What I Do?

“Even in the midst of an extreme situation, the wise are patient. Whether the situation is illness, calamity, or their own anger, they know that healing will follow upheaval”

Excerpt from Tao 11

We don’t always know what this healing will look like—for some it will be coming to a place of acceptance, for others it will be finding a way to see themselves with kinder and more compassionate eyes. In my experience, an important pathway to healing comes from connecting to our emotions as a way to come to a better understanding of why we feel things the way we do, and to help us shift to a different way of being in the world.

Emotions are our guideposts; they direct us to respond to situations in certain ways. There is a logic to why we feel things the way we do, even if we don’t always understand why. I believe that it’s important to make these connections and begin to understand the complexity of our emotional responses,so that we can learn to be gentle and accepting with ourselves when difficult feelings arise.

Our families, our life experiences, and the world we live in all have an impact on our emotional lives. As a psychotherapist with twenty years of experience I have worked in the areas of trauma and general counselling (including relationship issues, grief, depression, anxiety and other issues). My foundation is in using Attachment Theory and Narrative and Emotion-focused therapy techniques to help gain a better understanding of why you experience the world the way you do, and to help you connect to your authentic self by helping you orient to your values and understand your emotions in a different way.

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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

Karen Burrell

Registered Social Worker | BA, MSW, RSW

Education & Accomplishments

  • Social Work Education Coordinator, Women’s College Hospital
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of Toronto
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto
  • Co-facilitator and Curriculum Development, Behavioural Sciences Program, WCH AFHT (ongoing)
  • Field Instructor, OISE (University of Toronto) M.Ed. Counselling Psychology Program and FIFSW Master of Social Work program
  • Certificate in Mindful Psychotherapy (Emotion-focused Mindfulness) through Mt. Sinai / University of Toronto Psychotherapy Institute
  • Level 1 Emotion-focused Therapy (York); taking Level II summer 2023
  • Trauma Therapy Certificate (Levels I and 2); Hincks-Dellcrest Training Institute
  • Additional training in NOVA Crisis Intervention training
  • Award of Excellence in Quality Improvement, University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine. 2019
  • Excellence in Continuing Education Award, University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) Health Equity Curriculum Group 2017
  • Excellence in Innovation Award, Health Equity Curriculum Group, Women’s College Hospital, 2017
  • Women’s College Hospital, Interprofessional Education Award 2015
  • Women’s College Hospital, Teacher/Educator Award 2011
  • Women’s College Hospital, Interprofessional Education Award, 2011

Approach

  • Narrative Therapy
  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Mindfulness
  • Solution-focused Therapy
  • Cultural Humility
  • Consent and Capacity
  • Attachment
  • My foundation is in using Attachment Theory and Narrative and Emotion-focused therapy techniques:
  • to help gain a better understanding of why you experience the world the way you do.
  • to help you connect to your authentic self by helping you orient to your values and understand your emotions in a different way.
  • to help you understand your emotional life and work towards shifting unhelpful emotions and find healthier ways to relate and to cope going forward.

Professional Memberships

  • OCSWSSW

Experience

  • 22 Years

Karen's Favorite Quote

“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance,”

– Verna Myers

Frequently Asked Questions With Karen

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 think a big part comes from my mom being a therapist, as well as a family tradition (my grandparents were Salvation Army officers and worked many years in social service). But I think also that doing my own work has made this work more meaningful for me as well.

I enjoy the energy that comes from connecting with clients and helping them connect to their own authentic selves.

I would talk to them about how the therapist is there to listen and help them, that it is about safety and validation and not about judgement.

Many people downplay the impact of their own experiences of trauma or are unaware that their ways of coping are a result of having to find a way to survive the trauma.

With a therapist you don’t have to worry about their feelings, and you don’t need to worry about judgement. The therapist will not try to impose a solution on you but will help you work towards your own understanding of your life and your feelings, taking into account your unique strengths and experiences.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done with clients and I’m also proud of having supervised over 50 social work students over the years.

Karen Burrell

Bayridge Counselling

Availability

  • Weekday evenings

Contact

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Not to get caught up in needing the other person to understand your perspective when you are setting boundaries.

What song always gets you out on the dance floor?

And she was” by the Talking Heads

Who has had the greatest influence in your life?

Both my mother and my sister have influenced me in different ways, from understanding what it is to be a parent to understanding what being a therapist is about.

Karen in the Community

Karen In The Community

Getting Standardization Right

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Co-author, Getting Standardization Right, Canadian Family Physician

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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