My name is Ghia Townsend. I have a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, Post-graduate training in Couple and Family Therapy and I am also in the process of completing my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I am a registered member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) in good standing. I am also a Certified Sex Therapist with the Board of Examiners in Sex Therapy and Counselling in Ontario (BESTCO) licensed to practice Counselling and Clinical Psychology with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.
I have had the privilege of working in diverse positions across the discipline of Psychology and Counselling over the past 14 years in the roles of University Lecturer, Deputy Director of Counselling and Psychological Services, Clinical Psychologist and Case Manager, Coordinator of Doctoral Programs, Professor, Psychometrist and Therapist. Currently, I practice both Clinical and Counselling Psychology as a member of a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians at Toronto Psychological Services (TPS), which is a private psychology clinic in West Toronto that caters to the mental health and well-being of individuals, couples, families and groups.
I immigrated to Canada from the beautiful island of Jamaica with my family in tow. At that time, I was pleasantly surprised by the effort that went into welcoming immigrants. Since then, I continue to be impressed by Canada’s overall commitment to being an inclusive society which is quite evident, for example, in workplace equity and diversity policies. As a black, female healthcare professional in Toronto, I place a high premium on understanding, respecting, appreciating, and embracing diversity. This value informs my clinical/counselling practice and guides the way I interact with my clients.
There is no other city in Canada where it is more important to understand and embrace diversity than the city of Toronto and the GTA. Here you will find a mosaic of beautiful people who; Are differently-abled (i.e., possessing physical, mental, sensory, or learning differences, etc.); Are of varying races with differences that are apparent in their physical appearance; Have cultural differences that are expressed through nationality, language, beliefs, ancestry and religion, etc.; Identify with specific sexual orientations (i.e., heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality, etc.); And who identify with varying genders (male, female, transgendered, etc.). We are all united by our common humanity, and therefore our differences can serve to enrich our total experiences (Read my blog titled, “Respecting Diversity in Counselling” for more information related to how I work with Diversity in my practice of Clinical and Counselling Psychology).
I consider myself fortunate to be able to do the work that I do. There is seldom a dull moment because each client is unique, which makes the therapeutic process dynamic and interesting. I love people and for that reason, I relish the opportunity of being a facilitator of their change process as we work together to relieve their suffering, as well as increase their sense of happiness and personal well-being.
The most common feedback from my clients concerning their experience in our sessions together is that they did not expect that the process could be enjoyable given the seriousness of their concerns. Additionally, clients who have referred other clients have primarily described me as a compassionate, sensitive and socially engaging person who set them at ease and made it comfortable for them to talk about and work through challenging and sensitive issues. In response, I often highlight the fact that every therapist is different and our unique personalities, as well as our ability to connect with our clients, influences the therapeutic process as well as the outcome of the sessions. For that reason, I not only focus on using evidence-based techniques to assist my clients but place equal emphasis on establishing a great connection that enhances the overall therapeutic experience.