Our Team – Barrie Counselling

At Words of Hope Counselling Service, Our Team of devoted and caring therapists is eager to accompany you on your path toward emotional well-being. With diverse experiences, skill sets, and a unified passion for fostering hope and healing, our therapists are equipped to provide customized care to address your individual needs. Delve into their profiles to gain insights into their backgrounds, expertise, and the unique approaches they bring to the counselling process, all aimed at empowering you on your journey of self-discovery and growth.

Kirstyn Clare

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Kirstyn - Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
With over a decade of experience, Kirstyn is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) who has worked in various mental health and addiction programs serving adults and youth. Kirstyn’s therapeutic approach is integrative, and she uses various techniques to customize therapy to your specific needs and goals. She incorporates a range of therapeutic modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and attachment theory. She is also completing EMDR basic training which can be an effective treatment for PTSD and address other mental health challenges. As of December 2023, Kirstyn would like to offer EMDR therapy to clients. You can learn more about EMDR by clicking this link https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/. Kirstyn specializes in addiction (substance use and technology use), anxiety, depression, trauma, parenting, stress management, and self-esteem. She enjoys working with both adults and youth! When she works with youth she often involves the caregivers in the treatment process and offers one-on-one caregiver coaching sessions, recognizing that the healing journey often involves the entire family. With a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and additional studies in addiction, Kirstyn is a lifelong learner and is continually enhancing her skills to serve her clients better.

Having sat on both sides of the therapy chair, Kirstyn has a unique ability to relate to her clients providing a warm, compassionate, non-judgmental space for people to be themselves. She will support you to explore the root cause of your difficulties and work alongside you to develop effective coping strategies. Kirstyn’s therapy approach prioritizes relationship building and she enjoys bringing humour into sessions. Kirstyn would love to connect with you and support you on your path to healing.

Tatyana Bashkatova, MPsy, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Tatyana-headshot. Barrie therapist.

Tatyana is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and an Ontario Graduate Certificate in Addictions: Treatment and Prevention (Georgian College, Orillia, ON). Throughout more than 10 years of her professional journey, she has obtained training and certification in Gestalt Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Art Therapy, Psychodrama, Transactional Analysis and the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy. Tatyana is devoted to professional growth and replenishing professional tools in her arsenal.

Tatyana believes that the process of psychotherapy is the creation of a confidential and supportive space, where clients feel safe to explore themselves and the underlying causes of their mental health and relationship issues. She walks her clients down this road and helps them find their way to perform crucial changes.

The main methods of therapy Tatyana uses in her work allow clients to project their inner reality or the dynamics of the relationships into visual presentations which can be transformed in a way that leads to consequent inner transformations.

Tatyana welcomes clients for individual, couples, and family therapy, including children and youth.

Rudy Grewal, HBASc, HBSW, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker

Rudy Grewal Headshot. Therapist in Barrie.

Rudy is a well-educated and experienced therapist who also teaches Social Work at Lakehead University. With a keen desire to truly understand the human experience, Rudy earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree in Human Nature, specializing in Psychology and Sociology. Next, Rudy achieved an Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree and became a Registered Social Worker. Adding to his clinical education and experience, Rudy then attained a Master of Social Work degree and brings the latest research and evidence-
based approaches to the people he works with.

With warmth and empathy, Rudy embraces the uniqueness of his clients and their situations as they work together toward healing. Utilizing a combination of practical knowledge and professional training, Rudy skillfully assists those who suffer from stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, trauma (emotional, physical, and religious), addiction and substance use disorder (SUD), relationship issues, identity challenges, and more. His clinical techniques include mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), narrative therapy, solution-focused and strengths-based approaches, trauma-informed care, psychodynamic psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, and the Gottman Method for couple’s therapy.

As a father of nine children, grandfather to three, and married for thirty years, Rudy’s life experience has also taught him much by way of many joys and pains. What are your joys? What are your pains? What is your story, and what do you want it to be? Let’s find out together!

Shoshawnah Lautenschlager, BA, MA, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker

Shoshawnah Lautenschlager
Shoshawnah is a registered Social Worker and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Children and their Families. She has experience providing therapy to children and their families, youth, adults, and couples. She has training in numerous therapy modalities including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Emotion Focused Family Therapy, and the Gottman Method.
By employing a trauma informed, non-judgemental, and strength-based practice, Shoshawnah is able to meet clients where they are at. She has experience working with a diverse clientele with a variety of concerns including; depression, anxiety, grief, emotional dysregulation, trauma, family separation, divorce, PTSD, substance use, and experience with the child welfare and criminal justice systems.

On a personal note, Shoshawnah is passionate about providing therapy from an anti-oppressive perspective and through a lens of diversity, equity and inclusivity. She works collaboratively with her clients to ensure their therapeutic goals are set and met. Shoshawnah encourages and validates clients in order to empower them to implement the change they want to see in their lives, family or relationships. She believes that each person’s journey is unique and therefore therapy must be specific to the client’s life and experiences

Na Kyung Park, MACP, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Na offers a collaborative, safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings freely so you can find clarity, peace and feel in control. Whether you are coming for individual sessions together, you will work towards healing and developing a positive outlook on life. For Na, the most rewarding part of being a psychotherapist is watching people make a difference in their lives. No matter how small or big the change is, She wants to help you grow into your authentic self.

Through an atmosphere of compassion and acceptance, she is a focused and dedicated health practitioner who enjoys witnessing the change process within individuals. She strives to provide a collaborative and integrative approach in my clinical practice that uniquely fits each individual’s needs. She is trained and experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Meditation, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Supportive Talk Therapy.

Angela Bishop, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker

As a seasoned therapist of 14+ years, Angela is honoured to work with individuals at some of their most vulnerable times, creating a safe space to allow them to process, explore, and grow. Angela views the work of therapy as a dynamic and collaborative process and uses a client-centered approach. She believes that everyone has the capacity to grow and works to assist her clients to identify and utilize their own strengths to help overcome barriers.

Angela has a Master’s of Social Work degree from York University in addition to Bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and social work. She has completed continued education in the areas of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), emotionally-focused therapy (EFT), mindfulness, motivational interviewing, solution focused therapy, strength-based therapy and perinatal and postpartum mental health. She has experience with a variety of age groups and settings, some of which include: medicine, mental health, grief and loss, paediatrics, chronic disease, palliative/end of life care, maternal mental health and parenting.

Angela’s approach is empathetic, and uniquely tailored to the client’s individual needs and goals. Angela aims to assist clients to navigate through challenges on their journey to lasting fulfillment and change, where the client is free to discuss their specific goals and tell their story.

Clients who come to see her are often struggling with depression, anxiety, life transitions, low self-worth, relationship distress, separation/divorce, parenting, grief and loss and general feelings of discontentment or being “stuck”. Angela utilizes a variety of evidence-based therapeutic techniques to create a plan of care that is uniquely tailored to the clients’ needs. She is passionate about mental health and helping people of all ages and backgrounds lead more peaceful and happy lives. Angela can help you identify your goals, develop coping skills, and process past trauma in order to optimize your everyday well-being, assist with navigating through your struggle to understand and manage challenging emotions, all the while feeling supported and safe. Her goal is to walk with you through your journey to move towards a place of joy, peace, and resiliency.

Maureen – Registered Social Worker

maureen Smeding-headshot

As both a provider and consumer of therapy services, Maureen appreciates the courage it takes to seek out support and the comfort offered in having someone journey with us as we navigate life’s inevitable challenges. She offers a compassionate, judgement-free environment in which clients can explore what is meaningful and rewarding for them and identify what is less fulfilling in their lives, at a comfortable pace.

Maureen’s approach to therapy is strengths-based and collaborative in nature. She believes that, given the right conditions, all people move toward healing, growth, and well-being. By joining her own clinical insights with a client’s unique strengths and resources, Maureen strives to assist clients in developing greater self-awareness and gaining insight into their interactions with the world. Through this process of exploration, clients will uncover pathways for resolving difficult emotions or experiences, feel able to face and overcome current obstacles; and, move naturally toward growth and well-being.

Maureen holds a master’s degree in counselling psychology; and, bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Social Workers; and, a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has offered therapy services for over 13 years and has worked in various settings including crisis services, community practice, and family health. Maureen uses an integrative approach that draws on a range of evidence-based therapy techniques uniquely tailored to the client’s individual needs. These include: solution-focused, narrative, CBT, and EFT (emotion-focused), trauma informed, mindfulness, in addition to others. She is experienced in supportive individuals moving through a wide range of life experiences including: life transitions, grief and loss, gender identity, sexual identity, separation and divorce, retirement, change in health status, chronic pain, chronic health conditions, experiences of interpersonal violence, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, disordered eating, substance use disorders, sexuality, emotion regulation, anger management, relationship difficulties, and more.

Kathryn George, BA, MA, MDIV

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Kathryn is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) completing her Master’s education in Clinical Counselling at Tyndale University as well as a Masters in International Child Studies at King’s College London. Through Kathryn’s studies and work experiences, she has gained multi-cultural exposure in Malaysia, UK and various provinces in Canada.

Kathryn uses holistic integrated interventions drawing from a systemic background where friends, family, communities, and society at large shape who we are and how we think. She also uses evidence-based therapeutic interventions like Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Emotionally- Focused therapy, Narrative Therapy, trauma-informed therapy, and draws from Solution Focused therapy as well. She combines a variety of therapeutic interventions which are personalized to fit client’s individual goals, needs, and belief system.

Kathryn’s goal as a counsellor is to support individuals, couples, and families by providing a safe space to foster meaningful connections for those seeking reconciliation with themselves, others, and family. Kathryn works from a client-centered approach to draw out her client’s strengths, deal with past and present pain, and move toward a better future based on their value system.

Kathryn’s approach to therapy is rooted in the belief that the therapeutic relationship is essential for facilitating change, healing, and growth for successful treatment outcomes. She provides a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore, process, and understand your present circumstances, and determine the barriers preventing you from reaching your potential. She focuses on cultivating your inner resources to empower you to move toward your purpose and looks forward to working with you.

Laura Pickering, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker

Laura Pickering Profile Picture

Laura is a Registered Social Worker with 17+ years counselling experience. She holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto, specializing in Mental Health and Health. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from Carleton University, Ottawa.

Laura is compassionate and empathetic as she works from a non judgemental, client centred perspective to create a safe space for individuals, couples and families to set and address their therapeutic goals. She draws on a variety of evidence based approaches, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy), Solution Focused, Strength based, Mindfulness, Trauma Informed, crisis intervention, bereavement, and Motivational Interviewing.  She works holistically with clients as they navigate challenges, empowering them to build on strengths, and gain self awareness and coping skills to be able to address their concerns and improve their quality of life. She recognizes that each situation is unique as she tailors each approach. 

Laura has worked with a diverse clientele dealing with a variety of concerns, including: life transitions/adjustments, depression, anxiety, psychiatric illnesses, trauma, grief and loss, addictions, relationship and communication issues, health issues, low self worth, and generally feeling stuck or stressed. 


Laura believes positive change is possible as she works in a collaborative manner with her clients. She looks forward to connecting with you.

Samira Tabrizi MA., RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Samira headshot

Samira is a Registered Psychotherapist with more than 15 years of experience working with adults and families. She holds a Masters In Clinical Psychology and is certified in Janina Fisher’s Clinical Trauma Professional Training Level 1 & 2 which gives Samira a particular appreciation of complex trauma.

Samira brings compassion, openness and patience to create a safe and non-judgement space for you to explore, heal and grow. You will work together to have a better understanding of your challenges. It is Samira’s opinion that the relationship between client and therapist is the most important component of the therapy. 

Samira offers a collaborative and personalized approach, integrating evidence-based psychotherapy perspectives, like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) and psychodynamic principals specializing in Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Trauma, Shame , PTSD and childhood experiences.

Samira is here to support you in cultivating a healthy, authentic, intimate, loving and embodied sense of self.

Neethu Joseph, MSW, RSW

Registered Social Worker

Neethu - Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers

Neethu is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has 14 years of experience in working with a variety of clients and issues. Neethu believes it’s most important to provide a safe space in which clients can feel safe and able to reflect upon and evaluate their circumstances. Neethu’s calm, compassionate and non-judgmental approach will help clients to feel heard, validated and supported them back on track to living a meaningful and fulfilled life. Neethu has found deep joy in working with children and their families.

Neethu has experience in working with trauma, parenting, anxiety, depression, in addition to general problems in living. Neethu uses a variety of evidence-based techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Trauma Focused Therapy. Together we can find ways to better understand what you need to best support yourself and find the tools to free yourself from those difficulties.

Jessy Danyluk, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Jessy headshot. Picture of registered therapist in Barrie.

Jessy holds a degree of Masters of Divinity in Clinical Counselling from Tyndale Seminary. She is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Her years of experience at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre has been invaluable. While working in the health care setting, Jessy worked with a variety of clients displaying issues with addictions, end of life, grief and loss, trauma, depression and anxiety. She uses a multi-dimensional approach with all of her clients and employs evidence-based therapies such as Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Solution Focused Therapy..

Jessy also enjoys working with couples. She supports couples using Gottman Method Therapy and is experienced in both pre-marital and couples counselling. Jessy aims to help her clients navigate their relationship goals by means of therapy techniques and interventions.

In addition to working with adult individuals and couples, Jessy enjoys coming together with children, teenagers and young adults. Her experience is extensive and she continues to be passionate in this area. Jessy is active in her desire to learn and is dedicated to her clients. She has recently taken courses with a focus on Play Therapy as well as Art Therapy.

When she is not in the office, Jessy enjoys going out for sushi with her husband Taylor or hanging out with her cat, Spencer! She is also a huge Disney fan and had the opportunity to a cast member.

Jessy is passionate about equipping clients with the skills they need to navigate their mental health journey and find healing through safe and open communication.

Katrina, RSW, BA

Registered Social Worker, Registered Psychotherapist

Katrina headshot. Words of hope counselling

Katrina has been told by clients that she is a highly empathetic therapist. She is passionate about helping her clients to improve their mental health and well-being. Her approach is one where she works collaboratively with clients to create a path towards their healing.

Katrina has worked hard to have two separate designations and is proudly a Registered Social Worker (holds a BA in Psychology & Honors Degree in SW) and a Registered Psychotherapist with a Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology. She also has an advanced diploma in child and youth work.

She believes that therapy can be a tool to foster self-development, self-understanding, self-acceptance and compassion. Katrina uses a multi-dimensional approach, utilizing a variety of modalities to meet her client’s needs, all with an understanding that each individual is unique.

When working with individuals, Katrina draws from therapeutic modalities such as Trauma-Informed Approach, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy. When having the pleasure of working with couples, Katrina utilizes the Gottman Method approach. She also believes strongly that her clients are the experts of their experiences, therefore incorporates a strength-based and person-centered approach at all times.

Katrina has extensive experience working with adults, children, youth, couples and families; supporting a wide range of needs through individual, couple and family therapy sessions.

She works with clients struggling with anxiety, mood disorders, depression, relationship issues, grief, ADHD, autism, FASD, crisis intervention, neonatal bereavement, low self-worth, and generally feeling stuck or stressed.

Katrina looks forward to supporting you in a warm, non-judgmental, and safe space.

Holly, RN, CNP/CPN

Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Psychotherapist/Certified Psychotherapy Nurses

Holly Profile.

Holly comes with a vast amount of experience, working with people in a variety of vulnerable
populations, both acute and chronic conditions, from obstetrics to palliative care.
She has had the privilege to work in a multitude of environments both in hospital and in the
community, caring for, educating and counseling clients.

She focused her clinical practice to specialize in Mental Health in 2009. She has continued to expand her knowledge and skill through the years to include both clinical and Holistic modalities for the treatment of the Human experience and Mental Health.

In 2013 she completed her Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher Certification to increase her education of mindfulness and somatic treatment. Then she passed examination through the Canadian Nurses Association to be a certified Mental Health Psychiatric Nurse.

In 2021 she completed her Reiki Master to expand in energy practices of healing. Then in 2022 she embarked on a path to become an equine therapist by completing her Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator and since has qualified as a Certified Psychotherapist Nurse.

She approaches clients’ unique needs, to empower her clients to improve their quality of life and functioning. Building connection to self and others, healthy relationships, self esteem,and coping skills.
She applies different clinical approaches including, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), emotionally Focused, Humanistic Mindfulness-Based, Somatic, Strength-Based and Trauma focused informed care.

Some of her specialties include, working with clients struggling with,codependency, grief, pregnancy loss, trauma in healthcare-professionals, women’s Issues, stress, trauma, CPTSD, and PTSD.

Let’s work together to help you expand in yourself and thrive in this thing called life.

Bimalpreet, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Bimalpreet-headshot. Sitting on a coach in the Words of Hope Office.

As a committed and skillful therapist, Bimalpreet feels privileged to work with individuals and couples during some of their most difficult times. She knows that clients are entrusting their sensitive issues to a professional and Bimalpreet creates a safe space that enables clients to work through their issues in a non-judgemental space. Bimalpreet is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She proudly is a Member of the Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists and the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals. She completed her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. She also earned her Master of Psychology degree and completed her further studies in New Zealand. With an empathetic, warm, interactive and accepting approach, she can provide counselling in various languages, including Hindi, Punjabi and English. Her experiences working in a cross-cultural context, including India, New Zealand, and Canada, helps her to understand human behaviour in diverse cultural circumstances.

Bimalpreet supports couples using the Gottman method therapy. She utilizes different techniques, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Client-Centered, Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness Meditation, and Relaxation Techniques, to support people dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, individual trauma, motor vehicle accident trauma, and low self-esteem.

Bimalpreet can help you develop greater self-awareness, find resolve of difficult emotions or experiences, identify your goals and discover your authentic self, all while feeling supported and safe.

Karen Szabo, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Karen Headshot - Barrie Therapist.

Karen is a compassionate and empathetic counsellor who is dedicated to providing a safe non-judgmental space for you to freely speak your truth. She understands each individual has their own unique needs and can tailor your sessions accordingly. Her goal is to give you room to explore yourself and lead the sessions in whichever direction you feel they need to go.

Karen’s motivation comes from her own personal mental health journey through her teenage years and into adulthood. With a husband and child of her own along with being in therapy herself, she is well equipped and dedicated in supporting you towards living a fuller life while guiding you toward self-awareness and empowerment. She has experience working with couples, men, women, and children 12 and older. She has worked with a variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, disordered eating, and postpartum depression and anxiety.

Karen has experience working with CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Gottman Couples’ Therapy, and Mindfulness.

Jihan Girgis, MDiv, RP (Qualifying)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

Jihan-headshot. Words of hope counselling barrie. Therapist.

Life is a journey with ups and downs. We all face challenges, and they can leave us feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even depressed if left too long. In these difficult times, it can be challenging to ask for help but it’s definitely worth it to reach out. If you’re reading this you’re already moving forward, looking for someone to help you. Finding the right therapist is essential as it’s the leading factor for positive outcomes in therapy. Look for someone who ‘gets you’, in other words someone who is easy to talk with, has good listening skills and a love for helping others. Jihan believes she has these skills and would be honoured to work with you.

She specializes in mood disorders, trauma, grief, interpersonal relationships and couples. Jihan offers treatment using different modalities such as EMDR, CBT, Narrative and Solution Focussed therapies among others. Specifically, EMDR therapy is an empirically validated treatment for trauma. It is an 8 phase modality that deals with Trauma and relies mainly on the ability of the brain to process and make sense and new meanings of traumas in life. For further information on EMDR please review https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy

Jihan will meet you where you are at in life, listen wholeheartedly to your challenges then together will create a unique treatment plan that works for you. She always takes into account what you, the client, want out of therapy so that your goals can be achieved.