BA (Psychology), MEd
Office: Oakville, Online counselling
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. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Master in Special Education from the University of Victoria. In addition, Ialso have training in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) and I am 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.
Rita Van Dooren
Registered Social Worker
Office: Burlington/ Oakville
Focus: Child and Family Counselling, Parenting, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, Stress Management, Life Transitions, Complicated Grief, Mood Disorders, Spiritual and Emotional Abuse Recovery, Christian Counselling.
When we struggle with emotional pain that interferes with our ability to enjoy life, we all need a place to land and process our pain. By seeking counselling, you have chosen to engage in a collaborative process where people who are hurting break out of stuck places to explore alternate ways of seeing and doing. You may actually discover that the counselling relationship may be the first place you receive nonjudgmental affirmation and validation.
Serving those brave enough to take on the hard work of emotional restoration is an amazing privilege. I see one’s journey as having been influenced by every part of life’s experience and once we understand what makes us who we are, we embark on a new understanding of that journey. This self-awareness gives us insights into our struggles, but the tools required for emotional and spiritual growth is where the real work happens.
I remember well the stigma of my experience with anxiety and postpartum depression. Later, I became involved with setting up a postpartum service agency that offered educational resources for health professionals and families. I remain passionate to this day about the value of equipping families to be the best they can be. More recently, as a mental health counsellor in a medical setting, much of my work was addressing the psychosocial and interpersonal barriers to wellness, which is a timely and important addition to physicians in family practices.
The therapeutic interventions I employ depend on what is deemed to be the best fit for the person entering the counselling relationship. Whatever their journey looks like, the client remains in control of the process and direction of the work. Although counsellors have access to many kinds of interventions, I prefer to use a therapeutic lens that addresses attachment injury and its impact on the developmental milestones and relationships throughout the lifespan. The understanding of how early developmental trauma or life’s adversities impact on our capacity for attachment is an integral component toward understanding why some of us seem more resilient to life’s challenges than others.
I look forward to partnering with those who wish to explore and discover their inner strengths and who seek to find the confidence to rise above adversity. To be a part of this journey with you would be a great honour.
When we deny our feelings, we stop feeling anything and the opposite of curiosity is disengagement. When we deny our stories, we disengage from tough emotions but they don’t go away. They own and define us. Our job is not to deny the story but to deny the ending. To rise strong, recognize our story and the humble truth of its impact, we arrive at a place where we can say, yes this has happened. This is my truth and I will choose how the story ends.
Focus: OakvilleIndividuals, 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. It 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.