What I Do?

Life is full of hard moments, but you don’t have to walk alone. I am passionate about helping children, youth and families navigate the stressors of life by discovering your strengths and learning practical strategies to build your capacity to cope and succeed.

With over 10 years of experience, I have treated a range of childhood and youth issues, as well as parenting struggles, family relationship difficulties and trauma. Modalities I use include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention for OCD, Motivational Interviewing, Emotion-focused Family Therapy, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavioural (informed) Therapy and Trauma-focused CBT

I believe that therapy is a collaboration. Although I have the clinical expertise, you’re the expert of your life. We will find the strategies that fit for you, and your motivation and ability to do the work will move you forward. In session, you can expect me to be understanding and non-judgemental as we identify your needs and what is getting in the way of your functioning. I will treat you like an individual and at the same time see you in the context of your environment, including family, culture, support systems, interests and spirituality. I will be patient while also challenging you with strategies and tools to push yourself to achieve your goals.

The best compliment I’ve received is that I’m always considerate of every aspect of a person’s life. Clients have thanked me for never giving up on them and for leading them to the right path they couldn’t find on their own. For me, the most satisfying moment is when I can see a child, youth or parent finally taking control again, realizing their capacity to change, and walking into greater possibilities. Even a small change is a change for the better. I look forward to meeting with you and supporting you on your journey.

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I Believe

“Even a small step can make a big difference. I would be honored to take the journey with you one step at a time.”


Karene Martin Russell

Child, Youth and Family Therapist | BSW, MSW, RSW

Education & Accomplishments

  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Master of Social Work


  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Brief Solution-focused Therapy
  • Emotion-focused Family Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills
  • Narrative Therapy

Professional Memberships

  • Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers


  • 13 Years
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Karene's Favorite Quote

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

– Verna Myers

Frequently Asked Questions With Karene

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 have always wanted to be a therapist from a young age. Childhood isn’t always a happy time for some kids and many youths feel lost through the teenage years. I have always believed that with at least one caring adult and some practical strategies it can make a significant difference in how a young person copes and accesses their strengths to be able to thrive.

I feel honoured that families invite me into their lives to help them in their most difficult and vulnerable moments. My favourite thing about being a therapist is having a front row seat when children, youth and parents go from feeling hopeless to hopeful – when they start to believe that happier days are possible and that they have the ability to change. With every small step forward, I am there to cheer you on.

Doing something new is always a risk, but not taking a chance can be a bigger risk. If you’re thinking about counseling, then you probably need it. If it feels strange at first it may be that you’re anxious about trying something new. Remember that you are in charge. If you’re not connecting with your therapist after a few sessions, try another one; but don’t give up on yourself. Change is worth it. You are worth it.

I am most grateful for family and friends. Meaningful social connections are critical for good mental health, so I never take for granted that I have great, loving people in my life. It motivates me to help others nurture their relationships as well.

I love to learn. There are some core concepts about mental health, but people are unique and children and youth are complex. I feel energized when I learn about new interventions and perspectives to help fine tune my therapeutic approach. Also, I am energized when families benefit from my support and feel more hopeful about their lives.

There is no perfect parent. The most important thing to your child is that you show that you care. When your child feels loved and supported it creates a solid foundation to learn the more complex skills of life. If you notice a lot of conflict and resistance, start with nurturing your relationship and build your way back up.

Karene Martin Russell

Bayridge Counselling


  • Saturday
    Morning Appointments


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What activity instantly calms you?

Listening to inspirational music helps me put life into perspective and calms any anxiety, fear or frustration I feel inside.

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

Just breathe.

Would you rather cook or order in?

It depends on the day. Cooking is easier when I’m inspired but on lazy days ordering in is the best way to go!

Which meal is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

I love a traditional breakfast with pancakes, eggs and sausage because I rarely get enough time in the morning to enjoy it so it’s a treat when I can.

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