Newmarket Therapy Centre

True Health, Includes Mental Health

Individual, Couple & Family Counselling

Psychotherapy for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma & Relationship Repair

Accepting In-Office & Online Appointments

Call Us At (289) 500-8039 To Speak With An Intake Specialist



Individual, couple & family therapy

Individual, couple & family therapy Individual, couple & family therapy
Starting therapy can be challenging and experiencing anxiety at the onset is normal. Therapy is a process and it takes a bit of time to be able to get to the place where you can feel comfortable opening up and sharing your story. We understand what it means to start this journey. Every effort on our part will be made to make you feel accepted, validated, and supported with the issues you bring.

Our Master’s level therapists are trained in evidence-based, cutting-edge therapies which are designed to help you make sense of your experience, identify patterns that no longer serve you, and learn the behaviours that will bring lasting change. Our mission is to ensure that you gain the knowledge, skills and tools to feel empowered to overcome the obstacles that you may be facing.

Please explore the THERAPIST PROFILES on the website, or call our intake department to learn more about them. Alternatively, if you would like us to choose a therapist for you then that can be easily arranged. Our intake team will discuss your needs and match you with the “best fit.” Even if you do not feel that you connect with the therapist, please let us know. We will ensure that you will receive a therapist that can be the most helpful for you.

Please contact our intake co-ordinator Susan at (289) 500-8039 or CLICK HERE TO REQUEST A THERAPIST.



Jason Koenigbaur and Jodie Lindley  saw a vision for a “healing community,” in the hear of Newmarket.  This vision became a reality when the centre opened its doors in March of  2018 at 436 Queen Street, in historic downtown Newmarket. Jason, a Registered Psychotherapist, had been practicing for over 15 years in York Region providing counselling and psychotherapy services to adults, couples, and teens. During his career he saw so many people  suffering from distressful emotions that were based in painful memories form the past which had not been resolved.

Jason made it a mission to study the therapies that would help people safely release the past in ways that would empower them and return their “core essence.” Jason met Jodie, a Registered Massage Therapist, who had a passion for restoring the relationship between the mind and body. Jodie felt as people released pain from their body that their mental health would improve and a greater sense of self would emerge.

Together Jason and Jodie, and our team of like minded therapists, are a pioneering a movement towards the reconciliation of the mind and body. We want our clients to have the experience of feeling the  joy of being HUMAN and being ALIVE! We invite you to be part of the experience at our centre and our growing community. Please  explore our website to learn more about our therapists and services.

The symbol for the Newmarket Therapy Centre is the three leaf clover. One petal is the mind, the second the heart, and the third the body. Aligning the heart, mind and body is not always easy, especially when we hold onto pain, trauma and hurt in all of these systems. Therapy can be one way that we can learn to let go and wake up to our true potential which brings us back into alignment with ourselves and others.

Please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us if you have any questions. Our intake team is ready to help. We look forward to meeting you soon.

All the Best On Your Healing Journey.

Jason & Jodie


WE BELIEVE in a collaborative approach to therapy where the therapist and client are authentic and transparent with one another. The most fundamental need of our being is to be seen, heard and accepted as we are. It is no surprise that the strongest determining factor in successful therapy is the therapeutic alliance. Positive change happens when we become more like ourselves rather than trying to be something others want us to be.

WE BELIEVE in an integrated approach to therapy where the mind, emotions, and body are accounted for in the recovery and healing process. When we are experiencing emotional distress our entire being experiences the pain. Letting go of pain by changing our negative thought patterns, learning new behaviours, resolving issues from the past, and releasing tension from the muscles and nervous system all work together to create better mental and physical health.

WE BELIEVE in supporting our clients to transform their defenses (the way we block ourselves from living our potential) into healthy ways of relating to self, others and the world. Defenses get created when our needs were not provided adequately, mostly in childhood. The pain of not getting these needs met such as unconditional love and validation, had to be suppressed and the “false selves,” worked to get these needs met inauthentically. By respectfully and gradually exposing the original pains, the Real Self can emerge and vitality of the personality restored.

WE BELIEVE in empowerment through personal responsibility. Underlying much of emotional distress, anxiety and depression are suppressed emotions having to deal with our “unacceptability,” as persons. We encourage our clients to embrace their authentic selves by courageously challenging the negative self-talk of the “false selves,” to accept negative emotions simply as underlying needs to met, and making a commitment to stop the cycles of shame, guilt and blame.

Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen- Brene Brown


The goal of psychotherapy is to help you relieve distress, find new ways of coping with your challenges, and to develop the “mindset” that will help you to obtain your goals. It is a form of treatment where the client and therapist work together collaboratively to explore unhelpful attitudes, behaviours, and habits and seeks to change them.

Psychotherapy is about learning about yourself, your capabilities, and how to connect more mindfully. It can help to resolve issues from the past, resolve inner conflicts, and release suppressed and buried emotions. Overall, psychotherapy is an investment into a relationship with your therapist where you will receive the support you need.

We specialize treating anxiety, depression, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, attachment deficits, and relationship problems. In our treatment process evidence based, and cutting edge methods are utilized such Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS),  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Somatic Experiencing,  Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), and Emotion Focused Couples Therapy.  


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aims to improve mental health by challenging and changing negative beliefs, behaviours, and improving emotional regulation.

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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

DBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy that has proven to be effective treating emotional distress, mood disorders, suicidal ideation, self-harm, substance abuse, and Borderline Personality Disorder.

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Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR utilizes “bilateral stimulation” to unlock traumatic memories locked in the brain which activate the “fight, flight or freeze” response. EMDR releases the hold traumatic memories can have on a person and frees them from the symptoms of trauma and PTSD.

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Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

Internal Family System, or IFS, is an evidence-based psychotherapy which has been proven to be effective for treating various conditions including depression, anxiety, panic, fears and phobias, chronic pain, as well as improving generals functioning and well-being.

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Somatic Experiencing (SE)

A nervous system based modality which helps to discharge traumatic stress from the body. As sensations and movements are tracked, blocked and frozen energy is released allowing for greater vitality.

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT can help you to discover and connect to your inner values and how to live them out mindfully in everyday life. ACT is especially helpful for people who want to free themelvse from rigid belief systems.

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Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

EFT attempts to help people look inside themselves and better understand their own emotions. A compassionate stance toward your own emotional experience can occur through honesty and transparency.

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An innovative form of technology, Neurofeedback harnesses the brain’s neuroplasticity in order to facilitate improvement with a variety of symptoms such as ADD, anxiety, trauma and concusions. This non-medicine approach trains the brain to function optimally therby improving attention, mood, and learning abiltiy.

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Creative Arts Therapy

Creative Arts Therapy, through music, art, drama and play, can help integrate thoughs and emotions as the brain creates new ways of making meaning and helping a person feel more integrated and whole.

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Registered Psychotherapist/ Clinical Director ( NOT ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS)

I specialize treating trauma including PTSD, C-PTSD (developmental trauma), and dissociative disorders. My work also includes helping you to to heal from the symptoms of anxiety, panic, depression, chronic pain, and attachment issues.

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Registered Psychotherapist (ACCEPTING IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Adriana is a Certified Trauma Integration Clinician specializing in trauma processing and attachment therapies. Trained in evidence based therapies such as DBT,CBT, EMDR, and Neurofeedback. English & Spanish speaking.

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Registered Social Worker/Psychotherapist (IN-PERSON & ONLINE)

Denise is passionate about wellness! A strong belief in mind and body healing and an intuitive approach to therapy guides her clients to recover from trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and relationship problems. CBT, DBT, Solution Focused.

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Registered Psychotherapist (ACCEPTING IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Anne-Marie specializes in the treatment of relationship therapy, infidelity, and sex therapy, as well as depression and anxiety. Utilizing a holistic and integrated approach. Anne-Marie also accepts Social Work insurance coverage.

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Registered Social Worker, Music Therapist (ACCEPTING IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Hailey specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, work/school related issues, self-esteem issues, self-regulation and depression. She believes in creating a personalized approach to help each individual achieve their goals by drawing on an array of therapeutic methods including EMDR, CBT, DBT, Neurofeedback, Mindfulness, Sandtray as well as music and play therapy.

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Registered Psychotherapist (ACCPETING IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Brigitte specializes in the treatment of trauma-related issues such as childhood abuse, complex trauma, anxiety and depression. Insurance coverage provided for Psychotherapy and Social Work.

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Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) (ACCEPTING IN PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Brendan treats anxiety, stress, phobias, depression, relationship issues, LGBTQ2AP+ concerns, work/school-related issues, disordered eating/body image concerns. His approach includes CBT, Mindfulness, Sex Therapy, Nutrition, and other holistic approaches. Insurance coverage for a Registered Psychotherapist under supervision.

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Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) (ACCEPTING IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Cassandra integrates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Drama/Artisitic therapies. This creative approach works well for those experiencing anxiety, depression, and trauma. Registered Psychotherapist and Social Worker (under supervision) insurance coverage available.

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Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist (ACCEPTING ONLINE CLIENTS)

Kelli is an integrative therapist specializing treating Occupational Stress Injuries, including anxiety, depression and trauma. Approaches include CBT, DBT, Solution Focused, EMDR and Prolonged Exposure.

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Radhika supports her clients to work through thier thoughts and feelings in a warm, empathic, and non-judgemental manner. She supports indiviudals, couples, teens/adolescents and children. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is integrated along with emotional regulation therapy, attachment therapy, and play therapy for children.

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Registered Social Worker/Psychotherapist (ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS IN PERSON & ONLINE).

Over 18 years experience in the field of mental health, trauma, and substance issue. Approaches include CBT, DBT, narrative, strengths-based and attachment therapies. Eva is trained in auricular acupuncture and is an acudetox specialist.

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Registered Psychotherapist (ACCEPTING ONLINE CLIENTS ONLY)

Clare specializes in PTSD and complex trauma, anxiety and grief. She works within a client centred approach using EMDR integrated with Mindfulness, incorporating IFS, Somatic Processing, Ego State therapy, CBT and energy work.

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Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist (ACCEPTING ONLINE CLIENTS)

Patricia specializes in the treatment of chronic disease management, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. She uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Solution Focused Therapy to create change.

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Counsellor/Therapist (Under Supervision) (ACCEPTING IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLIENTS)

Laura has years of experience working with children’s mental health and has a professional background in Early Childhood Studies. Laura is under supervision of a Registered Psychotherapist, and can provide insurance coverage under the services of a Registered Psychotherapist.

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Samira is a student intern. She is currenlty completing her Master of Social Work program at Wilfred Laurier University. Samira will be supervised by a Registered Psychotherapist. Samira has experience working as a counsellor in community mental health settings. Services also available in Farsi.

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Registered Social Worker, Psychotherapist (NOT ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS)

Ita treats issues such as anxiety, depression and trauma with Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), in addition to EMDR therapy. She is specialized working with with teens and young adults.

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The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. - C.G. Jung


Call Or Email Our Intake Coordinator, Susan Graham,  For Your Free Telephone Intake Assessment. Susan will explain the therapeutic process more in detail and answer any questions that you may have. Perhaps you have a therapist already in mind or maybe you would like us to chose a therapist for you. Regardless, Susan will provide you detailed information on our Registered Social Workers and Psychotherapists and their areas of expertise. We will ensure that you will be referred to a therapist who is best suited to meet your unique needs.

Completion Of Forms Prior To First Appointment. When your first session is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email. Attached to this confirmation/appointment email are ALL of the online electronic documents required for completion prior to the first appointment. These forms include the following: Consent for Psychotherapy Agreement, COVID-19 Screening Form (for in-person appointments only), and the Credit Card Authorization Form. We will not process payments at the office as all accounting and invoicing will be done remotely. If you do not complete the online forms previous to the session, the therapist will use your allotted time to help you complete them.

Please Expect Approximately 20 minutes To Complete The  Intake Process.  Your first session will be scheduled for you by the intake specialist. Ongoing sessions may be directly booked with your therapist or conveniently online. If you will be using insurance benefits for the cost of therapy, please have this information available at the time of the intake.
Our services are covered under most insurance plans. Please check with your benefits provider regarding your personal coverage.

PLEASE NOTE: Many of our clinicians are supervised by other regulated mental health professionals under a “Supervised Practice Model.” This means if you want to see a Psychotherapist but only have coverage for a Psychologist or Social Worker, you can still have the therapy covered with the Psychotherapist as long as they are supervised by the regulated professional. Please speak with Susan regarding questions you may have regarding coverage.

FOR ONLINE APPOINTMENTS: If you are seeing your therapist via online video conferencing, our intake team will get you set up and ready. Our software is easy to use. You will simply receive a link to access the “virtual waiting room,” through your appointment confirmation email. When it is time for your appointment, simply click the link and you therapist will appear on your screen. No complicated set ups or downloads.


The First Session With Your Therapist:  The first session with your therapist is very important. Your therapist needs to gather pertinent information including your current functioning, background history, medications and other health related information. It is important to have this information available for your therapist. Your therapist may also administer some questionnaires which may provide further information about your current functioning.

The Treatment Plan: By the second or third session your therapist will have a treatment plan completed fo you. The treatment plan will include mutually agreed goals to work through, the underlying mechanisms perpetuating symptoms, and the therapeutic modalities that will be used in therapy. Your therapist may recommend other services including workshops, group therapy programs, or other wellness services that may be beneficial.

Duration Of Therapy: There is no set time for therapy. Our therapists work both in brief therapy models (therapy lasting between 6 and 10 sessions) or long term therapy (lasting months or even years). In many instances finances and time are limitations. Our therapists are trained in therapeutic modalities that are “brief” in nature but also work towards accelerating the therapeutic process by minimizing or resolving persistent and distressful symptoms. Your therapist may recommend commencing therapy weekly, but then gradually transitioning you to bi-weekly and monthly appointments. Empirical research evidence does suggest regular, consistent therapy produces better outcomes.

Satisfaction In Therapy:  We want to make sure that you are satisfied with the service you are receiving at Newmarket Therapy Centre. If you are experiencing difficulties with your therapist, or feel that you are not progressing in therapy, we want to know. Please inform our intake specialist if you have concerns. If a therapist change is required, or if clients want to try other therapies provided by other therapists, we can co-ordinate the transition for you.



Intake Manager

My name is Susan Graham and I am the Intake Manager for the Newmarket Therapy Centre. I would be pleased to assist you finding a therapist best suited to your needs. I can answer any questions that you may have, in addition to providing more detailed information about the therapies we offer.



If you are interested in an appointment we would be happy to discuss any questions that you may have. Please contact our intake coordinator to book an appointment with one of our therapists.   Expect a 15 minute telephone interview to get you ready to start your sessions. Call us at (289) 500-8039, or email at


All of our psychotherapists possess a Master's level education in addition to extensive training, continuing education, and experience.

Our psychotherapists are Registered Psychotherapists with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) or the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Please check your benefits provider if you have benefits for the services of a Registered Psychotherapist or Registered Social Worker.

Our Registered Psychotherapists also have supervision from other mental health professionals under a supervised practice model.   This means some of our Registered Psychotherapists can provide counselling services under “social work” as long as they are being supervised by a Registered Social Worker in their clinical work. (Many  insurance companies accept the “supervised practice model.”- check with your benefits provider to make sure).  It is up to the client to ensure that they are properly informed about their own coverage. Please contact our intake co-ordinatior if you have questions about coverage for therapy services.


Fee for 1 hour individual psychotherapy/counselling  session is $150.00 (Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker)
Fee for 1 hour couple or family psychotherapy/counselling session is $160.00. (Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker). 


ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM - For Existing Clients Only

Thank-you for choosing the online booking system to book your appointments. This system is only for existing clients.  

If you are interested in being a client, please call our intake co-ordinator to schedule your first appointment.    

Please email: or call (289) 500-8039.

If you are an existing client and need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please contact your therapist directly. Here are our therapists email addresses:

Jason Koenigbaur -
Brigitte Neufeld -
Ita Tobis -
Hailey Reiss -
Adriana King-
Rob Sacco -
Clare Fuller -
Eva Mohawka -
Cassandra Brennan - 
Patricia Sabbag -
Anne-Marie Christensen- 
Andrew Garnet  - 
Denise Gordon - 
Laura Colasurdo - 
Samira Masoudi- 
Kelli Nicholson-

Please note the following: 

  • Online booking available only to existing/approved clients. 
  • You may book up to three appointments at one time. 
  • Cancellation is 48 hours in advance for online bookings. The system will not allow you to cancel if it is not within the 48 hour window.  
  • If you need to cancel or reschedule, please go into your confirmation email. There is a link in the email to cancel. 
  • Please be responsible for your appointments and notify your therapist if you cannot attend. 


Psychotherapy can be one of the greatest and most rewarding adventures, it can bring with it the deepest feelings of personal worth, of purpose and richness in living." ~ Eda LeShan


Body work sessions primarily address the fascial and nervous systems. These two systems are integral in negotiating the body’s ability to resolve stress, pain and trauma. A light touch and body sensation inquiry is used to encourage the discharge of traumatic stress from the body.

If you are interested in body work sessions, even as a complementary service to psychotherapy sessions, please speak to the intake worker to schedule an appointment. Body work sessions are provided on site at the Newmarket Therapy Centre by Jodie Lindley, BA, RMT (Registered Massage Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner -in training.)

All of the services listed below, except for online services, can be covered under Registered Massage Therapy insurance benefits.

*Craniosacral Therapy
*SomatoEmotional Release
*Somatic Experiencing® (In-Person & Online)
*Registered Massage Therapy





Jodie is a trauma-based practitioner specializing in CranioSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release and Somatic Experiencing®. Her bodywork sessions are covered by RMT insurance.


OUR LOCATION:   Our office is conveniently located at 436 Queen Street, at the intersection of Queen and Main, in historic downtown Newmarket.  The office is easily accessed by public transit.

PARKING: We have plenty of parking. There are reserved parking spaces adjacent to the office building identified as “Newmarket Wellness.” If you cannot find a reserved spot, there is plenty of parking within the lot. You can access the parking lot on Queen St and Main St.

UPON ARRIVAL: There is a security code needed to enter our office. This code will be provided to you in your therapy confirmation email. (Due to COVID-19, the door will remained opened except for late evening appointments). Please make yourself familiar with the COVID-19 in office procedures.

MEETING YOUR THERAPIST: There will be no reception services. You will be greeted by your therapist in the waiting room at the time of your appointment. Please call the intake department at (289) 500-8039 if your therapist does not meet you for your appointment.


If you are attending an appointment  in-person at the office, please come to the office at the exact time of your appointment.   As part of our COVID-19 procedures, the waiting room area will be greatly restricted and we do not permit more than two  people in the waiting room area at one time.  You will notice there are two designated chairs that you may sit in while waiting for your appointment.  

There is no reception and when you arrive your therapist will greet you at the time of your appointment. All forms, which will be included in your confirmation email, must be completed online electronically by the day of your appointment. Payment for services will be completed remotely.

It is mandatory to wear a mask or cloth face covering upon entering the office. Please sanitize your hands immediately after entering the office. Your therapist will greet you in the wait room area and will request a temperature reading. Please use the the wall-mounted, contactless digital infrared thermometer.

All of the offices have been configured for appropriate social distancing. Therapists will clean and sanitize the therapy room between each use. Each office is outfitted with an air purifier.

If you are exhibiting symptoms of a cold or flu at the time of your appointment, or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, DO NOT COME TO YOUR APPOINTMENT. Please alert your therapist and the appointment will be rescheduled.

PLEASE NOTE: When interacting with the general public there is always an elevated risk of being exposed to COVID-19. The Newmarket Therapy Centre cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to COVID-19 when attending an in-office appointment. We are committed to reducing the risk of exposure with our policies and procedures. The Newmarket Therapy Centre will not be responsible if you are exposed to COVID-19 at our office.




Easily connect with one of our therapists in the comfort of your own home or office using either a computer, tablet or smartphone. Expect the same level of care, commitment and support our therapists are widely known for. Research validates the effectiveness of online therapy.

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Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free. - Eckhart Tolle



Our Students Are Ready to Meet You!

Our student therapists are in the process of completing thier Master’s Degrees either in Counselling Psychology or Social Work.  They have years  of diverse personal and professional experience, and have the necessary training to meet your therapeutic needs. Our students are currently available to meet with you conveniently online or in person at the office. Day, evening and weekend appoinments are available.

Although you may initially feel somewhat hesitant to receive counselling services from a student therapist, there are actually many benefits of seeing a student. Please review of a few of them: 

  • Students are supervised regularly by a very experienced psychotherapist  which ensures safe and effective delivery of service. 
  • Students have a thirst for knowledge and will commit to understanding your issues in depth. 
  • Students have an abundance of  enthusiasm and are appreciative of your trust. 
  • Students have the latest and updated learning which means you are getting a modern therapeutic experience. 
  • Student therapsits have smaller caseloads which means more individualized attention.
  • Student therapsits are affordable.  

Please speak to Susan Graham, our Intake Manager, at (289) 500-8039 or email

Susan can provide you more information about our students and set your first appointment. Fee for service is $50. 00 per hour plus HST. Cost of student therapy may be submitted under extrended health insurance plans.



There is a connection between dietary behaviour and mental health. Often overlooked, nutrition is an essential component in helping you to recover from anxiety and other related mood issues. Brenda Callaghan is a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Nutritionist. He can help you incorporate a smart and healthy eating plan that will benefit you mentally and physically.


Brendan holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, a B.A. (Honours) in Psychology, and a Nutritionist Diploma. He specializes  in helping those suffering from anxiety, phobias, depression, relationship issues, diversity-related concerns.

The strong connection between dietary behaviour and mental health is an all-too-often overlooked piece of the puzzle that is human wellness. On the molecular level, our macronutrient (carbs, fats, proteins) and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) consumption play a substantial role in how we think and feel (Godos et al., 2020). This is primarily due to the impact these compounds have on our systems of energetic and hormonal functioning, cognitive functioning, and the regulation of inflammation in the body (Godos et al., 2020). In this article, we’ll walk through a variety of ways dietary habits can impact your mental health and some simple adjustments that can make a world of difference. 

Nutrition and Cognitive Functioning

 Cognitive functioning is a term that researchers and clinicians use in reference to various mental abilities, including (but not limited to) learning, thinking speed, rational decision-making, memory formation, and the ability to focus attention. Fuelling our brains and bodies with an adequate range of macro and micronutrients can help optimize these abilities and positively impact our personal, professional, and academic lives as an expansive result. While the macronutrient ratios and energy needs of each individual will be highly variable (based on age, height, body composition, activity level, etc.), there are a handful of nutrients that I would recommend everyone try to mix a little more of into their diets: Carotenoids, whch are colourful, antioxidant pigments in many plants and some algae, improve cognition by neutralizing free radicals (independent, molecular-level species that can cause inflammation in the body), which reduces oxidative stress on the brain. 

You can find high concentrations of carotenoids in carrots, kale, spinach, and many bright yellow, red, and orange plants. Flavonolsnhance cerebral cortical oxygenation through nitric oxide signalling, which allows your brain to function in a more energy-efficient manner, as nitric oxide improves blood flow in the brain, neural signalling (communication), and even neuron growth (Picon-Pages et al., 2019). You can find these in cocoa, broccoli, and onions.  recommended addition to any diet) also modulate neurogenesis (the creation of brain cells!), neuronal plasticity (the ability to physically and metaphorically ‘change your mind’), and neural activation (Godos et al., 2020). We’ll get back to omega-3 in the inflammation section below. 

B vitamins have also been found to improve cognitive function by reducing homocysteine levels (which is a byproduct of protein breakdown), essentially clearing particles that would otherwise act as resistance to the electrical signals on which our brains operate.Now that we know what might be helpful to mix a little more of into our diets, the question of “what ought to be moderated?” arises. While I’m not a proponent of strict, stressful elimination diets, which entail avoiding one type of macronutrient or food source at all costs, there are a few consumables that we ought to be mindful of and consume in moderation. For example, eating a diet high in fructose (a simple sugar found naturally in many plants and often added to processed foods) over the long term has been found to negatively alter the brain’s ability to learn and remember information (though, thankfully, omega-3 can mitigate this effect to a certain degree) (Lakhan & Kirchgessner, 2013). 

Chronically elevated blood sugar (which is spiked by high glycemic, starchy or sugary foods) increases the risk of developing dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases (Harms, 2019). Regular consumption of hydrogenated or trans fats has been found to negatively impact the cardiovascular system and decrease brain volume (size) (Bowman et al., 2011). Like many things in life ‘the dose makes the poison’ with these compounds. It is certainly possible to live a happy, healthy life while consuming them in moderation, especially if you’re covering your nutritional bases as a whole.


Inflammation is a term used to describe the pathological accumulation of fluids containing catabolic materials (which break down healthy cells) in the body. If left unresolved, this fluid accumulation can amplify as white blood cells join up to take out those catabolic materials in the inflamed area. This process can significantly impede neural functioning on a microscopic scale (Stankov, 2012). Inflammation can also have macroscopic (observable with the naked eye) effects in the form of edema or the swelling of joints (Stankov, 2012). Higher levels of inflammatory, catabolic materials (harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals and allergens) are associated with depression when these compounds accumulate in a brain structure that plays a prominent role in learning and memory called the hippocampus (Stankov, 2012). 

Beyond the increased risk of developing depression, each individual may experience different reactions to different materials that are known to be catabolic. For example, some may experience high levels of inflammation when consuming wheat products, and others may not experience such adverse effects.Calling back to the all-star omega-3 fatty acids mentioned earlier, as little as 3 grams a day, which is about a serving of chia seeds, a small handful of walnuts, a piece of salmon, or 3 1000 mg omega supplement capsules can help minimize inflammatory damage.

 Omega-3 contains highly beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is responsible for brain cell integrity (structure) and functioning, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is a precursor for cytokine production (cytokines are crucial for immune functioning). Beyond this, these acids have been shown to improve neuroendocrine (stress/energy hormones) modulation of the serotonin (the hormone that gives us insight into how happy with ourselves we ought to be as a status indicator) and dopamine (the hormone that allows us to be excited about future experiences) transmission (Grosso et al., 2014). 

Other anti-inflammatory compounds worth considering are curcuminoids which are found abundantly in the golden, mild-tasting spice turmeric, which is a cousin of the antioxidant powerhouse ginger. Curcuminoids have also been found to reduce age-related cognitive decline, especially when consumed in a fat-containing meal (Mishra & Palanivelu, 2008). When it comes to minerals and inflammation, zinc, copper, and manganese proactively mitigate oxidative stress (you can find these in shellfish, cruciferous vegetables, and organ meats), as do E vitamins (found in red peppers, almonds, and peanuts).

Gut-Brain Axis and IBS. 

Studies have indicated a connection between the gut microbiome (bacteria in the intestines), depressive states, and responses to chronic stress (e.g. difficulty at home/work/school/socially or worrying about the future) (Dash et al., 2015). This connection goes so far as to influence serotonin and GABA (a neurotransmitter that can reduce anxiety) through an essential neural pathway called the vagus nerve (which is responsible for ‘resting and digesting’). 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a physically uncomfortable, often painful condition of the large intestine characterized (in most cases) by abdominal cramping, bloating, and excretion irregularities (e.g. diarrhea, or constipation). This physically uncomfortable, often frustrating condition is also unfortunately significantly associated with comorbid psychological experiences that decrease quality of life (if left untreated), such as anxiety, depression, and negative self-referential thinking (Fadgyas-Stanculete et al., 2014).

 The relationship between these physical and psychological symptoms is bidirectional, meaning the physical stress can inspire mental stress, which, in turn, often worsens the physical symptoms of IBS (Fadgyas-Stanculete et al., 2014). This is because the hyperactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) – two key systemic components of our neuroendocrine (nerve and hormone) stress-response system – can produce an increase in cortisol and catecholamine levels while engaging gut motility and visceral sensitivity (Fadgyas-Stanculete et al., 2014). All of that is to say the physical stress inspires mental stress, which then increases the physical stress, and the cycle likely continues if contributing factors are left unaddressed. Thankfully, psychiatric interventions (pharmacologic or psychotherapy) have been found to improve the overall functioning of individuals living with IBS (Fadgyas-Stanculete et al., 2014). 

Psychotherapeutic tools learned in therapy can help you effectively manage psychological stressors, which helps take away from that half of the aforementioned cycle. Equally thankfully, various potential dietary adjustments can help reduce the magnitude of IBS’ physical symptoms and improve your quality of life. For example, working to find a balanced gut microbiome (an imbalance of which has been found to impact mental and physical health negatively) by increasing consumption via fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha or via over the counter lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, supplements can reduce IBS symptoms (Harper, Naghibi, & Garcha, 2018). Nutritional exploration and education can help each client find a healthy selection of enjoyable, non-inflammatory, probiotic-promoting, non-irritable foods to reduce or eliminate unneeded digestive discomfort. 

Diet and Energy

 On a quantitative level, the energy we consume and expend is measured in calories. For reference, one calorie contains the amount of energy it would take to heat one gram of water one degree celsius in regular atmospheric pressure. While it is not advised to strictly track each calorie consumed and expended, mindful awareness of the amount of average energy an individual needs for healthy functioning is often valuable. Working to create a healthy relationship with food and finding a reasonable activity level that allows for that energy balance to be maintained can yield positive results. Finding this balance is important because being drastically hypercaloric or hypocaloric (consuming far too many or far too few calories) can greatly impact your mood, energy and sleep, all of which have bidirectional relationships with each other and play a significant role in quality of life (Lundahl & Nelson, 2015; Rantala et al., 2018). 

How can the Newmarket Therapy Centre Help?

 For anyone interested in simultaneously improving their cognitive functioning and dietary behaviours, I am happy to provide a psychotherapeutic frame to explore and enhance interrelated patterns of thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and nutritional habits tailored to your individual experiences, needs and interests. To do this, we can explore psychological experiences, physical experiences, and dietary patterns to inform manageable, healthy adjustments as appropriate for each client. 

CONTACT SUSAN GRAHAM  AT (289) 500-8039, or email her at, to schedule an appointment with Brendan Callaghan. 


Bowman, G. L., Silbert, L. C., Howieson, D., Dodge, H. H., Traber, M. G., Frei, B., … Quinn, J. F. (2011). <em>Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging. Neurology, 78(4), 241–249.</em>doi:10.1212/wnl.0b013e3182436598 Dash, S., Clarke, G., Berk, M., &amp; Jacka, F. N. (2015). The gut microbiome and diet in psychiatry: focus on depression. <em>Current Opinion in Psychiatry</em>, <em>28</em>(1), 1-6. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Fadgyas-Stanculete, M., Buga, A. M., Popa-Wagner, A., &amp; Dumitrascu, D. L. (2014). The relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and psychiatric disorders: from molecular changes to clinical manifestations. <em>Journal of Molecular Psychiatry</em>, <em>2</em>(1), 4. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Godos, J., Currenti, W., Angelino, D., Mena, P., Castellano, S., Caraci, F., ... &amp; Grosso, G. (2020). Diet and mental health: Review of the recent updates on molecular mechanisms. <em>Antioxidants</em>, <em>9</em>(4), 346. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Grosso, G., Galvano, F., Marventano, S., Malaguarnera, M., Bucolo, C., Drago, F., &amp; Caraci, F. (2014). Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: Scientific evidence and biological mechanisms. <em>Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity</em>, <em>2014</em>. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Harms, H. H. (2019). Blood Sugar and the Brain. <em>Health and Healing, 29</em>(2). Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Harper, A., Naghibi, M. M., &amp; Garcha, D. (2018). The role of bacteria, probiotics and diet in irritable bowel syndrome. <em>Foods</em>, <em>7</em>(2), 13. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Lakhan, S. E., &amp; Kirchgessner, A. (2013). The emerging role of dietary fructose in obesity and cognitive decline. <em>Nutrition Journal</em>, <em>12</em>(1), 1-12. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Lundahl, A., &amp; Nelson, T. D. (2015). Sleep and food intake: A multisystem review of mechanisms in children and adults. <em>Journal of health psychology</em>, <em>20</em>(6), 794-805. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Mishra, S., &amp; Palanivelu, K. (2008). The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview. <em>Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology</em>, <em>11</em>(1), 13. Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Picón-Pagès P, Garcia-Buendia J, Muñoz FJ. (2019). Functions and dysfunctions of nitric oxide in brain. <em>Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis</em>. 1865 (8). Retrieved from <a href=""></a> Rantala, M. J., Luoto, S., Krams, I., & Karlsson, H. (2018). Depression subtyping based on evolutionary psychiatry: proximate mechanisms and ultimate functions. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 69, 603-617. Retrieved from

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Shame Can You Keep You From Taking That Step

By Jason Koenigbaur MTS, C.Hyp, RP

If you are interested in starting therapy but feel somewhat anxious about making that step, then reading this may be helpful for you.  It is not easy to open up to someone for the first time, especially with very personal and intimate  issues.  Perhaps some of these issues have been pushed down for a long time and there is a discomfort about bringing them up. Or maybe there is a feeling of being judged about discussing them?  I think these apprehensions  are normal. My concern however is if you feel  shame about expressing your feelings.  

Shame is a normal emotion   which helps us to revaluate our actions and to take the steps towards reconciling with others.  Toxic shame however can get started in childhood. When a child experiences a rupture in a relationship with a parent and is made to feel that it is their fault, then this is what creates a shame bind.   The child learns that it is not good to share their feelings with others because they can be made to feel that there is something wrong with them.   Feelings gets bound to shame and the child learns  to shut down their voice in an attempt to avoid any further shaming and rejection.   As an adult you continue the "shame bind" with all of your relationships by denying your feelings, needs and wants.  It is easier to focus on others needs and disowning your own in an attempt to make sure that all of those others do not discover your defects.  The "inner child" part of you grieves and longs to be validated, loved and understood unconditionally. 

Sharing your story is a heroic step towards undoing the "shame bind."  It can be undone. A positive and validating therapeutic relationship  brings light into the dark recesses of shame.  When this happen transformation begins to happen.  You might start to realize that your "hurt inner child," is leaving those dark shadows and is in joyful anticipation of being in the "light" of your authenticity. 

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Town of Newmarket, and the Newmarket Therapy Centre, are located on the traditional territories of the Wendat, Haudeno-saune, the Anishinaabe, and other Indigenous peoples. We acknowledge the privilege to be on this land with gratitude.


  • 436 Queen Street, Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 2H2, Canada