Toronto and Newmarket Couples and Family Therapist,
Teen and Young Adult Counsellor
I am a father of three amazing young adults. Above all else, being a parent is the most important role in life for me. Creating a healthy positive family is a difficult task. It is also one of the most satisfying and at times frustrating responsibilities.
I have always enjoyed working with children. As a teenager, I began working with “troubled children” at summer camps progressing from counsellor to camp director by my early twenties. I found that combining the love of nature, outdoor activities and a sense of community made a wonderful environment to teach children important life lessons about themselves and others.
As I began to study psychology and then social work at university, I worked with “difficult youth” in group homes, treatment centres and juvenile detention. It opened my eyes to many tragic situations yet was inspiring for me to witness how some young people overcame huge obstacles.
Eventually I turned my attention to learning about how families functioned. I wanted to learn how to help parents create families that provided the best atmosphere for launching healthy children into adulthood. I studied extensively as a marriage and family counsellor and have worked intensively with couples, adolescents and their families.
I became a very good counsellor by empathizing with both parents and teens. I have been told that I excelled at bridging the gap between them. When both parties are feeling discouraged I manage to find the strengths and the positive ground on which to build success and overcome the challenges.
I discovered both professionally and personally how difficult parenting is by being humbled by my own children who taught me a great deal about how to be a father as a well as a good counsellor. Teenagers are an incredible challenge and can hurt us to our core. They also can be a great source of joy.
I recognized how fragile the bond of marriage can become. There are tremendous pressures and expectations on couples. These pressures come from each other and from work, extended family and community. I know how little problems neglected, turn into bigger problems. I appreciate the many challenges of marriage. I bring my well honed skills of bridging and facilitating to help you with your marriage. Some of these skills I learned in helping parents and teens in conflict.
My own marriage of 23 years ended about 12 years ago. Despite every effort we made including couples therapy at several points during the marriage, we were not able to save it. It is a humbling experience knowing what I know professionally and still not being able to keep my personal relationship alive. After the separation, I spent a period of time grieving the end of our marriage. I focused on helping my children adjust to the loss of the family as they knew it. I became closer to my children even though I saw them less often. I was more deliberate in making sure I attended to their needs.
I was eventually ready to date and found and fell deeply in love with an absolutely wonderful woman. We dated for several years as we each adjusted to being separated while being ever mindful of each of our teenagers’ well being. We both tried to put our children’s needs first while not neglecting our relationship. We now live together and have a very happy, secure and loving relationship. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance at finding love.
I bring my breadth of knowledge, skill and experience to help you with your marriage, as parents of teens and figuring out whether to stay in your relationship.
I have always loved learning. Throughout my career, as a clinical supervisor for counsellors in a public child and family service organization, a university field instructor of masters level student social workers and as a clinical supervisor of therapists currently, I stay current of the most effective approaches to help address a wide range of challenges through professional training, supervision and extensive reading.
I also like to learn from you how to be successful. I do that by getting your feedback from session to session. Not only does systematic collection of your progress and satisfaction with sessions improve your chance of reaching your goals, it also tells us how successful we are and how we can get better at what we do. People are 7.5 times more likely to accomplish their stated goals we me than if they did not seek professional help.
At this point in my career of over 30 years, I continue to love what I do. Seeing couples, families and individuals overcome obstacles, renew their resilience and rekindle love, always brings me great joy. I feel very fortunate to be able to make a meaningful difference in the quality of other people’s lives.Teaching others what you know and striving to learn what you don’t, has always been central to all aspects of my life. I am a life-long learner. I was a clinical supervisor for counsellors in a public child and family service organization for 11 years, as well as a university field instructor, training social workers for 15 years. I keep current of the most effective approaches to help address a wide range of challenges through professional training and extensive reading.
Allan Findlay ReachesToronto ONNewmarket ON