Michelle Labine

Michelle Labine

Registered Counselling Therapist

MA, CCC, RCT-C

Relationship & Sex Therapist 

Hello!

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

I’d love to take this opportunity to introduce myself, give you a glimpse into who I am and share some of my experience. Finding the right connection in a counsellor is really key to therapeutic rapport, where safety, respect and trust all create space for successful therapy. I believe sharing our humanness is where we find those places to connect a little deeper and where we give others the permission to do the same, I hope I can start that here.

My Private Practice

I work with couples in traditional and modern relationships. Clients seek relationship therapy for a number of reasons. They might be feeling stuck, like they’re going through the motions, or they may feel disconnected from their partner. Others might be experiencing the same fight over and over and not knowing how to move out of the conflict. Clients may seek support when there’s been a betrayal such as an infidelity or hidden addiction. Still others might be experiencing life transitions such as being newly married, a new baby, blended family, busy work-life balance, a move, grief, caring for parents or wanting to explore relationship style.

I help people to:

  • take a closer look at themselves and how they relate to others
  • to really understand their own needs and desires and how to get them met
  • to understand who their partner is, what’s important to them and how to meet their needs
  • to work on connection, communication and how to heal past hurts to move on

Another part of relationships is sexuality. I am a practicing sex therapy clinician, under supervision, as part of my AASECT certification track. Sex therapy is a specialized psychotherapy designed to help individuals and couples address medical, psychological, personal and interpersonal factors related to their sexuality and their sexual health. We explore this area in therapy, only when there is consent and desire to do so.

My practice is integrative in nature, meaning my approach is first and foremost, client-centered; I meet you where you are on your journey and I join with you. Our therapy sessions are tailored specific to your needs and your goals. I have extensive training in Narrative therapy, Emotion Focused, Attachment, Gottman and Sex Therapy. My clients are very high-functioning, motivated and committed to meeting their objectives.

I am passionate about continued education and providing evidence-based capabilities to help people realize the connections they’ve been deeply desiring. The field of relationship 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 and consumer of self-education, I see the benefits in my therapy sessions.

I am committed to showing up in our therapeutic space with 100% empathy and dedication to the process. I know your time and money are valuable so I aim to be as structured and goal-oriented as possible, within the framework of conversation.

About my Professional Experience

Professionally, my background is Social Services, I worked in this area from the time I completed my first undergrad degree, for about 15 years. I supported individuals and families in Child Protection Services, then in Income and Employment Support Services in the province of Ontario. Still within this sector, I later moved into the space of Policy, Training and Education. My job at that time involved developing and teaching social services policy to various levels of staff, management and external organizations.

When I left Social Services, I continued in the area of Adult Education within the Business sector, which took the form of mentoring and leadership. I love this work and continue to dabble in this still today.

I have always been interested in business, perhaps an entrepreneur at the core (entrepreneur meaning, make stuff up and then make it real!). About 10 years ago I started a small business which was fun, exciting, a tonne of work and successful on so many levels! This was my first ‘real’ taste of the business-bug!  I sold it when my partner and I decided to move into business together, which is something we continue to work in and grow together today.

How ML Family Came to Be

In 2017, I returned to graduate school—I am a self-professed life time learner—to work on my Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology Degree. Two weeks after graduating, January 2020, I launched my private practice, ML Family Counselling! This was a dream come true for me!

Soon after our one-year anniversary, ML Family Counselling expanded and became a clinic.

We will be soon be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary as a group practice with 7 therapists, an intake and administrative coordinator, a graduate-level intern program and a non-profit. Our vision is to continue to grow in the important work we do and further expand our reach in the community.

About Me

I identify as a cis female; my partner and I have been married 26 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! Parenting has been the humblest of my adventures, I have learned so much about myself in the process!

Three important life lessons I’ve learned so far:

One. Starting at a young age, and throughout my life, I have experienced multiple losses. Although I didn’t know it while I was in the thick of it, my grief was a wonderful teacher. One of the things I learned was to ask myself the question “Who am I now, now, that I’m not who I was?”  I’ve found it helpful to routinely circle back to that question as I shift and change with life’s ebbs and flows.

Two. Here’s the thing! 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 OK or great and half of the time so-so or really hard. As I learned to welcome both the triumphs and tough stuff, I learned it’s easier to accept than it is to resist.

Three. When it’s ‘on me’, circumstances and situations do not have power over me. When it’s ‘on me’ I get to decide how I react and what my attitude will be. I’ve learned I have complete ownership of my life and how I handle it, no matter what is going on around me. What freedom!

In closing, I am committed to living life to the fullest and to living my best life. I am committed to not shrinking, not puffing and to showing up as I am (thank you Brene Brown!). I am committed to living joyfully, gratefully and devoted to self-growth. I’m not sure who said it but it rings true for me ‘As a therapist, I can only take my client as far as I have been willing to go in my own life’.

I’d love to connect to see if we’re a good fit to work together,

M

Michelle@MLfamilycounselling.com

 

Some Things Clients Have Said About Michelle…

  • “Michelle and her team were amazing in working with our family.” 
  • “I was rather reluctant to go to counselling for a long time. When I finally did, I learned more about myself in the first session with Michelle than I had in a long time.”
  • “My partner and I are both strong people and Michelle handles us well. We feel like we’re in good hands.”
  • “I really enjoy my sessions with Michelle the way she steers and probes has helped me to dig a little deeper into the issues.”
  • “Michelle will tell you as she sees it. We really appreciated her no non-sense approach”
  • “We are grateful for Michelle and everything she has done for our family.”
  • “We were both feeling quite hopeless coming to counselling. It was our last chance to save our marriage. We are happier now than we’ve ever been. We should have done this 20 years ago. We definitely recommend Michelle.”

 

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
  • Buehler Institute Trained Sex Therapy

Areas of Focus in Private Practice:

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

2021 Continued Education:

  • Core Concepts and Interventions in EFT
  • EFT Stage 1 Reaching De-Escalation
  • EFT Stages 2-3: Deepening Engagement & Consolidation
  • Impasses & Challenges in EFT
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy Clinical Training Level One
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy Clinical Training Level Two
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Foundations of Sexual Identity
  • Men’s Sexual Problems
  • DSM5 and Men’s Sexual Problems
  • DSM5 and Women’s Sexual Problems
  • Cybersex
  • Ethics in Sex Therapy
  • History of Sexology
  • LGBTQ+ Relationships
  • Orientation and Gender
  • 30 hours: Assessment Techniques, Theoretical Approaches to Sex Therapy, Ethical Therapy with Transgender Clients, Solving Sex & Relationship Issues with LGB clients
  • 30 hours: Collaborative Approaches to Genito-Pelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder, Sexual Reproduction, Sexual Problems, Mental Disorders & Disability
  • Overcoming Effects of Abuse
  • PLISSIT Model
  • Sex, Pleasure and the Brain
  • Sexology Research Methods
  • Sexual Anatomy
  • Sexual Development
  • Sexual Diversity
  • Substance Disorders & Sexuality
  • Systemic Sex Therapy
  • Women’s Sexual Problems
  • Sexual Health