Christine Johansen, Founder & Clinical Director

 (Hons) BA, Registered Psychotherapist, MACP, OAHMP, CAPT

Christine has been working in the field of mental health for over 10 years and is passionate about treating children, youth, and families. She has experience working in a variety of different therapeutic settings such as group homes, youth detention centers, community programs, not-for profit agencies, and private practice.  Christine is passionate about meeting her clients where they are at and designing a treatment plan that is best tailored to the clients unique strengths and challenges. Christine utilizes an expressive arts approach to therapy and incorporates elements of play therapy while working with children and youth. Additionally, having 3 small boys of her own, Christine loves any opportunity to work with parents who might be seeking parental supports or support with family dynamics. 
 
She is passionate about working with clients to get to the root of their emotions and working through challenges by utilizing a trauma informed- client-centered approach. Christine works to incorporate mindfulness strategies, relaxation techniques, and develop coping skills with clients where appropriate.
 
Christine is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+ community and has experience working with transgendered children/teens, and supporting parents through the transition. Christine is also passionate about working with teens who are struggling with self-harm and suicide ideations. She is also certified in Crisis Intervention Response and works with Durham Regional Police to support survivors of crime. 
Christine has an (hons) BA in Criminology, an (hons) BA in Psychology, Diploma in Youth Corrections & Interventions, Masters Degree in Psychotherapy, and is currently working on her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. While having a passion for learning, Christine also has a passion for teaching, and has been teaching Forensic Psychology at Durham College for 7 years.
 
 

Donna Sherman, Registered Nurse Psychotherapist

Donna is registered nurse and therapist with nearly 20 years’ experience in the healthcare sector. She is passionate about people and their overall wellbeing and firmly believe one’s mental health directly impacts every facet of one’s life. Donna works with young adults who are transitioning from one phase in life to another (i.e. high-school to college/university) and who are finding the change overwhelming and sometimes difficult to manage. She also work with individuals, families, and couples who are facing some of life’s tough realties such as the breakdown of a relationship, divorce, loss, grief, and bereavement. In addition, Donna also supports people with a wide range of other mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, addictions, emotional regulation, and trauma.

 

Donna holds a  Bachelor of Science (Honours) and Masters of Science Degree both in Nursing, from York University in Toronto. . Donna has extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy (diagnostic specific) from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) as part of one of the therapist in the Mindability Program through Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. Other treatment approaches employed in practice include talk therapy, motivational interviewing, emotion-focused family therapy (EFFT), emotion-focused couples therapy (EFT-C), mindfulness, trauma informed therapy, and bereavement counselling. Donna works from a client-centred and collaborative approach, where the client’s voice is at the very centre of our work together and necessary in providing holistic and truly client-centred therapy.

Aside from Donna's career accomplishments and passion as a therapist, she is a mother, a wife, a sister, and a daughter who absolutely loves to travel and seek out exciting new adventures. Donna is a music fan without apology, where music festivals are sought out as entertainment in her household. If she is not providing therapy to others, her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels provide her with her own form of self-care.

Tihana Deanovic Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Mindfulness Teacher

Tihana Deanovic is a compassionate individual with a passion to work with people to improve their health and wellness. She uses an integrative and strength-based approach that looks at behavioural, psychological, diet, nutrition, and mindfulness-based techniques – providing strong emotional support and empathy to clients in a safe environment. Tihana’s qualifications range from being a registered psychotherapist, certified nutritional practitioner, certified clinical hypnotherapist, and certified meditation and mindfulness teacher. Tihana offers a wide range of professional experience and a supportive approach to therapy that enable her clients in the further development of skills and strategies for dealing with and maintaining their personal goals. 

Aneliya Saley Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying),

Accredited Music Therapist

Aneliya is a Registered Psychotherapist Qualifying with the Ontario College of Psychotherapists and Accredited Music Therapist (MTA) with the Canadian Association of Music Therapy. Aneliya has a master’s degree in Music Psychotherapy at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.  She is passionate about supporting and empowering individuals on their journey to healing and well-being by focusing on the power of the music experience. Aneliya provides individual and group music psychotherapy services for individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, learning disabilities, autism domestic abuse and eating disorders. In her work She uses the music experiences in addition to the traditional types of verbal communication.

We typically think of music as entertaining or fun. While this is true there are many other reasons why music can be therapeutic. No matter how young a person is, what language they speak, or if they can speak at all, music can help children communicate without words! Music can adapt to whatever the child is experiencing and is especially good at helping kids express their feelings. 

Aneliya offers services in English, Hebrew and Russian. 

Elda Almario, Registered Psychotherapist

Elda Almario is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario) and a member of the OAMHP (Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from the University of Santo Tomas, completed post-graduate coursework focused on Human Development Psychology from De La Salle University, and the Bridge to Registration and Employment in Mental Health(BREM) in Ontario.

 

Elda’s interest in mental health began as a sibling to an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  At the beginning of her career, she worked as an ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) Therapist for children with developmental disabilities aiming to increase behaviors that are helpful and decrease behaviors that are harmful.

Over the past decade, Elda has worked with children, youth, adults, and families who are dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and Learning Disabilities. She has also provided psychotherapy to individuals whose issues include anxiety, depression, anger and stress management, loss, grief, trauma, violence, family conflicts, substance use issues, parenting, other life transitions, and other severe mental health issues.

 

Elda embraces the interprofessional practice model, which recognizes the importance of everyone who is involved in the circle of care. She believes that clients are experts in their own lives and she uses an integrated approach informed by various therapeutic modalities and her extensive clinical experience, but always with a focus on the uniqueness of each individual. The modalities she utilizes include Narrative, Play, Psychodynamic, Solution-focused, feminist and anti-oppressive perspectives, Cognitive-Behaviour, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. She also incorporates Mindfulness and Positive Parenting practices as appropriate. Her approach to therapy is strengths-based, trauma-informed, and person-centered.

  

Elda fosters a safe and respectful space where one can begin to unpack their lived experiences without judgment. This allows clients to undergo a journey of self-exploration, self-awareness and healing. The process enables them to tap into inner resources that may have been invisible to them, challenge behaviour patterns that are no longer serving them, develop healthier coping strategies, gain greater insight, and live a more meaningful life.

Elda is able to communicate in Filipino and Tagalog and can provide therapy in both languages. She is familiar with the Filipino culture and the challenges of being an immigrant. As an immigrant, cultural sensitivity is a foundational piece of Elda’s worldview. Her approach is open, non-judgmental, and guided by a sensitivity to sexual orientation, ethnic diversity, socioeconomic status and/or disability.

 

Elda considers the process of holding refuge for someone a true privilege.

 Connie Cancellara, MACP Candidate

Connie grew up in Ajax and developed a passion for helping individuals which has led her to become a dedicated mental health advocate!
Connie always knew that she was meant to pursue a career in the mental health industry. She majored in Forensic Psychology and minored in Criminology at UOIT (Honours) and is currently a student at Yorkville University obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology.
 
Aside from being an Instructor Therapist at One Care Inc. for a brief period, Connie volunteered at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences within two departments: OSSEP Vocational Services where I tutored patients over the age of 21 in various subjects, and the Forensic Assessment Unit.  Connie is an active volunteer with a non-profit community organization called The Sidewalk Talk; this involves travelling as a group of listeners throughout the city aiming to offer free listening in order to enhance human connection. Additionally, Connie is a new volunteer with Kids Help Phone supporting children and youth who are struggling with the current pandemic.
 
Connie is passionate about utilizing her knowledge in client-centered therapy, Mindfulness, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to support her clients and thier families. Striving for positivity, gratitude, and wellness are all important factors to Connie when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. For fun, Connie enjoys watching Netflix with family and friends, cooking, working out, travelling, singing, and participating in mindfulness meditation on a daily basis.

It is truly an honour to begin my practicum at Mind Matters Psychotherapy & Creative Eduction! With Christine as my supervisor, her expertise, compassion, and extensive knowledge will help enhance my own counselling skills and achieve my goal of becoming a registered psychotherapist in the near future. I am so excited to start this next chapter in my life and to be a part of such a supportive environment at this practice! I look forward to meeting and working with you!”