Susan Monteith MEd, RP, Member OACCPP, Member CAPT
I'm pleased that you are reading this, whether to make contact with me or to browse; it's a beginning step on your own journey of self-understanding.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Change seems hard, not because we don't want to change, because we do but because it means changing attitudes, perceptions, values, things that we have become comfortable with and to part with them feels like giving up the very essence of who we are.
Our natural tendency is to try and prevent change and hold on to what we have worked so hard to build. And sometimes it just feels pretty scary to head into unknown territory. In my own change process I used to think that I was willing to change, but not really in the deep inner part of myself. But I pushed forward anyway and will always be grateful for whatever part of me insisted that I do that.
In the years that I have been practicing I have had extensive experience helping people with the following concerns:
- abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
- grief and loss
- eating disorders
- children of alcoholics
- parent-adolescent conflict
- suicidal ideation
- life crises
- traumatic events
- setting boundaries in relationships
- life's meaning and personal direction
My own therapy journey led me to study what is called psychodynamic psychotherapy and this is the way I practice. It is a way of working that acknowledges the existence of an unconscious mind that influences our behaviour, thoughts and feelings. It is this deep part of our mind that makes us do things that we know are not good for us such as continuing in unhealthy relationship patterns, giving in to addictive cravings, behaving inappropriately, saying something we didn't consciously intend to say, or maybe acting in a way that makes us feel ashamed. And yet our unconscious mind is also the source of our deepest creativity and is our most trusted guide for our healing.
Together we can find a way for you to explore your own life old hurts and losses, angers and fears, the present day stresses of anxiety, insecurity and low self-esteem how the past is affecting the present, and how you came to be where you are now. Anger in particular can be a big problem for many of us, but together we can explore how it originated and work to release it productively. While we are working together my job is to be your guide and support you in a safe, respectful, non-judgmental way so that you can explore whatever problems bring you to therapy. One of my favourite professors used to say "with every attempt to articulate comes a new understanding".
Clients who have worked with me have experienced:
- understanding and resolution to long-standing concerns and issues
- new insights that can lead to better ways of dealing with old issues
- greater self-confidence and well-being
- more realistic expectations of self and others
- less stress and anxiety
- relationships that become more fulfilling
As we work together you will begin to identify your deepest longings, their lack of fulfillment and to open up to your inner self. Often it is our pain and suffering that creates the opportunity (or, pushes us) to examine our lives and move towards a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment. This usually leads to a deeper connection to ourselves and others. It allows a freeing up of energy for living more fully.
You may find that working with dreams might be helpful or other things such as imagery or visualization or deep relaxation which can help you in accessing your unconscious mind. From time to time, if you are interested, certain readings or workbooks may be helpful.
Couples therapy with me
When I work with partners we focus on the deep emotional feelings that each has for the other, both positive and negative. I help partners express these feelings in a way that is productive and loving. We explore together the themes that run through their interactions. The content of the key issues is less important than the feelings attached to them.
Relationships bring up our greatest joy and at times our greatest pain. The closer the relationship the greater the pain. It is where emotional overreactions and under reactions are most numerous and where we are most vulnerable. This means it is also where we have the greatest opportunity for growth.
In working with couples I bring my own belief in the strong connection between emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. A strong emotional bond between partners evokes a healthy sexual relationship. As therapy progresses and couples become more closely connected emotionally then their sexual relationship also becomes more satisfying.
My Professional Credentials
I have undertaken my own personal therapy journey for many years, and I continue this therapy journey within the psychodynamic approach. Academically I have a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and a Master's degree in counseling psychology, both from University of Toronto. I also studied for three years at the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy. I continue my development as a therapist through ongoing courses, workshops, and supervision. I am a member of The Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists, and Psychotherapists. My credentials are enhanced by a range of professional experience in adult education, with high risk adolescents, and in business management.
I have been in private practice in Toronto since 1992 and through these years I have had a lot of experience working with people who are struggling with a wide range of distressing problems.
Please contact me for a free consultation if you feel that I can be of help. My office is at Bayview and Eglinton.
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.