Focus: individual counselling for anxiety, depression, ADHD, anger management, assertiveness, social skills, addictions, self-esteem, trauma, and life issues.
Life is not always easy. Difficult times are needlessly intensified when we choose to journey alone, rather than in partnership and community. Sometimes we journey alone because we feel ashamed in asking for help. As if asking for help is admitting weakness. I believe the exact opposite is true. I believe the act of asking for help is an act of courage, and exemplifies great strength. Seeking support in a time of need is not an admission of weakness, but an honest and reflective admission of our humanity. If you’re human, you will struggle at times in your life. This is completely normal.
As a counsellor who works with adolescents and adults I specialize in the treatment of mood disorders including depression and anxiety, anger issues, addictions, trauma, ADHD, low self-esteem, and assertiveness development. With an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Master in Special Education, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, as well as additional training in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), I am educated and passionate about working with you through your personal struggles.
When we can acknowledge our personal struggles as a normal part of life, we open ourselves up to a wealth of professionals who are eager to provide support and encouragement. As a committed and experienced counsellor, I would be honoured to support you in your journey through the trying challenges and obstacles that are a normal part of human life.
Focus: Individuals, Adolescents, Children, Families, Couples, Self-esteem, Bullying, Identity, Parenting, Transitions, Anxiety/Depression.
You have come a long way already. At this moment, you have built up your many strengths and ways of coping with life’s triumphs and disasters. You have developed these on your own, from within yourself. And now you are looking for help, to become even stronger and to find other ways of coping. I would be honoured to help you with this work. Let’s work together to discover and experience your most capable, best self.
I am a daughter, sister, aunt, wife and a mother. I know the joys and the pressures of being counted on in all of these different relationships. I know the expectations that I place upon myself can be the toughest of all. If you are feeling that your relationships have become unbalanced, take heart. We can work together to find a rhythm that makes each day a little easier.
I will work with you to discover the approach that best suits you – I believe there is something out there for everyone! I have worked with children, adolescents, adults using an experiential approach and making use of Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques where appropriate for anxiety and depression. I also see couples and families and I have training in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) which is highly effective for many clients. Just as every person and issue is unique, I try to be flexible in my approach and find the right fit for you.
Education & Training
I have a Bachelor’s in Honours Psychology from University of Ottawa (2003) and a Master’s in Counselling Psychology from Trinity Western University (2007). I am a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Psychometrists (OACCPP). I have lived and worked for nearly a decade in the Middle East and now enjoy working with clients, couples and families in the GTA.
I know that it can be so difficult to take the steps to seek help. You’re not alone in this feeling. And you don’t need to cope alone anymore, either. It’s such a relief to feel heard and be helped.
Focus: Individuals, Couples, Teens, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Corporate/Career Advancement, Life Coaching, Relationships issues, Parenting, Anger, Self-esteem/Self-confidence
The reason I became a therapist was to help others lessen the time they spend in emotional pain, discomfort, and/or uncertainty. I have spent many years working in the corporate world only to feel compelled to help others overcome problems that were preventing them from living life the way they wanted. I went on to complete my Masters in Counselling. My thesis focused on early childhood messages and their influences in adult decision making and was nominated for a Gold medal. It is a topic I continue to research and evolve today.
I view my role as a facilitator in the process of helping others achieve their goals and creating a life that is meaningful for them. I utilize a solution-focused approach to help create effective strategies to achieve the desired outcome and incorporate other therapeutic strategies to help identify what beliefs, thoughts, and/or behaviours are the root cause of the problem(s).
I have worked with individuals on personal matters including depression, anxiety, self-esteem/confidence, parenting, etc., helped couples with relationship/marital issues, coached individuals through work-related problems, provided career/vocational guidance, and helped others to overcome core identity issues that kept them stuck for many years.
I have been described by my clients as being deeply caring and understanding. I give the utmost respect and confidentiality to this work and am committed to helping others create lasting, positive change.
Offices: Hamilton/ Oakville
Focus: Child & Adolescent, Individual, Addiction, Depression/Anxiety, Christian Counselling
When I was a little girl, I had a tough day. Then I had another. And another. At first, I thought they were nothing. Then, suddenly, they were everything. It wasn’t until I reached out to my guidance counsellor that I realized how much I wanted, and needed, help. Some time later, when the tough days were becoming increasingly rare, I was able to recognize that the counsellor to whom I had been referred had saved my life. More than that, I knew that if I wanted to feel accomplished in this life, I would use my own experiences with depression and anxiety in order to help those who came after me.
I have spent years studying counselling and working within the mental health and addictions fields and while my experiences have helped teach me and change me, the one thing they have not changed is my desire to work with and support individuals. Working with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Brescia University College and a Masters in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University, my counselling focus often reflects the beginning of my own journey as I seek to support children and adolescents who may be experiencing their own string of tough days. In this way, I strive to make individuals feel safe as they share their stories, so that we can work together to identify and build on the skills and qualities they already have to overcome their struggles. Though I do most of my work in cognitive behavioural therapy and narrative therapy, I also have experience with and enjoy working with exposure therapy, attachment therapy, family systems therapy and Christian therapy.
If you are experiencing your own struggles, I would love to meet you and work with you so that you can overcome the struggles that are so uniquely yours. Hope to hear from you soon!
Offices: Burlington/ Oakville
Languages: English/ Spanish
Focus: Child and Youth Psychotherapy specialized in Play Therapy; Childhood development issues; Behavioral issues; Sexual abuse recovery; Separation and Divorce recovery; Adults seeking recovery from trauma and a profound understanding through psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
In all that you dream and you dare
Taking time to help others find their dreams as well,
Being ready to give and to share
Success is enjoying the pathways you’ve chosen,
And feeling so glad to be you,
Helping others to feel self-fulfillment,
and joy, and real pride in whatever they do.
Success is discovering new ways to reach higher
And reach out to those all around
For only through caring
And helping and giving
Can life’s true successes
“What is success? Success is believing in all you can be.”
This is a quote that has guided me through the years. For me, helping my clients re-gain their self-esteem and thrive is the most satisfying experience.
Life is not always easy. Families are not perfect. Babies don’t come with instructions. Through emphatic listening and some psychoeducation together we will find alternatives. Despite all difficulties loving and caring will always get you through.
Over 20 years in the mental health field I have gained a vast experience treating problems such as: Child development issues (feeding problems; toiletry training; sleep disturbances); school phobia; gender identity issues; divorce; blended families; separation anxiety and attachment disturbances; discipline and anger management; depression; grief; abuse and trauma. I have worked and volunteered at very different settings: Agencies; Hospitals; Schools; Correctional institutions, etc. always advocating for children suffering from any type of abuse. Since I was trained abroad I did my internship and final thesis at the Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Mexico City, I received an award on my thesis because I was a pioneer on the subject. I graduated and continued my formation as a Child and Youth Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. I started my private practice always reserving space for children victims of abuse. My studies have been assessed as equivalent by University of Toronto, I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member in good standing with OACCPP.
Recently I have worked helping adult clients recovering from MVA, and conducting CBT groups for women victims of Domestic Violence. Recovery from trauma can be tough. My consistency and caring patience has helped me and my clients to achieve that recovery even in some very difficult cases.
I welcome the opportunity of sharing your story, your suffering and your successes overcoming life’s turns, just give me a call.
Melissa Di Fonzo
HBSc, HBSW, MSW, RSW
Registered Social Worker
Offices: Mississauga/ Oakville
Focus: Individual Psychotherapy, Children, Adolescents, Adults, Eating Disorders, Self-Harming & Cutting, Addictions, Emotional regulation (e.g., anger, depression, anxiety), Low Self-Esteem, Depression
Do you experience issues with food, weight, and shape and low self-esteem? If so, you are not alone.
I have dedicated my life to helping to support individuals overcome eating disorders and other mental health and life challenges that often occur alongside it. I recognize that eating issues are expressions of deeper emotions and pain. I am passionate about helping people understand the root causes of the disordered eating behaviours and helping you to get out of the cycle and gain control of your life again. We will work together to help you learn strategies and tools to help you cope with your emotions and behaviours and also explore the deeper feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and experiences underlying them.
My approach is client-centered and collaborative. I consider compassion and understanding as being essential for building a safe therapeutic relationship. Remember you are never alone on this journey of life and if you feel like you or someone you love might be struggling with an eating disorder, there is help available and FULL recovery is possible.
Masters of Social Work from Laurier University , Honours Bachelor of Social Work from Lakehead University, Honours Bachelor of Science from The University of Toronto