Whitby Location

Mind Matters Psychotherapy & Creative Education
101 Dundas Street West
Whitby, ON L1N

Christine Johansen - Founder|Clinical Director|Clinical Supervisor
Registered Psychotherapist, MACP, PsyD Candidate

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 and Developmental 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 believes 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-centered and collaborative approach, where the client’s voice is at the very centre of her work and is necessary in providing holistic and truly client-centered 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.

Connie Cancellara
MACP, Registered Psychotherapist| Clinical Coordinator

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 completed a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University.

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 has experience in working with clients who have struggled with anxiety, depression, and life stress. Connie is passionate about supporting these clients in becoming self-aware, and feel motivated to make life changes to work towards optimal wellness. Connie is also passionate about offering Family Therapy and offers supports to families who are struggling with conflict, transition, loss, and substance abuse.

Connie is passionate about utilizing her knowledge in Client-Centered Therapy, Mindfulness, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to support her clients and their 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.

Taylor Saunders,
MACP, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Taylor understands that searching for support at times can feel challenging or overwhelming and she is committed to supporting you to regain your confidence, strength, and well-being. Taylor’s intention and commitment when working with you is to provide a welcoming, collaborative, non-judgmental and supportive environment where you can thrive and achieve your wellness goals. Taylor’s approach is trauma-informed and unique in that it meets the needs of her clients and utilizes strategies from diverse approaches such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). She also integrates a psychodynamic approach to explore your thoughts and feelings. Taylor believes that in therapy it is important to include all aspects of you and highlights a biopsychosocial approach emphasizing the mind, body and your environment.

Taylor grew up in Oshawa and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Trent University, a Graduate Certificate in Addictions and Mental Health at Durham College and a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. Taylor has experience working with youth and adults with anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, stress management, and trauma. Not only has Taylor spent time working with individuals, but she has also spent the last two years running CBT groups for youth with anxiety and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She has also and worked in an intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) clinic at Lake Ridge Community Support Services and completed an internship with Dr. Angela Fountain & Associates running day programs and group therapy. Outside of therapeutic services, Taylor has experience working in homeless shelters for youth and single women in York Region.

When Taylor isn’t in the office, she likes to spend her time with friends and family, out in nature for walks, hikes, or with her horse. She also likes reading, working out, traveling, and practicing yoga and meditation.

Jennifer Preston Garibaldi
MACP, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Jennifer’s mission is to support and empower clients on their journey towards growth and healing. She is committed to promoting a safe, open, and non-judgmental space to deconstruct what you are feeling, what you have experienced, and your current situation. Jennifer strives to build a trusting therapeutic relationship with her clients through empathy, authenticity, and collaboration. Jennifer recognize that there is no “one size fits all” approach to therapy, and as such, she aims to tailor sessions based on your unique individual experiences and needs.

Following a client-centred approach, Jennifer believe that as the client, you are the expert steering the boat called life; ad Jennifers role as the therapist is to merely be a passenger helping you to navigate through these stormy waters. Jennifer strives to be a gentle reminder that with every storm there is a calm.

Jennier admires the strength and vulnerability that it takes to reach out for support, and enjoys working along side clients in their healing journey.

Amanda Bernard Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Amanda recognized how courageous it is to take the frist steps to seeking help. She feels it is a privilege to be apart of her clients journey towards growth, healing, and self-discovery.

Amanda’s mission is to provide all her clients with a safe, nonjudgmental, compassionate environment in which they are free to share their experiences, explore their purpose, identify their strengths, and ultimately find their happiness. In therapy she works with her client to recognize that past may influence your present, however, it does not need to determine your future. By forming a therapeutic alliance, developed through empathy, support, warmth, and collaboration, realistic goals can be established, you can build resiliency, and develop effective coping skills that will help you manage your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours.

Amanda take an eclectic approach to therapy and modifies her methods to ensure that each clients unique needs, wants, and expectations are met. 

Avista Amuyan, Intern (MACP Candidate)

Avista knows how intimidating and difficult it can be to reach out for help and take that first step towards personal growth and self-discovery. She is appreciative that she gets to accompany her clients during their personal journey.

Avista works from a biopsychosocial framework. She understands that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to therapy and aims to customize her approach according to each client and their individual needs. Avista has a great deal of experience supporting individuals who are struggling with addiction. Coming from an immigrant family, Avista is fluent in Farsi and understands how difficult it can be to navigate the cultural conflict one may experience when being raised in a different country. She hopes to provide clients with a safe, non-judgemental, and warm environment where they can share their story and experiences.

Avista is currently completing her M.A in Counseling Psychology at Yorkville University. She also has a B.A Honours in Psychology from Trent University and a Graduate Certificate in Addictions and Mental Health from Durham College.


Sarah Ologun, Intern (MACP Candidate)

Sarah holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and she is currently completing her Master’s in Christian Counseling at the Canada Christian College, Whitby, ON.

Sarah currently volunteers as a crisis responder at the Distress Center Durham, where she provides emotional and listening support to callers in crises or distress. She had previously worked at the Lagos state Domestic violence and sexual assault referral center, providing psychosocial support to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Sarah believes there is a way out of every complex and challenging situation, and she is passionate about assisting people (young and old) in finding the way.

Sarah believes in nurturing hope and is passionate about guiding clients to find the answers to their challenges using eclectic, client-centered, and cognitive behavioral therapeutic interventions.

She has experience in trauma, individual, couple, and group family, and marriage counseling. Sarah is a calm, patient listener who loves dancing and helping people.

Marcie Menzies
Intern Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), MACP Candidate

Marcie is currently completing her M.A. in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. She
holds a B.A. (Hons) in Psychology from Trent University. She is an advocate for mental health
and has long-standing ambition to become a counsellor. She is passionate about working with
children, youth and families and aspires to continue working with this population once
completing her degree.

Marcie’s passion for supporting children and youth stems from her extensive experience working
with adolescence within the nonprofit sector at both the Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA.
She has seen the important role mindfulness and relaxation techniques can have on children and
youth and strives to incorporate this into her work when applicable.

Marcie works from a biopsychosocial, trauma-informed framework and believes that there is no
standard approach to therapy. She instead alters her approach to meet each individual client’s
experiences, goals, and needs. In addition, she believes attachment styles often play a role on
current struggles and, in understanding them, we can better identify root causes, or contributors,
of negative emotional experiences. Marcie wants to walk alongside her clients and support them
through hearing and understanding their stories and implementing coping mechanisms that will
best support them