Meet our team2021-11-12T16:18:07-05:00

Zoe Adler

Zoe Adler

Administration

Zoe Adler is a member of the administration team at the West Island Therapy & Wellness Centre. She has completed a DEC in Science at John Abbott College. She is currently studying her Bachelor’s of Science in Honours Psychology at Concordia University. Zoe has extensive volunteer experience within the mental health sector.

She is a volunteer listener at Tel aide, where she uses active listening to support those who call. Additionally, she assists in the training of new volunteers during their first shifts. Zoe currently serves as research assistant in the Relationships Across Development lab, where she is working on a project studying the impacts of sibling relationships on the well-being of parents. Most recently, she is a volunteer at the West Island LGBTQ2+ centre, where she helps facilitate a group for queer youth. Zoe is caring and hardworking, and aspires to pursue graduate school in psychology.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Michelle Azimov

Michelle Azimov, MSW, PSW, t.s

Adult Services

Michelle is a clinical social worker and an accredited member of the Order of Social Workers, Family, and Marriage Therapists of Quebec (OTSTCFQ). She completed her Bachelor degree in Psychology at Concordia University and her Masters of Social Work degree at McGill University. She has experience working with individuals in both hospital and community settings.

Her therapeutic areas of focus include: stress, anxiety, depression, communication issues, grief and loss, career and school-related issues, life changes and transitions, family related issues, parenting issues, and perinatal issues.

Her therapeutic approach is tailored to meet the needs of the individual client, and she often includes elements of cognitive behaviour therapy, solution-focused therapy and mindfulness in her work. Her methods are strengths-based, transcultural, and systemic.

Michelle ensures that clients feel safe to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences through a process that helps foster personal insight. She encourages clients to view problems as opportunities to cultivate growth and positive change. Michelle is passionate about her work and feels privileged to be part of a client’s journey towards self-improvement.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

tina

Tina Balazovjech, M.A., CSP

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Tina Balazovjech obtained her Bachelor’s in Arts degree in Psychology from McGill University and Master’s in Arts in Child Study from Concordia University. She successfully completed a board level certification for the profession of psychometry. As a Board Certified Specialists in Psychometry, Tina demonstrates the knowledge and experience needed to administer and score psychometric measures. Over the past 20 years Tina has worked with children in a variety of settings, including at the early childhood, elementary and high school levels.

Her easy going and friendly approach allows her to quickly develop a rapport with individuals of all ages and abilities. Tina currently provides clinical support to the therapists at the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre and is involved in psycho-educational and psychological assessments with children, adolescents and adults. Tina also has a passion for yoga, meditation  and believes strongly in the mind body connection. She worked as a yoga instructor for over 10 years and continues to be dedicated to her own practice.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Tracy Braunstein

Tracy Braunstein, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

Child Services

Tracy Braunstein has been a certified pediatric sleep consultant since 2012. She works with families worldwide, helping them achieve the sleep they need . Working with all ages, from prenatal to adolescent, Tracy has the knowledge, tools and passion for proper sleep and helps tired parents everywhere solve their families sleep problems.She genuinely believes that healthy sleep is a pillar of optimal health and wellbeing. Tracy is here to help you with sleep solutions that will fit in with your family’s parenting philosophies and beliefs.

Tracy is a wife and a proud mother of two young boys. Her first-hand experience as a mother dealing with her own family sleep issues, led her onto the career path she’s now on. Sleep is such an important and integral part of a child’s development, which is the driving force behind Tracy’s work. 

Certified with the Family Sleep Institute and The International Association of Child Sleep Consultants (IACSC), Tracy has the experience needed to transform the sleep of your family. She has numerous other continuing education credits in pediatric sleep , as well as specialized education in other areas that commonly affect sleep including Post Partum Depression (PPD) ADHD and GERD (reflux in babies)  . 

Tracy is regularly called upon as a sleep expert for media appearances and has been featured on CBC Radio, Global Montreal Morning News, Montreal Breakfast Television, Today’s Parent Magazine, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Oh Baby Magazine, Martha Stewart Magazine, Piccolo Universe and various other blogs & articles.

  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Sleep Training
  • Parental Support
  • Stress and Anxiety related to sleep
  • Family Wellbeing
  • Children’s Wellbeing

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Christina

Christina Benedetti, MSW, PSW, MFT, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Christina Benedetti is a licensed psychotherapist and social worker. She has a post Masters degree in couple and family therapy. Over the past 20 years, Christina has worked with many people struggling with a variety of issues including: relationship and communication difficulties, depression/anxiety, sexual problems, symptoms related to trauma and loss, workplace and parenting struggles. She strives on providing a safe, caring environment for clients to explore complex and often very painful issues in a contained, constructive manner.

Together with her clients she aims to develop goals and examine problematic patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving. Christina aspires to help clients move from feelings of helplessness to a sense of competency.  Christina offers feedback to promote new patterns of communication and tools to reduce stress and anxiety.

Christina completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work at Mcgill University. She is a certified Marital and Family therapist and is a member of the Ordre Professionel des Travailleurs Sociaux de Quebec and the Ordre des Psychologues du Quebec.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

stephanie

Stephanie Brookman, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Adult Services

Stephanie Brookman is a licensed psychotherapist and social worker who has worked in both the public and private sector for the past 20 years. She has experience working with individuals struggling with depression/anxiety, relationship difficulties, self-confidence, work-related burnout, infertility, post-partum depression/anxiety as well as parenting-related issues. Stephanie strives to offer a warm, nurturing environment whereby her clients can safely explore their feelings, thought patterns and behaviours.

Her primary focus is to accompany her clients on their journey of self-discovery, growth and development. Stephanie uses approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy as well as Mindful Self-Compassion to empower her clients and help them develop the necessary tools to make positive changes and achieve their goals.

Stephanie received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McGill University as well as her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University.  Stephanie has post-master’s training in the field of marital and family therapy and is a member of the OPTSTCFQ as well as the Ordre des Psychologues du Quebec.  

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Melanie Caron

Melanie Caron, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Melanie is a clinical social worker dedicated to helping people deepen their connection with themselves and their lives. She believes that we all possess the power to regain our vitality and heal our past traumas. She has worked in the public sector for 10+ years having worked in child, youth and adult mental health, and with families who have experienced trauma, bereavement and loss and postpartum issues. Melanie is passionate about working with adults and young adults suffering from issues of anxiety/depression, parenting related issues, infertility, postpartum depression, self esteem, bereavement, and work related burnout.

She works to create a nurturing environment where clients feel safe to do their inner work, and learn to relate to their mind and body from a more accepting place. Her empathy, energy and sense of humour help put clients at ease. She draws from a wide range of different therapies such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy, family systems theory, and somatic experiencing. She is also a strong believer in combining therapy with other stress management techniques, such as body movement, yoga, and meditation. 

Melanie completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work at Mcgill University and is a member in good standing with the Ordre Professionnel des Travailleurs Sociaux de Québec. She is also pursuing a psychotherapy permit with the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (OPQ).

She is fluent in French and English

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Malina Cipriano

Malina Cipriano, B.A.

Clinical Mental Health Coordinator

Malina Cipriano joined the West Island Therapy & Wellness Centre in 2016. She currently serves our Clinical Mental Health Coordinator. Malina has many years of experience working with children of various ages as a dance teacher. She also has experience working with both regular stream and special needs students in addition to extensive volunteer work.

Her volunteer work includes assisting in social skills groups for children, mental health and wellness conferences for women, and assisting adults with special needs at John Abbott College. Malina completed her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at Concordia University and is in the process of completing her Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Brandi Cowl, M.A., Certified Life and Wellness Coach, Health Coach

Adult Services

It was through her own process of self-discovery that Brandi began her passionate pursuit to cultivate peace, health and happiness both in her own life, and in the lives of others.Her years of yoga and coaching shape her holistic mind-body approach to wellness. Coaching with Brandi includes three key principles: cultivating mindfulness, compassion, and calm.

Mindfulness – Changing thoughts

Most of us live on “auto-pilot” with thoughts racing and swirling, challenged by inner voices that reinforce fear and self-doubt. A big believer in living on purpose and with intention, Brandi helps her clients shift perspective from the negative to the positive, from racing to thoughtful, and from chaotic to organized.

Compassion – Changing Feelings

This principle is simple. Not easy, but simple: Be kind to yourself. If we are hard, judgemental, and critical of ourselves, how can we be compassionate, caring and understanding of others? So, we aim to apply a lens of compassion and kindness to all that we have, all that we do and all that we are.

Calm – Changing Behaviour

Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, grounding and breathwork are some of the tools we use to develop a sense of calm and inner peace.

Owner of Brandi Cowl Yoga and Wellness, Brandi is the author of The Modern Yogi: A Guide to Living on Purpose and With Intention. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for over two decades. She credits her yoga practice, both on the mat and in her life, for giving her the tools live a life of meaning, health and joy. Her coaching is another avenue she uses to share the benefits of living a life mindfully and thoughtfully. Of being aware of why we do the things we do, to build the tools we need for our self-care, and to help us move forward into the future. To gain clarity around who we are, what’s important to us, and how to achieve our goals.

Working one-on-one and with groups, Brandi’s yoga and coaching help people find their way to fulfillment, and she values the opportunity to contribute to the well-being and happiness of others.

Brandi is currently studying to become a Professional Counsellor. You can learn more about her at her website at brandicowl.com

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Lois Cummings

Lois Cummings, Certified Professional & Personal Coach

Adult Services

Connecting with people is most meaningful to me. Investing in others led me to coaching. What could be more meaningful than creating a Coaching relationship that supports growth, transformation and the realization of potential.

I have extensive experience as a woman in the corporate world which has given me the opportunity to work with many amazing people. This is balanced by my role as a mom.

I have a Professional and Personal Coach Certification through Concordia University and am an ICF credentialed Associate Certified Coach. You can count on me to support your journey and we will have some fun along the way.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Andrea Davidson

Andrea Davidson, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Child & Teen Services 

Andrea Davidson has over 13 years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families. Andrea has particular expertise in areas associated with anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, peer relations, parenting challenges, body image, self-esteem, physical abuse, complex trauma, conjugal violence and crisis intervention.

Andrea is passionate about taking a client-centered approach that is flexible and accommodating to her client’s needs while remaining solution focused. Andrea strives to create a warm and non-judgmental environment where children and adolescents can express themselves freely and feel at ease.

Andrea received a Bachelor’s degree in Humanistic Studies from McGill University, a Bachelor’s of Law degree from Université de Montréal and a Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University. Andrea is a member in good standing with the Ordre Professionnel des Travailleurs Sociaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ) and the Barreau du Quebec.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Tyler Dockendorff

Tyler Dockendorff, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services 

Tyler is a clinical social worker and registered member of the Order of Social Workers, Family and Marriage Therapists of Quebec (OTSTCFQ). He completed a bachelor’s in biology and sociology respectively, as well as a Masters of Social Work at McGill. He has experience working with men struggling with violent emotions and behaviour, as well as an assortment of other issues.

His therapeutic interests include depression, anger, anxiety, domestic violence, as well as communication issues and life-changes.

His approach uses the Needs ABC model as well as Motivational Interviewing in order to help clients contextualize and appreciate their problem behaviours, while finding more fulfilling ways to meet their needs.

Tyler is firmly invested in his own personal therapy process and knows how hard it can be to begin one’s own journey. As such, he strives to create an environment where people can feel safe and contained, and where they can ultimately leave feeling understood. If you are currently ‘in the pit’ and feeling like there is no way out, he would invite you to reach out. You do not have to do this alone.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Dr. Jamie Marie Duggan

Dr. Jamie Marie Duggan, Ph.D.

Child & Teen Services

Dr. Jamie Duggan is a graduate from the School of Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University. Her clinical and research interests include emotion regulation, body image, self-harm, anxiety and depression, learning disabilities, and ADHD in both elementary-aged children and adolescents. Dr. Duggan completed her clinical internship and practicum at the Day/Evening Hospital at the Jewish General Hospital, a treatment centre for children with psychological, cognitive, behavioural, and family problems.

She completed her combined Master’s and Doctoral degree in Education at McGill Unversity and her Bachelor’s degree in Honors Psychology at Concordia University. She has also presented at numerous national conferences and published in the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Psychiatry Research, and School Mental Health. Dr. Duggan is also a member in good standing with the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec. Dr. Duggan is also a certified yoga teacher and incorporates her love for the mind-body connection and wellness into her therapeutic approach.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Alexandra Elharrar

Alexandra Elharrar

Administration

Alexandra Elharrar is a member of the administrative team at the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre. She has completed her D.E.C at John Abbott College. She is currently studying her Bachelor’s in Social Work at McGill University.  Alexandra is a creative, sensitive, nurturing and organized individual who uses all of her strengths in helping our clients feel safe and understood.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Gina Glidden, PhD, PSW, SCC

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Gina Glidden is a professional social worker and a special care counselor with over 25 combined years of clinical work.  Her work experience reaches across the lifespan: youth, young adults and adults with disabilities; siblings and parents of children with disabilities; and seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

With her clients, Gina provides support, guidance, emotional accompaniment, and resources related to issues of loss and grief; sadness, depression and anxiety; transitioning into adulthood; adjustment to new life circumstances; and post-diagnostic support. She recognizes that asking for help is not easy, and she strives to provide gentle support so that her clients can experience their journey through change as meaningfully as possible.

Gina works with individuals and/or groups, in English and/or French.

Gina completed her PhD in social work (2019) at McGill University and a postdoctoral fellowship through the University of Calgary where her research focused on the help-seeking of mothers and fathers of children with neurodisabilities, and on the provision of post-diagnostic support. She also received her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in social work at McGill University, and a DEC in Special Care Counselling at Champlain Regional College. Gina is a member of the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ).

In her free time, Gina loves to read, garden, and go on walks with her husband, and she has recently begun learning to play the cello.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Laura Gilbert, MFT

Teen & Adult Services

Laura Gilbert is a licensed MFT and ADHD Coach. She has a MA in Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Literature. She has more than 20 years of experience in the practice of psychotherapy and is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Literature Online.

Over the years, Laura has worked with adults, adolescents, couples and families with particular expertise in areas associated with Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Addictions, Grief, Stress Management, Relationships as well as Cognitive-Behaviuor Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. She also has specialized training with children and has worked in schools addressing such issues as Asperger Syndrome, ADHD as well as social, emotional and behavioural issues.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

jessica

Jessica Gottlieb, MSW, PSW, t.s

Child & Teen Services

Jessica Gottlieb has over 18 years of experience working with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. She is passionate about empowering and motivating her clients to reach their fullest potential while creating a warm therapeutic alliance. Jessica is trained in a variety of counselling techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

She specializes in symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, parenting challenges, attachment, behaviour, Autism Spectrum Disorder, conjugal violence, abuse, postpartum depression and anxiety, complex trauma, and crisis intervention.  Jessica wrote the critically acclaimed book: BEing BEa. BEing BEa is a book and a workbook about overcoming worry and building self-confidence for kids.

Jessica specializes in building self-confidence, teaching coping skills and social skills. She is certified in ADOS and ADI-R and therefore can provide systematic and standardized methods for identifying individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations from Concordia University and her Master’s of Social Work degree from McGill University. Jessica is a member in good standing with the Ordre Professionnel des Travailleurs Sociaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ).

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Jory Gruber

Jory Gruber OTR, Msc

Child Services

Jory Gruber is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist with over 15 years of experience working with children. For as long as she can remember, she has had a deep passion to work with this population in any capacity she could help them in. Jory specializes in areas associated with child development; ranging from gross and fine motor skills to handwriting skills, school and play skill development, visual motor and visual perceptual skills.

In every therapy session that Jory leads, she shows a strong passion to enhance the child’s function, independence and quality of life. Through Jory’s professional experience, she has developed a diverse set of skills that have helped her clients reach their goals and assist them in leading fulfilling lives in their classrooms and in the community.  Jory strives on helping children realize their full potential, by working with their strengths to overcome their challenges.

Jory received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McGill University and her Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree from University of Toronto. Jory is a member in good standing with the Ordre des Ergothérapeutes du Québec.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Sherri Gutberg

Sherri Gutberg, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Sherri Gutberg is a graduate from McGill University where she obtained her bachelor and master of social work. She has close to 20 years experience working in the public sector and has particular experience in working with children, teens, individuals, couples and families affected by ADHD, school anxiety, low confidence, autism, intellectual disabilities, generalized anxiety, depression, trauma, loss, stress management, relationship issues and life changes.

Sherri uses an emotionally focused approach to therapy, believing that each person is unique, bringing their own personality, experience, and perceptions into therapy. Therefore, her approach is holistic and client-centered. She aims to be very flexible and open minded, providing a safe environment for clients to share their stories. She works together with clients, helping them regain their strengths and empowering them on their journey to recovery and healing.

Sherri provides both short term and long term therapy.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Erika Infantino

Erika Infantino

Administration

Erika Infantino is a member of the administrative team at the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Honours Psychology with a minor in Multidisciplinary Studies in Science at Concordia University. Currently, she is completing her master’s degree in the School of Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University.

Erika has many years of experience working with both regular stream and special needs students. Her clinical and research interests include the impact of peer relations, the role of IEPS in schools, and teachers’ perspectives and use of IEPS. At the end of her studies, Erika will become a licensed school psychologist, working with youth in both school and private settings.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Mollie Lawrence, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Mollie Lawrence is a clinical social worker who has over ten years of experience working with children and over the last 7 years, she has worked with children, adolescents, young adults and their families in both the public and community sectors, including youth protection. Mollie has particular expertise in areas associated with a broad range of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder and psychosis.

She also has expertise in parent-child relationships, attachment, peer relations, body image and self-esteem, behavioral issues, complex trauma, conjugal violence and crisis intervention. Mollie has a passion for working with people and being able to connect and listen to them. Mollie strives to offer a warm, non judgmental and supportive therapeutic environment, whereby children, adolescents and their families can feel comfortable to express themselves with ease. She believes strongly in empowering her clients by using a strengths based approach, while also working with a systems theory by keeping her clients at the core. Mollie also frequently draws from various different therapeutic modalities such as play, cognitive-behavioral, solutions focused and emotion-focused therapies, in order to best accommodate her clients needs.

Mollie obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees of Social Work from McGill University, and is a member in good standing with the Ordre des Travailleurs Sociaux et des Thérapeutes Conjugaux et Familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ).

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Olivia Lazimbat

Olivia Lazimbat

Intern 

Olivia Lazimbat currently serves as an intern at the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre. She is currently a psychology undergraduate student at Concordia University. In the last few years, she has worked with children in many different settings. Initially, Olivia worked as a coordinator at a day camp for high-risk children, Syrian refugees and children with autism in the West Island community.
Since then, she has been a research assistant at a Concordia University laboratory which focuses on improving the quality of learning for children with learning disabilities. She has gone all across Montreal to conduct research in elementary schools and test children on their academic abilities while working at this lab. She also assists in research at another laboratory at Concordia University which focuses on the developmental trajectories of infants and children at risk for developmental problems and psychopathology. Olivia is very dedicated to working with children and is working on completing her undergraduate degree and continuing her education in psychology in graduate school.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Dr. Fallyn Leibovitch

Dr. Fallyn Leibovitch, Ph.D.

Child & Teen Services

Dr. Leibovitch is a graduate of the School/Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University and she is a member in good standing of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec. She has over 7 years of extensive experience in the Montreal hospital system, including both inpatient and outpatient child/adolescent psychiatry departments at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Her main areas of specialty are the assessment of autism spectrum disorder and conducting therapy with adolescents experiencing a variety of difficulties, including depression, anxiety, relational difficulties, and eating disorders.

When conducting assessments, Dr. Leibovitch aims to provide insight and help individuals and families understand the difficulties experienced at home and/or school, to provide a diagnosis if relevant, and to guide them toward appropriate and helpful resources. In therapy, Dr. Leibovitch aims to create a safe and non-judgmental space for teenagers to express themselves, understand and work on the issues they struggle with in their daily lives, as well as provide support, coping skills, and hope. While her approach is grounded in empirically validated therapeutic techniques (e.g., cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy), she tailors her sessions to the needs and personality of the individual.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Deborah-Levy

Deborah Levy, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Deborah has over 13 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She specializes in areas associated with anxiety, peer relationships, sibling relationships, parent-child relationships, couples and family relationships, physical abuse, sexual abuse, conjugal violence and children with special needs.

Deborah has a passion for working with people and being able to really connect and listen to them in a comfortable and safe environment.

Deborah has clinical experience in the spheres of individual and family therapy, youth protection and working with special needs children and their families.  All of her past experiences have contributed to her ability to work with a systems theory and solution-focused approach, while keeping her client at the core.

Deborah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Social Work from McGill University.  She is certified in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from McGill. Deborah is a member in good standing of the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Jaclyn Mestel

Jaclyn Mestel, MSW

Adult Services

Jaclyn Mestel is a member of the Quebec Order of Social Workers and the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec. Jaclyn has been a part of the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre for over 10 years. She has developed an expertise in working with young adults and truly enjoys accompanying her clients on their journeys of self-discovery.

Jaclyn enjoys working with people to determine their goals for therapy and how she can best support them. Jaclyn has over 10 years of private practice experience and 5 years’ experience working in high schools as both a guidance counselor and a group worker. She has experience in the areas of anxiety, depression, life transitions and more. Jaclyn believes that the relationship between the therapist and client is very valuable to help the client understand how they manage relationships outside of therapy. She likes to use the therapeutic relationship to help the client feel safe and understood and hopes that she can help the client transfer this acceptance and vulnerability into their lives.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Tanya van Niekerk

Tanya van Niekerk, MA, RP

Adult Services

Tanya van Niekerk is a qualifying registered psychotherapist. She has master’s degrees in both counselling psychology and research psychology. She has a special interest in postnatal depression, pre and post natal attachment and aspects related to loss and grief. She has experience in addictions and trauma support work and served on the Riebeek Valley Trauma Centre’s managing committee that operated in underprivileged communities in South Africa. Tanya is a life-long learner and continuously invests in ongoing training and formal supervision.

While she leans heavily towards working within a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) framework, she also believes in the importance of being flexible and using other evidence-based therapies to meet every client’s individual needs.

Tanya appreciates the strength it takes to reach out for help and has a deep respect for the brave and courageous people who do so. She believes therapy provides an opportunity to pinpoint the emotional pain that we have so effectively hidden away from ourselves. She offers a non-judgemental and empathetic space, where she encourages clients to explore and grow collaboratively. Tanya currently provides group therapy at the West Island Therapy and Wellness Centre.

Tanya is a member of the CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario) as well as the CCPA (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association).

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Stephanie O'Coin

Stephanie O’Coin, RPN, Mental Health Coach

Teen & Adult Services

Stephanie O’Coin has ten years of experience working with adolescents, adults, and their families. She engages a compassionate and non-judgemental approach to coaching, being respectful of her client’s distinctive journeys and life experiences. Stephanie provides a safe and nurturing space for clients to reflect and move forward while empowering them to challenge some of the fears and perceptions that may be hindering their progress,

Stephanie is trained in several approaches to coaching and therapy including cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing. Stephanie shapes her approach to best fit her client’s needs.

Stephanie specializes in issues associated with disordered eating and eating disorders. She has five years of in-patient experience as a primary support, and is fully aligned with the principles of weight neutrality in eating disorder care and the reality that the severity of an eating disorder, or disordered eating, is not always related to body size or weight. Stephanie also works with issues associated with anxiety, life transitions and depression.

Stephanie is a registered member of the College of Nurses of Ontario, Registered Practical Nurses of Ontario and the Canadian Nurses Association.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Ashley Orloff, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Ashley Orloff is a passionate clinical social worker who offers a warm, open, and supportive therapeutic environment. Her experience includes working with individuals for issues surrounding anxiety, depression, relationship, life changes/transitions, self-compassion, communication, and bereavement. Ashley firmly believes in a person’s inner wisdom, and as such, her primary approach is one that is strength-based.

She also frequently draws from cognitive-behavioural, mindfulness-based, and emotion-focused therapies in order to best suit your individual needs.

Over the last six years, Ashley has worked with adults and teens in the public sector as both a practitioner and clinical supervisor. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree of Social Work from McGill University, and is a member in good standing with the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ).

A little more about Ashley: She is a self-proclaimed podcast enthusiast, loves to read, meditates daily, and knows one too many facts about outer space.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Sierra Pecsi

Sierra Pecsi, M.Ed., CCC

Child & Teen Services

Sierra Pecsi is doctoral student in School/Applied Child Psychology at McGill University and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with several years of experience working with children and teens in a variety of settings. Sierra’s doctoral research will be examining the long-term effects of COVID-19 on youth anxiety and the factors that contribute to post-pandemic mental health outcomes. The goal of her research is to make research more practical and useful for clinicians.

Sierra’s clinical interests focus on helping children and teens overcome challenges associated with depression, anxiety, anger, self-esteem, stress, bullying, and relationships. She is dedicated to working with youth and their families to establish rapport and build healthy, and meaningful relationships.

Sierra uses a collaborative approach to suit the needs of her clients incorporating aspects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness, Solution-Focused Therapy and Play Therapy.

Sierra received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Concordia University and her Master’s in Counselling Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She is a member in good standing with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and is excited to be working toward her doctoral degree. Sierra has worked as a university career counsellor and co-facilitated parenting groups that focused on developing a positive and strong relationship between parent and child. Sierra is also a former dancer and dance teacher and enjoys learning about her clients’ interests and hobbies.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Rebecca Pollak, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Rebecca Pollak is a clinical social worker and a member of the Order of Social Workers, Family, and Marriage Therapists of Quebec (OTSTCFQ).  She offers therapy for individuals struggling with various issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, difficult life transitions, low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress and anger management.

Talking about personal challenges can be difficult, so Rebecca prioritizes creating a safe therapeutic space by using a non-judgemental and collaborative approach. In order to tailor treatment to her clients’ unique needs she draws from multiple evidence-based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotion Focused Therapy.  After treatment goals are identified, Rebecca accompanies clients in exploring and examining their feelings, perceptions, and behaviours.  She then offers insight and concrete tools to address future issues confidently. Rebecca’s ultimate goal is for individuals to increase their well-being and life satisfaction.

Rebecca completed her Master of Social Work at McGill University, with child sexual abuse as her area of focus. She has extensive knowledge of crisis intervention and the youth protection system through her work in the health and social service network.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Bianca Pungartnik, MSc, OCCOQ, CCPA

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Bianca is a licensed counsellor with the Ordre des conseillers et conseillères d’orientation du Québec (OCCOQ), and pursuing a psychotherapy permit with the Ordre des psychologues du Québec (CCPA). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Concordia University and her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counselling at The State University of New York.

She has over six years of professional experience as a clinical mental health & crisis counsellor working with a diverse client group struggling with a wide range of difficulties including behavioural problems, emotional regulation, reactive attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conversion disorder, as well as relationship difficulties.
Bianca focuses on a broad range of child, adolescent and family treatment techniques and modalities to restore functional stability in the home and community environment. Her integrative approach is client-directed, and involves a combination of various methods and principles tailored to each client’s needs, while honouring their individualism.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Nataki Roberts

Nataki Roberts, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Nataki Roberts MSW, psw, has over 20 years experience working in mental health. Nataki works with couples, adults and adolescents experiencing relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder and burnout. Nataki offers a safe space where she works collaboratively with clients finding their inner strength and developing the necessary tools to address the issues they are struggling with.

Nataki helps individuals reach their therapeutic goals utilizing approaches such as systematic approach, solution focused therapy, and CBT techniques. Nataki offers both long term and solution focused therapy

Nataki also has extensive experience with individuals and their families from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, who have been affected by Autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities.

Nataki received a masters degree in Social Work from McGill University and is a member of l’Ordre des Travailleurs Sociaux du Québec.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Lisa Rutledge

Lisa Rutledge, RD

Teen & Adult Services

Lisa Rutledge is a registered dietitan who has worked in both the public and private sector for the past 15 years. She is currently registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario, Order of Dietitians of Quebec and is a member of Dietitians of Canada.

Lisa graduated from McGill University in Nutritional Sciences and completed a dietetic internship at various institutions in Montreal, Quebec. Lisa is experienced working with both adults and teens in both individual counselling and group nutrition education.

She is dedicated to helping folx repair their relationship with food and body through a weight inclusive lens. Lisa works with clients who are seeking recovery from their eating disorder as well as those interested in adopting an intuitive eating approach.
Lisa specializes in nutritional support for eating disorder recovery and healing from disordered eating, the intuitive and mindful eating approaches to wellness as well as experience managing chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Tammy Frohlich-Salis, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Adult Services

Tammy Frohlich-Salis is a member in good standing of the Order of Social Workers of Quebec. Tammy has 25 years of counseling expertise in hospital settings, schools, and private practice. She specializes in the treatment of young adults and is known for her empathy, compassion, and sense of humour. Tammy connects well people, helps them to define therapy goals, and supports their journey of  change or acceptance.

Tammy is seasoned in the area of anxiety, depression, trauma, relationships, life transitions and loss. Tammy believes that when clients feel safe and understood, they can best use the counseling space to deepen their insight and expand their capacity to manage and cope with complicated feelings.

Tammy received her Bachelor’s in Social Work Degree from McGill University and her Master’s of Social Work degree from Boston University.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Hamida Shahid, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Hamida is a clinical social worker accredited by the Order of Social Workers, Family, and Marriage Therapists of Quebec (OTSTCFQ), and pursuing a psychotherapy permit with the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec (OPQ). She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations at Concordia University and her Master’s degree in Social Work at McGill University. 

Hamida is continually inspired by the strength, determination, and resiliency she witnesses in individuals who strive to thrive despite adversity. 

She engages in an open, non-judgmental, and collaborative approach to ensure that her clients feel safe and empowered to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Hamida often includes elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy, and Culturally Sensitive Therapy along with Positive Psychology approaches in her work. She uses an eclectic intervention approach tailored to the unique needs of her clients to help them function to the best of their abilities and live meaningful lives. 

Hamida specializes in issues associated with anxiety, depression, stress management, anger management, self-esteem, career/education concerns, adjustments to life transitions, and family and relationship concerns. 

Individuals, couples, and families of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds are welcomed. 

Languages: English, French, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Ronna Sinclair

Ronna Sinclair, Special Care Counselor

Child, Teen & Adult Services

Ronna Sinclair is a Special Care Counselor with 25 years’ experience in the public sector. Her extensive career in the helping profession has allowed her to work with neuro-typical clientele and those with a diagnosis. She has practiced in daycares, schools, group homes, home environments and/or in the community. Her role as an SCC has allowed her to work with children, teenagers, young adults and with parents who have children with challenges.  She has extensive experience with variety of diagnoses:  ASD, ADD, ADHD, ODD, emotional, social and/or behavioral challenges. 

Ronna is skilled in the areas of prevention, adaptation, rehabilitation, emotional regulation and social integration.  She is hands-on, uses a behavioral approach, and will work with the client to develop concrete tools and strategies that work best for them. Tools, strategies and interventions will be individualized so they best match the clients personality, level of cognition, environment and needs. Ronna has had tremendous success in creating a “solution-based” focus and pairing that with helping the client generalize the tools to the environment where it is most needed.

Working with parents who struggle with a child who presents with difficult behavior is also an area that Ronna has expertise. It is not uncommon for parents of children with challenging behaviors to find themselves in a “survival mode “ state, and realize they need support to rework their approach, reactions and responses. Ronna has had success in working along side parents and together developing concrete tools and strategies to help them regain calm and consistency in the home.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

France Turcotte

France Turcotte B.Ed

Child & Teen Services

France Turcotte was an elementary school teacher for 35 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in preschool and elementary education. During her long career, she participated in the development of the French immersion program for Kindergarten and created a working document for students in Grade 3 called “L’Ouvre-boîte” for the Montreal Protestant School Board.

Mme. Turcotte is currently working as a French language tutor and assists in identifying learning difficulties in children. Her aim is to first develop self-esteem within her clients and then provides them with tools to help improve their academic performance and extend their interest in learning. Teaching children different facets of their intelligence so that they can flourish as a child and as a learner, is a teachers most exciting adventure. 

Let us teach them from the heart!

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Tarina Wagschal

Tarina Wagschal

Teen & Adult Services

Tarina Wagschal is a certified life strategist and executive coach who has worked over the last 18 years both in the private sector and with individuals. She has earned the reputation for a gold standard expert in life strategy and working with people to discover and live the best versions of their lives. Tarina has a direct and pragmatic communication style and is known for her ability to help people transform their lives and drive them towards deliberate successful action.

Tarina specializes in working with our clients who want to take their journey to the next level and have a plan that they are ready to put into action. Whether that be a young adult striving to find their career path, a professional who wants to build a successful side business, or a stay at home parent wanting a better work-family life balance. Tarina works with her clients to execute a master plan to achieve life goals.

Tarina received her Bachelor’s of Sociology and Human Relations at Concordia University. Tarina also holds numerous post university certifications related to individual/ team transformation. Tarina is an author of a # 1 international bestseller book and the co-author of an award-winning book written with the mental coach of Roger Federer.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Chrissy Weber

Chrissy Weber, MA, CCC

Teen & Adult Services

Chrissy Weber is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and former life coach. Chrissy has over 10 years of experience working with adolescents and adults, and has a passion for helping individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, ADHD, postpartum depression, parental burnout, relationship difficulties and more. Chrissy is known for empowering and motivating her clients to push past their limitations in order to achieve their personal goals. She works with individuals and couples, as well as facilitating support groups and workshops.

While she knows that it can be hard to reach out for help and that therapy can sometimes be awkward, Chrissy prides herself on forming a strong therapeutic alliance with her clients, where they feel at ease to share. Using compassion, empathy and a little bit of humour, Chrissy helps her clients explore their current circumstances in a safe and supportive environment. She is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but uses a multitude of techniques to help meet her clients’ current needs.

Chrissy received her bachelor’s degree in Human Relations from Concordia University and Master’s in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. She is a member in good standing with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and is actively seeking a permit with the OPQ.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Arielle Ben-Zaken, MSW, PSW, t.s.

Teen & Adult Services

Arielle Ben-Zaken received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Concordia University, and her Master’s of Social Work degree from McGill University. Arielle is a member, in good standing, with the Ordre Professionnel des Travailleurs Sociaux du Québec (OTSTCFQ). Arielle has over 10 years of experience working with children and adolescents.

She is passionate about mental health in youth, as well as supporting her clients as they work through challenges they may be experiencing. Arielle specializes in issues associated with general anxiety, school related anxiety, peer relationships, body image, self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and depressive symptoms.

By establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients, Arielle works to create a safe space for them to share their thoughts and feelings. In doing so, Arielle is also able to empower her clients along their journey of self-discovery.

EMAIL: info@westislandtherapycentre.com

Emotional Support Dog

Theo

Emotional Support Dog

My name is Theo.  I am a three year old Bernese Mountain dog who is trained to be an emotional support dog.  I am extremely affectionate and gentle. I love running outside, playing tug of war,  taking long lazy naps in the sun but most of all, I love putting smiles on people’s faces.  I very much welcome a good belly rub and some cuddles so don’t hesitate to approach me! I may be big but i’m extremely loving and nurturing. I look forward to helping all kinds of people, both kids and adults, by putting them at ease, reducing their stress and bringing joy to their lives!

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