Chris Rookwood RN, LCSW, MSW,RSW
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
Hello and welcome. Thank you for taking time to visit me. To get here means you have already been working. Whether this enquiry is for you, a loved one or a colleague I wish to acknowledge the courage it takes to seek out support and let you know I am here to listen. We are all unique. We all deserve to be seen and heard.
I strongly feel there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting, but my profile below will let you know a little about myself.
How do I practice? How will I help?
Embarking on a therapeutic journey can be many things. As in life, there isn’t a rule book. It doesn’t come with a manual with a clear and definitive outcome. No wonder we can feel stuck and overwhelmed! I believe that we all strive for balance and do the best we can. However, when we experience pain or depression, anxiety or other symptoms it can be just too much to manage alone. At these times it is wise to be working with a therapist, a person who will focus on you, will help you find ways to learn, heal and grow.
I use a relational approach and ‘our’ relationship is about you. I am process-oriented and work in the present. Attending to each moment allows for the emergence of a deeper awareness of self. At times it is equally important to use content and strategy. I believe that optimism is core. The focus is primarily on what works, what we do well , building trust and safety while looking at what’s good. This lays the groundwork for challenging each issue, each pattern that has developed over time, encouraging curiosity and a willingness to face these together, to move toward growth and healing.
I will challenge you to be present and to stay in the moment, and encourage you to be more aware of your thoughts, your feelings, your needs and how to express them meaningfully. You will become more aware of your own process of understanding so you can identify alternative choices in any given situation. You will learn to use the relationship to take risks, to try new ways of communicating that can be used in all of your relationships.
I believe that our minds and bodies are connected and that we have much to understand about how physical sensations and health interplay with our mental processes and vice versa. I will pay attention to you as a whole. Your movements, tone of voice, eye contact, moods, silences, frustrations, responses provide clues for you to more fully understand your patterns. I will not interpret you, but rather facilitate the ground that encourages self-understanding through experience and reflection. How we are in the world has an impact on everything we do, how we interact and are perceived by others. In turn, the actions and reactions of those around us shape the context we live in. The whole is interconnected.
So, who am I?
I have had a career in health care for over 30 years, initially as a nurse and transitioning to clinical social work over a decade ago. As a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers I am permitted to provide psychotherapy services. From 1993 - 2003 I worked at the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia and have over 15 years experience working with adolescents and adults who have eating disorders. It is challenging work and I love it. There is no quick fix. But, there is hope. I am passionate about the benefits of therapy for these women (and men) and recognize how distressing it can be for all members of the family. Families or loved ones often feel blamed and helpless. I strive to work closely with families to support them.
During the past 9 years my practice has become more diverse and while I continue too specialize in eating disorders, around 40% of my clients come into therapy with other issues such as depression, anxiety, addictions, sexual abuse, relationship and marital concerns. I am also working with more couples using an optimistic approach which has been very effective for clients.
I would be happy to discuss further questions you may have about treatment, my approach, what to expect, fee schedules and how to set up an initial conversation. Please contact me here by phone or email. My office is located at Summerhill and Yonge. Here's my map.
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