Jude Johnston BFA, BSW, MSW, RSW
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom".- Anais Nin
Welcome! I send you heartfelt wishes for good health and congratulate you on considering therapy as way to improve your life.
Whether it is for an immediate crisis or for ongoing emotional distress, therapy can lead to emotional relief and great peace in your life. You may find that the relationships in your life are strengthened, but the first one that is affected is the one you have with yourself.
As a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers I am permitted to provide psychotherapy services. I provide a safe and supportive environment and work very collaboratively with clients. I believe that it is through a caring and empathic relationship that healing and understanding can begin.
You may be arriving at my office with some kind of broken connection, either to yourself or with others. This can take the form of addictions, trauma, relationship, grief or family issues. There might be sexuality or gender concerns or a feeling of sadness or anger. Or you may be worried that you are not feeling anything at all.
Together, we will find new meanings and choices in your life and increase your sense of hope and optimism.
In general, I meet with individuals or couples on a weekly basis. Together we have a rich and creative discussion. While creative in tone however, there is a structure to the work. Subconscious patterns are brought to the surface. Through a deeper connection to yourself, new responses and approaches to life emerge and a greater feeling of confidence can result.
Deep listening and compassion are mainstays of my approach. I work in a relational way with clients. With insight and care we keep our own relationship in mind, as it is also through our own interactions and responses that a great deal of information can surface.
There are other ways to work together as well, depending on what we find is right for you. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, creativity (journaling, drawings) and mindfulness are additional ways for you to express your needs and ground yourself. Humour is also never far away as who hasn’t developed some clarity in a moment of laughter and release. We will also look at your context.
A word about emotions. These are treated compassionately as useful messengers to yourself. It is, for example, okay to feel angry or sad. Understanding what your emotions mean to you and what you are doing with them, however, can change the quality of your daily life. Should there be any dampening down of them, we will also address this so that you can feel grounded and safe.
In terms of education, I have a Bachelor and a Masters in Social Work as well as a Fine Arts degree. I have additional training in couples therapy, trauma, addictions, brief and solution focused therapy, mindfulness, gender and sexuality issues.
Over the years I’ve met clients in many settings and situations. These include a methadone clinic, women’s health and sexual health clinics, a homeless organization, an AIDS agency and of course in private practice.
As a psychotherapist I am tremendously fortunate to witness the resiliency of my clients. I am humbled by their need to find their own “voice” and path in life and I treat this journey with great care and respect.
Voice has also been an important quest in my own life, not only through therapy but in the arts where I worked for ten years. I find that creativity is a quick road to connection and insight. Meditation has also been important to me. It has not only helped ground me so I can see things with greater clarity but also helps me connect to clients when they are silent due to fear, anxiety or dissociation.Therapy can lead to a deeper confidence and trust in yourself as you navigate relationships and situations in your life. I will work with you, at your pace, so you can experience healing and joy. I have been honoured to be part of this journey with many clients for several decades. I have my office downtown near Christie and Bloor on the subway line, and offer evening appointments. I welcome any questions you may have and I look forward to talking to you.
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