Susan Armitage, Anger Management, Anxiety, Panic and Depression Counselling, Toronto

By: Susan Armitage  09-12-2011
Keywords: parenting, Anger management, family therapy

Individual Therapy

This is one-on-one counselling you may need at times of feeling down, discouraged, angry, stressed, or perhaps feeling stuck in your circumstances. I can work with you through your relationship issues, family of origin struggles, self-esteem concerns, depression, anxiety, and many other difficulties life may have thrown your way.  Models of therapy include Emotion-Focused Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

Couple Therapy

As a Marriage and Family therapist, I primarily use Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) to help you discover what is happening behind the stress and anger that both you and your partner experience when there is marital discord.  I can help you recognize your familiar patterns and negative interactions that send you into a downward spiral, and help you learn to respond to one another with less anger, and greater empathy and insight.  With EFT, as a couple you will be able to create a safe emotional connection so that when emotional stress hits, you will be able to reach for each other and support one another.

Whether you are looking to strengthen your marriage through life’s challenges, or to work on a relationship that is struggling with issues such as communication, intimacy, parenting, family of origin, infidelity or loss, I can help you gain strategies for change and improvement.

Family Therapy

Family relationships are the most satisfying and fulfilling relationships and at the same time are potentially the most emotionally-charged and heartbreaking relationships.  Even when there is a struggle between only two family members, all family members are affected.  When it comes to family therapy, it is important to consider and work with the family as a whole as well as each dyadic relationship within the family.  This can be between a parent and child/teen, in-laws, siblings, extended family, step-parenting/blended families, separation/divorce struggles such as co-parenting, and many other difficulties. I have specific training in Family Systems Theory as well as Emotionally-Focused Family Therapy and can work with you in seeing how small or large issues between any two or more family members affect the whole family.

It is preferable, that as many family members attend as possible.

Anger Management

As a Certified Anger Management Facilitator, and a Marriage and Family Therapist with training in Emotionally-Focused Therapy, I provide a unique integrated approach to anger that is much more than psycho-educational.  You will benefit from exploring and processing emotions hidden behind anger.  You will also begin to heal from the effects of past hurts, the ones that you may not realize are controlling your present reactions.  Complementary to this program are other techniques such as building your emotional intelligence, assertiveness training, Cognitive-behavioural therapy, and more.  Whether you want to overcome anger in order to build better relationships, or you need it as part of an unfortunate legal proceeding, the changes you make through this program will help you build useful life skills that will positively impact your life.

Post-MVA Assessments and Treatment

A comprehensive psychological assessment and treatment can be provided for clients having experienced the effects of a motor-vehicle accident. The after-effects of motor vehicle trauma may include depression, anxiety, irritability, fears of driving, adjustments to physical limitations, loss or grief, to name a few. A psychological assessment is not only used to determine the extent of accident-related difficulties, but may verify whether or not the individual would benefit from trauma recovery therapy.

Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Anxiety and stress are normal reactions to the busyness of our current lifestyles.  However, anxiety becomes a problem when it interferes to the extent that we cannot cope with our day-to-day activities in stride, and/or the interference lasts for an extended period of time.  At times anxiety and stress can become debilitating and cause panic attacks and panic disorder.  I have an approach that consists of getting to the biological, physiological, cognitive, emotional and spiritual roots of anxiety.   With the proper treatment, you can overcome high anxiety and panic disorder.


Varying types of trauma may be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or spiritual. It may be as a result of abuse, or may be as a result of an accident. It may be something lived through childhood, the effects of which may resurface as PTSD in adulthood, or it may be from a recent occurrence. I offer therapeutic interventions that can help diminish the recurrence of symptoms and restore a sense of peace.


Depression may be situational or physiological and may gradually become overwhelming.  It can feel like you’re walking around with weight on your shoulders and heavy boots on your feet.  Your energy is sapped, and you’re tired but you can’t sleep properly.  The sadness can be crushing.  Studies indicate that therapy can have a great effect on improving depression, especially when coupled with medication.  Therapy can help you process the emotions that are connected with depression.  As I walk with you along the road to recovery, we can explore the root causes, and apply two integrated therapeutic methods that are known to be helpful such as Emotionally-Focused Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.

Grief Therapy

Grief is a natural reaction to loss. It may be the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, loss of physical abilities, or loss of dreams or plans for the future. Those in grief go through a process of working through the joy and pain of memories as they go forward through the seasons, and eventually arrive at a place of new beginnings. Unresolved grief, however, leaves you limiting your involvement in life, protecting your heart. Grief therapy will go further than allowing you to put your thoughts and feelings into words, it will address your sense of incompleteness and address unfinished emotional business.

Post-Abortion Counselling

At times women report no emotional post-abortive effects. Other times, women report effects of unexpressed grief, hidden guilt, physical trauma, spiritual concerns, and even PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Unexpressed grief may contribute to depression, and needs to be processed. Literature on the effects of abortion on men is sparse, but the consequences on many men are much the same as for women. Men, too, at times, feel the effects of loss, regret, grief and spiritual questions regarding their involvement. Some women and men have spiritual concerns that include fears of having committed an unforgiveable sin; however, spiritual healing comes in the context of understanding the vast capacity of God’s forgiveness. Those who feel they need emotional healing through therapy will have an opportunity to process the effects of abortion in their lives through therapy with me.

Communication Skills/Assertiveness Skills

Whether it’s within individual, couple or family therapy, learning effective communication skills will help you resolve issues through conflict resolution. You will learn ways to express your needs without aggression or anger, how to be heard, how to stand up for your rights while respecting the rights of others, and in so doing, improving relationships in your life. Communication involves both spoken and unspoken messages such as body language, signs, expressions and eye contact, distance, tone and volume. I can assist you in mastering these tools in order to greatly increase your relationships.

Parenting Skills

Parenting can be very fulfilling while at the same time being a very taxing and frustrating experience. As parents, we may face trust and respect problems, school performance issues, anxieties, depression, withdrawal, or anger in our children and adolescents. When our children are failing to make healthy and appropriate life choices, we face considerable challenges. I can help you master parenting skills that will help each family member manage anger and frustration while developing respect for one another.

Self-Esteem Development

How you view your self-worth affects every area of your life and all of your relationships. Therapy will help you strengthen your self-esteem by changing the way you think, helping you overcome disappointment, helping you manage emotions, and helping to bring healing to unresolved pain that may be at the root of the problem. I can help you take your story that diminished your self-esteem and rewrite it into a story that will help you develop self-compassion, and a healthier appreciation of yourself as a human being.

Premarital Counselling

Using the Prepare/Enrich Program, couples are given comprehensive assessments, feedback and skill-building exercises that will help them examine their strengths and growth areas, develop conflict resolution skills, and learn how to overcome stumbling blocks. I offer this program for premarital counselling, marriage preparation, and marriage enrichment, and it is, of course, equally effective for common-law relationships.

Serving individuals, couples and families of the GTA, Greater Toronto Area, including the Communities of Thornhill, Richmond Hill, King City, Toronto, North York, Markham, Maple, Woodbridge, Barrie, Newmarket, Vaughan, Durham and York Region.

Keywords: Anger management, Couple Therapy, family therapy, Individual Therapy, parenting