Hello, I'm Michelle (she/her), a Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT) with Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists (NSCCT).
I am the founder of 'ML Family' a group practice comprised of trained, mental health professionals, licensed with NSCCT. Each member of our team is specially trained in the area in which they practice, ensuring the most recent and evidence-based care. Our Counsellors are continuously engaged in the newest research and therapeutic interventions. While ongoing learning and professional development are important, we equally believe the therapeutic relationship is fundamental in creating the space necessary for exploration, healing, and growth.
Rapport is built on the pillars of safety, connection, and trust. To begin to find those places of connection, I’ll take the opportunity here to introduce myself and provide an overview of who I am by sharing about my background, experience, training, and professional qualifications.
To date, I have worked in the field of Mental Health for over 20 years. My background is in Psychology and Sociology, I spent the early years of my career in Social Services and Adult Education. In 2010, my occupational interests expanded when I ventured into small business entrepreneurship, then expanded again a few years later when I joined my partner in building our family company. From these experiences I developed a strong business acumen, an interest in business leadership, and a passion and desire to provide mentorship.
The field of mental health has been a mainstay interest of mine, these past few years, it has become the place where I have found congruence with all my career interests. ML Family provides the opportunity for me to focus on building business while supporting my team through steward leadership. My small coaching practice is where I enjoy mentoring clinicians who are building their own businesses. I have found a way to make an impact and to help fill the gaps in mental health services in Nova Scotia, as the Founder of Couch of Hope, a registered charity. The organization has 2 main objectives: to provide free mental health counselling to Nova Scotians who do not have insurance and who cannot afford to pay out of pocket for services; and to contribute to Nova Scotia’s pool of mental health professionals by providing clinical supervision and training to Counselling Therapist Interns in partnership with Yorkville University’s Master of Arts Counselling Psychology program and Acadia University’s Master of Education in Counselling program. Teaching and mentorship deeply fulfill me, I carry a small caseload, as a Clinical Supervisor to Registered Counselling Therapist Candidates with NSCCT and Registered Psychotherapists Qualifying with CRPO.
Being a therapist and working with my clients remains my number one passion, it is where I am most effective and most aligned. I work with individuals, partners, and families. My areas of clinical focus are sex therapy, women's mental health & menopause, committed relationships of various configurations, and trauma treatment for sexualized violence.
In my clinical work, I am influenced most by Adlerian Theory focusing on individual potential, the power of encouragement, and the importance of the therapeutic relationship. As a Humanistic Therapist, I aim to consider the whole person, especially positive characteristics, and potential for growth, not only from my professional viewpoint but from my client’s own personal sense. Sessions are focused on my client developing their ability to use their own sense of self to find healing, growth, wisdom, and fulfillment.
As a clinical modality I am most drawn to Narrative Therapy, a respectful approach to counselling which centers people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, and abilities to assist them in reducing the influence of problems in their lives. Narrative Therapists think in terms of stories, they are interested in joining with their client to explore the stories they have about their lives and relationships, their effects, their meanings, the context in which they were authored, and re-author plots that might prevent them from leading their most fulfilled life.
I find the combination of Adlerian Theory and Narrative Therapy emphasizes a sense of meaning, individual growth, resiliency, personal strengths, and possibilities. This approach allows me to work collaboratively with my clients, supporting their self-examination, healing, and growth, while creating healthier relationships with self and with others.
In our therapeutic relationship, you are met with unconditional positive regard, valued as an individual, and received with immense compassion. In supporting you to live your best life, I listen deeply, I see you as the creator of your story, and as separate from the problems you experience. I work with you to uncover parts of you, tap into your strengths, access your internal resources, and step into your personal power.
While I am trained in multiple modalities, my work is integrative; I intentionally draw from various interventions to tailor sessions specifically to meet your needs. In our work we will most likely navigate past and present to understand events, the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on current relationships, recognize patterns of conditioning, and treat trauma.
I hold a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology. I am a licensed Registered Psychotherapist with the regulatory body College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) registered with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. I am a Certified Sex Therapist with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists (AASECT). I am a member in good standing with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).
While I most enjoy working with clients in person, in my Bedford or Dartmouth offices, I also hold liability insurance nationwide and work with clients remotely across Canada. More information about my qualifications, credentials, professional experience, and continued education are listed on the left of this page for your review. Click on the circles on the left of this page to learn more about each area of my work.
At its core, I believe therapy is about getting to know yourself more deeply and about making changes to support alignment and continued growth. I believe the therapeutic process is only one means for introspection, reflection, and self-awareness. I encourage the exploration of other avenues as well, such as books, podcasts, meditation, journaling, and mentor relationships.
The field of counselling psychology is constantly evolving, I am committed to keeping up with the latest research through continued studying and training with leaders in my areas of specialty. As I focus on my personal and professional development, I continue to see the benefits clinically, in the work with my clients.
In closing, I’m glad you’ve found your way to my page, I look forward to connecting with you to explore possibilities.
Everyone is Welcome