Michelle Labine

Registered Counselling Therapist, MA, CCC, RCT-C

I’d like to take this space to introduce myself and give you an idea of some of my experience, as well, a glimpse into who I am. For myself, whether it be personal or professional, when entering into relationships in my own life, I find it easier to build them when I know a little more about the other person.

I identify as cisgender female; my partner and I have been married for 25 years. Our relationship is wonderfully rewarding, but I wouldn’t be completely honouring our commitment to one another, if I didn’t acknowledge that it has come with a lot of work and many ups and downs!

Together, we have 3 beautiful children, 2 of whom are already adults and I really don’t know when that happened! We have learned so much about ourselves in the process of parenting our children through all of the developmental stages. Notably, we have been through the challenging times of the teenage years and are still in the thick of it with our youngest. You know what they say…what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

Personally, starting from a very young age and throughout my life so far, I have experienced multiple losses. These have shown up as complex trauma, serious health issues and multiple deaths of loved ones. These experiences have been life altering; they have changed me at my core.

By dealing with my own ‘stuff’, from a place of responsibility, I have edited and re-authored parts of my life. This self-examination and processing have helped me to move from a place of suffering to a place of healing. I now have clarity on who I am, I am no longer ashamed of the events or the life experiences, instead, I see these as teachers who have greatly influenced my story, and ultimately, made me who I am today.

While I live joyfully, gratefully and fulfilled, I do realize I am not completely ‘there’. I am, and always will be, a work in progress, and life will always be hard, at least part of the time. My outlook is to expect life to be 50/50, half of the time it will be good or great and half of the time not so good and really hard.

I believe when we share our experiences, we share our humanness and give others permission to do the same. Part of the counsellor’s creed says ‘I can only take you (my client) as far as I have been willing to go in my own life’. As your tour guide in our therapeutic relationship, I wholeheartedly believe this and have fully committed to myself and to you (my client) to continue to go to places within myself that are uncomfortable, but are where the growth and magic happens.

Professionally, I have worked on the front lines in Social Services from the time I completed my first undergrad degree, for about 15 years. I worked with individuals and families in Child Protection Services and Income Support Services in the province of Ontario.

Still within Social Services, I moved into the space of Policy, Training and Education for a couple of years. When I left the Social Service sector, I continued in the area of Adult Education in the Business sector, this took the form of coaching and leadership development. I still do some of this today.

I have always been interested in business. I am one of those people who is an entrepreneur at the core. About 10 years ago I started my own business, a part-time side hustle which was fun, exciting, a tonne of work and really successful! I sold it when my partner and I decided to move into business together, something we still have and do together today.

In 2017, I returned to school again—I am a self-professed life time learner—to work on my Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology Degree. I graduated mid December 2019 and in January 2020, I launched my private practice, this was a dream come true for me! I love contributing, adding value and helping people!

I opened the doors to ML Family Counselling one week before COVID arrived in our country (50/50 rule: life is sometimes hard) which came with its own challenges, such as learning how to provide service to clients virtually! Now, that we are back and fully open again, we are seeing clients in-person as well as by phone and video which has allowed us to expand our practice and our reach to clients throughout Canada. In November 2020, ML Family Counselling expanded and became a clinic, welcoming on 2 more counselling therapists! In March 2021 we expanded again and welcomed on 1 more counselling therapist and 1 social worker. We are now a team of 5 therapists in our clinic who offer different expertise, each with our own areas of focus in how we practice.

In my practice so far, I have noticed a real need for sliding scale therapy especially for couples and families. Some people do not have insurance or the means to pay for counselling, but they really do need it and want it. I have developed a program to service Central Nova Scotia for this very purpose. The program is directed by one of our counselling therapists who also supervises practicum interns from Acadia and Yorkville universities who offer the counselling along with our other licensed therapists. The program is called H.O.P.E Healing Opportunities for People Everywhere. If you are interested in learning more about this program as a client or as a referral source please do contact us.

As for my private practice, my area of focus lies within relationship therapy, working with both individuals and couples in this respect. I help people who want to feel satisfied in their connection with their partner, are looking for a partner or who have left a relationship.

I use an Attachment-Based, Emotion Focused Therapy, Gottman Method Therapy and Narrative therapy approach in my relationship work. I am passionate about helping couples to understand and communicate their own feelings, needs, desires and those of their partner. Often couples seek counselling when they are stuck in having the same fight over and over again. We work together to recognize the patterns, triggers and raw spots in their relationship. Sometimes relationship therapy is about healing past hurts such as betrayal, infidelity, trust or moving away from abuse and towards respect. Sometimes relationship therapy is about doing individual work in order to heal from a relationship, move into a relationship or re-author identity after a relationship.

My clients are very high-functioning, motivated and committed to making changes in their romantic life. I am passionate about providing evidence-based tools, techniques and strategies to help people realize the connections they’ve been deeply desiring. I am committed to showing up in our therapeutic space with 100% empathy and dedication to the process. I know your time and money is valuable so I aim to be as structured and goal-oriented as possible. The field of psychology is constantly evolving, I focus on keeping up with the latest research through reading books, articles and training with leaders in the field of relationship and sex therapy; as a life long learner, I see the benefits in my therapy sessions.

I’m glad you’re here, on behalf of ML Family Counselling Clinic, Welcome!

Michelle

Contact: Michelle@MLfamilycounselling.com

“As a therapist, I am a companion. I try to help people tune into their own wisdom”   -Virginia Satir

Current Studies & Training:

  • Sex Therapist

Qualifications

  • Registered Counselling Therapist Candidate, NSCCT, RCT-C20-003
  • Psychotherapist, CCPA, CCC 10002953

Professional Experience and Credentials:

  • Business Leader & Coach
  • Entrepreneur for 13+ years
  • Adult Educator & Trainer
  • Mental Health Professional 15+ years
  • Grief & Loss Counselling Certification
  • Intensive Narrative Therapy Certification
  • Sand Tray Training
  • Post-Graduate Borderline Personality Disorder Training
  • Post-Graduate Anxiety & Depression Intervention Training
  • Post-Graduate Suicide Recognition & Intervention Training
  • EFT Couples Training
  • Gottman Method Couples Level 1 and Level 2 Training
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Sexual Dysfunctions Training

Areas of Focus in Private Practice:

  • Relationship Therapy for Couples and Individuals
  • Intimacy & Sex Therapy
  • Infidelity and Repairing Harms
  • Domestic Violence
  • Consensual Non Monogamy