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Pat Archer


Introduction

There are many models of – and ways to use – psychotherapy. It is my hope that this profile will give you a sense of how I think about psychotherapy, and in turn, a flavour for who I am. Perhaps it will answer the question: Is this someone I could work with?

Psychotherapy brings together both the expansive and contracted aspects that reside in us. We learn early to contract around what is too painful and hurtful to handle. That is a useful and often necessary coping tool. And yet, we are inherently feeling beings, and to cut off access to one (unwanted) feeling will also constrict our experience of the feelings we most want – often at the cost of our self-confidence and self-esteem. What a dilemma! How to truly relieve the difficulties we face, yet stay in contact with a sense of whole self, and all the longed for experiences.

We are hard-wired for relationship; our expansion or contraction does not happen in isolation. Relationship excites our potential and inspires us to open, as well as showing us our blocks and fears. And so… Where there is a disruption to your well-being, there may be a disruption in your relationship with others, and even more likely, there will be a disruption in your relationship with yourself. This is where it’s helpful to realize that psychotherapy is a relationship as well. That is the theory and manner in which I practise. Left without another’s perspective, we tend to repeat and rehearse old patterns, and the painful feelings remain sequestered. The unconditional presence of a therapist can rally natural healing resources, and loosen the hold of those old patterns that have restricted opening fully to life and to love.

Fears, sadness and conflict will arise in life. Whether the roots go deeply into a past loss or are just forming in a current challenge, to confront difficult places within is also to call forth innate wisdom, reflect, and consider new perspectives.

Please bear in mind that you are not alone. We live in difficult times. Perhaps never before have we had greater need for relationship, for community and for support than we do now. Connection counters the forces of divisiveness. Many people feel the weight of the world and find it showing up in despair, and increased, sometimes inexplicable fear, depression or anxiety. Often times these disturbances sneak in the backdoor and present as “what is wrong with me?” when in fact, what is wrong is the larger context in which we live. Despair has its place. It has been said: “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” And yet the joy of life is within each of us. Waiting.

I am a mature psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience. My training includes four years with the Toronto Institute of Human Relations and continues with an on-going commitment to conferences and study, as well as attention to my own growth and evolving consciousness. I am a Clinical Member and Past-President of The Ontario Society of Psychotherapists (OSP) and a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

With the experiences of time and heart I have come to hold dear several notions: That to make meaning of suffering is to lighten its oppressive weight. To reach for self-acceptance is to know greater freedom. To be compassionate with one’s self is to find that compassion knows no bounds and will be exchanged like air with those around you. And to foster mastery of the emotional life is to know one’s self as robust, resilient and courageous.

In our work together you can expect me to attune to your needs and encourage your exploration. You can expect an empathic response to even those things for which you yourself can find no empathy. You can count on my respect for our points of difference, and know that in my work with individuals and couples, I am LGBTQ friendly. And you can know that this is a process intent upon enhancing your own self-trust.

If you would like to take one more step with me, feel free to call or email and ask for a phone consultation. I would be pleased to exchange introductions and respond to your questions.


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