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 our group facilitators, listed in alphabetical order by first name.
Alexandra Hanania (she/her)
MA, RP (Qualifying), dTATI (cand.)
I’m an art therapy thesis candidate at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. 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.
Charlotte Johnston (she/her)
BAH, BEd, MSW Student
I’m a Master of Social Work student (Social Justice and Diversity field of study) at the University of Toronto, a queer woman, and white settler. My experiences volunteering and working in peer support, mental health, education, and sexual violence prevention/intervention inform my anti-oppressive and critical social work perspective, and I am passionate about group work and the opportunities groups provide for community, solidarity, and support. I’m so excited to be doing my practicum at Sheena’s Place this year and look forward to meeting folks and learning and growing alongside you this year.
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.
Corinne Lee (she/her)
My name is Corinne Lee and I have worked with people living with eating disorders for 20+ years. I worked as a Child and Youth Counsellor (CYC) in Adolescent Medicine at SickKids for 13 years and I am also a registered psychotherapist (RP). Throughout my experiences of working with adolescents and adults, I have found that harnessing shifts in one’s recovery is a powerful tool throughout treatment. I have facilitated groups at Sheena’s Place for 7 years, bringing warmth, compassion, and holding space for people ‘to be exactly where they need to be’ in their recovery.
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.
Debbie Anderson (she/her)
Art Therapist & Registered Psychotherapist, BA(Hons), dTATI, RP
I like calling the art therapy I do Artful Self Discovery. I love facilitating art-making that becomes a type of symbolic speech to help you understand your self. I find art can make feelings and experiences less threatening. I see people individually in my art therapy studio in High Park (right now virtually on Zoom), run art journaling groups online, and enjoy facilitating art groups at Sheena’s Place.
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.
Josée Sovinsky (she/her)
Registered Dietitian, Student – MA Counselling Psychology
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 the Program and Outreach Coordinator at Sheena’s Place and became involved with the organization as a volunteer in 2015. 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. My practice is informed by anti-oppressive, feminist, recovery-oriented, and Health at Every Size® frameworks. My passion for research allows me to incorporate evidence-based practices into my clinical work, while simultaneously drawing on group members’ strengths and understanding that they are the experts of their experiences.
Kelsey Johnston (she/her)
I am the program manager at Sheena’s Place, and have been connected with the community since 2016. I believe that there is so much potential in group-based settings to support connection and well-being. My perspective is that group members are the experts of their own experience and that we all can benefit from community support during challenging times. As a facilitator, I try to invite reflection on how the systems in our lives influence experiences with eating disorders. I aim to bring an inclusive, authentic, and compassionate approach to this work.
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.
Michelle Denis (she/her)
RP, ExAT, Hand in Hand Parenting Coach
I am a Registered Psychotherapist at the Mindfulness Clinic. I work in the modalities of trauma-informed Mindfulness, Somatic Therapy, Focusing and Expressive Arts Therapy and have been in private practice for 10 years. I have co-facilitated Expressive Arts therapy groups and worked one on one with people of all ages and a wide range of social locations, who have experienced depression, anxiety, grief, childhood trauma and parenting challenges. I am committed to working sensitively with systemic issues of oppression through an ongoing community supported practice of listening, learning, and working towards change both within myself and around me. Having embarked on my own creative journey towards healing for over 20 years, and having had the honour of supporting the journey of many others, I trust in every person’s creative capacity to heal, in the empowering nature of arts based expression and play, and in the power of being witnessed in a safe and compassionate container, to support and transform our lived experiences.
I’m a Master of Social Work Student (mental health and health specialization) at the University of Toronto. I’m doing my placement at Sheena’s Place. I am an immigrant and passionate about accessible mental health services that are culturally appropriate.
Samantha Watt (she/her)
I have worked with people who have mental health challenges for about a decade, especially as it interacts with poverty, human rights, activism and self-determination. I have facilitated groups and trained facilitators and am dedicated to person-centred approaches that place lived experience knowledge and marginalized voices at the centre of my work.
Sari Papular (she/her)
I am Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner (RNCP) and a Certified Chef with experience working in hospital and health care settings. I have a strong passion for promoting a gratifying and satisfying lifestyle through food and nutrition and my goal is to help foster a safe environment for those affected by disordered eating. Allowing folks to reconnect to food and create positive experiences while fostering a sense of ownership and independence, countering negative associations with food and meal preparation.
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.
Veronika Davy (she/her/they/them)
B. Mus. Ed., A.R.C.T. (Performance and Pedagogy), Expressive Arts Therapist (Candidate, December 2020)
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. As 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. I believe that naming societal and systemic forces that contribute to mental health challenges is foundational to healing – and I do not separate considerations of justice from considerations of healing. 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 experience/expression with reflective practices that facilitate integration, understanding, and self-compassion.
Zachary (Zac) Grant (they/them)
SSW, BSW, RSSW
I am a white, queer, nonbinary, settler, activist, and lifelong learner. I approach both my work and personal life from a variety of perspectives that prioritize person centred approaches with anti-oppressive and decolonial practices, trauma informed care, and grief healing. I have 10+ years of experience working in addiction and mental health, homelessness and housing, grief and loss, community development, creative healing modalities, and LGBTQ2S+ communities. I believe we are all experts of our own lives and that there are many ways to work towards wellness and reaching our personal life goals.