Helen Reilly BSW, RSW, MSW
Hello and welcome to the first step in starting your personal journey. As a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers I am permitted to provide psychotherapy services. Finding the right therapist for you is very personal, and my invitation to you as you explore my profile is to check in with yourself physically and emotionally and see what your gut is telling you. Your gut feeling is your body talking to you, and it is very rarely wrong. We have learned through life sometimes not to trust it. A good therapist is someone with whom you feel heard, seen, acknowledged, and challenged by. These things will mean different things for each of us, and I invite you to think about what that might look like, feel like, or how that might be expressed for you. I am someone who will listen to you with curiosity and will want to explore where you are starting from, what you need from me, and how I can support you in making the changes you want for greater satisfaction in life.
I believe that healing happens in connection, and too many of us have been seduced by cultural and family messages that self-reliance equals success and vulnerability equals weakness. I lived this way for many years. Isolated and unsatisfied. I have experienced therapy from both sides –I have been the client and I am now a therapist. I had a rough start in life, and found therapy early on and I now believe it saved my life. I learned to open myself to painful feelings like vulnerability, and fear which also taught me to open to joy and love. My personal journey has and continues to be a great source of teaching for me as a therapist, and I have learned that being open for each new moment is an ongoing process that involves faith, respect, and deep caring for the other.
I will approach you as I approach life: with a philosophy of personal responsibility, warmth, an emphasis on the here and now, and a profound felt commitment to the uniqueness of your own process. My interest is in meeting you where you are at and providing you with opportunities to identify and explore your feelings. We tend to get stuck in patterns of relating to the world that once kept us safe, but no longer serve us as we move through life. My role in your journey is to listen to your concerns and facilitate a process where you can express you fears, worries, hopes and dreams in the presence of a warm and caring professional.
Your own journey is personal and I will act as an empathic and caring guide in exploring how you keep yourself stuck, express yourself in your own time, and experiment with new ways of being in relationship with yourself and with others. I hope your personal journey will lead to greater satisfaction in life, a willingness to stretch yourself, and a greater capacity to open to the new. Therapy can be both terrifying and exhilarating.
Throughout my eight years in private practice I have worked with a wide range of clients, and am most experienced in dealing with loneliness, isolation, relationship difficulties, abuse, trauma, life transitions, addictions, fertility issues, and specialize in working with adolescents and young adults. As a Registered Social worker, I have spent over a decade in community mental health working largely with young people, and completed my MSW internship at a Toronto area high school where I learned experientially that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is of the utmost importance. This means that responding to you from a place of careful listening and respecting your agency as a creative being comes before interventions and therapeutic modalities for me. This is an attitude I bring to my work as a therapist, and I hope to facilitate a dialogue that feels safe where you can share your fears, worries, hopes and dreams.
This is not to discount the education and formal training I have engaged with throughout my life. It is the ground I stand on. Primarily, I am trained in Gestalt Psychotherapy, and also employ other models of therapy such as narrative and solution focused therapy. I am also trained as a yoga teacher, with years of teaching in Toronto. I will work with you holistically – including all the parts that make you human mind, body, soul, and spirit. I am looking forward to our meeting for a free consultation. I am available on weekends 9-5 as well as during the work week at Yonge and St. Clair. Here's a map to my office at St.George and Bloor handy to the TTC .
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