Laura Di Vilio RP, AOCA, Member CAPT
The Beach and Queensway-Royal York
Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. - Brendan Francis
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Welcome. The decision to enter into therapy is not an easy one. Some believe that psychotherapy is only for those suffering from great depression or other debilitating symptoms of mental illness. In truth it is a marker that a person is wise enough to know when they need some help and support, and responsible enough to get it.
For most who seek therapy, the trigger is not the debilitating symptoms of mental illness but rather ordinary lifethe everyday problems that make us feel sad or helpless or interfere with our ability to be happy and productive. We are each, of course, differently equipped to handle challenges. The same woman who confidently navigates a career change might find herself unexpectedly devastated by her mother's death, while a woman whose marriage has always been a solid source of comfort and strength may find her partnership unmoored when she is unable to conceive a child.
By its very nature, the therapeutic relationship is concerned with individuality. And by this I mean that when you enter into therapy, those sessions are a time and place wholly for you. Therapy is focused on helping you understand your feelings and behaviours, and if necessary, instigating change. The issues you face may involve others in your lifea difficult boss, an aging parent, a distant spousebut you and your therapist will focus on how to steady your own life while engaging those around you.
In my therapeutic work I am led by the needs of the client. My diverse training allows me a range of possibilities. I'm with you as your guide through the discomfort, doubt and fear. I will provide a place where there is no judgment and complete support so that you can find your voice, recognize your choices, and feel confident in what you believe to be true. I provide a place where you can hear yourself.
Examining the relationships in your life is key to the therapeutic process. It is in relationship that we get our strongest push to grow. In relationship we are challenged to become a better person. It is in our intimate relationships that we can find a sense of place; we can find the feeling of being at home. Many of us fear the challenge and the intensity of relationship. We have all been wounded in one way or another by parents, friends and lovers and we hesitate to engage in intimacy again. Often we fear losing ourselves within a relationship and therefore hold back from fully engaging and receiving all the gifts of relationship. Again, by gaining an understanding of why we act as we do in relationship we can make the choices that will change things for the better.
Most couples know what their issues are. They know what's going on, but they just can't talk about it, or feel it's too sensitive or maybe too explosive. When they bring it into therapy, it becomes more manageable, safer. Often the causes of stress are not big, overwhelming concerns but rather relatively small, everyday things that seem hard to change. My job is identifying those issues, offering a safe space for the couple to articulate them, and finding ways for the couple to work on them.
Often this means looking at the needs of each individual and the needs of the relationship as separate entities. This may require stepping back from their individual perspectives, to look at a problem from the perspective of the relationship. This helps them understand that while they may not have control over work or stress or children or many other things, they do have control over their relationship.
The route to happiness is not achieved by “fixing” something or someone. Happiness is a daily process of acceptance and awareness; of gratefully accepting everything that comes along as a gift, a challenge or a message. My approach is to work with your attitude and to help you see the riches that your life is offering. Your point of view has a lot to do with how your life unfolds. It has always surprised me how quick people are to rattle off a long list of what is wrong and can barely find one or two things that are “right”. It is this very lens of negativity that colours our image of ourselves. We fail to see our true selves, to trust our instincts, to even believe that we have wisdom. Learning to view yourself without judgement leads to the understanding of who you truly are and opens the door to your potential.
Training and Experience
I have been a psychotherapist for over 17 years. My life has never followed a direct path and therefore my training has taken many routes as well. I have always had a creative approach to life. I practiced as an artist and designer and then through my own therapy came to be interested in assisting others through a process I knew could make a difference in their lives. I know therapy to be a gift to oneself. I apprenticed with people I thought were outstanding in their field of psychotherapy and bodywork.
I have trained in Holistic Experiential Psychotherapy, Group Therapy, Couple Counseling, and Primal Body Work. I have written numerous articles for publications such as Eye for the Future.
Feel free to e-mail me with any comments or questions. Or, if you are ready to take the next step, call me to set up a free initial interview.
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