Psychotherapy for Men and Women

“Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
— C. G. Jung

What do you want to awaken within yourself?

Stephen has integrated an effective model of change for clients who have emotional or relationship blocks. These blocks can inhibit our truest expression of self, our ability to love and relate to others, the confidence we need to recognize our yearning and follow it through. Through individual psychotherapy, you can learn to recognize and better respond to your emotions, change unhealthy and limiting patterns of behavior, explore new interpersonal skills and improve your relationships.

Everyone can benefit from emotional maturity and balance. Psychotherapy provides an effective response to a wide range of difficulties that individuals regularly experience such as anxiety, depression, anger, and stress. Without addressing these difficulties, we may continue to re-experience them again and again.

Psychotherapy is also effective in treating addiction, gaining assistance with life and workplace transitions, addressing relationship abuse, and offering support during times of grief and loss.

“Psychotherapy works for the treatment of depression, and the benefits are substantial. In head-to-head comparisons, in which the short-term effects of psychotherapy and antidepressants are pitted against each other, psychotherapy works as well as medication. This is true regardless of how depressed the person is to begin with. Psychotherapy looks even better when its long-term effectiveness is assessed.”

— Irving Kirsch, Harvard Medical School, author of The Emperor’s New Drugs

Couples Counselling

“A lot of conflict is about the conversation the couple never had but needed to have.”
— John M. Gottman

The beginning of a relationship is usually exciting and hopeful, it’s the romantic stage of a relationship. At this point we are imagining some wonderful things about one another. Somewhere along the way, however, the illusion dissolves and we begin to see the differences that exist between us. They exist between any two people, but with someone we are sharing our life with this requires effort to resolve. That’s when couples counselling, also referred to as marriage counselling or relationship counselling, is helpful.

Love reveals what needs to be healed. Only, it’s not your partner’s job to heal you. That unconscious fantasy alone is the single greatest obstacle to discovering happiness in relationship.

Couples counselling offers those in relationship the opportunity to replace negative patterns such as blame, distance or resentment, and control with positive alternatives – open, co-empowered dialogue. It is also a safe and positive environment to address complex issues negatively affecting the relationship, including abuse, addictions, or infidelity.

Stephen provides insightful relationship therapy, helping each partner communicate openly while learning how to resolve conflict and improve intimacy. When working with couples, he draws from his training and experience working with several paradigms — Satir Family Systems, Imago Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, and Transactional Analysis — that all converge on the essential need to replace blame with honest, vulnerable contact.

Families and Youth

“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
— Virginia Satir

Family counselling can help improve communication. The goal is to validate every family member’s needs while helping each communicate more effectively, resolving problems and re-establishing positive bonds. This can be particularly important in addressing parent-child or parent-teen conflict.

Family counselling can include the exploration of parenting styles and concerns, helping parents and step-parents explore effective parenting strategies. These are based upon three important parenting principles; communication that fosters mutual understanding, the opportunity for growth through encouragement and validation of personal responsibility, and the fostering of healthy self-esteem. Children and youth require a balance of structure and nurture. Step-parenting presents a unique challenge in managing these needs that family counselling can help facilitate.

As well, counselling for youth provides individual counselling for adolescents and pre-adolescents to help with issues common to youth, including anger, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, identity and developmental concerns.

Trained in Virginia Satir’s Family Therapy, Stephen has experience facilitating parenting programs with both Fraserside Community Services and West Coast Family Services, and has extensive experience working with families of all types and a variety of needs.

“There is no problem so great I can’t be solved.”
— Barbara Coloroso

Group for Men

“Strength is not the absence of vulnerability. Strength is knowing what your weaknesses are and working with them.”
— Terrence Real

These are admittedly confusing times for men. We hear that we need to be more balance with our masculinity, to learn to communicate more openly, and to act in a way that is co-empowering, but what does this all mean and how could it be of benefit?

Perhaps even more so in current times, men have been discouraged from acknowledging their vulnerability with one another. We consequently fail to mentor one another with our support, encouragement, and varied perspectives.  This monthly Men’s New Moon Circle offers men an opportunity to  share experiences and feel supported.

There is no charge to attend. This is non-facilitated meetup event. Rather than guidance or counselling, participants offer one another mutual support, with basic ground rules to respect differences and confidentiality.

Here are some readings to suggest. They are not required, but certainly insightful and will complement the discussions we have in group:

John Gottman — 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work
Thich Nhat Hahn — The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching
Thomas Moore — Care for the Soul
Terrence Real — I Don’t Want to Talk About It
Terrence Real — The New Rules of Marriage
Eckhart Tolle — The Power of Now
Richard Wagamese — For Joshua

Pre-registration is required and participation is limited to 12 participants. If you would like to sign up for our next event, please go to

Online Therapy

“The power of the web is in its universality.”
— Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

What is online therapy?
Online therapy is a psychotherapy relationship established through the use of secure online videoconferencing tools. Online therapy allows those who may not be able to access psychotherapy or counselling services to receive treatment from the comfort of their own location, providing the same level of care that you would receive from an in-office appointment.

Stephen offers appointments through On Call Health. It is a secure platform — end-to-end encrypted, PHIPA and PIPEDA compliant — used by organizations like CAMH, Homewood, and Shoppers Health Solutions. All you require is a private space to use and your own personal computer/laptop. It is an easy platform to use: you will receive a link by email and after following a few straightforward instructions, you are ready to go.

Many clients using On Call have reported that they appreciate the ease of access through video counselling.

What are the benefits of online therapy?

  • Accessible service — Online therapy provides service for those who may not otherwise be able to receive counselling or psychotherapy services, including those who live in a remote area without access to competent psychotherapeutic or counselling services, who are on an extended absence and wish to stay connected, who have physical mobility issues and find it difficult to leave their homes, or who, for other reasons, may not be able to make it into the office for an appointment.
  • Convenience — For those whose work hours or conditions prohibit them from attending in-person, online therapy allows these individuals to create their own secure environment for their session.
  • Privacy — For a number of reasons, some individuals have greater privacy needs. Online therapy can provide the same effective psychotherapy while maintaining privacy in those circumstances.
  • Effectiveness — Studies have shown that online therapy is as effective as traditional in-person psychotherapy or counselling.

What do I need in order to access online counselling?
All that you require is a computer with webcam in a secure, comfortable location and secure, private access to high-speed internet connection.

Please note, do not use public wi fi for online counselling. 

Communication Coaching

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
— George Bernard Shaw

Some clients prefer weekly Coaching to help improve their communication skills and relationships with colleagues. An emphasis on goal orientation and structured self-assessment distinguish Communication Coaching from psychotherapy.

There are do’s and don’ts when it comes to effective communication . You may be familiar with many already. The challenge is to put these guidelines into practice when it counts. Structured self-assessment keeps your focus and commitment to change on course.

In order to master any new skill a progression is required from failure to success and, finally, integration. Fear of failure presents an obstacle for many to self-growth. Your coach both reminds you of your motivation for change and supports you in learning from each failure. Through this continuous cycle of reflection and refinement you attain and repeat successes that, once integrated, satisfy your own initial goal for change.

The Coaching process can be synched with workplace objectives. To this end, you may wish to enlist your employer as an ally, along with friends and family.

This Coaching package will keep you on track toward your desired change in both workplace and social settings. Establish your goals, receive weekly support to identify and resolve obstacles, and experience the benefits of balanced and effective communication.