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 is wearing a green blazer and smiling into the camera

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.

 

Alexandra is looking at the camera, smiling. Her arms are crossed and she is wearing a black jacket with a colourful pattern. There is a tree behind her.

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.

 

Alida is sitting at a table with a computer in front of her. She is wearing a striped shirt and smiling into the camera.

Alida Iacobellis (she/her)

RD

I am a private practice dietitian who has been working in the field of eating disorder recovery for the last 3 years. I practice from a weight-inclusive and HAES® approach that is informed by Intuitive Eating, CBT, DBT, ACT, motivational interviewing, and trauma-informed care. I believe that it’s hard to live up to your full potential when you are caught up in the grips of diet culture. I love helping people learn to feel good about food so they can start living their best, most nourished life – because eating should be about self-care, not self-control.

 

Ary is looking at the camera. He is wearing a blue shirt.

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 is wearing a blue shirt and smiling into the camera

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 is looking at the camera and smiling. They are wearing a hat and a black shirt.

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.

 

Christine is wearing a grey sweater and a toque and is smiling into the camera

Christine McPhail (she/her)

MSc, RD

I am a queer woman working as a Registered Dietitian. My approach aims to be weight-inclusive, anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, and queer identifying/affirming. I am passionate about psychology and counselling and so I am also completing my MA in Counselling Psychology. Previously, I was the Program Coordinator and a group facilitator with Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre in Ottawa, ON. I value providing compassion, collaborating, empathizing and respecting individual autonomy when I work with others. I am looking forward to meeting new folks and walking alongside them on their recovery paths, through Sheena’s Place programs this year!

Black & white photo of Corinne smiling, looking into the camera. Corinne is wearing a white shirt.

Corinne Lee (she/her)

CYC, RP

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.

Photo coming soon

Cynthia Shea (she/her)

MSW, RSW

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 is looking into the camera and smiling. She is wearing a white shirt and there is a plant behind her.

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.

 

Denise is wearing a blue shirt and glasses, and is standing in front of trees while looking into the camera

Denise Lawee

MSW, RSW

Denise Lawee has been a practitioner for over 30 years. She feels honoured to be trusted by others to be a part of their life journey. She trained several years ago in Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) with its founder, Tom Lynch. It is a less known model of therapy that helps people who struggle with issues of overcontrol. Denise is pleased to partner with Sheena’s Place to teach a skills group. The skills and concepts are fun, engaging and very helpful for those who need to learn how to relax and “chill a bit more”. The approach encourages having fun while learning and also learning to laugh at ourselves. Denise’s love of fun and laughter is a good fit for this model.

 

Emma is looking at the camera, smiling. She is wearing glasses and a red shirt and she is standing in front of a red brick wall.

Emma Baril (she/her)

RYT 400

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 is wearing a white sweater and looking into the camera

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.

 

Jayne is standing in front of a pond and tree. She is smiling into the camera.

Jayne Stewart (she/her)

MSW, RSW, CTRS, & dVATI (cand.)

I am a Registered Social Worker and Art Therapy Student, with a background in Therapeutic Recreation. I am passionate about experiential group-based approaches to wellness that are rooted in connection, compassion and creativity. I am guided by strengths-based and trauma-informed perspectives, and an overarching commitment to collaboration and empowerment.

 

JDP is wearing glasses and a black shirt, and is looking into the camera

JDP (they/them)

JDP has been doing fat activism, workshops, and peer counselling for over 10 years.

 

John is facing the camera and smiling. He is wearing a grey shirt.

John Choi (he/him)

John has worked in community mental health for over 25 years, early on as a therapist, and then in various roles of management. He is currently the Executive Director at Sheena’s Place.

Kaia is wearing glasses and a yellow jacket. She is facing the camera.

Kaia Arrow (she/her)

BSW, RSW

I am a queer, sick & disabled, first-generation Filipina. In my work as a disability activist, I write about the stories we tell about health and illness, especially around wellness culture and stigmatized illnesses. I bring together structural understandings of power with an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and body neutral approach. As a facilitator, my goal is to foster person-centered spaces and communities, and support folks in finding camaraderie, support, and empowerment.

 

Kaitlyn is wearing a white shirt and smiling into the camera

Kaitlyn Axelrod (she/her)

MSW, RSW

I am currently the Manager of Community Outreach & Education at Sheena’s Place and I first 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 Gatta (she/her)

BASc, BA, MSW Student

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.

 

Margaret is looking at the camera and smiling. She is wearing glasses and a white shirt. There is a brick wall with vines behind her.

Margaret Powell

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)

RN, MEd

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.

 

Miranda is wearing a black jacket and scarf, and is smiling into the camera

Miranda Pecoraro (she/her)

BSW, MSW Student

I am a Master of Social Work student specializing in the field of health and mental health at the University of Toronto. I recently completed my Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Windsor after spending a considerable amount of time studying and performing as a theatre-based actor. My background in the performing arts—combined with subsequent experiences facilitating group-based programming with those recovering from trauma and with persons living with disabilities and mental health challenges—has inspired my profound appreciation for the transformative power of group work. I identify as a prospective feminist social worker and am particularly interested in contributing to the field of women’s health throughout my social work journey.

 

Nicole is smiling into the camera

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.

 

Rae Barilea (she/her)

I’m a queer, neurodivergent, woman of colour working as a counsellor, peer supporter and group facilitator. I’m a fan of DBT, ACT and other mindfulness-based approaches but am even more passionate about adapting these modalities for the unique experiences of youth, young adults and communities on the margins. It’s been an honor to hear the stories of all those that have shared a bit of their lives with me so far and I’m really excited to continue bringing a warm, sincere, and at times silly vibe to every space of support and care.

 

Sara is wearing a grey coat and is sitting on a rock, in front of trees, with her dog. Sara is smiling into the camera.

Sara Desroches (she/her)

MSW, RSW

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.

 

Sarah Kendell (she/her)

RD

 I’ve been a Registered Dietitian for over 12 years and I have been fortunate to spend the past 5 years working with teens and adults living with eating disorders. My nutrition counselling practice uses a trauma-informed, weight-inclusive, and anti-diet approach. As a facilitator at Sheena’s Place I hope to create an inclusive space where people will feel supported, inspired, and empowered as they move forward with their recovery.

 

Sari is looking at the camera and smiling. She is wearing a light purple shirt.

Sari Papular (she/her)

RNCP, CNC

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 is looking at the camera, smiling. She is wearing a red shirt.

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.

 

Sookie Bardwell (she/they)

MA, OCT

Phone and bio coming soon

 

Theresa is wearing a blue sweater and is smiling into the camera

Theresa Miceli (she/her)

MSW, RSW

I am a Registered Social Worker interested in supporting my clients in their journey towards self-compassion and self-empowerment. I was a placement student with Sheena’s Place in 2019 and I am so thrilled to be returning now after completing my Master of Social Work. As a group facilitator, I centre the knowledge and experiences of my clients, and work to create an environment of safety and growth within my groups.

 

Veronika is wearing glasses and a blue sweater. They are smiling into the camera.

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.

 

Zac is looking at the camera, smiling. The photo is in black and white and they are wearing a dark shirt.

Zachary (Zac) Grant (they/them)

MSW, RSW

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.