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“...if the doors of my heart ever close, I am as good as dead.”

—Landscape by Mary Oliver in
New and Selected Poems, Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers...”

—Thich Nhat Hanh, from his book, Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. New York: Bantam Books, 1991.

Lisa Walter

My Approach

Image of Lisa WalterMindful psychotherapy is a working partnership where our goal is to deeply understand and simply change the ways you live in the world.

Patiently, respectfully and compassionately, you and I will explore what it is like to be you by listening to and talking about your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Together we try to understand what is going on for you and what is going wrong for you. 

When we have a comprehensive knowing of the dominant emotional and cognitive patterns in your experience, and a respectful acceptance of how these patterns have preserved and advanced what is precious to you, change can begin. With encouragement and more understanding, we develop new ways for you to express yourself, and relate to others.

In my practice over the last 18 years, I have worked with people from 17 to 71 years of age, who are artists and accountants and everything in between, with people from all walks of life, from all kinds of histories and passions.

In recent years I have been receiving a number of referrals of people who are artistically talented or intellectually gifted, and from parents of children who have been assessed as gifted or talented.

My Credentials

  • Registered Psychotherapist - College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario since 2015
  • Currently a Candidate in psychoanalytic training at the Toronto Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, expecting to graduate in 2019
  • Certified Canadian Counsellor, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, 2012
  • Master of Education Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto (O.I.S.E.) in 1991
  • Internship and 2-year Residency Program at the Toronto Institute of Human Relations in 1993
  • Coursework for a Doctor of Education Degree completed in 1996
  • Ongoing participation in peer supervision groups,training days and conferences.

First Steps

The way I go about things is to meet first for an Initial Consultation which lasts for 60 minutes.  In this consultation we will talk about what you are experiencing, what you are hoping for and what I do in my practice to determine if there is a good match between your needs and psychotherapy, and our styles of communicating and ways of being.

I charge $135 for an initial consult and ask that you pay either by cheque or e-transfer.

If we think it’s a good fit and that the two of us can work well together, we will arrange to meet for Assessment. This first stage of our work together is very important. 

We start by collecting a thorough personal history and then we discuss other aspects, both difficult and rewarding, of your life.  This process helps us frame your current difficulties  in the context of your whole life and your full self. It often takes 2 or more sessions.

At the end of the assessment sessions I will make a recommendation for treatment and we will either contract for a fee, session frequency and a schedule for appointments or investigate alternatives. This might be a referral to another practitioner or a treatment setting that is more suitable.

Sometimes we can decide and work out details in the last assessment session but I usually encourage people to take information away and make the decision over a few days or even longer.  

My fees are established at the time of contracting from a base fee of $135 per hour with variations, higher or lower, for different arrangements including frequency and scheduling. 

I hope this gives you the information you need. If you would like to explore this with me further you could either call or email.

For M.D.s and other Referring Professionals

I continue to practice under voluntary self regulation with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and the Canadian Association of Psychodynamic Therapists.

I work from a psychodynamic orientation [commonly called a relational approach now] with attention to vulnerabilities to anxiety and self destructive behaviour.  Concentrating my continuing education on recent developments in theories of mind in developmental psychology and approaches of mindfulness has provided new and useful insights. I find these new understandings of how experience is processed especially useful with clients who are capable, sometimes remarkably so, until they fall apart, either in the wake of some event [sometimes negative but sometimes positive] in their sphere of relationships or in their career or area of success.

My many years of work in the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists [most recently I worked to adopt an Alternative Dispute Resolution [ADR] process for complaints] has also put me in touch with a large number of therapists who work across the GTA in a variety of modalities, languages, and locations. I am happy to extend this referral base to you.

I would welcome a call or email with regard to patients who might benefit from either a psychotherapy consult or a course of therapy. I am generally able to return messages within 24 hours Monday through Friday.

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