MEET OUR TEAM
We are experienced mental health professionals in Toronto, Ontario
Our work is evidence-based, collaborative and values-based – ensuring that every client is a major participant in their treatment and is able to “take the reins” and become their own therapist over time. We provide treatment to both individuals and couples. Trauma work is also provided within our practice. Our work is client-centered and strengths-based.
Interventions include cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and mindfulness-based treatment. Within our practice, we have years of collective expertise and look forward to working with you to achieve a better quality of life and a greater ability to navigate the distress you are experiencing and live the life you want!
Dr. Marlene Taube-Schiff
PhD, C. Psych.
Director, Founder, Psychologist
I am a registered Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years of experience in the delivery of scientifically-supported treatments for obsessive compulsive and related disorders, anxiety disorders, depression, relationship issues, as well as a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems. My approach is grounded in the delivery of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), while integrating elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness and Motivational Interviewing. I ensure every client I see receives treatment that is tailored to their individual needs. I work with both youth and adults.
I have worked with clients in both outpatient and inpatient hospital settings presenting with a wide range of issues. I am one of the founding professionals of the Sunnybrook Intensive Services Program for OCD and I am currently on staff as a clinical consultant, providing clinical leadership for my team.
I am also involved in research on OCD and treatment effectiveness, quality of care issues and enhancing people's motivation to make changes when undergoing treatment. I have over 25 scientific publications, including book chapters, and have presented numerous workshops and symposiums both nationally and internationally. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and am a member of the Anxiety Canada Scientific Advisory Committee. I am also engaged in a variety of teaching opportunities for OCD for clinicians across Ontario.
My practice, Forward Thinking Psychological Services, provides clients with the skills and tools they need to move ahead in their lives and achieve their goals, despite any distress they may experience. In doing so, individuals are able to move forward and get back the life they want to live.
Ketrina Dilo, MSW, RSW, RP
As a Register Psychotherapist and Social Worker, I have over 15 years of experience in working with individuals and couples in different mental health community-based and hospital settings. Throughout my experience as a psychotherapist, I have developed strong skills in providing evidence-based psychotherapy, crisis intervention and conducting biopsychosocial assessments. I have an extensive experience in working with depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, relationship problems, grief and bereavement.
I have completed my Master’s in Social Work from York University and have training in the areas of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing as well as EMDR. In my work, I draw from a variety of therapeutic modalities to create a suited approach for everyone. I work along a client – centered and strengths-based approach. In a non-judgmental and supportive therapeutic environment, clients are encouraged to take an active role in treatment and make the desirable changes in their life.
Aliza Ladak, MSc. OT Reg. (Ont.)
I am a registered occupational therapist with 8 years of mental health experience. I am passionate about helping people pursue their goals and overcome barriers in order to lead fulfilling lives.
My clinical passion focuses on treating anxiety disorders, specifically obsessive compulsive disorder. I have been trained in a variety of psychological modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, and Brief Solution Focused Therapy.
When I am working with someone we are a team! I strive to find creative and innovative ways to offer care, and I integrate client feedback every step of the way. I support clients to apply learning in practical ways. I utilize a holistic, inclusive, and culturally sensitive lens and am experienced in working with various minority groups and young adults.
Sophie Wong, MScOT., OT Reg. (Ont.)
I am a registered Occupational Therapist with over ten years of experience in a mental health setting. I have worked with adults and older adults impacted by anxiety, depression, psychosis, life transitions, and low self-esteem. My aim as a therapist is to enable clients to increase self-awareness and develop healthy coping strategies for managing daily stressors. I believe in supporting people to work towards living a life that is values-oriented and personally meaningful.
I utilize an empathic, client-centred approach that is primarily based in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). I also integrate aspects of mindfulness, self-compassion, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), depending on my clients’ needs. I believe in working collaboratively with my clients to identify and utilize their strengths towards pursuing their goals.
Thomas Wen-Chi Chao, MA
I am prelicensure doctoral-level Clinical Psychology trainee from the New School for Social Research, in New York City. I specialize in therapy for adults with anxiety, mood, substance use, emotion regulation, and relationship difficulties. My practice emphasizes an adaptive combination of evidence-based interventions, drawn mainly from cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. I am also formally trained in psychodynamic therapy. Here, I bring a more nuanced approach to understanding the meaning and complexity of the unique challenges my clients may be facing.
Prior to completing my predoctoral residency at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, I trained at various hospitals across New York City, including Columbia University Medical Center, where I also undertook a 3-year federally funded fellowship. Through my clinical work, I have had success in working with individuals, couples, and families from a wide range of socio-economic, cultural, racial/ethnic, and other social identity backgrounds. A key aspect of my work is staying actively involved with research, so that up-to-date scientific knowledge would continue to inform my clinical approach and practice.
Madeline Hannan-Leith, MA
I am a PhD Candidate in Clinical & Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. I provide treatment for complex difficulties related to:
Mood, anxiety, perfectionism, body image, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), including sexual-related subtypes (such as pedophilic, sexual orientation, and relationship OCD)
Relationship and sexual intimacy concerns, such as infidelity and desire discrepancies
Problematic or unwanted sexual behaviours
Exploring sexual orientation and sexual identity
In addition to my work in private practice, I have completed clinical training in outpatient and inpatient hospital settings, residential treatment, and community mental health centres. My work is based on an empathic, non-judgmental, and trauma-informed approach. I integrate a number of scientifically-supported treatment approaches (cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based), working collaboratively with clients to meet their unique needs, goals, and strengths.
I have also published and presented several scholarly articles in the area of sexual health, social support, and well-being within LGBTQ+ communities.
Jan van der Tempel, MPhil, MA
I am an experienced therapist with specialized training in psychological treatment and assessment from the University of Toronto, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and Sunnybrook Hospital. In addition to working with depression, anxiety, and other difficulties, I provide specialized treatment for clients struggling with obsessions and compulsions, as well as psychosis and related disorders.
I received my M.A. in Clinical and Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto, and am currently completing my Ph.D. in this program. My doctoral research investigates ways in which people cope with extraordinary experiences that may be difficult to understand or talk about. I warmly welcome clients who wish to explore such experiences in therapy.
My practice is grounded in humanistic and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), while drawing from a range of other approaches to help meet the needs of my clients. I believe in the value of genuineness, humour, and respect for my clients' unique strengths, cultural backgrounds, and life experiences.
Andrew Hunter, MA
I am a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at York University and provide therapy within a Cognitive-Behavioural framework. Within this framework I draw on ideas and techniques from a range of approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness. I have completed practicum positions at Ryerson University’s Centre for Student Development and Counselling, and the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
My approach to therapy involves supporting people as they address thoughts, behaviours, and patterns that are not working for them, and empowering those looking to leverage their strengths and interests towards meaningful living. It is anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, client-centered, and evidence-based. I strive to provide the people I work with a warm, empathic, and respectful environment so that they might have the mental space required for reflection and change.
I have repeated experience assisting individuals experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and interpersonal difficulties. I also have a keen interest in identity and mental health symptomatology related to marginalization such as distress related to sexual orientation, and gender dysphoria.
In addition to my clinical interests, I have conducted academic and applied research on judgment and decision-making which inspires me to help others (and myself!) make wise choices.
Katie Wicik, MEd
I am a therapist in training with over 20 years of mental health and addictions experience in both hospital and community setting working under the supervision of a Registered Psychotherapist and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist. I am completing a Couple and Family Therapy Studies Certificate at the University of Guelph and Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. I have completed my M.Ed. with distinction in Teaching and Learning, with a specialization in Counselling and Special Education from Brock University and I have a B.A. (Hons) from the University of Toronto in Psychoanalytic Thought.
My work involves integration of couple and family system approaches that includes Emotional Focused Therapy, Gottman Method, Cognitive-Behavioural, Psychodynamic and Narrative. My work also involves parent coaching and family therapy for families affected by a loved one’s mental health and/or addictions issues.
I also have research and teaching experience in University, College, and hospital settings in addition to providing supervision to students. I have been a media health specialist and presenter and highlighted in various media outlets. Throughout my career I have served on several Board of Directors in addition to executive and philanthropic committees that have a focus on women and children, healthcare, and community.
Adam Blake, MSc
I am a Ph.D Candidate and a predoctoral resident in clinical psychology at Forward Thinking Psychological Services. I work with adults using an empathic approach to address concerns with depression, anxiety, OCD, trauma, life transitions, vocational/academic concerns, and issues related to attention/concentration, identity, relationships and sexuality.
As an integrative therapist, I draw on empirically-supported principles from well-established traditions including client-centered, emotion-focused, cognitive-behavioural, and acceptance and commitment therapy. As well, I am mindful of the specific social and cultural factors that impact each person uniquely.
I have worked with individuals in university mental health clinics, hospitals (inpatient & outpatient), and private practice and am a graduate student member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Ontario Psychological Association.
Jaffni Pagavathsing, BSc
I am a MA student in Clinical Psychology at Laurentian University. In private practice, I work with clients with a wide variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, issues related to work/school stress, life transitions, workplace injuries, and accident sequelae. My clinical work is integrated, as I draw from different evidence-based treatment modalities including cognitive-behavioral, emotion-focused, acceptance and commitment, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. I offer an empathic, anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, and strengths-based approach to therapy.
I strive to empower individuals to live more meaningful lives by providing them with insight and the necessary tools to uncover their strengths. The therapeutic alliance is one of the main tools for achieving positive change and I promote this relationship by providing clients with a warm and compassionate environment in which we work collaboratively to accomplish goals.
I am highly trained in the clinical science model and I use evidence-based methods to ensure the quality of care. I have over six years of experience working in psychological research, which includes research positions at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). My current research involves examining stress in the form of daily hassles and the influence of emotional intelligence and resilience on personal growth initiative in postsecondary students.
Robert Aidelbaum, MA
I am a Master's level associate whose focus is the delivery of scientifically-backed treatments. I am trained to work with adults experiencing a range of complex issues, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, interpersonal issues, and other difficulties.
Typically, my approach to treatment follows the Cognitive Behavioural framework. However, I will frequently draw upon techniques and strategies from other orientations such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and Motivational Interviewing.
I completed my M.A. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where I am currently completing my Ph.D. Throughout my training, I have gained clinical experience within the University of Toronto Health & Wellness Centre, the Sunnybrook Frederick Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre, and St. Joseph's Hospital's Clinical Neuropsychology Service.
I am also actively involved in clinical research focused on the clarification and rehabilitation of cognitive aspects of mental illnesses, which continually informs my clinical practice.
Within a non-judgmental and empathetic environment, I hope to support clients in developing the skills necessary to become their own therapists while challenging patterns of thoughts and behaviors that are causing distress and limiting ongoing functioning.
Alexandra (Sasha) Shifrin, BA
Intake & Social Media Coordinator
I am in charge of connecting with potential clients who are interested in seeking services at Forward Thinking Psychological Services (FTPS). Taking the first step in finding a therapist can be daunting - my role is to connect with clients to hear their story and collaborate with them to find the best fit at FTPS. My virtual 'door' is always open if you have any questions about FTPS or therapy in general.
As part of my social media coordinator role, I am responsible for promoting our services and creating psychology-related content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It is my hope to provide user-friendly mental health resources to help empower individuals on their wellness journey. If there is any content you would be interested in seeing more of, please feel free to reach out!
In addition to my role at FTPS, I am also an M.A. student in Clinical & Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto, where I am training to become a registered Clinical Psychologist. As part of my program, I work with clients at a community mental health centre and I am engaged in research, specifically looking at topics related to young adult mental health and wellbeing.