About Monika

Raised in Ottawa and having worked first-hand with children and families for almost 20 years, I’ve seen the substantial need in our community for mental health services. I believe child and play therapy services are especially needed.

I have a special interest working with children, young adults, and families facing various challenges and concerns with life stages, development, relationships, thoughts, emotions and behaviours. My goal is to provide meaningful psychotherapy services that make lasting improvements to mental health, relationships and emotional well-being.

I take a collaborative approach; the approach and interventions must be tailored to the unique needs and ways of being of each family.

Qualifications

I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Ottawa, where I concentrated my studies on child, adolescent and family development. I and volunteered and conducted research in the fields of attachment theory, family systems and cognitive development.

I then completed my Master of Education degree in Educational Counselling at the University of Ottawa, where I did my psychotherapy internship training in a high school and at The Counselling Group, a community mental health agency.

I worked at The Counselling Group providing low-fee psychotherapy services to individual counselling and play therapy services to many children, youth, families and young adults. I also founded a Children and Youth Social Skills Group and Anger Management Group to help children develop the self-regulation and social skills necessary for healthy peer relationships and friendships.

I then opened my own psychotherapy practice at Village Professional Services, where I’ve been working for many years. I specialize in working with children, youth and families who need support managing the negative impacts of anxiety, depression, trauma and other mental health concerns on their sense of self, their relationships, and their learning or work.

In addition to my education and training, I have experience working with children and families in various settings: with at-risk children and youth in recreational programming, with children and families in palliative care, in mentorship and tutoring positions, and providing supervised visitations to children and their parents. I have also volunteered as a Board Member with the Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario and Canadian Toy Testing Council.

My Practice

I am currently working part-time as an independent practitioner with Village Professional Services. I work in an office with a number of clinical psychologists and other therapists who also work primarily with children and families.

I primarily provide psychotherapy services to children, youth and families. However, I also provide training and consultation services to other psychotherapists and related professionals.

In addition to my clinical work, I work part-time at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) as the Director of Public Affairs. As part of this role, I advocate for improved access to mental health services for Canadians.

Supervision

I often work with children and families who face complex and challenging concerns, who have already seen a variety of professionals before they meet with me. I’ve chosen to provide all of my clients with the opportunity to have my work with their child supervised by Dr. Stephanie Cristina. Dr. Cristina is a clinical psychologist with expertise in child and family mental health, who was a former school psychologist and can provide an educational psychology perspective.

Although this opportunity is purely at the client’s discretion, I strongly believe in the value of supervision and consultation. I find that it and enhances the services that I provide by offering fresh and alternative perspectives to often very complex challenges. Many parents see this as an opportunity to have a number of professionals invested in the well-being and growth of their child through therapeutic intervention. There is no additional fee to supervision, and all information remains strictly confidential between myself and my supervisor as per the standards of our regulatory bodies and applicable legislation.