Toronto Couples Therapist, Family Therapist and Psychotherapist
I am a father of three amazing young adults in Toronto. 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 most frustrating responsibility.
I have always enjoyed children. As a teenager, I began working with “troubled children” at summer camps progressing from counsellor to camp director in my early twenties. I found that combining the love of the outdoors 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. At the same time it was inspiring for me to witness how some young people overcame huge obstacles.
Eventually I turned my attention to learning about how families worked. 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 couples and family therapist and have worked intensively with couples, adolescents and their families.
My strong interest and natural listening ability helped me become a very good counsellor empathizing with both parents and teens. I have been told that I excel at bridging the gap between them. When both parties are feeling discouraged, I 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. The teenager years in particular are incredibly challenging. Our kids and can hurt us to our core. They also can be a great source of joy and pride.
I also learned professionally and personally how fragile the bond of marriage can become. Falling in love is easy. Keeping the love alive is much harder. There are tremendous pressures and expectations on couples. Work, extended family, raising children, financial issues, health problems, alcohol or drug use to name a few. I know how little problems neglected, turn into bigger problems for the relationship.
My own marriage of 23 years ended about 10 years ago. Despite every effort we made including couples therapy at several points during the marriage, we were not able to save it. It is a humbling experience knowing what I know professionally and still not being able to keep my personal relationship alive. After the separation, I spent a period of time grieving the end of our marriage. I focused on helping my children adjust to the loss of the family as they knew it. I became closer to my children even though I saw them less often. I was more deliberate in making sure I attended to their needs.
I was eventually ready to date and found and fell deeply in love with an absolutely wonderful woman. We dated for several years as we each adjusted to being separated while being ever mindful of each of our teenagers’ well being. We both tried to put our children’s needs first while not neglecting our relationship. We now live together and have a very happy, secure and loving relationship. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance at finding love.
I have always loved learning. Throughout my career, as a clinical supervisor for counsellors in a public child and family service organization, a university field instructor of masters level student social workers and as a clinical supervisor of therapists currently, I stay current of the most effective approaches to help address a wide range of challenges through professional training, supervision and extensive reading.
I also like to learn from you how to be successful. I do that by getting your feedback from session to session. Not only does systematic collection of your progress and satisfaction with sessions improve your chance of reaching your goals, it also tells us how successful we are and how we can get better at what we do. People are 7.5 times more likely to accomplish their stated goals we me than if they did not seek professional help.
At this point in my career of over 30 years, I continue to love what I do. Seeing couples, families and individuals overcome obstacles, renew their resilience and rekindle love, always brings me great joy. I feel very fortunate to be able to make a meaningful difference in the quality of other people’s lives.
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. 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.
- I studied at the International Family Therapy Praticum, Rome, Italy, 1989 and 1991.
- 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.
- Couples Therapy – (Certified EFT Couples Therepist) – affair recovery, improved communication and rekindled emotional and physical intimacy.
- Family Therapist and Parent Teen Counsellor – parent and teen conflict, parenting after divorce and remarriage. A.D.(H.)D., difficult behaviour,
- Personal Counselling for Adults, Teens and Young Adults – Relationship problems, grief, loss, trauma, anger management, depression, stress, anxiety and panic.
- Psychotherapy for Adults – Adjustment to major life changes like death or divorce, adults dealing childhood abuse trauma.
Those who have seen him have reported that Allan is very approachable and emphatic. For example, comments have included the following:“A very sensitive and caring person” “Someone who always made me feel good about myself” “Really helpful in clarifying issues” “Soft-spoken and emphatic without being patronizing” “I immediately felt comfortable in his office – neither judged or rushed. I felt really listened to and that my concerns were real.” “He is insightful and patient; very skilled at helping us both to become aware of how we were communicating with each other.” “Allan provided great ideas, practical suggestions.”
If you think you or your family could benefit from counselling or therapy, please book your Free Initial Phone Consultation so I can answer your questions or to make an appointment.
To claim payments through your employee extended health benefit package, please check if your benefits provider covers Registered Social Workers. If they do, then you will be able to claim reimbursement with the receipts.
Still have some questions? Call 416 489-5053
New Insights Counselling has couples therapists/marriage counsellors, as well as a teen and family therapists with counselling services in midtown Toronto at Yonge and Eglinton serving North York, Etobicoke, East York, Scarborough and in Newmarket serving Aurora, Bradford, Holland Landing, King City, Schomberg, Stoufville and Uxbridge Ontario.