What I Do?

Mark is a registered social worker and psychotherapist. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from York University (1992) and a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto (1993). He is a member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, as well as the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

​Mark takes a very client-centred approach to providing therapy services and is well-versed in utilizing principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) in a trauma-informed manner.

Mark has a wealth of experience ranging from brief Employee Assistance Program (EAP) work to longer term, trauma-focused counselling with individuals, couples and families. He has spent a significant amount of time in the United States working in rural community settings, as well as 12 years as a clinician and officer in the U.S. Air Force. This experience has taught him the critical importance of taking clients’ social, economic, and cultural contexts into account when collaborating with them in finding pertinent solutions.

Mark strongly believes that providing assistance to people is a privilege and an honour and he brings this mindset to every session.

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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.”


Mark Isajiw

Registered Social Worker | MSW, RSW, LICSW

Education & Accomplishments

  • Master of Social Work (1993)
  • Bachelor of Social Work (1992)
  • Completed Cognitive Processing Therapy February 2022 via the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)


  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/Mindfulness
  • Cognitive Processing therapy
  • Solution-Focused therapy
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (Mitchell model)
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers
  • Licensed in the state of Washington, USA


  • 30+ years

Mark's Favorite Quote

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

– Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Frequently Asked Questions With Mark

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 started out my young adulthood as a musician. I completed a degree in music with the idea that my music-making might be a way of reaching out and inspiring others in the same way that music inspired me.

After a while, I decided I wanted to reach out to people more directly in order to help them focus and address the things in their lives that were causing difficulty and pain. I took a few courses in counselling, realized they resonated with me, and jumped into my training with both feet.

I truly believe that engaging in therapy with someone is a great privilege. If you think about it, therapy is kind of a weird concept. A person walks in off the street, maybe after a referral from a doctor or someone they trust, and begins to tell a complete stranger about their innermost thoughts and feelings. It seems to go against basic principles of trust and safety and yet the process can achieve incredible results in a person’s mental health.

Despite this seeming paradox, I have been honoured to help many people over the years become comfortable and confident in terms of appropriately sharing their personal experiences and finding viable solutions to the things that have caused them to become temporarily stuck. I personally find this a very enriching experience.

I think it’s very important for people who are coming for therapy for the first time to know that they are in charge of their own therapy. This means that the client decides what issues they wish to focus on, what information is to be shared.

A client should also feel free to decide on the pace of therapy and should always feel comfortable letting their therapist know when they are experiencing any kind of difficulty with the process. Ideally, good therapy involves a meaningful collaboration between therapist and client but sometimes a good fit is not achieved. In this case, I would strongly encourage a client to seek a better fit via obtaining a different therapist.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have served people for over 30 years in my capacity as a therapist.

Talking to others (and, for that matter, ourselves) is the equivalent of running data interpretation software on some collected data. Data points (or distinct personal experiences) aren’t particularly useful until we figure out what they mean or what they are trying to indicate. In similar fashion, our “computer” (brain) needs to run “software” (created via our beliefs and “life-lessons”) to analyze our experiences with a view toward making pertinent decisions around what we are to do next.

When we seek help from someone in a discursive manner, the experience is akin to upgrading our software so that the quality of our decisions might improve over time.

I would have to say that serving the mental health needs of fellow soldiers in combat, people who I found were very emotionally needy given our situations, provided some incredible life lessons for me. It was during this time that I learned what a deep honour it is to share pain, joy, and sorrow with a fellow human being.

Mark Isajiw

Bayridge Counselling


  • Mondays and Wednesdays
    afternoon and evenings


What activity instantly calms you?

Working on cars/boats/motorcycles provides a means by which to achieve quiet and serenity for me.

What song always gets you out on the dance floor?

I’m a bit of a metalhead so most AC/DC songs will do it or Van Halen.

What’s your “dance like nobody’s watching” song?

“Jump” by Van Halen…

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