Counselling for Creative Solutions | A solution-focused approach to therapy
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Encouraging Strengths

“Clients are the main characters, the heroes and heroines of therapy.
We are merely the supporting cast, at times only extras who bear witness
to an unfolding story.

Therapists are just resources clients use in their self-change efforts.”

We admire your courage and strength in taking the first step toward the changes you are seeking.  Reaching out for support is a sign of strength.

Let’s take the next step together and have a helpful conversation!

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About Us

susan-barron-therapist-toronto

Susan Barron

MSW, RSW
(Therapist/Consultant)

I am a Master of Social Work with over 30 years of experience with specialization in individual, couple and family counselling and a particular focus on relationship counselling, health and stress/wellness counselling, life transition counselling and grief and bereavement counselling. I consult to various medical and wellness clinics including ‘Genesis Professional Group’, and ‘Carepath Incorporated.” I have also 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. Currently, I’m a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

renee climans therapist toronto

Renee Climans

MSW, RSW
(Therapist/Consultant)

I am a registered social worker with over 30 years of experience with specialization in the areas of individual, couple, and family counselling. I consult to a variety of health care clinics in the Toronto area, including Baycrest Hospital, and am involved in care, research, and education and actively involved in facilitating supportive counselling groups, both in person and online, for family members of people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment. I have also provided and designed wellness training workshops for corporate clients. On topics related to gerontology and healthcare, I have conducted numerous media interviews, lectures, and published in peer-reviewed journals.

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“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

~ Ghandi

Services

Individual Counselling

 

Through conversation, we create opportunity for individuals to explore their strengths so that personal preferences and possibilities can emerge and evolve.

 

We combine a variety of approaches including, Solution Focused, Emotion Focused, Cognitive Behavioural, Narrative, Brief Therapies, EMDR and Life Coaching in an effort to tailor treatment to the makeup and characteristics of the individual client. These ideas have been connected with our own styles and unique ways of relating to the people with whom we work.

 

Our clients are viewed as the experts of their own experiences and our aim is to facilitate change and difference in order to open up possibilities and help them move in their preferred directions.

 

Through our counselling, we enable individuals to cope with and manage their current situations by reducing stress, improving mood, creating better communication skills and relationships, taking charge over changes in health status and coming to terms with loss.

Marriage & Relationship Counselling

 

In our work throughout all stages in a relationship, we create the opportunity for each member of a couple to come together through open and honest direct conversations.

 

Our main focus is on communication and helping couples move away from interpretations and assumptions that can lead to hurtful conversations.

 

We help couples connect and focus on their strengths and needs to open the lines of communication so that they can each be heard and validated. We also work proactively with couples to strengthen relationship connections and their understanding of each other.

 

We aid couples who are considering separation or divorce by helping them explore all possible choices and options. We also help with separations, if that is the desired outcome, and work toward a preferred future.

 

Common issues such as trust, commitment, loss, intimacy, child rearing are acknowledged and explored and we introduce couples to the idea of using appreciative language and reconnecting with the things that drew them together in the first place.

 

Through our conversations, we create an opportunity for couples to explore their strengths so that personal preferences and possibilities can emerge and evolve.

Family Counselling

 

Families are complex as they are made up of a group of interconnected individuals, each of whom affect the other in profound ways, and which go through different stages of development. From the early years of marriage, to having children, and then watching children grow and leave the home, to retirement and old age, we can aid in the transition between stages.

 

Various stressors may enter and affect the life of the family, such as the birth of a child, changes in work situations, illness, and loss. Families may also face other challenges where the views and expectations of members may not always match. We are here to help family units navigate these changes in a constructive way.

 

We invite families to meet together and engage in an open and honest conversation. We acknowledge that there may be differences among individual parties and we work together to find ways to come to terms with and accept disappointments, highlight positive opportunities for growth to help shift expectations to a more realistic view of self and others for the happiness of the family as a whole.

 

We emphasize strategies to help families communicate more effectively using both words and actions creating a map for current and future interactions.

Wellness Strategies

 

In today’s society, everyone is exposed to stressors that impact emotional and physical well-being and it is vital that everyone learn strategies to balance all aspects of life. We will work with you to create ideas and build an action plan for success while helping you maintain both your physical health and mental health.

 

We promote healthy life choices that help you focus on your psychological, emotional, and spiritual well-being. We also impart an understanding of the connection between the body and emotions, promote self-care strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, visualization, imagery and more.

 

There are more effective and healthier ways to manage stress in life, and our aim is to take a proactive stance to minimize the health consequences of stress and anxiety.

Life Transition Counselling

 

Adapting to life transitions such as moves, job changes, illness, and loss can be stressful and difficult. We assist you in facing these challenges by building on past strengths and personal resources.

 

We also provide helpful resources to broaden support networks with education and information related to the issues being faced to enhance coping with the challenging situations.

 

We help individuals focus on the future by encouraging self-reflective thinking to process the emotional barriers standing in the way of reaching preferred goals. We help clients move in their preferred direction and enable them to shift their mindset to a more positive frame. Our main premise is, “if it’s not working, do something different.”

Grief, Loss, & Bereavement

 

Loss can throw your world upside down and through our conversations, we help you to make sense of the loss and gain order back in your life.

 

Everyone grieves differently, so we provide our clients with the opportunity to express their emotions, both positive and negative, share their stories and reconstruct the meaning of their loss in a way that works for them.

 

We also know that there is no timeline to the process of grieving, so we work with individuals for as little or as long as they need in order to heal. Our main goal is to help you to relearn your world and move beyond loss to a life with new purpose and meaning.

Alternative Approaches to Therapy

 

Mindfulness is a therapeutic approach that involves paying attention to, and creating  purposeful and non-judgemental awareness to what is happening at a present moment. Mindfulness allows us to embrace new ways of taking charge over stress, illness and pain and it allows us to make room for the joys, while encouraging us to notice other ways of thinking and being.

 

People experience trauma in various ways and our Trauma Therapy helps our clients face the challenges that come with that. Most of us deal with small traumas throughout our lives such as geographical changes, career changes, disagreements with a valued friend, or challenges faced by our peers. Some will experience more difficult traumas such as sudden loss of a loved one or changes in health status. We help individuals handle their challenge head on to reduce the consequential effects of such experiences and help them feel like themselves again. We seek to provide people with the tools to help themselves.

 

EMDR is a type of brief therapy that can help individuals view situations in a less distressing and more realistic way, by thinking differently about trauma and letting go of painful memories.

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“Today you are You, that is truer than true.

There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

~ Dr. Seuss

Our Approach

Our approach to therapy and counselling is a collaborative, client directed, and goal oriented approach. We want you to know that:

  • We acknowledge and validate the feelings and stories of the people with whom we work.
  • We focus on successes and what is working.
  • We provide you with interventions to enhance your strengths, abilities and personal resources.
  • We also encourage you to look at preventative steps that can be taken to enhance your well-being and help you to take charge over your life.

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 proactive stance and minimize the health consequences of stress and anxiety

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“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

~ Viktor Frankl

Presentations & Workshops

We have created training programs, workshops and presentations on stress, life balance, relationship and more  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.

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“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

~ Lau-Tzu

Testimonials

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“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

~ Aristotle

Press & Published Articles

cjn-new-logo-jpg-640x322 “Retracing my father’s steps in Tofino” (November 2016)

 

global-news “A new survey reveals the vast majority of Canadians aren’t prepared to care for our elderly parents” (February, 2011)

 

globe-and-mail-square “More Canadians Helping the Seniors in their Lives” (March, 2008)

 

cbc Discussion on Caregiver Stress (October, 2007)

 

globe-and-mail-square “When to Consider Institutional Placement” (May 1998)

  • Damianakis, Thecla, Climans, Renee & Marziali, Elsa. “Social Workers’ Experiences of Virtual Psychotherapeutic Caregivers Groups for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Frontotemporal Dementia, and Traumatic Brain Injury.” Social Work with Groups. 2008, Volume 31, Number 2.
  • Marziali, Elsa, Brcko, Cindy, Climans, Renee, et al. “Negotiating Relationship Contexts in Gerontological Social Work Practice.”Journal of Gerontological Social Work. 2005, Volume 46, Number 2.
  • Barron, Susan & Climans, Renee (2001) “A Narrative Approach to Working with Aging Holocaust Survivors and Their Families Inside the Institution.” If Not Now e-Journal, Spring 2001, Vol.2.
  • Marziali, Elsa and Climans, Renee. “New Technology to Connect Frontotemporal Dementia Caregivers Online.” The Canadian Review of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. Spring 2009.