SNAPSHOT

As a psychotherapist, my goal is to provide genuine, acceptance and strength-based support while accompany you on a journey of self-reflection, appreciation for others and exploration of alternative perspectives around life’s gifts and challenges. In doing so, I hope to share how living in the moment allows us to be more in tune with our inherent knowledge of self and others – and how when we intentionally think and act from this place – we can arrive upon our own solutions and make the changes that help us feel closer to our ideal selves in our lives and relationships.

 

Hi! My name is Kelly Fife.

I operate a cozy, home-based private practice offering short-term and longer-term psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families. I have experience working with people of all ages, backgrounds and identities and greatly value the diverse range of perspectives that all individuals have to offer.

MY CREDENTIALS:
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology (Brock University)
  • Master’s of Science Degree, specialty in Couple and Family Therapy (University of Guelph)
  • Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
  • Registered Marriage and Family Therapist with the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
THIS IS ME!

Ever since I was a little girl sitting in my living room watching “What About Bob?” for the first time, I knew I wanted to be a therapist. By the time my teenage years were over, I’d had enough life experiences to know that psychiatry and psychology were not for me. I found them far too focussed on the individual as the problem and this just did not fit with my experience. In my experience, individual “problems” are “symptoms” of a larger/systemic problem, whether that be a problem within a society, a family, an intimate relationship, a friendship, a workplace and/or so on. As a result, shortly after beginning my Honours B.A. in Psychology, I knew I wanted to pursue my M.Sc. in Couple and Family Therapy. With this said, it was important to me to gain a little more life experience before jumping into the role of psychotherapist, so I worked at McMaster University as a Research Coordinator for five years in between these two degrees. In this role, I designed and implemented research projects investigating child and parent mental health and family functioning across Canadian and immigrant families.

In 2015 I graduated from the Couple and Family Therapy Program offered by the University of Guelph with my M.Sc. This program is the only program in Canada currently accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and one of few accredited by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. My first job upon graduation was working as a therapist with Interval House of Hamilton. It was here that I realized my passion for supporting individuals, couples and families affected by violence and abuse, be it in their immediate family or in their intimate partnerships, historically or at present. I continue to stay engaged with the community of professionals who support these women on a day to day basis, in any way I can.

Personal and professional development are of great importance to me. I continually seek out trainings, experiences and activities that will allow me to further grow as a person, as well as better support clients I meet with in my role as a psychotherapist. If you would like more information about the personal and professional development activities that I have engaged in, please connect with me!

On a personal level, I consistently engage in a yoga practice that includes both taking and teaching classes. I am also an avid weight-lifter and beach-goer. I love animals and nature and am an aspiring vegan, though some days I am more successful than others! My life is all about being content and present from one moment to the next, no matter what that moment should bring… and just in case you are under the impression that therapists have it all together all the time, please keep this in mind – although I am a therapist, I am also still human – I make mistakes in my life and in my relationships, just like everyone else!

MY APPROACH:

One of the best things in life is having relationships that we feel unconditionally supported in. Relationships that we feel like we can be our true selves in. Relationships that allow us to feel, see and experience our true selves for the invaluable individuals that each of us are. While I don’t think it is ideal for individuals to only experience relationships like this with a therapist, I do believe that it is a good place to start. Not only do the possibilities for change and growth become endless when we feel valued and supported, but once we figure out what relationships like this feel like for us, even in the context of therapy, it becomes easier to recognize relationships that may or may not serve us well outside of therapy. Please click on the tabs above to learn more about how I intentionally strive to build strong therapeutic relationships between myself and the clients I support.

It is important to me that I am my real self at all times. I don’t pretend to be perfect and I practice with honesty and integrity above all else.

Although I use my training and experience to inform my work with clients, I don’t consider myself to be an expert on anyone’s life beyond my own. I won’t pretend to know what is best for you or pressure you to think, feel or act in any way. I will encourage you to think, feel and act in ways that represent your genuine self and the kind of life that you want to lead.

Everyone has a story. I believe we all have good reasons to think the things we think, feel the ways we feel and do the things we do. I always do my best to practice with acceptance at the forefront. While doing so, I keep in mind your goals for therapy and possibilities for shifts in perspective and change in ways of being.

I believe all individuals are capable of reaching the goals that they set for themselves, as long as these goals are even moderately realistic. In supporting people to fulfill their fullest potentials, I strive to recognize and highlight the strengths and the resources that clients can call upon throughout personal journeys of growth and change.

Over the past several years, I have gained a strong background in teaching and practicing yoga. Although yoga and therapy are two completely different things, my perspective is that they also have a lot in common. The biggest lesson I have learned from yoga is mindfulness: that is, live in the moment, be more intentional and less attached to the outcomes of my efforts. Please click on the tabs above to learn more about what this means for me as a therapist, you as a client and the ways in which we can “do” therapy together.

I consistently commit to being present for the clients that I support – what you are telling me is important and I don’t want to be ahead of you or behind you. I want to meet you exactly where you are at so that as you journey forward, you do so in a direction determined by you. Furthermore, I hope to share my commitment to present moment awareness with you, so that you might be more able to embrace both the pleasant and the painful experiences that you will inevitably encounter along your way.

Mostly everything I say and do has therapeutic intention – It is important to me that you get the most out of our meetings, so I am intentional in my role as a therapist every time we meet. My words will have therapeutic intention behind them, I will check in with you to ensure that what we are talking about feels helpful, and I will treat every session as though it is our last (in hopes that you always walk away with something helpful). My commitment to intentionality allows me to be confident that I’ve done my best, regardless of the outcome. I hope that this might “rub off on you”, even just a little bit, so that you can leave our meetings confident that you can speak and act in ways that feel true to your own intentions.

I will never be disappointed in you or discouraged by the situations you find yourself in – Life is a journey. Steps forward and steps backward are both a part of that. I will encourage you to embrace your mistakes just as much as your successes so that as you grow and change, you can do so in a way that allows for self-love and self-learning instead of self-criticism and self-doubt. When we learn to let go of things beyond our control, it becomes easier to breathe, stay calm and move forward, even when things do not go as hoped, planned or expected.

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What we focus on expands. SHIFT your perspective, CHANGE your world. 

~ Kelly Fife

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