Shift Cognitive Therapy + Assessment

Shift Cognitive Therapy + Assessment - psychologists and counsellers in Oakville, ON

Psychologists & Counsellors in Oakville, ON

Shift Cognitive Therapy + Assessment is a team of psychologists and counsellers in Oakville, ON. We specialize in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression and anxiety for children, teens and adults.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & Emotion-Focused Therapy

The goal of cognitive behaviour therapy is to help individuals become aware of the thoughts and patterns of behaviour that keep them feeling stuck. Its focus is on the ‘here-and-now’ to help relieve current symptoms and address current problems.

Emotion-Focused Therapy is an approach to couples and family issues that focuses on identifying and correcting repetitive and dysfunctional patterns that leave people feeling alone and unsupported. EFT helps members of a couple or family to remain engaged with each other in order to better communicate what each really needs from the other.



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The Psychological Assessment Team at Shift Cognitive Therapy + Assessment provides psychological and psychoeducational assessment services to young people between 5 and 19 years of age and their families. This team also assesses adults who want to learn if they may have ADHD.

Free Initial Phone Consultation

Once you or your family doctor contacts our practice, one of our psychologists will arrange a brief, free, phone conversation with you to understand the nature of your concerns and to determine which of our clinicians would best suit your needs. If you decide to book an appointment, we’ll do that with you then.

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Our Services

Our pscyhology and counselling services in Oakville can help with a wide variety of difficulties, including clinical issues and everyday concerns. We specialize in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) for the treatment for a variety of issues and concerns. 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

The goal of cognitive behaviour therapy is to help individuals become aware of thoughts and patterns of behaviour that keep them feeling stuck. Its focus is on the ‘here-and-now’ to help relieve current symptoms and address current problems. Clinical research shows that cognitive therapy is as effective as medication for the treatment of anxiety and depression, without the associated side effects. When it comes to maintaining wellness and preventing relapse, cognitive therapy is more effective than medication. A typical course of treatment is between 10 and 20 sessions

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) for Couples

Emotion-Focused Therapy is an approach to couples and family issues that focuses on identifying and correcting repetitive and dysfunctional patterns that leave people feeling alone and unsupported. EFT helps members of a couple or family to remain engaged with each other in order to better communicate what each really needs from the other. EFT is a short-term therapy, usually lasting between 8 – 20 sessions after the initial assessment. Outcome studies show more than 70% recovery from marital distress within 10 – 12 sessions.

Anxiety and Panic Attack Therapy

At Shift Cognitive Therapy we use CBT to teach anxiety sufferers to overcome the thoughts and behaviours that maintain anxiety. CBT for anxiety often begins with education about the body’s defence systems and the power of thinking errors. By increasing a person’s understanding of the types of triggers that cause anxiety, clients learn to experience anxious arousal from a more logical perspective and with less fear.

ADHD/ADD Therapy Services

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a condition in which a person has trouble sustaining attention and focusing on tasks; they may tend to act without thinking and have trouble sitting still.

It usually begins in early childhood and can continue into adulthood. An individual with ADHD finds it much more difficult to focus on something without being distracted. In other words, a person with ADHD is much more impulsive and restless. Without treatment, ADHD can cause problems at home, at school, at work, and with relationships.

The first step in our process is an accurate diagnosis of ADHD and an understanding of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Learning about ADHD will help you and your child’s siblings better understand how to help your child. Treatment of ADHD is usually a combination of behaviour therapy and medication.

Treatment with medication will depend on the age of your child. Research has shown that cognitive behavioural therapy for children produces effects that are equal to some doses of medication. Data suggests that behaviour therapy combined with lower doses of medication provides a better outcome than stimulant medication or behavioural therapies alone.

Cogmed Working Memory Training

Improve Your Child’s Attention, Behaviour and Capacity to Learn. Cogmed strengthens working memory through a set of computerized exercises in the same way that lifting weights builds muscle, and just as attending the gym with a personal trainer is more effective than attending alone, we pair each student with a Certified Cogmed Coach to ensure the best results. Research, drawn from more than 50, peer-reviewed and published studies, shows that Cogmed results in actual changes to the brain systems that support working memory, meaning that results continue to grow beyond the training period.

Working memory is critical for student success. A greater working memory capacity translates into:

  • Better focus on-task and improved ability to ignore distractions;
  • More effective multi-tasking because individuals can keep the separate demands of each activity in mind longer;
  • Better abilities to follow instructions;
  • Easier to delay gratification and resist acting on momentary urges;
  • Easier to recall and manipulate information in timed settings, like tests and exams;
  • Improved performance in math and reading comprehension.

Depression Therapy Services

When feeling depressed, people think negatively about themselves, the world and the future. These types of thoughts are distortions that can look and feel true, but only when a person is depressed. At Shift Cognitive Therapy we use CBT to help people become aware of and challenge distorted thoughts that lead to depression. We also focus on changing behaviours that reinforce depression, making it easier to return to normal living.

CBT for depression is an active, ‘doing’ therapy and not simply a talking therapy. It is a collaborative process where the client and psychologist work together to identify strategies that will be effective. CBT has a long history of research-based support showing that it is effective as a treatment and flexible enough to adapt to any person’s particular situation and needs.

Family Therapy Services

Using Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and other models, Shift psychologists help provide a sense of safety in couples’ and family sessions, de-escalating conflicts and helping disengaged members to re-engage.

Fear of Flying Therapy

Most people who are afraid to fly have never had an incident on a plane. This isn’t surprising. The airline industry is so heavily regulated and controlled that accidents involving airplanes are exceedingly rare. Yet many people feel too afraid to fly and avoid travelling.

Are you afraid to fly? Don’t be. It’s a choice and you can learn to make it. Learn more at www.afraidtofly.ca.

Marriage Counselling Services

Couples bring a unique dynamic to therapy. Both parties play a role in building the relationship and implementing solutions to any problems they may be dealing with. It is important that couples who want to work specifically on their relationship see a professional trained in addressing relationship issues, such as with Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples.

Relationship Therapy Services

We Help Couples And Family Groups Feel More Connected. Effective communication with the people who are most important in our lives is the ‘grease’ that allows the wheels of relationships to spin. Using Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and other models, Shift psychologists help provide a sense of safety in couples’ and family sessions, de-escalating conflicts and helping disengaged members to re-engage.

There is no blame within our therapies, only efforts to bring partners and family members closer together, so they can communicate what they really need from the relationship.

Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD) Treatment

“Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD) is an anxiety condition that can result from assaults or abuse, motor vehicle accidents, military combat, natural disasters, or from any situation that causes people to fear for their safety.

We provide PTSD therapy services that give people suffering a chance to treat their symptoms and resume a more normal life. CBT is an effective treatment for the symptoms of PTSD because it deals directly with the avoidance-based coping that maintains problems and symptoms. Treatment often starts with education about how the body protects itself, so clients can begin to experience their arousal from a more logical perspective and with less fear.

Other emotions, like guilt, shame and anger, that can also interfere with normal functioning are addressed as well. A technique called exposure forms a critical part of the treatment plan. In it, the client and therapist work together to revisit specific aspects of the traumatic experience.

Psycho-Educational Assessment

Psychoeducational assessments are useful when children and teens struggle with learning or behaviour, or when their social or emotional skills are less developed than expected. These challenges can be symptoms of hidden problems with attention or organization or reflect learning disabilities that affect academic skills, like reading and math.

Left unidentified, educational problems can spiral into secondary issues, like low self-esteem, depression, school refusal, anxiety and anger. Psychoeducational assessments are also useful to identify gifted children who might benefit from additional educational resources.

Early assessment, diagnosis and treatment give you and your child the tools necessary to use existing strengths to overcome limitations before problems take root. We conduct comprehensive psychological and educational assessments of children between the ages of 5 and 19 years. We also provide assessments for teens going on to post-secondary education.

Possible outcomes of a psycho-educational assessment may include diagnosis of a learning disability, a developmental disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or a psychological diagnosis, such as anxiety. The report received after a psycho-educational assessment can be shared with your child’s school to produce an Individual Education Plan (IEP). 

About Shift Cognitive Therapy + Assessment

Our team of psychologists and counsellors have been providing quality psychological therapy and assessment services to the children, adolescents, couples, families, and individuals in Oakville and Halton Region since 2004.

Our psychology and counselling services provides help for you and your family for a wide variety of clinical issues and everyday concerns including anger management, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, marriage counselling, social phobia, parenting, school performance issues and more.

Our Team

Our Treatment Team provides therapy and diagnostic services to children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.

Dr. Ian Shulman, Ph.D., C.Psych. - Clinic Director

Dr. Ian Shulman is a clinical psychologist with an energetic and creative style, who enjoys working with adolescents, adults, couples and families. He has extensive experience in individual and marital/couples therapy and psychological evaluation. He also runs Shift’s Fly Without Fear program, in which he teaches people how to overcome their fear and anxiety about flying.

Ian’s approach is warm and engaging and he believes that all people have within them the power to create the kind of life they want to lead.

Siren Busch, M.A., C.Psych.Assoc.

Siren Busch is a Psychological Associate practicing in the areas of Counseling, Clinical and Forensic Psychology. She is passionate about supporting adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, anger, substance use, and histories of trauma. 

Dr. Kristina Wilder, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Dr. Kristina Wilder works with clients of all ages and backgrounds, including children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families.  Kristina believes in working transparently with clients, collaborating to meet their goals. She works with a variety of issues, including anxiety, trauma and abuse, depression, and relationship challenges.

Dr. Lisa Dulgar-Tulloch, Ph.D., C.Psych

Dr. Lisa Dulgar-Tulloch is a clinical and health psychologist who enjoys working with individuals across a broad spectrum of experiences and identities with a clinical focus on treating relationship issues, anxiety and mood disorders, trauma, and stress-related illnesses.

Using the frameworks of cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy, Lisa helps clients shift their focus to the here and now, placing a high value on an individual’s existing strengths while identifying areas for personal growth. She believes therapy should incorporate empathy, compassion, and a sense of humour.

Dr. Jo-Ann Reitzel, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Jo-Ann Reitzel, Ph.D., is a clinical and school psychologist who has enjoyed working with children and youth, and their families for more than 35 years. She has extensive experience in individual assessments and consultations with families, schools and physicians about children’s strengths and needs, and to make recommendations to improve success and wellbeing. Jo-Ann uses a flexible and goal-directed approach to treatment, believing that every child and family deserve effective interventions that fit their specific needs.

Ali Shahrami, M.Ps., C.Psych.

Ali Shahrami is a clinical psychologist and a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), with over 20 years of experience working with adults, children and adolescents.  Ali enjoys working with adults and children who have challenging behavioural and mental health issues, including ADHD, Autism, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He is passionate about psychology and the opportunity it provides for him to help people discover their unique qualities and values.

Candice Hamilton-Miller, M.Sc., R.P.

Candice Hamilton-Miller is an experienced and versatile member of our Assessment Follow-Up Team. As a therapist, Candice works to engage children, adolescents and adults in the process of their own change, carefully tailoring her approach to fit with the client’s individual needs and abilities. She has extensive experience supporting the families of children with special needs, including mental health challenges, like depression, anxiety, ADHD and learning disabilities, as well as with issues like autism and speech and language problems.

Elise Ditner, M.Sc., C.Psych. Assoc. (Supervised Practice)

Elise Ditner has over 20 years of experience providing psychoeducational assessments and support to elementary and secondary students who are experiencing difficulties with issues like ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, emotional self-regulation, and difficulties with planning, organization and time management.

Using a combination of assessment and consultative skills, Elise looks beyond the diagnosis to help families and schools really understand an individual’s challenges, and works with them to develop strategies to enhance learning and performance at school and in ‘real life.’

Dr. Jo-Ann Reitzel

Jo-Ann Reitzel, Ph.D., is a clinical and school psychologist who has enjoyed working with children and youth, and their families for more than 35 years. Jo-Ann uses a flexible and goal-directed approach to treatment, believing that every child and family deserve effective interventions that fit their specific needs.

 

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Rebuilding Family Connections with Family Therapy

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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression

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What is Relationship Therapy?

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905-849-1288

466 Speers Rd. Suite 220,
Oakville, ON, L6K 3W9

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Monday

9:00 am

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5:00 pm

Tuesday

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5:00 pm

Wednesday

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Thursday

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7:00 pm

Friday

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7:00 pm

Saturday

10:00 am

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2:00 pm

Sunday

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