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Lesley Swartz


I am a psychotherapist because I believe in the power of relationships and our capacity to re-shape our lives when we have the support we need. Therapy allows us to access our own internal resources so that we can make changes to create a meaningful life.  I have seen firsthand the power of the therapeutic relationship to provide a space in which someone can notice what is holding them back, make choices about where to adjust or grow, and become the whole person that they naturally are.  I view therapy as a creative process where clients gain awareness of how to access their own body and mind awareness, imagination, and curiosity in order to feel the range of choices they have in becoming who they want to be in the world: cognitively, emotionally, somatically, spiritually, relationally, socially, and imaginatively.


My approach is deeply influenced by my advanced training in expressive arts, gestalt and developmental somatic therapy. These approaches allow clients to tap into alternate ways of knowing and to strengthen the connection they have with their wholebeing.


I am a Registered Psychotherapist (R.P.) and Qualified Clinical Supervisor with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

I am a core teaching Faculty member and Associate Director at The Create Institute (the Centre for Expressive Arts Therapy Education) in Toronto.  I also co-ordinate a public arts therapy clinic at The Create Institute.  I have been in private practice for over ten years where I have worked with children, youth, adults and couples who have struggled with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship conflict, grief, stress, life transitions, and creative blocks.


I earned a master’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) at University of Toronto following my bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University. I hold professional diplomas in Expressive Arts Therapy (The Create Institute), Gestalt Psychotherapy (Gestalt Institute of Toronto), and Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy (The Centre for Somatic Studies, N.Y.C.)  I have also pursued professional development training in additional therapy modalities including EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, and trauma-informed approaches.


I am committed to continually educating myself through self-study, professional trainings, and peer consultations on topics such as anti-oppression and cultural competence. It’s my intention to stay curious about my own biases so that my clients can feel as free as possible to bring themselves fully into the space with me.  


I invite you to begin this therapeutic process of reclaiming your full self so that you can use all of your resources, senses and imagination to create new possibilities that work for you and all of the  relationships in your life.

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