Alex Belakovsky M.Ed. Psychology, RP

My View of Therapy

Some time ago a client who had been in therapy a few weeks asked me "Why does the world our parents and teachers promised us turn out to be so difficult? Why is life so hard?"

That question was the real starting point of his own transformation from a sufferer into a full person, able to rise to his challenges and enjoy his successes.

That question is one that each of us has to answer, because there is always a gap between our wishes and the reality we find ourselves in at any given moment.

And that is why so much of the work I do as a therapist is about creating the strength to overcome this gap. My many years as a psychotherapist have brought me in contact with patients suffering extreme difficulties, and the skills I have gained working with them have enabled me to become a much more resilient therapist myself.

For the work of therapy is about going forward in life, not remaining stuck or being worried by our pasts. Psychotherapy is a profession that has itself grown up through study and research. We now know a great deal more about turning ourselves into our own role models, and creating our own realities, than we used to.

Wouldn't you agree that we all want to be able to overcome our difficulties like the heroines and heroes we see in books and movies? And so we should, for they show us how resilience makes us grow past frustrations and hardships.

I have seen many times how some people with severe difficulties ware able to keep going and eventually to change their lives, while others with lesser challenges lacked resilience and do not prosper.

If there is a magic word for change, it is resilience.

Resilience is the capacity to grow despite misfortune, gaining strength from challenges rather than surrendering to them . It really is a vital life-skill. And the best news is that resilience can be learned! That's a huge bonus, given that we cannot have complete control of our lives. Observing the positive effects of such resilience, I became more and more interested in helping others gain this capacity.

No single type of psychotherapy is large enough to address the all parts of being human. There really is nobody quite like you and my task is to work with your individuality. This is why I focus on your future strength, not your past or current challenges.

It's why I use a variety of resilience-building therapeutic approaches such as Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Gestalt, Narrative, Existential, Solution-Focused, Reality Therapy and Family Systems approaches.

I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

I have listed the areas I mostly work with under my photo, including resilience, anxiety, depression, anger management, dialectical-behavioural therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), relationship and brief dynamic therapy.

It also explains why my style is active, transparent and interactional. Our working relationship is an important aspect of your therapy. What you tell me about your goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations will help me to understand how you view your life and what it is that really matters to you.

I primarily work in the here and now; we will talk about about your past to better understand your current difficulties and focus on current events and coping methods. We will work together at achieving your goals and aspirations and finding ways to improve your quality of life and increase resilience.

Your feelings are just as important a part of the therapy, since they play a crucial role in guiding you towards a more resilient future. You are likely to notice that some of the ideas and feelings that you pay little attention to at the moment may emerge as significant guides to the future in terms of actions.

My experience with people of all cultures, backgrounds, identities and ages has sensitized me to the many ways in which we face life's challenges.

Recently clients building resilience have worked on:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Critical Illness and Terminal Illness
  • Loss, bereavement, and grief
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Infidelity
  • Healthy self-image / body-image
  • Psychological impacts of immigration and readjustment
  • Child-Parent conflict especially in newly Canadian families
  • Issues of Acculturation
  • Workplace stress/burnout and career explorations
  • Trauma including neglect, sexual, physical, emotional abuse.
  • Couples Counselling
  • (16 years or older) ADHD
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and help for BPD families
  • Aging with grace and dealing with frailty
  • Cancer
  • LGBTQ issues and explorations in sexuality
  • Companion animal/pet loss and grief

Resilience and Cancer

Just a note about a particular issue - I have developed a specialty in helping individuals and families facing cancer (psychosocial oncology).

I strive to offer support and counselling to people afflicted with cancer who have specific unmet needs related to coping with their illness, emotional distress, changes in relationships and at times planning for the next phase of their lives.

Getting Started

I offer a lot of flexibility in scheduling, including weekend and evening appointments. Parking is available. Both the building and my office are accessible for people with disabilities. Should you have an extended health care plan benefits I can assist you with being reimbursed. Here's a map to my office near Finch and Dufferin.

The psychotherapists appearing on this site are independent. They are not employed nor controlled by is acting solely as a listing service for the convenience of those seeking the services of psychotherapists.