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Meet Allison Sebastian

-- Director at Seasons Psychotherapy, BA, BEd, MACP, RP

My philosophy as a psychotherapist has been informed by my own healing journey.  I have learned, in an embodied way, that we are shaped by our relationships and lived experiences, that emotions are part of a wise old information system in our bodies, that vulnerability is hard, that humans naturally want to move towards wholeness, and that telling your story, and claiming it, is essential to finding wholeness.  Becoming a psychotherapist is a second career for me, and a decision I made by listening to my body, sitting with pain, facing unresolved trauma, exploring emotion, and taking risk.  I was a high school teacher for 20 years, which had been a dream of mine, when I began to experience chronic pain in my body that I needed to tend to.  When I surrendered to the resistance and allowed the process to unfold, it brought me here.

 

I grew up with many privileges that I am grateful for, but at a young age I sensed on some level that that the systems (social, political, medical, religious, educational) I was born into were faulty.  By the time I was a teenager I began to question them.  By the time I was a young adult I was beginning to feel the incongruence between my inner truth and the person I needed to be to survive the systems I was a part of.  This eventually resulted in both physical and mental illness that served to reconnect me with my inner compass and a path forward.  Through writing, art, nature connection, body work, yoga, movement, therapy, and community, I learned to flow with the natural processes shared by all beings on this earth, and I found healing.

 

I consider myself a lifelong learner, and have been fortunate to have had access to rich educational experiences in my lifetime. I have a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from Queen's University.  I have a Specialist in Special Education.  I am a Registered Yoga Teacher, and a Reiki Level 2 practitioner.  I am a Mindfulness Ambassador Council Facilitator, a Drum Circle Facilitator, and a Canoe Trip Leader, Level 2.  I have training in Violent Threat Risk Assessment and Non-violent Crisis Intervention.  I have a Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University.  I am looking forward to continuing my education both formally, in different therapeutic modalities, and informally, by working with clients and listening to their stories.

 

Most importantly, I am a mother and a wife, and my greatest education has been learning to show up fully in my life for my husband and children by doing my own healing work to accept the mirror that they hold up to my vulnerabilities, to disrupt intergenerational patterns, to be honest, and to reach out even when it's scary.  They have taught me about the power of connection and the beauty of turning toward instead of armouring up.  I strive to be a whole, authentic version of me so I can have deep and meaningful relationships with them.

 

I am honoured to have this opportunity to work in a field that aligns with my truth and empowers others to do the same.  Thank you for being here.

My Approach to Therapy

My approach to therapy is rooted in the principle that the mind, emotions, body and soul work collaboratively to survive our experiences and express our needs. Sometimes, because of our strong instinct to survive, we can find it hard to pause, listen and address areas where we may be stuck. In therapy, I will support your ability to notice and make sense of your human experience. We will work together, at your pace, in an anti-oppressive way, to explore your concerns, identify your needs, heal the parts of you that have been wounded, and integrate them back home to the self.

My therapeutic style is compassion-focused and curiosity-led. I take a client-centred approach to healing. Together, we can integrate a variety of practices into your therapeutic journey, including mindful awareness, body awareness, parts work, breath, visualization, creativity, writing, movement and nature connection. My approach is always trauma-informed and respectful of your unique lived experience. Our work together will be focused on helping you understand your own personal processes, so that you can build a healthy relationship with your emotions, your nervous system, your mind, and your spirit.

In working with me you can expect to spend our first five to ten sessions developing a relationship based on trust so that we can safely begin to explore what is burdening you.  The therapeutic relationship is a very important piece of the healing process.  Your safety and your trust are very important to me.  You are the expert of your own life.  I am here to help you create the inner-safety and stability to develop a loving and trusting relationship with yourself.

 

I am looking forward to working with you and supporting you as you do the work to heal, build, integrate and grow.

Clients I Work With

I work with teens and adults who are struggling to feel whole and balanced in their lives.  Our symptoms of mental illness and imbalance are also indicators of our survival instincts and our strengths.  These often present as dysfunction until we can work together to understand them better as the protectors that they are.  Here are some examples of the concerns I work with:

  • trauma

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • mood disruptions

  • attachment injuries

  • grief and loss

  • addiction

  • relationship challenges

  • body shame

  • disruptions in sexual health

  • chronic pain and illness

  • blockages in vitality

  • self harm

  • suicidal thinking and ideation

  • existential material

  • life pathway support

  • people-pleasing

  • boundary work

  • blockages in creativity

  • career stress
  • obsessions and compulsions
  • disordered relationship with food
  • perfectionism
  • self-criticism, self-doubt, and low self-worth

Modalities I Use

I practice from an existential, relational, and neuro-biological framework of understanding the human experience, and I take an integrative approach informed by: Emotionally-focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, The Hakomi Method, Compassionate Inquiry, Polyvagal Theory, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Somatic (body-informed) Therapy.  For more information about these modalities, please visit the Helpful Links page or book a free 20 minute consultation with me to discuss how these modalities can support your healing.

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Contact Me

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a free 20 minute consultation to meet and see if my approach to healing matches your therapeutic needs at this time.

Email 

Call or Text

905-999-4894

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