What I Do?

As a nurse psychotherapist, I build therapeutic relationships and provide holistic assessment and support of the whole person. My goal is to provide therapy by looking at your life as a whole person, understanding your past and current struggles (roots), with a positive attitude for a bright and hopeful future (sprouts). The goal of therapy is not about changing people. It’s about helping people to reconnect with their authentic selves. It’s about helping people become healthier, stronger, and more empowered. It’s about healing injuries and building trust. It’s about creating healthier relationships and living more fully in the present.

As a registered nurse, I have specialized training and experience in mental health. I provide individual therapy for a variety of clients, with specialization in supporting youth with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviours, and trauma. I combine compassion and strong assessment skills, to take a unique approach for each client. I meet clients where they are at and in my work of helping people, I subscribe to a compassionate and collaborative approach. My foundational approach to psychotherapy is the same as my foundational approach to nursing; person-centred and integrative. In simple terms, I believe my clients are the experts in their own lives and inner experiences. I integrate a variety of therapeutic modalities to tailor and personalize the sessions according to each client’s needs.

I embrace an approach to healing that focuses on emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual balance. My practice is grounded in the intersectionality of people’s experience of race, colonization, sexuality, gender, class, discrimination, (dis)ability, health, poverty, education, health equity, rurality, trauma, and adverse childhood experiences. I affirm and believe that all aspects of my client’s lived experience influence their words, thoughts, and actions. My healing space is safe, confidential, supportive, compassionate, anti-racist, trauma-informed, non-judgmental and empowers your voice and choice. I am open and accessible to all socio-economic status,’ BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people of all ages.

I am passionate about the evolution of the self; becoming more aware of what we carry inside, our blocks, of where we may get stuck; to evolving into a human being who has compassion for oneself, and therefore, for others too. I bring passion, compassion and empathy, and my life experiences to the table, including my own lifelong journeys with therapy.

I appreciate that we are all living a human experience and that we are all imperfect beings who are worthy of love, connection and belonging. My approach to therapy is to allow a safe space for people to tell their story, share their thoughts and feelings, develop the skills to sit with their emotions, weather the storms of life, make courageous changes, practice self-compassion, and reconnect with their authentic selves in their healing journey.

Successful psychotherapy depends on a supportive, compassionate, and comfortable relationship with a therapist. My therapeutic goal is to create a safe space that is warm and nonjudgmental, and in a way that empowers your voice and choice.

I provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD.

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I Believe

“It’s a rewarding and privileged experience to walk along the path of self-empowerment with my clients.

I would be honoured to take the journey with you.”

Qualifications

Cynthia Lockhart

Registered Nurse Psychotherapist | BScN., MA, BEd, BA (Hons)

Education & Accomplishments

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (University of Toronto), Master of Arts (York University), Bachelor of Education in Primary/Junior/Intermediate/Senior qualifications (Trent University), and Bachelor of Arts with Honours (York University).
  • International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy Level I - Sept. 2023
  • Mental Health First Aid Certificate - April. 2023
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD - March 2023
  • Medical University of South Carolina, Cognitive Processing Therapy Web 2.0 - Dec. 2022
  • Laurier University, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Certificate - Dec. 2022
  • Alberta Health Services, Trauma Informed Care Certificate - Dec. 2022
  • Ontario Harm Reduction Network, Stop Harm and Care Training - April 2022
  • St John Ambulance, Standard First Aid Basic Life Support (HCP) CPR + AED - Oct. 2021
  • University of Alberta, Indigenous Canada - Aug. 2021
  • Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, Cultural Competency and Safety Training - Feb. 2021
  • Ontario Harm Reduction Network, Overdose Awareness & Prevention - Nov. 2018
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Refugee Mental Health Certificate - Feb. 2016

Approach

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy

Professional Memberships

  • Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)
  • Canadian Federation of Mental Health Nurses (CFMHN)
  • Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO)
  • College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO)
  • Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)
  • Ontario College of Teachers (OCT)

Experience

  • 11 years as a mental health nurse and 1 year as a nurse psychotherapist

Cynthia's Favorite Quote

I honour the words of Dr. Brené Brown, that, “what we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human” and the words of Maya Angelou, that, “every storm runs out of run.”

Frequently Asked Questions With Cynthia

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

I originally became interested in becoming a therapist after my years of experience as a mental health nurse. I am often sought out by friends and family who are experiencing difficulties and feel a strong affinity to those who have experienced trauma. When I was working as a community mental health nurse with children and youth, I enjoyed building therapeutic relationships and providing active listening and guidance. In the last two years, when I was working as a mental health nurse in the hospital, I enjoyed spending meaningful time with each patient. However, in the hospital setting, a nurse does not always have time to spend with each patient, listening and providing support. I realized that many people have mental health challenges that are deep rooted, sometimes trauma-based, but that the modern mental health system with pharmacological solutions, is not suited to the trauma-informed, healing journey that many people need. I then decided to open my own private practice as a nurse psychotherapist, with the honour and privilege to walk beside people on their healing journey.

My favourite thing about being a therapist is knowing that I had a part in affecting the life of another human being. Giving hope when people feel hopeless. Inspiring others to be all that they are capable of and to reach their highest potential.

I would educate clients about mental health, the different types of mental health conditions, their symptoms, and treatment options, to demystify the topic and make it more approachable. I would inform the client that mental health conditions are not a sign of weakness, or a personal failing, and that it takes courage, resiliency, and strength to ask for support.

I would use inclusive language to create a safe and welcoming environment for clients of all backgrounds and experiences. This would include using person-first language, avoiding judgmental or stigmatizing language, and being aware of the impact of language on marginalized communities.

I would inform clients that therapy is a normal and necessary part of their self-care and wellness routine. This would include discussing therapy to improve overall well-being, rather than only focusing on the “problem” or “disorder” that brought the client to therapy.

I would address stigma head-on by talking openly with clients about the impact of stigma, and by working to reduce it in my own practice. This can include being aware of my own biases and working to challenge them, as well as participating in public education and advocacy efforts to reduce mental health stigma.

I would be aware of the broader societal and systemic factors that contribute to mental health stigma, including a lack of access to mental health care, not understanding mental health conditions, and/or discrimination against marginalized communities, to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for people seeking mental health support.

My biggest accomplishment to date is raising my daughter to have strong boundaries, confidence, and self-worth.

The more pressure we put on children, the more they resist. If you want to discipline children, we must make them our disciples. And the disciple is not somebody who is afraid of you. The disciple is somebody who loves you, and wants to belong to you, and follow you. Anything that you do that undermines the relationship with the child will undermine the child’s development because it makes the child insecure. Most psychologists and pending experts will tell you, time out. In other words, what they are telling you is withdraw the relationship from the child as a way of threatening the child. This teaches children that the relationship is conditional, that they are only acceptable to you if they please you. Just the opposite of what any loving parent wants to teach. The parenting psychology in this culture has become anti child. The first seven years are crucial, and the first three years are the nub of it. If you get the first three years right, you can relax. If you don’t get the first three years right, you will be practicing remedy of parenting for decades. The real relationship does not depend on words, but on the capacity to be with, present and engaged.

Not everyone who experiences trauma will relate to or identify with the label, “trauma survivor.” It is important to ask each individual what wording and terminology they prefer. In the words of Dr. Gabor Maté, “trauma is not what happens to you, it is what happens inside of you as a result of what happens to you.” For trauma-informed care, we need awareness to understand and acknowledge how common trauma is, that trauma can happen to people of all ages, demographics, and socio-economic status, and can result from any situation in which an individual feels overwhelmed and unable to cope, including violence, abuse, loss, neglect, disasters, or other emotionally harmful experiences. Trauma is common, but not everyone has the same experience when they go through a traumatic event. The way trauma survivors see, understand, and respond to their trauma is highly individual and may even be described as subjective. Therefore, it is important to look at trauma through the eyes of each individual. By taking this approach, we can better understand the individual, their unique needs, and their life experiences, while actively involving them in their care. If we gain a better understanding of a person and their unique circumstances, we are better able to provide support that is tailored to their specific needs. Many trauma survivors feel unsafe in new and unpredictable environments and may struggle to trust others. Physical and emotional safety is important in building trust. In creating safety and trust, care providers demonstrate that they understand trauma and how individuals who may have experienced trauma may feel. Honesty, compassion, and consistency are essential. It is important to approach trauma survivors in a non-judgmental way, keeping in mind that strong emotional reactions and difficulty in relationships are often not about capability or who trauma survivors are as people. When trauma survivors feel safe and connected, they often feel more hopeful about seeking help, which improves engagement in the recovery process. Traumatic experiences can often leave survivors feeling powerless and out of control. It is therefore important that services work to avoid recreating these experiences and instead offer choice and collaboration. When working in a trauma-informed way, service providers collaborate with survivors and share both knowledge and power. Survivors are included in the decision-making process whenever possible to increase feelings of safety and control. Since trauma can diminish a survivor’s sense of competence, working collaboratively creates opportunities for empowerment, which can reinforce the survivor’s sense of safety, competency, and self-efficacy. Collaboration and choice can help survivors uncover their strengths and assume control over their lives. As trauma often impacts an individual’s sense of competence and self-perception, many trauma survivors will need help to shift their focus from perceived weakness to strengths. This shift in focus can be empowering. Focusing on strengths engages survivors in their process of change while instilling hope that change is possible. This focus highlights symptoms as a way of coping with trauma and helps survivors see that they have the necessary skills for recovery. With the right support, many survivors can make the necessary changes to manage the impact of trauma on their day-to-day lives. Recovery is possible

Cynthia Lockhart

Bayridge Counselling

Availability

  • Weekends
    Morning and Afternoon

Contact

What activity instantly calms you?

Hiking in nature.

Would you rather cook or order in?

I prefer cooking.

How do you enjoy spending your alone time?

Reading and drinking coffee.

What’s the best piece of advice a family member has given you?

You will never get what you want until you are grateful for what you have.

Need Help Choosing a Therapist?

If you are still trying to decide whether therapy is right for you, book a free 20-minute virtual consultation with our Clinical manager and therapist, Nicole Callander, RSSW. Nicole would be happy to answer any questions about therapy or who would be a match for your unique situation.

Free 20-Minute Virtual Consultation
Need help booking your free 20-minute consult? (905) 319-1488