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psychotherapy works
          

 

Marsha Berniker M.S.W.   R.S.W.

Bathurst & Steeles

905-881-4040

e-mail:marsha13@rogers.com

ACCEPTS MOST PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE

  HOURS

Monday-Friday 8am-9PM  

Saturday-Sunday 8AM-3PM

COUNSELLING FEES

With Insurance $165

Without Insurance $120

 

 

 

‘HOPE IS LIKE A BIRD THAT SENSES DAWN

AND CAREFULLY STARTS TO SING WHILE IT IS STILL DARK’


 

Hi. I know that you are going through a rough time now. You may be blaming yourself or someone else, or feeling that you are weak, because you are looking for help. You are the way you are because of the early experiences that you had. Anyone with your experiences would behave and feel like you do. Seeking help is a sign of health and your desire to lead a more fulfilling life.

In growing up there was a good chance that you did not get what you needed and deserved. Perhaps you had parents that were critical, not emotionally available, treated you as if you were bad, a bother, or selfish, etc. when all you had were normal needs. This may have resulted in key negative, INACCURATE  beliefs about yourself:

  • I AM SELFISH
  • I AM A BOTHER/BURDEN
  • I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYBODY
  • I AM BAD
  • I AM UNLOVABLE
  • I AM INCOMPETENT
  • I AM NEVER GOOD ENOUGH

Most of us believe at least one of these and it creates ongoing problems in our lives. Let me give you a few examples:

Though you know that you often feel like a bother, you have not connected that feeling with your lack of assertiveness as an adult, you just figure that  you are weak, just a wimp. You avoid anything that will bring back the feeling and the shame that goes with the feeling of being a bother.

You take care of everyone; but, who takes care of you? You feel lovable when giving and selfish when taking. You learned this long ago. How does this affect you? You cannot meet your needs because you do not want to feel selfish. Often you will unconsciously choose a self-centered partner. Asking for needs brings about high anxiety. You will be the first one to be there for everybody and wonder why others are not there for you.

Or you many have been affected by sexual and/or emotional abuse or an alcoholic parent. Your struggle with self-esteem often affects you in all areas: marriage, work, parenting, friendships, etc. Most important it makes life difficult, unhappy and out of your control.

If you are the child of an immigrant, often there is conflict between your parents ‘traditional ways’ and your more Westernised beliefs. You do not want to hurt your parents but do not know how to resolve this.

I specialize in the following areas; 

  • MARITAL/COUPLE COUNSELING
  • PRE-MARITAL
  • AFFAIRS
  • DIVORCE
  • PHONE COUNSELING
  • SELF ESTEEM
  • DEPRESSION
  • ANXIETY

I decided to specialize in these areas because I have personally experienced them. Specializing allows me to remain aware with regards to the most current research and methods in the field. I believe there is always more to learn.

Let me talk about what you can expect in counseling:

 

PRE -MARITAL/MARITAL/ COUPLE COUNSELING

     The most common problems in relationships are

  • ISSUES FROM CHILDHOOD, which have not been resolved (may be unconscious), that are affecting you now
  • COMMUNICATION- Difficulty in directly asking for what you want and/or listening to your partner. 
  • ANGER which is not expressed directly or which is expressed in sarcasm, nasty remarks or rage.
  • ARGUING to prove you are right, rather than listening to your partner and his/her needs.
  • Arguing with no resolution- no ability to PROBLEM SOLVE.
  • SEXUAL PROBLEMS that are often caused by the problems in the relationship.
  • MONEY – often turns into a control and/or power issue
  • CONTROL -feeling that one of you always gets his/her way.
  • BLAMING- always seeing your partner as having the problem and never looking at your contribution

Often couples have a ‘dance’

Husband: Why don’t we go out tonight?

Wife: I am really too tired.            

Husband: I really want us to go out. You never want to go with me, anymore.

Wife: Everything always has to be your way

Husband: I try to do something nice and you start an argument. There is no sense in talking to you. (Said with a lot of anger. Husband stomps out of the room the two do not speak for the rest of the night.)

Narrator: When the husband expressed that he really wanted his wife to join him in fact what the wife was experiencing is “my needs aren’t important” a reality she grew up with. The husband on the other   hand is left feeling misunderstood and blamed, a reality he grew up with.

If you find this complicated to follow, than you are realizing how many unconscious issues are being acted out in this vignette. My function as a therapist is to make you aware of what is really being said and work out the underlying issues which are being replayed and hurting your relationship.\

AFFAIRS  

I am often asked if therapy can work when there has been an affair. Affairs can be an opportunity to look at your marriage and try to understand what is not working. It can be a beginning of building a much more healthy and vibrant relationship. Issues of trust will addressed, as well as the underlying issues in the marriage, which led to the affair.  MY JOB IS TO UNDERSTAND, NOT TO BLAME.

REPETITION COMPLUSION

It is extremely important to examine this, as it means in our adult lives we recreate relationship patterns from our homes of origin:

  • Put downs or control issues at home will often result in put downs or control issues in the marriage.
  • If you have a selfish parent, you will often, unconsciously choose a selfish partner and try to get him/her to stop being selfish.

Most of the people I work with and know repeat some aspect of their original home. Selfish parent, selfish partner, controlling parent, either you control or are controlled, put down parent, put down partner. This explains why you keep on picking the same type of person.

This is not because you lack intelligence. It is a common human behaviour, brought about because of familiarity and unresolved childhood issues. Unfortunately, if these issues are not finished, you will most likely continue to pick partners that repeat the pattern and leave you, once again, in an unfulfilling relationship. The rate of second marriage divorces is greater than first and I believe one of the important reasons is this syndrome.

DIVORCE

I help many men and women while they are going through a divorce. It is a time of great emotional upheaval, and a time when you are forced to make extremely important decisions. It is difficult for you to do this when you are depressed, anxious about your future and concerned with your children.

The advantage of obtaining help when you are overwhelmed is that as a clear-headed, knowledgeable, supportive and experienced therapist I will be there for you. Often during divorce, there is a great fear that you will make a mistake in your next relationship. You will feel less fearful if you understand what went wrong. We all want to think it is the other persons fault and that we are blameless. This blinds us and leaves us very vulnerable in future relationships. Understanding and working through your contribution to the divorce, will allow you to select a more appropriate partner.

PHONE AND SKYPE COUNSELING

Because I believe that, everybody has the right to therapy I offer phone therapy.

If you are not able to access therapy due to illness, an inability to leave your house or you live in a community in which the service you need are not available, phone counselling may be the best choice.

SELF-ESTEEM

"THE HARDEST BATTLE YOU’RE GOING TO
FIGHT IS THE
BATTLE TO BE JUST YOU."  Leo Buscaglia

Good self-esteem is the building block of all relationships. Often low self-esteem leaves you with a distorted sense of yourself. I work with you to correct this distortion so that you can enjoy life. An example of a distorted sense of yourself is that if you are not ‘perfect’, than you are not good enough. Another is your sense of yourself as being ‘incompetent’ if you make a mistake.

DEPRESSION

"SOMETIMES I JUST NEED SOMEONE TO BE
THERE; SO THE DARK ISN’T QUITE SO LONG."
Kathy Cronkite 

Everyone experiences depression. When depression does not appear to be getting better, it is wise to seek therapy. Research indicates that ‘talk therapy’ plus medication’ is the most effective way to deal with depression. Medication is a personal issue to be explored with your family doctor. The purpose of ‘talk therapy’ is to resolve issues from the past or present. This is necessary so that the depression will not reoccur. Let me give you an example:

A boy of 12, doing well in school, many friends and appearing to be happy suddenly becomes very depressed. Why would this come on so suddenly? His good friend is returning to her country of origin. Although the friends leaving precipitated the depression, the core issue is that, he never mourned his father leaving him. The depression left after he was able to express many feelings, anger, hurt, etc. related to his father. If the core issue were not dealt with, he would most likely, throughout his lifetime, re-experience depression whenever someone left him.

ANXIETY

"WORRY DOES NOT EMPTY TOMORROW OF ITS SORROW, IT EMPTIES TODAY OF ITS STRENGTH" Corrie Ten Boom

ANXIETY has become a major problem for people. Being anxious a lot of the time is very costly. You know what stress does to your body and that many illnesses are made worse by it. So much of your time is spent worrying that you are not able to fully enjoy life. You tell yourself to stop worrying, because you know it is senseless, but, somehow, you cannot stop. SOUND FAMILIAR?

Your life does not have to be like this. Anxiety is highly treatable. When we work together, we will discover the source of old issues causing you to worry. For example, you are concerned that you will loose your job, although there is no reality to this. At the heart of the fear may be a belief that you are incompetent. Another example is that you are always worried that your partner will leave you. The core issue may be feeling ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I have little to offer’, and ‘I am not lovable.’ I will also teach you relaxation skills so that when you are beginning to feel anxious you have an immediate tool to help you.

WHO AM I? 

I am an easy going, extremely non-judgemental person. I am a very curious person so that I am always open to new techniques that I feel will enhance our work. I constantly evaluate my work as to its effectiveness. I have a very knowledgeable consultant who aids me in my work, when necessary. Having received therapy myself, I am aware of the power of competent therapy.

I feel that therapy was my gift to myself and I suggest you give yourself a gift.

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS

When I decided to become a therapist I realized that people needed to trust me with significant often life changing problems. I knew I had to have the best training in order to feel that their trust was warranted. I had experienced both effective and non-effective treatment in my own life and I knew the difference. In the pursuit of excellence, I studied at top rated schools in therapy in the U.S.A. After immigrating to Canada I received supervision at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. In order to continue my studies I regularly attend seminars and read current books on therapy. 

I have been a psychotherapist for over 30 years. I hold a Masters degree in social work and am registered in the College  of   Social Workers . I completed a post-graduate degree in psychodynamic therapy. I have supervised students for over 20 years. I have worked with different cultures and ethnic groups, both with men and women, individually or in couples.

I look forward to meeting with you for a

FREE CONSULTATION.

You can contact me at 905-881-4040

or

e-mail me at marsha13@rogers.com . 

I accept most private health care plans

 

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