Our group leaders and facilitators work in health and mental health fields such as social work, counselling, psychology, art therapy and alternative healing. They come to Sheena’s Place to run their groups once or twice a week. Below is a list of facilitators who are currently facilitating groups at Sheena’s Place, listed in alphabetical order by first name.
Please note: Our facilitators are contracted seasonally to run their groups and are not staff members of Sheena’s Place. As such, they do not work for Sheena’s Place outside of group hours and we are unable to provide their contact information to group participants. If you have questions for your facilitators, we encourage you to raise them during your group, if possible. Our staff team is also more than happy to support you and to answer questions. Please get in touch with our Registrars, Steve and Aglaia – their contact information can be found here.
Aglaia Gurevich (she/her)
HBSc, CYT, MACP (In-Progress)
We all have a story, a story that is dynamic and resilient in nature as it undeniably follows us through the lifelong journey of self-actualization. The complexities, dilemmas and challenges of the human experience are opportunities to find our truth and purpose. As a facilitator, I aim to offer an honest, compassionate and authentic approach honouring that group members are the authors of their own story. I have completed my HBSc at U of T specializing in Buddhist Psychology and Mental Health and am currently in the process of completing my MACP at Yorkville University. I have a strong background in Visual Arts and Dance and am a Certified Yoga Teacher. In addition to my role as Program Administrator at Sheena’s Place I work with Toronto Distress Centres as an After-hours Program Coordinator. I am honoured to be a part of the Sheena’s Place and am committed to bringing my professional skills and personal dedication to best support our community.
Alex Nicholls (he/him)
BA (Hons), DTATI (Cand.)
Having completed my lecture phase at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute, I am excited to co-facilitate art therapy groups through Sheena’s Place. I believe in the ability of creativity and imagination to bring about healing and health in people’s lives. I am looking forward to using the collaborative and empowering experiences that can be found in roleplaying games to support group members in developing their own skills and strengths. I hope to create positive, inclusive and non-judgemental experiences for all.
Alexandra Hanania (she/her)
MA, RP (Qualifying), DTATI
I’m an art therapist and currently the program manager at Sheena’s Place. I typically run the mindfulness and textile-based art therapy groups at Sheena’s Place in addition to co-facilitating the BIPOC support group. As the first generation of my family to be born in Canada, I have also been inspired to work with newcomers and refugees at non-profits around the Toronto area. I take a person-centred, psychodynamic, and trauma-informed approach to my therapeutic work. I believe in practising cultural humility, and so I try to create a space that welcomes the unique experiences of all people.
Ary Maharaj (he/him)
M.Ed., RP (Qualifying)
Through compassion, non-judgment, respect, and honesty, I work to create a group environment that gives you some breathing room to think about your important life transitions, explore your intersecting identities, navigate your relationship with your body, and hold space for the many emotions we all experience. There is much we have in common, and we are all unique. In facilitating the BIPOC Support group, we try not to generalize or compare our perspectives with that of others, but instead, work to acknowledge each person’s experience and how systemic, social factors — like racism and other systems of oppression — can impact our health and our everyday experiences. I strive to create spaces that allow us to feel a sense of safety, so that instead of using time to defend ourselves, we can use that time to define ourselves.
Ashley Seaman (she/her)
I am a certificated Educator holding membership in Good Standing with The Ontario College of Teachers, and I am an Educational Partner of the Toronto District School Board. My background in the Theatre Arts as a teacher, program developer, performer, producer, and department head has shaped my passion for emphasizing the role of the Arts in a happy, healthy, well-rounded and balanced life. My goal as a facilitator is to use some of the pillars of Improv Comedy to invite participants to explore the healing process with a deeper sense of acceptance, humour, presence and connection. Oh, and also to have fun for no reason, other than fun is fun!
Christine Hsu (they/them/she/her)
Ontario College of Teachers Certificate (OCT), Adult Education Certificate (St.Fx), Personal Training Specialist (Canfitpro), Inclusion Training (Variety Village), Bachelor of Physical & Health Education, Bachelor of Education, Certified Training & Development Professional (pending)
I am a queer, nonbinary, genderfluid, woman of colour and work in a variety of different communities wearing different hats. These hats include being a healing-centred movement coach with a body liberation approach, and an anti-racism/anti-oppression trainer and diversity & inclusion consultant. My very being and work centres on minimizing harm in the world/relationships, honoring courage, radical vulnerability, and radical acceptance, and being active both in body movements and sports, and in dismantling white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy. You’ll most likely find me cycling around in the city and squealing over seeing cute puppies all year round.
Colleen Smith (she/her)
As a community mental health worker, I have spent my social work career in pursuit of deepening my insight and understanding of those around me. I’m a strong believer that we are our own experts, and with support, compassion and guidance, we can find meaningful peace and joy. Having practiced DBT for over ten years, I have ingrained the principles of humility, accountability, and non judgement which I believe have helped me develop a stronger centre. I look forward to supporting others along their path of self acceptance and love.
Cynthia Shea (she/her)
I connect with clients at Sheena’s Place to teach Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) Skills – focusing especially on using them to support your eating disorder recovery. I work to make DBT understandable and relatable so that you can then consider how to use DBT skills to support your own recovery.
Debbie Uttama Anderson (she/her)
Art Therapist & Registered Psychotherapist, BA(Hons), dTATI, RP
My art therapy training and personal meditation practice inform the work I do in artful self discovery groups like art journaling, art studio, and other related groups at Sheena’s Place since 2013. I love facilitating art-making that can help you understand your Self. I find creating this kind of art can make feelings and experiences less threatening and change your perspective. It is my constant goal to provide a safe and accepting therapeutic space for all, and foster opportunities to find the courage to witness and re-view beliefs that may be holding you back from just being yourself.
Emma Baril (she/her)
I have been practicing yoga since 2005 and formally studying yoga since 2013. My teaching uses gentle movement to explore showing up with curiosity and compassion.
Evgenia Khilov (she/her)
Art Therapist, DTATI, RP
Throughout my career, I assisted clients from all walks of life, using art not only as a therapeutic modality but as a way of facilitating profound communication and connection with others and with self. For me, art therapy combines the creative process with self-exploration which stimulates healing and mental well-being. I strongly believe that engaging in art therapy has the ability to set someone on a course of one degree of change, and that one degree will produce a greater effect over time, as it builds on itself. Thus, even a small shift in an art therapy session, in the long run, can shift the perception of the Self and be pivotal to the relationship with Self and others.
JDP has been doing fat activism, workshops, and peer counselling for over 10 years.
Josée Sovinsky (she/they)
Through a trauma-informed and weight-inclusive approach, I support folks as they heal from disordered eating, reduce anxiety and guilt with food, and work towards body acceptance. I help people take up space and share their stories with vulnerability and authenticity. I strive to be an ally in people’s journey by creating an environment where they feel empowered, respected, and heard.
Kaitlyn Axelrod (she/her)
I am a white, cisgender woman and settler, and I am currently the Manager of Community Outreach & Education at Sheena’s Place. As a community mental health social worker, I have experience supporting youth and adults affected by diverse mental health challenges in individual and group settings. I see disordered eating behaviours as logical ways to cope with difficult or oppressive situations and experiences, and I aim to hold space for these diverse experiences in group. My practice is informed by Harm Reduction and Health at Every Size® frameworks.
Kaley Roosen (she/her)
I am a clinical and health psychologist who has been working with folks with eating disorders for the past 10+ years. As a disabled woman, I am passionate about offering disability-affirming, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed support and therapy to folks with mental health challenges, complex trauma histories, eating distress and chronic illness/disability. My practice and scholarly work combines psychology theory with critical understandings of disability and illness. I have worked in hospital settings and am currently working in private practice while continuing my ongoing commitment as an advocate and ally in disability justice work. I am also aligned with body liberation work and understanding eating disorders as social justice issues.
Kelsey Gatta (she/her)
BASc, BA, MSW, RSW
I am a Masters of Social Work student at the University of Toronto, specializing in Mental Health and Health. My interest in disordered eating and healthy living led me to the University of Guelph, where I completed a Bachelors of Applied Science in Human Nutrition in 2018. It was here that I became passionate about the social justice aspects of eating disorders and food security. Following this, I attended Brock University for a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, to merge my understanding of holistic health and wellness with psychosocial theory. I am hoping to remain in the eating disorder awareness and prevention field as a social worker in a youth mental health capacity.
Kelsey Johnston (she/her)
I have had the privilege of being a part of the Sheena’s Place community since 2016. I love group work and believe that there is so much potential in group-based settings to support well-being! My perspective is that group members are the experts of their own experience and that we all can benefit from community and connection during challenging times. As a facilitator, I try to foster a comfortable and welcoming space where participants can benefit from mutual support, drawing on the wisdom and experience of the collective. I aim to bring an inclusive, authentic, and non-judgemental approach to this work, and am grateful to be a part of this community.
Leanna Scheitrowsky (she/her)
RP (Qualifying), dTATI (cand.)
I am an art therapy facilitator that practices a trauma-informed, person-centred, relational-cultural approach to psychotherapy. At Sheena’s Place, I am excited to co-facilitate the D&D Integrated Art Therapy and Art Journaling groups. My goal as a facilitator is to create inclusive, non-judgemental, accessible, anti-oppressive spaces where group members can connect and hold space for each other through collaborative storytelling RPGs (role-playing games) and/or art invitations.
BScOT, Reg(ON), MEd(Psych), BCN
Since 1997, I have had the privilege to facilitate many groups at Sheena’s Place. It is my perspective that eating disorders, disordered eating and body image disorders are both biologically and circumstantially derived, and thus I strive endlessly to stay as abreast of current knowledge re the neuro/enteric/developmental factors as well as listening for the influences of individual and societal challenges/experiences when working with people to understand where they are at re their recovery. As a facilitator, my goal is to contribute my clinical experiences and to collaborate with group members to find ways to move towards lives less enchained by the tyranny of eating disorders.
Maureen Mahan (she/her)
I have had the privilege of facilitating support, skill building, and art-based groups at Sheena’s Place for over 20 years. As a facilitator, the importance of listening to and understanding what it has meant for group members to be living with eating related concerns, is essential. The groups I facilitate focus on sharing coping strategies and promoting mutual support and encouragement on the journey to individual wellness. My background is in nursing with an MEd from OISE which included studies in counselling psychology.
Nicole D’Souza (she/her)
MSW, RSW, TCTSY-F, Certified Yoga Teacher
I am a Trauma-Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator and a Social Worker. I recognize that trauma can make it challenging to connect to one’s body and breath and through this group I hope to offer choices and invitational language that can support you in your journey. We will also explore through conversation some of these techniques that will be used, to create an understanding of the five core principles of TCTSY.
Rosie Mensah (she/her)
Rosie Mensah is a Toronto-based Registered Dietitian, Consultant, and Food Justice Activist. Early on, Rosie became aware of the link between poverty and food insecurity and the destructive effects it was having on her and other members of her community. These experiences motivated Rosie to address the root causes of food insecurity, which developed her interest in food justice. Rosie is a member of the FoodShare Board of Directors and many other food justice groups across Toronto. In 2020, Rosie developed the CEDAR course, an anti-oppression course for dietitians, and co-founded Dietitians for Food Justice. Rosie uses social media to help people explore food, bodies, culture and health through an intersectional lens. Rosie aims to empower people to enjoy good food and diverse cultures while nourishing themselves and their communities.
Sara Desroches (she/her)
After losing my brother while completing my Master’s degree in Social Work, I became passionate about grief therapy and group-based grief support. I work to de-stigmatize grief and loss, ensure folks are empowered to live a life worth living even during bereavement, and provide a safe space for folks to tell their grief story. In my work as the Program Director of Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka in Barrie, ON, I believe in marrying evidence-based therapeutic modalities with the authentic belief that each person is their own expert, while acknowledging the systemic forces that can make each experience unique. I have had the privilege of facilitating groups with Sheena’s Place since 2017. I work from a trauma-informed, evidence-based, client-centred lens.
Sezgi Ozel (she/her)
MScOT, OT Reg. (Ont.)
I am a Toronto-based Occupational Therapist with a keen interest in mental health. I have been facilitating groups at Sheena’s Place since 2017. My groups focus on skill-building and use of strategies to promote wellness, and I like to facilitate discussion amongst members to draw on member experiences. I have facilitated groups on self-care, self-compassion, assertive communication, and navigating recovery.
Shauna Wallace (she/her)
With a background working in the private sector providing one-on-one therapy to individuals experiencing disordered eating, eating disorders, body image issues, and compulsive exercise, I am so excited to be co-facilitating groups at Sheena’s Place. I work from a trauma-informed, collaborative, and Health-At-Every-Size approach to help folks integrate food and exercise back into their lives so they can step into the most authentic version of themselves. I look forward to supporting group participants in learning how to approach their nourishment needs in a safe, sensitive, and caring way.
Sookie Bardwell (she/they)
Sophie Raniere (she/her)
I am a white, cis, queer woman with lived experience of mental health challenges. I work from a feminist perspective that is collaborative and non-pathologizing, rooted in the belief that clients are doing their best within often oppressive social structures. I have a particular affinity for working with fellow fat folks looking to divest from diet culture and internalized fatphobia.
Veronika Davy (she/her/they/them)
B. Mus. Ed., A.R.C.T. (Performance and Pedagogy), Expressive Arts Therapist (Candidate)
I believe deeply in the power of the arts to hold and transform experience, create space and possibility, and resource a balanced and fully embodied life. I am a queer, white, settler, musician, artist, arts educator, and arts facilitator. My work is informed by ongoing learning and a deepening understanding of anti-oppression, anti-racism, intersectionality, body politics, indigenous solidarity, and decolonization. The work that I facilitate through the arts is experiential, trauma-informed, and resource-oriented; it combines body-based approaches that support nervous system regulation and safely embodied expression, with reflective practices that facilitate integration, understanding, and self-compassion. These arts-based processes unfold at the intersection of individual and collective experience and center the importance of relationships and community in healing.
Zijia Liu (she/her)
BA, MSW Student
I am a Master of Social Work student at University of Toronto specializing in mental health. I grew up in China and moved to North America in my late teens. Dabbling in both cultures, I found a lot of shocking similarity in the societal and systemic injustice around people’s size and food choices. I hope to continue learning about eating disorders and use a trauma-informed, recovery-focused approach.