Toronto Marriage and Couples Counsellor
Family and Teen Counsellor
I am a father of three amazing young adults. Above all else, being a parent is the most important role in life for me. Creating a healthy positive family is a difficult task. It is also one of the most satisfying and at times frustrating responsibilities.
I have always enjoyed children. As a teenager, I began working with “troubled children” at summer camps progressing from counsellor to camp director by my early twenties. I found that combining the love of nature, outdoor activities and a sense of community made a wonderful environment to teach children important life lessons about themselves and others.
As I began to study psychology and then social work at university, I worked with “difficult youth” in group homes, treatment centres and juvenile detention. It opened my eyes to many tragic situations yet was inspiring for me to witness how some young people overcame huge obstacles.
Eventually I turned my attention to learning about how families functioned. I wanted to learn how to help parents create families that provided the best atmosphere for launching healthy children into adulthood. I studied extensively as a marriage and family counsellor and have worked intensively with couples, adolescents and their families.
I became a very good counsellor by empathizing with both parents and teens. I have been told that I excelled at bridging the gap between them. When both parties are feeling discouraged I manage to find the strengths and the positive ground on which to build success and overcome the challenges.
I discovered both professionally and personally how difficult parenting is by being humbled by my own children who taught me a great deal about how to be a father as a well as a good counsellor. Teenagers are an incredible challenge and can hurt us to our core. They also can be a great source of joy.
I recognized how fragile the bond of marriage can become. There are tremendous pressures and expectations on couples. These pressures come from each other and from work, extended family and community. I know how little problems neglected, turn into bigger problems. I appreciate the many challenges of marriage. I bring my well honed skills of bridging and facilitating to help you with your marriage. Some of these skills I learned in helping parents and teens in conflict.
Teaching others what you know and striving to learn what you don’t, has always been central to all aspects of my life. I am a life-long learner. I was a clinical supervisor for counsellors in a public child and family service organization for 11 years, as well as a university field instructor, training social workers for 15 years. I keep current of the most effective approaches to help address a wide range of challenges through professional training and extensive reading.
At this point in my career, I have become a specialist in bringing cooperation, respect and love back into the lives of couples and families. I believe that it is important to appreciate the strengths and resilience people possess. I am good at finding these strengths and mobilizing them to overcome obstacles in your life.
Education & Training:
- I am clinical social worker with a Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Toronto, and graduated in 1982. I have a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario, 1978.
- I am registered to practice by the Ontario College of Social Workers.
- I am a certified EFT therapist by the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. This means I have advanced specialized training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, which has a success rate of long lasting satisfaction of 75% compared to 35% in most other forms of couples therapy.
- Among the extensive training as a Marriage and Family Therapist I have received, I studied at an International Family Therapy Praticum, Rome, Italy, 1989 an 1991. More recent training has included Solution-focused Therapy for couples and families , Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for anxiety depression and anger management.
- Employment included Children's Mental Health Centres:
- Thistletown (1982-83)
- Oolagen (1984-86)
- Kinark (1987-98).
- As a Self-employed counsellor and therapist, I have worked with:
- Employee Assistance Programs, 1993 - 1999
- Source Line Wellness, 1999 - Present
- I have operated my own Private Practice - Part-time (85-98), Full-time 1998 - Present.
- Marriage Counsellor - separation/divorce prevention, affair recovery, improved communication and intimacy.
- Family and Parent Counsellor – parent and teen conflict, A.D.(H.)D., difficult child behaviour, parenting after divorce and remarriage.
- Adult Individual Counsellor - anger management, depression, stress, anxiety and panic. Relationship problems, grief, loss and trauma.
If you think you or your family could benefit from counselling therapy, please book your Free Initial Phone Consultation so I can answer your questions or to make an appointment.
Allan Findlay is a Toronto couples and marriage counsellor, as well as a teen and family counsellor offering counselling services in the Toronto and Newmarket area including Aurora, Bradford, Holland Landing and King City, Ontario.