I am a Master of Social Work with over 30 years of experience. My private practice specializes in the areas of individual, couple and family counselling with a particular focus on relationships, health, stress/wellness, life transitions as well as loss, grief and bereavement counselling. I consult to various medical and wellness clinics including Genesis Professional Group and CAREpath, Inc. My approach is collaborative and wellness–oriented and combines Solution-Focused, Narrative, Cognitive Behavioural and Mindfulness therapeutic methods. I have provided wellness education and training to various corporations across Ontario and have been involved in the design and build of wellness training workshops for corporate clients. I have also been actively involved in facilitating supportive counselling groups, both in person and on-line for individuals and their families related to issues of loss and health related changes. I began my professional career working in the field of Gerontology at Baycrest where I was involved in various areas in the delivery of care and education. I continue to seek and provide professional development opportunities. I am currently a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
I am a Master of Social Work and registered social worker with over 30 years’ experience. My private therapy practice specializes in the areas of individual, couple, and family counselling and I consult to a variety of health care clinics in the Toronto area, including CAREpath Inc, Careable and Genesis Professional Group and provide trauma therapy for accident victims. I have also provided and designed wellness training workshops for corporate clients. On topics related to gerontology and health care I have conducted numerous media interviews, lectures, and published in peer-reviewed journals. My areas of expertise include trauma, grief, loss and bereavement, depression, anxiety, stress, relationships, illness and life transitions. I have also worked at Baycrest since 1990 where I have been involved in care, research, and education. I continue to provide education through the University of Toronto’s Institute for Lifecourse and Aging. I have been actively involved in facilitating supportive counselling groups, both in person and on-line, for family members of persons with dementia, mild cognitive impairment as well as other issues of loss and health related changes. My approach is wellness oriented and collaborative and combines narrative, solution focused, cognitive behavioural and mindfulness therapeutic methods. I am currently a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
‘We invite you to join us in a helpful conversation’
We value stories of the past, but our focus is on the present and creating your preferred future. Meeting together and engaging in collaborative conversations is a sign of strength that can lead to greater self-awareness and provide the opportunity for self-reflection. Our aim is to take a positive, proactive stance and maximize your overall health and well–being.
Together we work toward positive outcomes which will help enable you to create a meaningful difference in your life and move forward by finding space for life and growth beyond your current challenges. We work together to co-create meaning in your stories and assist you to take charge over your life.
Together we can help you to:
Through our conversations, we create an opportunity for you to explore your strengths so that personal preferences and possibilities can emerge and evolve. We have seen that many people with whom we work are very resilient and we have witnessed significant transformations and positive change.
We combine a variety of approaches including, Solution Focused, Emotion Focused, Cognitive Behavioural, Narrative, Mindfulness and Trauma Therapies.
Solution focused therapy is collaborative, goal and solution oriented, future focused and uses interventions to enhance your strengths, abilities & resources. You are the experts in your own lives and experiences. This approach acknowledges that change is continual and small changes can lead to bigger changes.
Narrative therapy separates the person from the problem and encourages you to tap in to your own skills and strengths to change problem stories and highlight unique outcomes to create a new and preferred story and a sense of meaning and purpose.
CBT is a method of therapy which helps you to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours to improve your mood and your life. It is structured; time limited and focuses on the present. It helps you identify problems and create achievable goals through concrete tasks and action plans.
Emotion Focused therapy is also collaborative and is related to attachment and bonding perspectives. It helps you to express your emotions and make changes in your interactions with others and create secure relationships.
Mindfulness is an approach to therapy that involves paying attention to and creating awareness purposefully and non-judgementally to what is happening in your world at the present moment. It allows you to embrace new ways of taking charge over stress, illness and pain. Mindfulness allows you to make room for the joys and pains of the present moment and encourages you to notice other ways of thinking and being.
People experience trauma in various ways. We will help you to create a sense of coherence and tap in to your existing strengths and internal resources. We help you to tell your story of trauma as a way of shifting your thoughts and creating new meaning. A strong emphasis is placed on the connection between mind, body, emotions and behaviours. We seek to provide you with the tools to help you build resiliency by integrating strategies such as EMDR which is an alternative choice to dealing with stressful or traumatic life events. In this way, we help you to meet your challenges head on to reduce the adverse effects of your experiences and help you to feel and act more in line with your preferred view of yourself.
We integrate these models with our own personal styles and unique relational focus to tailor treatment to best meet your needs and preferences. The relationship of trust and safety that we build together is the most important ingredient in the success of our work together and your change outcome.
You are viewed as the experts of your own experiences. Our aim is to facilitate change and difference, creating new possibilities and helping you move in your preferred directions.
Through our counselling, we have enabled individuals like you to live more effectively with the challenges in your life by creating outcomes such as reduced stress, improved mood, positive changes in overall health, better communication, enhanced relationships, and greater self-worth and confidence.
In our work with couples we create the opportunity to come together with you and your partner to have open, honest and direct conversations. We will work with you individually or as a couple at various stages in your relationship.
We help you and your partner to connect and focus on your strengths and needs and open the lines of communication so that you both can be heard and validated.
We also work proactively with couples like you to strengthen your emotional connectedness, build secure attachments and enhance your understanding of each other.
Through our conversations, we create an opportunity for you and your partner to explore your strengths so that personal preferences and possibilities can emerge and evolve.
Families are complex and experience various stages of development throughout the lifecycle. Families are made up of a group of interconnected individuals affecting each other in profound ways.
Various stresses, positive and negative may enter the life of the family such as the birth of a child, illness and loss which can affect the relationships within the family.
We invite you and your family to meet together and engage in an open and honest conversation.
We work together to find ways to come to terms with and accept differences, highlight positive opportunities for growth and change within your family and help shift expectations to a more realistic view.
We emphasize strategies to help you and your family communicate more effectively.
We empower you to make healthy lifestyle choices and encourage you to put your energy toward your psychological, emotional and spiritual well- being which are key elements to self-care. We impart an understanding of the connection between the body and emotions; promote self-care strategies and a preventative, proactive approach to health and wellness. Techniques including deep breathing, meditation, visualization and imagery are practiced with you. We also incorporate cutting edge principles from the new brain science including neuroplasticity to build your skills and inner strengths in areas of contentment, self-compassion, calm and confidence.
We promote self-care strategies and a preventative, proactive approach to wellness. You will learn more effective and healthier ways to manage the stressors in your life.
We can help you move beyond wellness and prevention to emphasize growth enhancing activities leading to a greater sense of fulfillment and competency in your life.
Adapting to life transitions such as moves, job changes, illness and loss can be stressful and difficult.
We help you learn how to stand up to these challenges by building on past strengths and inner resources.
We assist you with linking and connecting with helpful resources,
broadening your support network and navigating the system.
We provide education and information related to the issues you are facing and create greater understanding which enhances coping and living effectively with the challenges that you are dealing with.
Your experience with loss is real and unique to you. We recognize that we all grieve differently. While we all encounter various forms of loss throughout our lives, the ability to focus on your strengths and resilience can create space for life and growth beyond loss.
Bereavement changes your world as you have always known it as well as your relationship with yourself and others. We introduce you to new approaches to grief that help you to navigate your experience of loss while relearning your world and reconnecting with your strengths and resilience as well as a new view of self. Through our conversations we help you to make sense of your loss and redefine what matters most.
We also know that there is no set time limit on the process of grieving. The process of grief sees peaks and valleys in the overall picture. We help you to maintain ties to the relationship with the person you have lost.
Our main aim is to help you to relearn your world, and move beyond loss to a life with new purpose and meaning.
“I was emotionally stretched to the limit … when my Family Physician recommended that I contact therapist, Susan Barron, for supportive counselling…. Susan helped me to look at where I was fraying around the edges and … those parts of me that even I was afraid to acknowledge. She guided me with her expert care and her genuine warmth … We achieved more than I ever thought would be possible. I say ‘we’ because we were a team as I redesigned my priorities. … I feel free and unburdened. I feel real. My story continues with endless possibilities ahead…”
“The service being provided by Renee Climans at Counselling for Creative Solutions has given us the atmosphere and guidance that has enabled us to identify both the positive and negative aspects of our relationship. Throughout the sessions we’re developing methods to help us overcome our problems and build on the strengths of our relationship. After only a short time we are already making positive changes.”
“In a time of intense grief and despair, Susan Barron entered my life. She offered warmth, comfort, support, acknowledgement and a deep understanding of my pain. Her therapeutic interventions combined with her compassion and empathy touched me deeply. I recognize Susan not only as a skilled therapist but also as a sensitive and passionate human being. I am so grateful to her for helping me through my journey of healing. “
“It is indeed a pleasure and an honour to prepare a testimonial about the services that I have received from both Renee Climans and Susan Barron partners in Counselling for Creative Solutions. Over the last three years, I have been receiving grief counselling support from Renee and Susan. During this time, I have been extremely impressed with the caliber of professionalism, dedication, sincerity, and caring. These counsellors have both heart and more importantly soul. Not only do they work with individuals but they also have worked with my immediate family helping us through the grief process. Although, my family and I are still picking up the pieces of our lives, these last three years have been made a little easier because of the support, encouragement and advice that I have received from Susan and Renee. “
“My husband of 36 years died suddenly in the summer of 2004 and I knew right away that I would need independent help. Renee and Susan were recommended by friends of friends and I made the call within three weeks. They listened to me talk and cry. I think I cried most of the time. It allowed me to cry without my friends and family being there. They both encouraged me to do what I felt was necessary for me. . . In the beginning I needed company all the time. It was difficult having dinner alone and spending nights by myself. Now I feel comfortable in my own company. I am grateful to Renee and Susan for giving me the support that I needed and would recommend them to anyone who finds themselves in my situation.”
I contacted Renee when I was in the throes of shock and grief. I needed immediate assistance and she came to my rescue. She arranged to see me right away (when other counselors had told me it would be a couple weeks before they could work me in to their schedules). Renee became my lifeline as I worked through the anger, pain, grief, sadness and trauma I was experiencing. Her compassion and calm helped stabilize me. She gave me a safe and non-judgemental space where I could share and receive guidance and care in return. Renee offered techniques I could use, information I could read, and pauses to remind me of my progress along the way. She encouraged my growth and has helped me come through the most traumatic period of my life. I am now healthy, happy and hopeful about my future. Renee was key in getting me to this place.
I have been seeing Susan off and on for several years. I really feel like she is my saviour. Susan listens attentively, with sensitivity, compassion, and understanding. The words she offers me just make so much sense, everything just falls into place. I know what to do and I’m ready to take on the world again. Susan makes me feel wonderful . . . and the experience is very real. Thank you Susan!”
We have created training programs, workshops and presentations for a variety of organizations and corporations throughout Ontario.
We are happy to create and customize additional presentations and workshops depending on your expressed needs. Please feel free to contact us to find out more about our presentations and workshops and how we can co-create new ideas together.
“Retracing my father’s steps in Tofino” (November 2016)
“A new survey reveals the vast majority of Canadians aren’t prepared to care for our elderly parents” (February, 2011)
“More Canadians Helping the Seniors in their Lives” (March, 2008)
Discussion on Caregiver Stress (October, 2007)
“When to Consider Institutional Placement” (May 1998)