Counsellor in Ontario
Welcome to Smart Sense Counselling
Smart Sense Counselling provides online therapy or psychotherapy for individuals and couples in Ontario. With 21 years of experience working with people through crisis, I am committed to helping you recognize your own coping skills and develop new strategies to manage anxiety and loss.
MSW, RSW, MHS
I have 21 years of experience working in healthcare, helping people with chronic health issues, such as depression, anxiety, grief and fertility complications. My therapy helps people cope in the moment and find better ways of managing their life.
I founded this counselling practice because I'm passionate about helping people develop better strategies to get through a tough experience. I tutor medical students on how income, work, social relationships, society, discrimination, disappointments, and worries affect your mental and physical health. This knowledge helps us know what is impacting your wellness.
My practice is informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, or a combination that best fits my clients’ needs.
“No matter what the reason, I’ll support you in taking a few minutes each week to slow down, to break it down, and to get some control over what has you down. You can do this. I’m here to help.” - Deanna
Psychotherapy in Ontario
Types of Treatment
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Aaron T Beck developed cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) in the 1950s. CBT is structured and time-limited, empowering you to manage better on your own in the future. CBT is problem-focused and goal-oriented, with a main goal of helping you develop better coping skills. CBT helps you learn to identify, question and change how your thoughts, attitudes and beliefs relate to the emotional and behavioural reactions that cause you difficulty.
CBT has been helpful in treating people with loneliness, depression, panic disorder, phobias, anxiety, anger, stress, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and many other problems that bring people to therapy. CBT is used to give clear guidance so you can learn the skills to manage yourself through difficult times.
Beck, J.S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd ed.). Guilford Press. The Worry Workbook for Teens. Instant Help: Oakland, California. - Micco, J.A. (2017)
Clark, D.A. & Beck, A.T. (2012). The worry and anxiety workbook: The cognitive behavioral solution. New York: Guilford Press.
Greenberger, D., & Padesky, C.A. (2016). Mind over mood: Change how you feel by changing the way you think (2nd ed.). Guildford Press.
Narrative therapy was developed largely by David Epston and Michael White in the 1970s. Narrative therapy is aimed at helping you identify your values and the skills associated with them. You have many interacting stories, which make up who you are. These stories are influenced by culture and family, which shape your beliefs about identity and power.
Narrative therapy can provide you with awareness of your ability to live your own values so you can effectively confront the problems you are currently facing. As you explore and develop a better understanding of how your values help you cope, you become better able to confront and manage future problems. Narrative therapy can help you re-story your mind’s narrative by re-considering, re-appreciating, and re-authoring your preferred relationships and life.
White, M. and Epston, D. (1990). Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends. New York, NY: W. W. Norton
White, M. (2007). Maps of narrative practice. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.
Morgan, A. (2000). What is narrative therapy?: An easy-to-read introduction. Adelaide, S. Australia: Dulwich Centre Publications.
Psychotherapy in Ontario
What You Can Expect
This is an opportunity for you to provide me with your information on your mental health struggles and emotional distress. You might ask questions about therapy and what areas are covered. Together we explore your treatment history, personal relationships, work and social life, and goals for therapy.
Multiple Sessions: the number of sessions you need depends on the nature of your concerns, your goals in therapy, and how well you succeed at working on suggested exercises and making changes outside of sessions. On average, it takes 7-10 therapy sessions for people to feel they have made true progress and are seeing lasting change.
Single Session: if you’re stuck on a specific issue and think a single session may help, I’ll use more of a direct solution-focused approach. Looking at your strengths and skills, I can help you identify and practice things you can do now to get yourself unstuck. We don’t dig as deeply to look at what negative thoughts and behaviours may be the root cause, we look at positive behaviours that can solve it.
* I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation to ask any questions you may have and to determine if we’re a good fit.
All major credit cards and e-Transfers are accepted forms of payment. I'll provide you with a receipt to claim with your insurance provider.
Does OHIP cover therapy? Psychotherapy and social work are regulated health professions in Ontario, however, they’re not covered under OHIP.
What does cover therapy? Employee Assistance Program (EAP), automobile insurance, WSIB, and Ontario insurance companies, such as Liberty Health, Manulife, Green Shield, Great-West life, Blue Cross, and others, now formally recognize social work services in some of their plans. Check in your health and dental insurance package for coverage of social worker or social work services (MSW, RSW).
Privacy and Confidentiality
Counselling is a confidential process designed to help you address your concerns, come to a greater understanding of yourself, and learn effective personal and interpersonal skills to help you thrive. What you discuss during your therapy session is kept confidential. No contents of the therapy sessions, whether verbal or written, may be shared with another party without your written consent, or the written consent of your legal guardian. All interactions, including scheduling your appointments, your attendance at appointments, the content of your sessions, your progress in counselling, and your records are confidential.
The following list are exceptions:
Duty to Warn and Protect: if you disclose a plan or threat to harm yourself, the therapist must attempt to notify your family and notify legal authorities. In addition, if you disclose a plan to threat or harm another person, the therapist is required to warn the possible victim and notify legal authorities.
Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults: if you disclose, or it is suspected, that there is abuse or harmful neglect of children or vulnerable adults (i.e. elderly, disabled/incompetent), the therapist must report this information to the appropriate provincial agency and/or legal authorities.
Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances: therapists must report any admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that could be harmful to the mother or child. Minor/Guardianship Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients’ records.