At The Relationship Centre our team is built around a common desire to help. We provide therapy services to individuals, couples and families because we believe everyone should discover the happiness they deserve.
Mary Joan Brinson MSW, RSW
Founder & Director of The Relationship Centre • Certified EFT Therapist
My love of helping others started with receiving my Masters of Social Work. I quickly found my way to offering individual and couples therapy which provided a powerful way to connect with people wanting to make meaningful changes in their lives. My work has been guided by our need for connection – to know we matter, that our world is a safe and predictable place, and that when we are in need, someone will be there for us. I have felt deeply privileged to share a healing and therapeutic journey with so many women, men and couples.
Motherhood and being married have significantly influenced not only my life but my work. I have pursued advanced clinical training to work with pregnant and postpartum women and with couples – two areas of work that have felt very close to my heart.
I am now focusing my helping efforts on touching even more lives with the creation of The Relationship Centre. By bringing together a team of skilled and compassionate therapists, we are able to help more people than I ever could have helped on my own. I am excited to use the skills that helped me provide quality therapy to building and mentoring a team of therapists who serve our community by providing evidenced based therapy that changes people’s lives.
While I am no longer providing therapy services myself, I am supporting our therapy team in their clinical work while also leading the practice towards future growth and development.
Client Care Coordinator
When you reach out to The Relationship Centre you will be greeted kindly by our welcoming receptionist, Deborah.
We know it can be uncomfortable to contact people you don’t know, especially when you are not feeling your best. Deborah’s goal is to make you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Whether in your initial phone or email conversations or when you visit our centre in person be assured we are here to help you.
Our centre is the place you can come to heal and grow.
Client Care Coordinator
Makaila will be one of the warm voices that greets you when you reach out to The Relationship Centre.
She understands it can be difficult to reach out for help. She will provide compassionate guidance to match you to a therapist who has the specific skills to help you overcome your challenges. She is committed to helping you get the support you need to feel well.
Katie Lobe MSW, RSW
Youth, adults, couples and families face life challenges for many different reasons. Relationship struggles, past hurts, managing ongoing stress and feeling disconnected from a partner may be just a few of these. It takes love, commitment and courage to seek therapy. My professional responsibility is to provide a confidential and supportive environment where I will help you talk about your unique situation and how to pursue positive change. When I bring my extensive experience, education and training and you bring the awareness and knowledge of your situation, together we will explore your thoughts and feelings. This new and enhanced understanding will lead us to identifying a map for positive change. I will support you as you make the changes you decide to pursue. As a caring, compassionate and empathetic person, I believe people of all abilities, genders, races, gender identities, religions and ethnicities deserve happiness.
more about Katie...
I bring many different life experiences and a passion for helping people to make positive change in their lives to my work. I have a Master’s degree in Social Work and have worked in community agencies for the past 25 years with people across the lifespan and these experiences have all helped prepare me to listen and to hear your story in a different way than you may have experienced before.
As I am committed to continuously enhancing my skills, I regularly attend evidence based training such as Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy for Addictions, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Assisting people to experience positive change in their lives is one of the many reasons I continue to enjoy what I do. I look forward to meeting with you and to bringing my sincerity, warmth and even some humour into a helping relationship when you are ready to do so.
Kristen Bird MSW, RSW
I am a proud Mohawk woman who has focused my life on collecting both western and traditional indigenous knowledge to enhance my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional bundles. My goal is to support space for people to explore and become intimate with their sense of identity and purpose in life so they can thrive in life, not just survive.
more about Kristen...
I graduated Wilfred Laurier with a Masters Degree in Social Work. I practice Solution-Focus Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Dialectic Based Therapy and Cognitive Based Therapy in sessions for the past 12 years. I have also recently received training in the treatment of pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders. I look forward to working together with clients in a meaningful way to help clients achieve positive change.
Lori Eaton MACP, RP
Navigating through the challenges of life can be difficult; especially when feeling alone in the journey. I believe therapy offers that connection with people to help them work through their struggles in a safe, supported environment. Over the last 20 years of clinical experience working with children, youth, adults and families I have grown to appreciate the power of one’s self discovery through therapy. I believe in connecting with people on an emotional level by hearing their story and make meaning of a life worth living.
more about Lori...
As a registered psychotherapist with a Masters in Counseling Psychology; my experience has been with people in all developmental stages in their lives, dealing with anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief and loss.
Using therapeutic strategies in CBT, DBT, ACT, and EFT. My newest endeavour is in couple & family work using Emotion-Focused therapy. In understanding the power of connection and attachment needs, couples & families can begin to strengthen and repair their relationship bond. This work has been my motivation for completing certification in Emotion-Focused Therapy.
Additionally, I have attended Advanced Clinical Training to support women who are dealing with pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders.
Heather Baker MSW, RSW
The decision to begin therapy takes courage – courage to look at and accept what is not working, courage to explore options and make healthy changes, and courage to trust a therapist to help you grow and heal. I will work with you to create the safe environment necessary for you to explore and resolve core issues, and release the thinking and behaviours that no longer serve you. As your therapist, I will help to empower you to create a more meaningful life by transforming your present concerns into solutions for healing and wholeness.
I have been trained in a number of treatment modalities and am able to work with you in whatever ways are most helpful to you. Neuroscience has recently provided proof of the brain’s ability to heal itself, as well as techniques for making real, permanent changes. Many of these techniques are the basis of my practice. Beginning with the proven understanding that the therapeutic relationship can be a foundation for healing, I am committed to a collaborative journey with you.
more about Heather...
I am passionate about helping people heal and grow. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work and am a Certified Trauma Clinician, Certified Concurrent Disorders Specialist, and Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist. I am dedicated to continuing to upgrade my skills and have training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Somatic Processing, Play and Art therapy, as well as in the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping). My current endeavours are further training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples and in Perinatal Mood Disorders. I have spent many years working in mental health and addictions, as well as in Correctional facilities. I therefore have experience working with a variety of complex issues. My areas of specialization are grief and loss, trauma, anxiety and depression.
My love for counselling began early in my career when I was fortunate enough to be employed at Kingston Penitentiary in the Regional Treatment Centre. It became evident to me that a person’s behaviour (no matter how extreme it might seem), always made sense given their early childhood experiences and the way they learn to perceive and move through their world. Over the 30 years since that experience, I have worked with many clients with a myriad of issues and have continued to note that we all have a basic need to belong and to feel that we are important to someone. My own experiences with connection, trauma and loss have also been a factor in my professional development. Neuroscience has now proven that our brains are actually wired for intimate connection. Any disruption to our attachment bonds actually alters the make-up of our brains, which in turn, impacts how we are able to respond to our environment. Clients whom have previously been unsuccessful at making changes in their behaviours can experience success when they learn how to understand and manage their automatic stress response, feel into their emotions, and access their “thinking” brains. Showing clients that they can re-gain control of their lives by changing their neuropathways is exciting for me. I look forward to working with you.
Krista Armstrong MSW
In my work as a therapist I strive to help people understand more about themselves and the way they walk through the world. I see therapy as a journey of self-discovery where clients learn how to use their own strengths and experiences in new ways, in order to live a more fulfilling life and tackle a variety of challenges.
My indigenous learning and culture teach me that a supportive community and thriving relationships are the foundation of a healthy, happy life. Therapy offers a safe, supportive relationship to enhance this foundation while also helping provide the tools and insight into how to extend this positivity into other aspects of life. People come to therapy with their own expertise about their life, and I aim to blend that self-knowledge with my training and education in order to create a therapy plan that works for each individual. Above all else, my priority is to ensure people feel supported in their journey, and know they don’t have to face life’s challenges alone.
more about Krista...
I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with a Master’s Degree from the University of Toronto. My training includes work with individuals, couples, and families, surrounding challenges including depression, anxiety, grief, relationship dynamics, chronic illness, caregiving stress, and end of life.
I have worked in healthcare and in the community, which has allowed me to see the value of looking at situations holistically, factoring in all aspects of a client’s life when creating goals and therapeutic plans. I bring a variety of modalities to my work including: Emotionally Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, Narrative, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-Focused and Strengths-based. The diversity of tools allows me to help tailor my therapeutic approach to each individual and their goals in order to serve each client in a way that is most helpful to them.
Jennifer Moore MSW, RSW
Whatever may have motivated you to seek support, I commend you for having the courage to step into therapy. As human beings we universally have challenges, struggles and stressors throughout our lives. Therapy is a powerful tool to help you cope, achieve your goals and enhance your life. My approach to therapy is warm and non-judgmental. Together we will realize your strengths, tap into your inner resources, build resiliency and enhance your coping skills. I can help you manage times of stress, uncertainty and transition, in a safe and secure space.
As a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with a Master of Social Work (MSW), I am passionate about helping people heal and grow. I have a great deal of personal experience, and have worked for the last twenty- six years in both private and community settings with children, adolescents, adults and families. I am committed to continuous learning to enhance my clinical experience in practice modalities which include: Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Informed Therapy, Strength Based Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Emotionally Focused Therapy. Seeing people improve their lives is the reason I love the work I do, and I would be honored to be a part of your journey.
Tara Gingrich MSW, RSW
As a therapist who has been working with adults, adolescents, young adults and families for over 15 years, I have experience with anxiety, depression, stress, emotion regulation, grief and loss, self-esteem, isolation, relationships, sexual or gender identity and trauma. I believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship to heal, transform and nurture growth. Through this connection I encourage you to form a holistic understanding of yourself within the world, supporting you in gaining a greater sense of control over your life. Using modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness, I will guide you to increase emotional awareness, build coping strategies and achieve your potential.
I am a registered social worker who received my Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2004. Much of my therapy experience outside of private practice has been working with adolescents and families in Children’s Mental Health.
Breighan Savage MSW, RSW
Something that I have come to know as a result of working as a helper in the social work field for over 15 years is that all of us are seeking well-being. We all do our best in the situations we face using the tools we have available to us in the moment. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we face challenges that are beyond our abilities and that our tools can’t fix. That is when we need some help. It takes courage, bravery, and insight to acknowledge that it is time to seek help from a therapist and I feel privileged whenever people reach out and allow me to walk with them along their healing path. In my role as a clinical social worker and therapist, I strive to create a welcoming, safe, supportive, and judgment-free space for children, youth, adults, seniors, individuals, couples, and families at all ages and stages of life. I offer respect, care, empathy, and compassion as I support people to explore their emotions, needs, thoughts, and goals within a therapeutic relationship that is built on trust and safety.
I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfred Laurier University. I have over 15 years of experience in the social work field, working with a broad range of issues and concerns. Through exploration of my own mixed Indigenous Central American and Canadian identities, I have come to understand the importance of holistic approaches and I work to incorporate culture, identity, and worldview into my practice.
more about Breighan...
I have a passion for clinical social work that drives me to continuously seek opportunities to enhance my clinical practice skills. I have engaged in evidenced-based training and learning opportunities in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), solution-focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, structural family therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, trauma-informed therapy, motivational interviewing, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). I want you to achieve all that you might hope for in your life. So, I use my knowledge of these clinical practice modalities combined with your expertise about yourself and your life experience to co-create a therapeutic process that can support you in achieving wellbeing and the positive change that is meaningful for you.
Michael Wade MSW, RSW
In working in mental health and providing counselling and therapeutic services to adults over the past 10 years, I have been consistently reminded of the strength and resiliency every client possesses who finally chooses to seek help, and to find change. In my work with clients, I seek to build a safe, and non-judgmental space, and collaboratively explore and navigate the difficult emotions and experiences that they face in their day-to-day. Making lasting change is a difficult process, and I respect the struggle of starting this journey.
With previous experience working as a First Responder before becoming a Registered Social Worker in 2017, I have firsthand experience of the difficulties many people face in their working lives, and the interrelation between our personal lives and our working self. In my work, I seek to help clients integrate themselves using a strengths-based, holistic perspective, seeking to facilitate a better understanding of how environmental, social, and cultural factors contribute to their individual problems and chosen responses. By employing this integrative approach to therapy, I find it better assists clients in making positive and lasting changes within all spheres of their lives.
more about Michael...
I have experience helping clients with issues related to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, emotion regulation, issues with their relationship(s), social isolation, gender and sexual identity, loss, and trauma. I work with both individuals and couples, providing psychotherapeutic services from a number of therapy modalities, predominately Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. I also offer specific expertise in working in men’s mental health as well as LGBTQIA2+ couples and individuals.
Julie Wiltshire, B.Sc., RP
We all may experience issues in relationships, communication, depression, stress, anxiety, boundaries, or trauma. We weren’t designed to do life on our own. We were made for connection. More than ever it has been difficult to stay connected to others in order to seek help with our day-to-day challenges. Society sometimes wants us to believe that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness, but it is actually a core strength. I have a guiding principle that ‘the problem is the problem, the person is not the problem’. I believe that everyone has abilities and skills along with their own values and beliefs that can change their relationship with the problem in order to move towards healing and wellness. You are the expert of your life, and your problems do not define you. It is my goal to help you navigate through your challenges so that you are better able to change the narrative to your preferred story.
more about Julie...
My background and training are rooted in a number of different life experiences which helps direct my passion to work with and help people. I have a B.Sc in Health Sciences and I am a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. I have 19 years of clinical experience in mental health, working with children, youth, and their families. I have worked individually with adults, as well as with individuals with special needs.
I am committed to life-long learning as I regularly attend training and workshops for my own growth, and so that I can best serve those with whom I work. This training combined with my experience allows me to use an eclectic approach to make sure to find the right fit for your unique needs while using evidence-based practices including CBT, DBT, EFT as well as Narrative Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. I employ a trauma-informed lens and a neuroscience perspective to understand behavior from a biological and developmental level. My priority is to ensure a warm, non-judgmental, empathetic safe space to create a trusting therapeutic relationship.
It is a joy to work collaboratively with individuals and come alongside people and tap into their strengths as they experience positive changes in their lives. I look forward to meeting you to discover your unique story and perspective. I look forward to working with you so that I might walk beside you on your journey and support you in the changes you want to see in your life.
Heather Van Starkenburg MSW, RSW
Everyone faces challenges on their journey in life. These experiences can be painful, and there are times we may need to reach out for help. I collaborate with you as the expert on yourself, and I bring skills and training to work together to create change. In our work I support you to not just survive, but to thrive. I work with you to heal from traumatic experiences in an experiential and secure way.
As a Registered Social Worker (MSW), I specialize as an EMDR therapist. I also have EMDR training specializing with Indigenous/First Nations people. I focus on working with adults who have the experience of trauma, PTSD, anxiety and depression, and painful experiences in general. I also utilize Narrative Therapy, CBT, and Solution-Focused Therapy. I am inspired by the recovery I see in people as we work together, and am passionate about working with you to heal.
Mary Broeders MSW, RSW
We all have good reasons for how we cope and survive through life’s challenges and sometimes it can be helpful to receive extra support navigating life. As a therapist, my goal is to provide this support in a way that empowers you to move towards your unique goals. I see myself as a guide, walking alongside you, as you shed emotions, self-concepts, and narratives you no longer need while picking up new insights and awareness, and strengthening those inner resources already within you. Through my strength-based, non-judgmental, empathic approach, I wish to provide a safe emotional space for you to do this inner work and would feel privileged to assist you in finding that clarity and wisdom within.
My exposure to eastern traditions of health through Yoga and meditation as well as my training with Indigenous teachers has helped me form a wholistic view of the self. I have a Master of Social Work from Laurier University and utilize techniques from: solution-focused therapy, mindfulness, dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance, and commitment therapy, and emotion focused therapy. I am passionate about continuing to develop my skills and see my journey as a therapist as a life-long learning process.
Glenda O'Reilly MSW, RSW
Improving the emotional health and wellness of individuals, couples and families is my passion. I am a Registered Social Worker (RSW) who originates from the east coast of Canada. I have a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Memorial University and a Masters of Social Work degree from McGill University. My therapeutic approach is warm, compassionate, genuine, and non-judgemental. I aspire to work together to help manage stress and illness, negotiate, and improve relationships, build resiliency, and enhance everyday coping skills.
I am a certified yoga teacher with the Canadian Yoga Alliance (CYA) as well as a lifelong equestrian. I take a holistic approach to emotional health and wellness. I have experience working in healthcare as well as the community and have worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families. I have helped individuals and families with issues of anxiety, depression, illness, life transitions, emotional regulation, grief and loss, relationships, sexuality, and trauma.
I am a member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and am pursuing my Certified Emotion Focused Therapist training. I have training in evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Structural Family Therapy.
I look forward to working together to create positive, lasting change.
Jenni Beaver MSW, RSW
We are all unique human beings making our way through life, striving for the common goals of happiness, meaning, and connection. However, life is not always so easy nor straight forward. Despite our best efforts it’s not hard to find ourselves down, stuck, or completely unable to figure out which way is up. From birth through adulthood life happens beyond our control sometimes leaving us in search of healing and renewed hope. Health and happiness are absolutely possible, often including the support of therapy. It is a courageous first step to identify the need for help and ask for it. Finding a therapist you trust and “click with” is an important part of this process.
As a therapist, I feel honoured and privileged to join with clients to offer support and guidance in overcoming life’s roadblocks to wellbeing and contentment. Perhaps you are dealing with a mental health diagnosis or with traumatic or unimaginable events that have left you feeling lost and hurt.
It is my goal to provide care from a place of sincerity, kindness, and compassion. I do not take myself too seriously and have a good sense of humour creating a safe calm space for sharing and collaboration. You are the expert of your own life, my role is to provide support, strategies, and techniques that work for you and that help you achieve your goals.
more about Jenni...
I grew up in the Belleville area, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Calgary, obtained my Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington, and now live in the Kingston area. I have many years of experience in the areas of women’s health, reproductive rights, pregnancy, depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence. I use a variety of techniques based in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, EMDR, trauma informed, strengths based, and solution focused modalities.
We know asking for help can be difficult.
But you weren’t meant to solve everything on your own. By reaching out you will be one step closer to feeling better.