“Rock bottom became the foundation upon which I built my life.” 

- J.K. Rowling -
Dr. Sharleen McDowall, Psy.D., C.Psych.
Registered Psychologist
Meet Our Associates Meet Our Associates

Counsellors and Psychologist Toronto


Our Clinical Director

Dr. Sharleen McDowall, C. Psych. (Davisville | Brampton)

Dr. Sharleen McDowall is the Clinical Director and Supervising Psychologist Toronto at Mcdowall Counselling and Consulting Group (MCCG). She received a Psy. D. in Clinical Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago in 2009 and completed her internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.  Her experience provided her with a wide range of knowledge which includes conducting psychological assessments, providing therapy, and facilitating groups with individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses.  Additionally, she has worked with both inpatient and outpatient adolescents who struggle with severe biopsychosocial issues.

Dr. McDowall’s previous experience includes 8 years of providing psychological treatment to clients in a private practice and rehabilitation setting.  She has experience working with individuals diagnosed with anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, low self-esteem, anger management, grief and loss, and addiction, in addition to other serious psychiatric conditions. 

Registered Psychologists 

Dr. Donna Ferguson, C.Psych, ABPP

Dr. Ferguson is a clinical psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She provides psychological assessments and treatments, specifically Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy focused, in the area of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Ferguson also works at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at the Psychological Trauma Program, Work Stress and Health Program. Her clinical research interests and areas of specialty include concurrent disorders in anxiety disorders and/or co-morbid depressive disorders with gambling pathology (in areas of assessment and intervention).Dr. Ferguson has published research in problem gambling and has worked with clients in the area of gambling addiction. She has also published articles in the area of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr. Ferguson is a graduate of the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the Ontario Psychology Association and the Canadian Psychology Association. Dr. Ferguson is also listed with the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. Dr. Ferguson is also Board Certified with the American Board of Professional Psychologists (ABPP). She volunteers her time as an examiner with the Ontario College of Psychologist and is chair of the Quality Assurance Committee.

Dr. Beth Bernholtz, Ph.D., C. Psych. (Davisville & Brampton)

Dr. Bernholtz is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario as a psychologist in supervised practice.  Her primary client group is adults and she treats a wide range of problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, interpersonal difficulties, marital and divorce problems, issues related to life transitions and post-traumatic reactions.  She provides psychotherapy, counselling, and psychological assessments under the supervision of MCCG’s Clinical Director and Supervising Psychologist Dr. Sharleen McDowall, C. Psych.

Dr. Bernholtz received her Ph.D. in counselling psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in 2013.  Throughout graduate school, she trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy as applied to depression, interpersonal problems, and generalized anxiety disorder.   She also trained in the Cognitive-Behavioral approach in her doctoral internship at North York General Hospital where she worked in both the outpatient addictions program and the inpatient psychiatric unit.  Dr. Bernholtz is a member of several professional organizations including the Canadian Psychological Association, the Ontario Psychological Association, the Society for Psychotherapy Research, and the International Society for Emotion-Focused Therapy.

Masters Level Counsellors

Yolanda Testani, M.A. (Davisville)

Yolanda Testani is a Clinical Therapist with a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from York University and a Bachelors of Arts from Concordia University. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP). Yolanda began her early career working with children and teenagers using an art therapy approach. Her central focus of therapy was building self-esteem and self-confidence which she continues to incorporate with all of her clients regardless of age or issue. Yolanda provides services to children, adults and couples.  Yolanda uses an integrated approach to therapy including a cognitive behavior and a psychodynamic approach to treatment. Her areas of experience include anger management, anxiety, depression career counselling, stress management, as well as relationship and marital issues.

Shelley Rush, M.A. (Mississauga | Brampton)

Helping clients to understand and process events in their lives through the counselling process is a natural extension of Shelley’s path. She is committed to seeing each person as a unique individual and will draw upon many varied skills and techniques to help them achieve their goals. She subscribes to an integrated approach, blending a variety of therapeutic approaches based on the unique journey of the client. Shelley is currently completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at University of Toronto (OISE). She has an Hon. B.A in Community Development and an Hon. B.A. in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. Her professional experience includes providing support, guidance and coaching in a business environment as well as teaching and working internationally. Shelley also has experience providing individual, couples, family and youth counselling. Her interests include grief and loss, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, PTSD, family-of-origins issues, stress and anger management, problem gambling, life and executive coaching, and life transition issues.

Andrea D’Onofrio, M.A. (Davisville/Brampton)

I am a Therapist and Health Coach who will guide, support and empower you to create positive and meaningful change.  I take an integrated, holistic approach tailored to each client’s unique needs, carefully cultivating a warm, nurturing and safe environment to support clients in their efforts to change and grow through empathy, compassion, acceptance and encouragement.  I work collaboratively with individuals, couples and families to establish meaningful goals that we can work towards achieving, which results in increased happiness, enrichment and overall well-being.  Areas of specialization include anxiety, depression, overwhelm, stress management, career counseling, self-esteem, body image, confidence, self-concept and spirituality.

As a Health Coach, I take a functional, integrative and holistic approach to comprehensively understand the unique constellation of symptoms of each client.  I passionately support, guide, educate and advise clients in a fun, flexible approach to reduce symptoms and increase wellness.  Individualized treatment plans help clients transform their bodies, minds and souls to experience vibrancy, energy, vitality, nourishment, rejuvenation and happiness.  I have a deep appreciation and understanding of how imbalance in one area of our lives can disrupt all other areas and am committed to helping you create the conditions necessary to restore balance and nourish mind, body and soul to experience optimal physical and emotional health.  Areas of specialization include increasing energy, weight management, blood sugar balancing, hormone balancing, improved digestion, healthy immunity and blood pressure regulation.

I have a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology, a B.A. in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and I am a certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.

I am a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), a professional member of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) & Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).

Adelaine Thomas, M.Ed. (Brampton)

Adelaine brings both academic and clinical experience to her work here at MCCG. Clients and co-workers alike remark of the warmth, calmness and acceptance that Adelaine exudes. Adelaine completed her Master degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in Vocational Rehabilitation. Prior to this, she completed an honours degree in Psychology from York University. She also received a certificate of Rehabilitation Services from Seneca College and is certified as a Life Skills coach.

 Adelaine has a special interest in issues related to chronic conditions and disabilities but her areas of experience also include anger management, stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, assertiveness, and grief and loss. Adelaine enjoys working with clients on a collaborative and personalized approach to meet one's unique life challenges, navigate difficult situations, become 'unstuck' and recognize their unique strengths. Adelaine's therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behavioral yet she will draw on an integration of specific therapies and techniques so as to meet the needs of her clients. These approaches include DBT, mindfulness, motivational interviewing, psychodynamic, solution-focused and client-centered modalities of psychotherapy.

 In addition to her clinical practice, she has experience providing mental health support services and consulting in both small and large public and private organizations. Adelaine is a Member of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada as a Registered Rehabilitation Professional and she is in the process of registering with the Ontario College of Psychotherapists.

Yasmeen Farrage, M. A, RP (Davisville)

Yasmeen Farrage is a Registered Psychotherapist educated with a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology as well as an Hons. B.A. in Psychology. She is registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario(CRPO) and is a Professional Member with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Her areas of focus include working with individuals experiencing a variety of troubles, with particular interest in trauma, PTSD, anxiety and mood disorders, self-esteem, and relationship issues. She also has interest and experience involving substance abuse and addictions, personality disorders, attachment issues, eating disorders, anger management, executive coaching, stress, sleep and pain management, OCD, bipolar disorders and concurrent disorders. Yasmeen’s therapeutic approach is personalized to the client, often utilizing combined modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, and Psychodynamic approaches. Yasmeen operates from the perspective that It is possible to get out of the dark places and direct your path toward positive fulfillment. It is possible to be happy, to develop centeredness, calmness, self-love and openness, to redefine your self-concept and cultivate mindfulness in your mind, body and soul. You can find happiness and allow it radiate in you and through you. You can develop a better mindset and become a better version of you! Yasmeen seeks to provide a safe atmosphere to deeply connect and collaboratively work with clients to elicit positive changes in their lives. She also works with clients who are open to the idea of both exploring and processing through deeper-set issues that may be impactful in their current functioning as a means for eliciting deeper healing. In addition, Yasmeen has interest and experience in administering standardized psychological assessments.

Adriana Komorniczak, M.A. (Mississauga) 

Adriana has received a B.A in Psychology from York University, her M.A in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and is a member in good standing with the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists, and Psychotherapists (OACCPP). She specializes in working with individuals within a wide array of issues such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, trauma, stress management, anger management, and substance abuse. By adopting an integrative strength-based approach, Adriana and her clients have the opportunity to collaboratively work on and explore their unique issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Working within a short-term solution-focused model and a cognitive-behaviour therapy approach, individuals have the opportunity to become skilled at managing and coping with their difficulties. Working within an emotion-focused therapeutic approach, individuals further have a chance to explore and discover the underlying sources of their long-standing problems. Adriana also offers training in assertiveness and conflict resolution. 

Anita Morar, M.A. (Scarborough)

Anita has been a therapist for over 10 years. Anita strives to provide a safe and nonjudgmental environment; her role as a therapist is to help her client’s increase their insight into what is preventing them from living their life to the fullest by embracing the process of change and creating balance. Anita endeavours to be compassionate and open minded with her clients. She will partner with you to identify your goals and support you in achieving them so that you may live a healthier, happier, and more productive life. Anita’s style of therapy is highly individualized, designed to meet each of your goals. Anita’s approach to therapy is collaborative and gentle - creating an environment for her clients to feel safe enough to communicate their concerns. Anita’s specialty areas include working with anger management, couples, and individuals who are dealing with stress and anxiety. Anita focuses on integrating techniques from different treatment models such as, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, CBT, Mindfulness and client centered modalities. Anita has a Masters in Counselling Psychology and is in the process of becoming registered with the CRPO; she is a member of the OACCP.

Kimberlee Mancina, M.C. (Davisville | Mississauga | Brampton)

Kimberlee has her Masters in Counselling Psychology from Athabasca University and is currently a member of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association. Kimberlee adopts a holistic approach to therapy, incorporating both integrative therapeutic models and aspects of nutrition and health when working with her clients. Kimberlee believes in working collaboratively with each individual, tailoring her approach to meet the therapeutic goals of her clients. Her use of multiple therapeutic modalities lends to her ability to remain flexible to the needs of her clients. Kimberlee utilizes solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, emotionally focused therapy, and mindfulness techniques.

 Kimberlee’s work is grounded in a strength-based model, inspiring change through hope, and empowerment through compassion. Her approach with clients is goal-oriented, complimented by the use of motivational techniques to empower individuals. She is interested in working with individuals from all walks of life including couples and families with an emphasis placed on improving communication and empathy between loved ones. She has a special interest in working with adolescents and young adults experiencing challenges with self-growth, self-esteem, and gender identity and sexuality issues.

 Kimberlee's approach is grounded in the belief that all individuals are capable of feeling happiness and although difficult times are inevitable, therapy can be an integral component of individual health care regimes. 

Chris Hartley, M.A. (Scarborough | North York)

Chris Hartley works with a wide range of clients, including those dealing with feelings of anxiety, depression, and trauma, working through various life transitions, and learning stress/anger management strategies or other coping skills. Chris uses an integrative approach with his clients, which is a fancy way of saying that he uses a variety of approaches to help the client realize and achieve his/her personal goals. Therapy for each of his clients is different, because clients are different. Chris has experience using Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, and Transactional Analysis, among other methodologies. He also has a profound interest in the role that physical fitness and nutrition play in our mental health, and advise and encourage clients on developing optimum physical, as well as mental, health. Chris is very flexible in his approach, and aims to arrive at the best treatment for each individual client. Chris earned his Masters degree in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. In addition to his work in a private practice setting, he also has experience working with individuals for crisis/distress management and suicide intervention, and working with at-risk adolescents in a residential setting.

Carol Henderson, M.A (Beaches)

Carol believes that in our increasingly complex and multicultural society, individuals, couples and families occasionally need assistance navigating through difficult situations. Carol works collaboratively with clients to identify modes of thinking and behaviours that may be contributing to their distress. With a warm and empathic style, Carol encourages clients to explore their underlying issues, develop and implement solutions. Carol's areas of interest include anger management, anxiety, hoarding, relationship and family therapy. Carol has a B.A. in Drama from Brock University, a Certificate in Mental Health and Addiction from Ryerson University and a Masters of Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University.

Meaghan Haley, M.Psy  (Davisville)

Meaghan’s personal journey has brought her to a deeper place of insight and psychological evaluation and she gains immense amount of satisfaction from connecting and helping others through their journeys. She integrates a holistic approach with each client and tailors the counselling methods to meet each client’s needs by working through their strengths and understanding their limitations. Meaghan believes that every therapeutic relationship should be mutually respecting, non-judgmental, and developed in a safe environment. Her strong sense of empathy and compassion allows clients to build trust and to feel empowered to open up and work towards a well-balanced self.

Meaghan practices from an Adlerian psychological framework. Meaning, she believes that every individual's challenges and strengths can be understood and worked through within the larger context of their life. She takes time to get to know her client’s lifestyle, family dynamics, current and past struggles, and ways of coping. The Adlerian framework then allows Meaghan to incorporate different modalities such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Emotion Focused Therapy and more. She believes in healing from the inside and standing with her clients through their process. Meaghan works with individuals on a wide variety of issues that range from stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, PTSD, grief, life transitions, work related issues, sexuality, anger, parenting, motivation, and attachment. She also works with couples helping with healing after betrayal, communication styles, intimacy, re- alignment, pre- marriage counselling, and value congruence. Additionally, Meaghan works with families to help create a harmonious and working household for all members. This could entail helping parents with development problems and questions, scaffolding a parenting approach, working with a challenging child, or assisting in separation or melding of families.

Meaghan Haley has a Masters of Psychology from Adler School of Professional Studies in Toronto, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Psychology from Carleton University.

Rima Sehgal, PhD, R.P (Brampton & Davisville)

Rima Sehgal has extensive experience in individual, group therapy and psycho education with youth, adults and families; she understands the multicultural dynamics and works with diverse, and immigrant population. A recipient of Fulbright Award for counselling, she has international exposure to some of the most used practices in the field. She has facilitated numerous parenting skills workshops, Teacher sensitization and Life skills programs. She provides services in Hindi and Punjabi as well.

Her practice includes the treatment approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour therapy, Solution Focused approach, Humanistic and mindfulness based stress reduction. She is a member of Ontario Psychology Association, Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP), American Psychological Association and American Counselling Association. Rima is a Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario (CRPO), and a registered member of the Parenting for Life program of the Psychology Foundation of Canada. 

Caroline Veldhuis, MA (Davisville)
Previously trained as a coach, Caroline works from a humanistic-existential perspective, integrating techniques from a range of evidence-based therapies in a strengths-oriented approach. Bringing a strong sense of curiosity and compassion to her clients, she helps people work through depression, distress, and life transitions to reach a greater sense of peace and fulfillment in their lives. Caroline draws on a diverse background, having worked in communications and management for national and international health, humanitarian, and arts organizations in Canada, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. She initially studied at University of Toronto earning a BA (English) and BSc (Psychology, with High Distinction). In addition to an MA in counselling psychology, she has studied constructivist counselling, solution focused therapy, narrative therapy, positive psychology, social and cultural psychiatry, trauma, and refugee mental health. She is a member in good standing with the OACCPP and has registration pending with the CRPO.

Christine Janev, M.A  (Mississauga & Brampton)

Christine Janev received her B.A in Psychology from York University, and is finishing her M.A in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University.  Christine has pursued additional education over the years in Bereavement studies from the University of Toronto, School of Social work and also has a diploma in Gerontology from Sheridan College School of Community and Social Studies.

Christine has worked in the field of counselling for many years, particularly working with families as they age.  Her passion is helping families understand the complexities of changing health as we age, how age impacts mental health, and a specialty in working with individuals with a cognitive impairment especially Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. 

She is interested in helping individuals and families using a collaborative and holistic approach; coming from a perspective that every transition in life brings about a loss that must be reconciled before a new life can be designed.  Christine strives to help individuals and families design a life that reconciles the past and brings hope for the future.  

Intern Counsellors (Masters level candidates)

Julie Tagi, M.N., M.Ed (C) in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Davisville)

Julie is currently completing her Masters in Education, Counselling and Psychotherapy at OISE with the University of Toronto. Her 19 years as a nurse in women’s and infants’ health and personal experiences has deepened her desire to help clients to pursue their best self. Julie strives to enable clients to realize they are not alone in the challenges they may be facing, but she partners with clients to explore experiences that has shaped their perspective and equip them with tools to uncover a new perspective, develop coping strategies, make positive changes, restoring hope. Julie has trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), emotion focused therapy (EFT), and mindfulness and is very warm and caring when providing client-centered psychotherapy. Julie’s approach is very collaborative and strength-based, while providing a safe space to explore thoughts, emotions and experiences. Julie is interested in helping you through life’s transitions, whether it be grief, changes, stress, anxiety, depression, compassion fatigue, low self-esteem, or whatever challenges life presents. She uses evidence-based psychotherapeutic approaches to support you to renewed hope, wellness, and building a better tomorrow. 

Christina Simonetti, M.A (C) (Brampton & Davisville)

Christina Simonetti is a Masters of Counselling Psychology Student from Yorkville University. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour from McMaster University as well as an Addictions Careworker Diploma from McMaster University. She has also taken two certificate courses in Sex Therapy and is currently pursuing certification in TRE (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises). Outside of the McDowall Counselling and Consulting Group, she currently practices as an addictions counsellor at the Vitanova Foundation where she teaches Love and Intimacy classes and operates an LGBTQ group. Her central focus of therapy is working with her clients’ stories, establishing themes and patterns in clients’ lives that result in challenges, transforming those themes and patterns to enable individuals to live better.
“I want to work with where you are in your process. Client-centered therapy allows the client to set goals and intentions for what they want to achieve from the sessions. This way, I can guide you to where you want to be. I operate from an eclectic combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Solution-Focused Behaviour Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Adlerian therapy, and the Gottman Method. I am constantly seeking new ways to assist my clients better and firmly believethat everyone with the intention to live better can.”

Stevie Atkins, M.Psych. (C) (Davisville, Mississauga & Brampton)

Stevie is currently completing her Masters of Psychology at Adler Graduate Professional School, and is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association. Stevie brings a warm and compassionate style and believes in a collaborative, client-centred approach that honours the needs and pace of the individual. She is committed to creating a safe and non-judgmental environment where clients are encouraged and supported. Trained in an Adlerian psychological framework, Stevie takes time to understand a client within the greater context of their life, family dynamic and experiences. Stevie operates with a trauma-informed approach and draws upon techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and relational somatic psychotherapy to provide clients with effective skills and coping strategies. Stevie is interested in working with adolescents, adults, couples and families who have experienced crisis, grief, relationship issues, or symptoms related to trauma (dissociation, self-harm, addiction), as well as those experiencing transition, divorce, stress, anxiety, PTSD and depression

Lance Archer, M.A (C) (Brampton)

Lance is a Master's level intern who is currently pursuing a Master's of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. His undergraduate training in clinical counselling has equipped him with knowledge and skills in designing and implementing psycho-therapeutic interventions to support clients in achieving mental wellness. He has experience facilitating individual, peer, group, and family counselling in both Jamaica and Canada for children, teens, young adults, and their families who are challenged by aggression, disruptive behaviours, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem,stress, and family conflict. He utilizes a client-centred solution-focused approach, integrating evidence based techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Lance is also quite passionate about helping young adults overcome emotional/social challenges in order to discover new meaning to life.

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