Heather Kent, MC, CCC, RP(Q)

Heather Kent View Specialties

First and foremost, my primary concern is to provide my clients with a space that is safe, welcoming, and open. As such, establishing a relationship of trust and collaboration is the basis of my therapeutic approach, which is guided by a client-centred focus. I believe that each of us experiences and interacts with the world differently, and we each have our own unique story to share; I believe that my clients are their own best experts, and that everyone has the ability to create lasting positive change in their lives.
Using a trauma-informed approach, I strive to be aware of the effects of power and privilege that may impact a client's experience of events, and I am passionate about helping my clients to feel empowered and hopeful, as they
discover their personal strengths and resilience within themselves. I also believe that the body is the most powerful resource that we have, and that we can learn much from the body by reading its signs and listening closely to what it is telling us.
My counselling practice to date has provided me with opportunities to pursue further clinical training in cross-cultural and trauma-based approaches. I recently completed the Refugee Mental Health - Focus on Syrian Refugees course offered by the CAMH Refugee Mental Health Project, as well as the Advanced Trauma Assessment and Treatment certificate program through Safeguards Training for Children and Adult Services, which included a particular emphasis on sexual assault trauma in children and adolescents. Additionally, I completed previous trauma training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing. These professional learning opportunities allow me to conduct formal trauma assessments, as needed/requested, and have provided me with a rich theoretical framework for understanding and addressing trauma physiology; they support mood regulation, the reworking of addictive patterns, and the prevention or resolution of PTSD.
I also practice Animal-Assisted Therapy with specific clients who would benefit from the presence of a professionally trained therapy dog. Jaguar is a professionally trained black Labrador Retriever, and is often used as an adjunct to therapy in cases of trauma, anxiety, depression, and in assertiveness training work. A large number of clients that I serve seek my services due to difficulties with anxiety, emotion regulation, and depression. Each assessment and treatment plan is individually created based on the assessed needs of the client; as such, incorporation of therapy dogs into treatment is done on the basis of working towards achievement of goals, whether they be related to self-calming, anxiety relief, trauma, assertiveness skills training, or developing healthy connections with other living beings.   
In a collaborative fashion, I hope to assist clients with an approach that is integrative and holistic, drawing largely from attachment, emotion-focused, narrative, body-centred and mindfulness-based philosophies, as well as some dialectical and cognitive-behavioural approaches, when needed.

Heather Kent Reaches

Whitby ON