Areas of Practice
- Addictions (drug, food and alcohol
- Codependency and co-addiction
- Survivors of emotional and psychological abuse
- Survivors of childhood trauma and dysfunction
- Life transitions (motherhood and parenting)
- Potty and sleep (and other behavioural) issues in toddlers / preschoolers
Registered Psychotherapist and Ceritifed Counsellor
I have been working as a registered psychotherapist for over 6 years, focusing on trauma, addiction, codependency, parenting and behavioural issues in children. It was through leaning into my own pain that I became a 'wounded healer', facing my own heartache and in the process teaching others to do the same.
I am a psychotherapist because I evolved into this as a vocation and calling. Every part of my life... personally, professionally, academically, etc., led me to this exact spot. I am here because it is a calling. I evolved into this position and I LOVE what I do, and the journey here never ceases to amaze me. I am a work in progress and I am not perfect nor claim to be an expert. I stand beside my clients humbly and respectfully because I too have a story. I too have overcome tremendous hurdles. It is hard work, but it is worth it!
My ultimate goal at everwell is to work exclusively with women who have experienced emotional and psychological abuse and help them rebuild their lives as mothers, partners, professionals and women. I hope to become an advocate and face for change in the legal system and among front line workers who understand the tremendous impact psychological and emotional abuse has on the victim and the long journey a woman must endure to get back on solid ground. I would also like to continue my work with addicts and their families, to help them gain a sense of normalcy and serenity, allowing them to heal through understanding and forgiveness.
Q & A with Ishtar
What made you decide to choose your current profession?
" It chose me. It is a vocation. "
What do you like most about what you do?
" Getting into the arena with my fellow human and letting them know they are not alone. "
What does 'integrated health' mean to you?
" Integrated health is a holistic approach to recovery so that the mind, body and spirit are mended and in harmony. Recovery is not a one stop shop. It is a multitude of tools including nutrition, yoga, exercise, mindfulness, creative expression, and therapy. It means taking what you know in theory and cognitively and integrating that into habit, behaviour and action. "
What does 'wellness' mean to you?
" Wellness is a sense of serenity and peace in body, mind and spirit. A returning to your meant to be self and claiming your proper place of authority in your own and true story. Wellness is feeling comfortable in your own skin. "
What's your definition of happiness?
" Happiness is a feeling, not a state of being. I really don't like the word or aim to happy... I prefer to aim for serenity. "
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about mental health?
" The biggest misconceptions about mental health? That it is unique and rare. That you are crazy. That it is the homeless person on the street. That it only happens to other people. That there isn't any mental illness in our family. That you are not functional or capable. "
How does what you do contribute to better health?
" I take a holistic, multi-faceted approach. I will validate and affirm you by giving you the tools to help you make the best decisions for your life and story. "
What's are the top 3 things you do to keep healthy?
" 1) Run. 2) Have my own therapist. 3) Eat as clean and healthy as possible. "
What do you want your clients to know about you and what it will be like working with you?
" I keep it real. I educate and I empower. I am a wounded healer and a constant work in progress. I walk alongside, not in front or behind. "
What do you value most in a client?
" Openness, honesty and trust. "
What would like a client to say about you?
" She is honest, down to earth, easy to talk to and knows her shit."
Why should a potential client come to everwell?
" Our integrative approach. "
What's a fear that you've proud to have overcome?
" Being a single mom. "
What's wisdom would you pass along to the next generation?
" Always follow your gut instinct and take it one day at a time. "
What's the best piece of advice that you ever received?
" Don't make any decisions on a bad day. "
What's the one piece of advice you would give to others about life?
" Everything (even the bad shit) happens for a reason and purpose. Just take it one day at a time. "
Education / Accomplishments /Awards
- Masters of Science in family dynamics and child development
- 6 years working with dying patients at McMaster University Medical Centre
- 5 years working with children with autism and their families
- Several articles published in Today's Parent
- Diamond Winner, Readers Choice Award, Marital and Family Therapist (2015)
- Recovering addict
- Survivor of narcissistic abuse
- Single mother of two
- Registered Psychotherapist - College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
- Certified Counsellor - Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP)
- $100.00 to $120.00 ( per session )
- Check with your insurance provider for coverage opportunities
What personal qualities are important for the job that you do?
What is your personal mantra or favourite quote?
Just for fun
" Chocolate and ice cream... actually chocolate ice cream. "
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown ... it is my bible."
Coffee or Tea?
" Nothing except coffee with cream. "
Top 3 things you heart about Hamilton
1) Trails. 2) Down to earth genuine people. 3) Great architecture in downtown Hamilton and it's revitalization.