I am a professional psychotherapist in private practice and graduated from the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy (1998). I completed a Master's degree in Communication Disorders at the University of Vermont (1983) and a BA in modern languages at the University of Toronto (1977).
I have close to 30 years of experience as a therapist, writer, editor, curriculum designer and adult educator. Before finding my home in psychotherapy, I provided intervention and counseling to parents and young children with language delays and other special needs.
In addition to my practice in adult psychotherapy and parent-child psychotherapy I am a program developer and lead trainer with The Psychology Foundation of Canada.
My guiding approach is "relational psychotherapy" which is based on the view that our well-being throughout life depends on healthy relationships with others. This goes back to our first attachments during which our core feelings about ourselves are formed. Do we feel lovable and valued or flawed in some way and doubtful that we can be truly loved? Our infant brains are patterned on these early experiences and affect how easily we make and maintain friendships, how we control our behaviour, how easily we learn, and eventually how we parent our own children.
The goal of therapy is to help you feel understood and valued as you come to identify the feelings and beliefs that cause you anxiety and pain. As you feel freer to express who you are within the therapeutic relationship you will also begin to relate more authentically in your everyday relationships. With a greater understanding of what you need to feel loved and secure you will have a new sense of how to make relationships work for you. And when you start to experience more joy and vitality in your life, you’ll know that therapy is working.
Within the relational framework, I draw from other theories and modalities as appropriate, including neuroscience, attachment, mindfulness, trauma, adoption, cross-cultural attachment, child development and others. To stay current I read, attend seminars, belong to the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists and am supervised in my work.
Claire Watson ReachesToronto ON