create a custom treatment plan for each person with whom I work. Each of these approaches has their time and place in the therapy process and I am proud to be able to offer them to you.

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 as well as 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 enjoying the outdoors, reading, traveling, and spending time with my two dogs.

You can reach me at [email protected]

Abby Ajvaz, MSW, RSW

I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Throughout my academic journey, I completed an Honours Bachelor of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Social Work from King’s University College of Western Ontario.

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I began my career in social work supporting individuals who have experienced difficulties relating to homelessness, addictions, mental health, chronic physical health conditions, grief and trauma. While earning my Master of Social Work, I gathered clinical experience specializing in trauma therapy with veterans, RCMP members and their families.

I have a passion for working alongside clients who are feeling held back by their past. I have supported individuals living with anxiety-related disorders, personality disorders, PTSD, complex PTSD, and moral injury. I draw on many therapeutic approaches in my practice as it allows me to create an individualized treatment plan to support each person on their unique journey towards healing and recovery.

My practice is informed by a strengths-based, person-centred, trauma-informed framework. It incorporates mindfulness, meditation, solution-focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, 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). I completed an Honours Bachelors in Health Sciences at McMaster University followed by a Master of Science designation with an adjunct neuroscience specialization at the University of Toronto. I have been involved in mental health research for 12+ years, related to biopsychosocial markers of illness and treatment response related to mood, anxiety, and psychotic-based disorders. The purely academic lens made me feel as though something was missing from my work, so I obtained a Master of Social Work degree from King’s University College at Western University where I received clinical training in mental healthcare for adults, youth, and young children.

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As a therapist, I offer individual and group therapy to adolescents, and young adults (ages 16-30) who present with a variety of concerns that include, but are not limited to, anxiety and depressive disorders, substance use, emotion regulation, family and relationship issues, and problems related to school/work.

I am particularly passionate about integrating medical based approaches with social work for neurobiological based models of practice. This means that I aim to work with the brain to create the changes you seek in therapy. Although sessions with each client look different, most benefit from support with emotion regulation, which can include labelling big emotions, identifying environmental triggers, and learning healthy coping strategies. 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.

Alongside my clinical and research services, I engage in outreach and knowledge translation projects to make mental health services and information more accessible for clients and families.

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]