Prior to joining Shalem, Michelle worked with children with behavioural difficulties in the school setting, elderly persons in the end stages of dementia, and adults recovering from brain injury and lengthy hospitalization.
At Shalem, Michelle has worked with children and families with issues of addiction, divorce and separation, those experiencing grief, anger issues, and children with behavioural difficulties at home and school. Michelle enjoys working alongside parents and families of these children throughout the therapy process and includes them in the art-making experience.
Michelle completed her undergraduate studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in psychology and criminal justice. She completed her graduate studies at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.
Susan seeks to create a warm, accepting and safe environment for each person she sees in therapy. She approaches whatever topics or situations people raise with curiosity, compassion and a desire to explore them together in ways that open up space to move forward.
She works with people to develop a personalized plan to meet their needs, which often looks like collaboratively developing strategies and solutions to make changes. It might also include making space to process past experiences, including traumas and relationships, in ways that helps make sense of them, reduces their negative impact and promotes resilience, growth and healing. She seeks to integrate events and change on various levels, including the emotional, cognitive, behavioural, spiritual and relational aspects of people’s experiences.
In individual, couple or family sessions, Susan helps people envision and develop the futures and the relationships they are longing for. She collaborates with couples and families to identify interaction patterns that are causing problems and replace them with patterns of healthy interactions that address the longings, fears and needs of each person.
Susan brings a lens of sociocultural awareness, attending to diversity and social justice issues and to the complexity of our identities and intersections in our lived experiences. She works from an affirming, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed lens to address experiences of marginalization and imbalances of power and to advocate for change. Susan works with folks from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and sexual and gender identities. In her own personal work, she seeks to expand her awareness of her own social locations, blind spots and internalized biases.
Susan works with and learns from clients bringing a wide range of topics, including abuse, anger, anxiety, conflict, depression, identity issues, living well with a mental health diagnosis, relationship issues, stress and trauma. Her work draws from several models of therapy, and she tailors her approach to build on the strengths and resources of each client. Her favourite models include Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Attachment Therapies such as Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Susan completed her undergraduate degree at Redeemer University and a Master’s Degree in counselling psychology at McGill University. She is a registered marriage and family therapist and approved supervisor with the Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT). Susan is also a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Worker and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). She is a certified Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) couple therapist.
Susan offers clinical supervision for therapists working toward their CRPO or CAMFT certifications or other professional designations, as well as supervision mentoring for new supervisors.
When not working, Susan loves reading, photography, and playing games with her family.
Elisabeth graduated from York University with a major in Geography and, after a few years of travel and mission work, began administrative employment. At Shalem she provides administrative support to various programs, including the intake process for the Hamilton clinic and Congregational Assistance Program (CAP). Prior to coming to Shalem, Elisabeth was the Assistant to the Vice-President (Academic) at Redeemer University College.
Elisabeth still enjoys international travel and mission work, alongside her husband and children, but more regularly indulges in family games of UNO and Monopoly.
As a counsellor and registered social worker, Bernadine has enjoyed working with individuals, couples and families in a variety of settings. She provides a supportive and safe space for people to work through the hurts and difficulties they are experiencing and move towards healing.
Bernadine has completed her undergraduate degrees in Social Development Studies and Social Work through the University of Waterloo and has completed her Masters in Social Work. Bernadine is a Family Group Decision Making Coordinator and is registered with the George Hull Centre for Families in Toronto. Bernadine is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). Bernadine has recently completed an externship in EFT (Emotion Focused Therapy) and has joined the ICEEFT (International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy) network. She is continually engaging in opportunities for growth.
Bernadine enjoys spending time with her family, disappearing into a great book or walking a golf course with a good friend. Bernadine is also an active member of her church community.
Shawn is part of the clinical team as a therapist. Shawn has a broad range of life experience that has added to his empathy, knowledge and spirit. He is a graduate of Tyndale Seminary with his Masters of Divinity in marriage and family counselling, and is working toward designation as a registered marriage and family therapist.
Shawn has a warm, calm and inviting presence. Shawn’s degree in Theology at Redeemer University College has been formative in developing his welcoming pastoral bent, which complements his professional counselling training. Shawn enjoys helping people through a variety of life challenges and celebrates growth and positive change. His areas of counselling interest include anxiety, depression, relationship struggles, pornography, life transitions, grief and trauma. Shawn is also a trained Prepare and Enrich facilitator for premarital and marital counselling tools.
Outside the office, Shawn pursues many interests like producing maple syrup, cycling, exploring Hamilton’s trails and waterfalls, reading, and fixing lawn mowers.
Stephen completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Providence Theological Seminary. He is a registered psychotherapist.
He has worked with youth, individuals and families in a wide variety of settings including child welfare, schools, hospitals, community health centres and outpatient treatment programs for addiction and mental health. His areas of practice include anxiety, depression, addiction, anger, grief, emotional dysregulation, mindfulness, couples therapy, and parenting. Stephen works from the philosophy that counselling often results in growth by seeking a fine balance between change and acceptance. Healing and increased awareness can be achieved out of a collaborative relationship of trust between a counsellor and their clients.
Beyond the office, Stephen explores the outdoors with his young family by bicycle, canoe and on foot.