Site icon Mindy Smith-Bernard Counselling & Psychotherapy

About Me

Registered Social Worker

EMDR Certified Therapist & Consultant-in-Training

Education:

Master of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University (2004)

Bachelor of Social Work, York University (2003)

Honours Bachelor of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University (2001)

 

Professional Memberships & Registrations:

Ontario College for Social Workers and Social Service Workers (2003)

Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) (2002)

EMDRIA (2020)

EMDR Canada (2020)

 

Who am I as a therapist?

The most important thing to me is getting to know you.  I believe that the biggest contributing factor in successful psychotherapy is the therapeutic relationship.  I work very hard at creating an environment that promotes the trust and safety required for you to be authentic and vulnerable as you share your story.  My approach is gentle, with a side of humour and just a dash of sarcasm.

Beyond the building of the therapeutic relationship, my approach is a bit eclectic.  Primarily, I would identify as Person-Centred because I believe in your inherent ability and strength to figure out your own solutions.  I trust that you know what’s best for you.  When I hear your story, I filter it through a trauma-informed lens that also considers your attachment history.  I tend to draw on strategies from EMDR, DBT, CBT, EFT, and Narrative Therapy.  I think of myself as the kind of therapist who knows some things but largely walks along side as you navigate your way through the challenges that live throws at us.

I have worked in the field of addiction and mental health since I was 18 years old when I completed a high school co-op at a mental health drop in centre.  I have worked in various settings since that time but my heart has always belonged to addiction work.  Before opening my private practice in 2018, I worked for 12 years at St. Mary’s Counselling Service, the community-based addiction program of St. Mary’s Hospital.  Prior to that, I worked in the residential youth addiction program at the Sister Margaret Smith Centre in Thunder Bay.

Who am I as a person?

In my life outside my work, you can find me spending time with my family and trying my very best to navigate this crazy mom life!  I spend significant amounts of my free time freezing my butt off at hockey arenas and cheering (loudly) for my beautiful young son.  I am also a dog-mom and a cat-mom (yes, pet hair is an accessory in my life) – because life is truly better with pets.  I enjoy camping (glamping), being near water, crafting in my craft room, reading a great book (ideally with a cup of good coffee and a warm cat on my lap), building Lego and watching zombies or apocalyptic series on Netflix.

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