Karen Zarnett MSW, RSW, RelPsych(Dip), Member OCSW, OASW

Welcome and thank you for visiting my site at the Toronto Therapy Network. You may be searching for a therapist for the very first time or perhaps you are returning to therapy after some time away, either way you have made a courageous step. I congratulate you for wanting to enter into this journey despite how difficult it may seem. It may be uncomfortable or even scary and I can assure you any apprehensions you may be feeling are normal and that the rewards will be worthwhile. I hope that you will take some time to look at my background and methods and learn a little about me. I always recommend to people that they should feel comfortable with the therapist they choose. So take some time and find the right one for you. After all, the therapeutic relationship has to be built on trust and security.

What is bringing you to therapy

Is it relationship problems or a break-up that brings you to therapy? Are you facing divorce or separation? Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? Are you feeling anxious or scared in your personal life and/or at work? Do you often feel down and find it harder to bounce back? Are you dealing with bouts of irritability and anger that make it difficult for you to stay close with those you care about? Has there been damage to the trust in your relationship? Do you feel that your spouse or partner doesn't understand you anymore, that there is a growing distance between you? Do you feel stuck or overwhelmed and unsure of what to do to move forward? Are you dealing with loneliness and isolation? Are you experiencing the longstanding effects of childhood abuse or trauma? Are you in crisis? Is stress just overwhelming your life? These are all issues that I have worked with extensively, including the ones listed under my profile picture, anxiety, depression, and relationships in general.

How we can work together

As mentioned above, these are many of the issues that I've worked on with clients in individual and couple therapy. Whatever you may be experiencing, we will sit together in a comfortable office and begin to unravel the issues you want to focus on, in a non-judgmental and gentle environment. We can explore new ways of coping and how you can create lasting changes in your life. We can build an in-depth, supportive and therapeutic relationship where you are listened to in an empathic and compassionate way. Therapy allows you to relearn ways of responding to yourself and to those around you with more confidence and a greater sense of well-being. It also helps you be better prepared to manage the disappointments and hurts that happen in life. We can't avoid or get rid of hardships and disappointments but we can work together to learn new ways of dealing with them.

I hold in the belief that people carry internal strengths, wisdom and inner resources. I believe that you are the expert on yourself. There may be old patterns, trauma or painful past events that mask and get in the way of recognizing your strengths and abilities and through therapy we can begin to uncover and further develop these strengths and abilities. We can look at patterns of thought and behaviour that are not helpful and leave you feeling badly and begin to talk about different ways to change them. We may work with the approach of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or Mindfulness to identify and retrieve these strengths and change those "negative" thoughts and behaviours. I realize that the process of therapy is as unique as each person, so I respect the goals and pace that you would bring to therapy. We will make the decision together about how we approach therapy and the time frame that best suits your needs. Together we can find solutions and methods that will be helpful to you.

My path as a therapist began in the field of social work where I trained as a Registered Social Worker and completed my Master in Social Work degree in 1996. As a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers I am permitted to provide psychotherapy services. I have many years of experience working as a counsellor in different organizations in Toronto and then for a counselling agency in York Region. During that time it became clear to me that my passion was working with people in therapy. So I furthered my education and training by completing a psychotherapy diploma at the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy. As part of the training, students were required to complete course work and to attend therapy as well. I believe that this was an integral and important learning experience in becoming a more self-aware therapist.

I have been working in my private practice now for over eight years and I continue to upgrade and train as often as possible. My most recent training in the last few years has been completing programs in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and in Emotional Focused Therapy. I have also trained and completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program. There are other therapeutic approaches that I bring into my private practice and while I think it is important to know what training and education a therapist has, in the end it comes down to the right fit. One way to begin is by making a phone call to ask for a complimentary consultation as it is important to ascertain from the outset that you will have a good therapeutic fit with me. Often in the first sessions you can get a sense of whether it is a good therapeutic match.

My office is located in mid-town Toronto on the Yonge subway line. I offer a fee range and I also have some limited sliding scale spots. If you have health insurance, please check to see if they cover Registered Social Workers as many benefits packages do. It would be my pleasure to speak with you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my profile and I hope you find the right therapist for you. Be well.

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