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A little
about me 

When I am not working with clients,  you can probably find me enjoying the company of my various animals or family.  I  live on a small horse farm outside of Toronto with my husband of 22 years, two teenage daughters and 3 horses, 3 dogs and 2 cats all of whom I adore!   My human and animal family are the most important things in the world to me, and I love learning with them, working with them, or just hanging out.  

I love to laugh and have fun.  I love playing games-both indoors and out.  I enjoy challenging myself to do things that make me uncomfortable; like Brene Brown says, "Choose courage over comfort".  In the last year alone, I have learned to use a jigsaw to cut patterns in wood, operate a chainsaw, and chop wood with an axe, just to name a few!

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My Qualifications

I’m Natasha Wakefield, a Registered Psychotherapist (College of Registered Psychotherapists Ontario) with a Master’s degree in Counselling and 20 years of clinical experience working with couples, families, individuals and groups. I am also a member in good standing of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. I work hard to ensure that all of my clients feel safe and heard to help them heal themselves and their relationships.  In my practice, I am deliberate and genuine in my creation of a safe, judgement free zone.

 

My therapeutic approach is primarily influenced by Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) where, “connection is everything”. I have deep gratitude for Sue Johnson and Emotionally Focused Therapy for not only catapulting my therapeutic skills but changing the trajectory of my life.  It fundamentally changed the way I practice therapy, but also changed how I approach relationships in my personal life, delivering deeper, more lasting connections and love.  

I have also been heavily influenced and find a lot of solace and power in Brene Brown's work.  She started off studying Happiness, which led her to study shame and shame resilience.  It turns out, those who are able to share their vulnerability with those who have earned the right to hear their story live the most wholehearted lives.  Brene can be found all over the web, has done inspirational Ted Talks, has numerous segments with Oprah, has published numerous books, and has 2 weekly podcasts.  Brene literally reminds me daily to stay awkward, brave, and kind.

I have also been heavily influenced by Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.  This model is complex and simple at the same time.  It helps make sense of behaviour that at times seems unsensible.  Extremely simplified, it uses a Playful, Accepting, Curious and Empathic approach to explore and help understand challenging behaviours in children and parents, and create a different, lasting bond between family members.

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Models of Therapy
I provide a unique blend of attachment focused, trauma informed, evidence based therapy with the healing power of horses and nature.  Decades of neuroscience tells us that the path to health and happiness is through connection with others (One example is the Harvard Study on Human Happiness).  I will help you understand, strengthen and restructure your most important relationships, leading you to a more satisfying life.  
I work from a trauma informed, attachment focused lens.  I believe that human emotions and behaviour make sense, sometimes we just need to stay curious a little longer.  While emotions are valid and inform us, our behaviours when we are hurt or sad do not result in the comfort and connection we long for.  I will help you restructure the emotion - behaviour loop, in an effort to bring you the love and security that you crave. 
 
I offer couple, individual and family counselling primarily based on Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Emotionally Focused Therapy, or EFT, uses science to make sense of what doesn't make sense...why do perfectly intelligent, functioning individuals act so irrationally when it comes to the most important relationships in their lives?  Through the use of EFT, I will help you make sense of your emotions and behaviour and map out what happens in your closest relationships.  EFT is a researched, proven method to provide long term change in the way we all move together finding deeper love, connection, and  understanding.

 

I also use a Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), which compliments EFT.  This model has its theoretical underpinnings based on attachment (or love), just as EFT does.  Both models honour the effects of complex trauma and integrate the latest research in brain science.  DDP was first developed to heal the bonds of attachment with adopted or foster children, but has since been modified and researched as an effective framework and model of therapy for distressed families.  I am also deeply influenced by the work of Brene Brown.  You may have seen her on TED Talks or Oprah.  Her thoughts around shame resilience and the path toward wholeheartedness are life altering. Like EFT, her theories and strategies are founded in research, and have personally and professionally changed me in how I live, work and love. 

Why Matatoa?

Matatoa is the name of my beloved horse farm that my family and I call home.  This farm was a dream in the making for a decade before we managed to make it a reality, to be honest it is still very much a work in progress.  The word Matatoa is a Maori word that means fearless, courageous or unafraid which are all qualities we needed to take the chance to move here, leave my position as Clinical Manager of a large Children's Mental Health Organization, and build our lives.  The Maoris are native New Zealanders, the original inhabitants of the country where I was born and to which I hold a deep affinity. Welcome to Matatoa!

What now?

Welcome to Matatoa!  I'm so excited to go on this journey with you!  

So, what's next?

I'm glad you asked!  I offer a free consultation call, which I would recommend you use-it is an opportunity to get to know me a little and try to imagine if I am a good fit for you.  You can absolutely ask anything you'd like, and tell me a little bit about what you are dealing with.  After that, I will sign you up to my online portal, send a few forms, and you are able to book your first session.   You can set this up through the book now function, or send an email and I'll let you now when I'm available :)

If you are ready to go, and wish to forego the free call, then drop me an email explaining that, and I can hook you up right away.

Right now, I am accepting new clients and likely have openings in my schedule in the next week (I try to have more available appointment times than active clients so that everyone can be seen).  

How quickly will it work?

This is a common question, and very hard to predict. It depends on your goals, who is attending, and what experiences have impacted your ability to achieve your goals. Most couples where neither partner has significant trauma history should expect to see significant and lasting results in only 12 sessions.  The more complicated your histories, the longer it may take.  Families may experience change more quickly.  It all depends on the complexity of what you bring, your goals, the connections that can support you along the way, and your work between sessions.

Will it be covered by my Insurance?

I am a Registered Psychotherapist, and most Insurance Providers do cover this designation.  Please check it out with your provider to avoid frustration and expense!

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