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.
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.
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.
Christine McPhail (she/her)
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!
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.
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 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.
JDP has been doing fat activism, workshops, and peer counselling for over 10 years.
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.
Julian Waithe (he/him)
Clinical Social Worker (MSW, RSW)
I have worked in community and mental health field for the last ten years, working with young adults and their chosen families with a broad range of mental health challenges. My therapeutic background is in Dialectical Behaviour, Solution focused, and Mindfulness based approaches. I believe in the undeniable power of diversity and acceptance when working within mental health community groups. My approach is rooted in helping you come up with your own solutions and widening your tool kit. I emphasize a holistic approach to healing centered care that includes identity, cultural and spiritual exploration. I work collaboratively to support and create tools to help you cope and understand the impact of your emotions, thoughts, sensations. Together we can address the barriers in your life and build connections and pathways to a more meaningful life.
Kaia Arrow (she/her)
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Laura Hartley (she/her)
BA, MES, Certified Self-Defence Instructor
I’m a queer, feminist, facilitator, educator, activist and community builder. I have been honoured to be a part of the Sheena’s Place community as a facilitator for the past 7 years. I believe in the power of group programs and the arts to create spaces for personal growth, healing and transformation. I bring an empathic approach and aim to create warm, inviting and inclusive spaces where everyone feels comfortable and inspired to step into their own creativity and power.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sookie Bardwell (she/they)
Phone and bio coming soon
Theresa Miceli (she/her)
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 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.
Zachary (Zac) Grant (they/them)
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.