What I Do?

I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and have an Honours Bachelor of Science majoring in psychology, crime and deviance.

I started out focused on youth in conflict with the law, and later I founded a program supporting special needs youth, where counselling their parents reminded me that I am a much better therapist than administrator.

Having been a therapist, a single parent, an adult and a teenager, sitting in a therapist’s office has given me a unique perspective and understanding that has allowed me to help many clients over the years, whether they were teens, young adults, parents, grandparents or individuals struggling to cope with their life experiences.

Often, we allow the world around us to make us believe that the latest and greatest thing (job, hobby, promotion, toy, gadget, house, car) will make us happy, and to dictate our identity and loves. I know that you have the strength and knowledge inside you to overcome these traps, so I won’t be yet another voice telling you who and what to be. It is not my role to lead you; instead, I am here to walk with you, point you towards and to encourage you to walk towards your truths, and to help you remember the reasons behind your passions, all so you rediscover the satisfactions and joys in life.

At its most basic, that is how I see my role: to walk with you as you throw off the ropes holding you back from dreaming, exploring and discovering your identity and passions. At the end of our journey together I want you to be in a better place than when we met.

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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.”


Michael Dawson

BSc., RSSW | Registered Social Service Worker

Education & Accomplishments

  • Honours BSc, majoring in psychology and crime and deviance
  • Diploma in Social Service Worker, Mohawk College Dean’s List


  • Eclectic
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Person-center
  • Adlerian
  • Systems Theory

Professional Memberships

  • Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW)


  • 25+ years working in mental health.
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Michael's Favorite Quote

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– (H. Jackson Brown, Jr., P.S. I love you, 2000)

Frequently Asked Questions With Michael

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 was an English kid growing up in 1980s Montreal, who, in a hockey town, spent all his time training to compete at the provincial and national level in the martial arts. Is it any surprise I was socially awkward, bullied, with self-esteem and anger issues? Luckily, I found a therapist to help me; it was his skill and kindness that inspired me to pursue a career counselling at-risk youth, adults and their families.

Those moments where a client has an epiphany and I see understanding dawning in their eyes.

A hero is someone faced with a struggle that terrifies them, but they face it down anyway. Facing our pain is hard and frightening but it Is easier and safer when someone walks the path with you.

Remembering my true calling and abandoning the safe path to become a therapist in private practice.

Our kids are smarter, stronger, more resilient and much more perceptive than we realize.

Friends support but don’t call you out. Therapy digs in and deals with the causes not just the symptoms. Friends want to make you comfortable and happy; a therapist will push you to be better and healthier.

Michael Dawson

Bayridge Counselling


  • Monday to Friday
    Monday to Friday
  • Saturdays
    special arrangement


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What activity instantly calms you?

Going for a drive in my classic car or grabbing a wrench to work on a race car.

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

There are 2:

1) Everything in life has play value, it’s our job to find it.

2) Forget about the mountain of work to be done, concentrate on the task in front of you. Do it quickly but do it properly.

What song always gets you out on the dance floor?

None, despite having a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a Provincial Championship in Judo, I have two left feet. But Stairway to Heaven instantly transports me back to high school dances.

Who has had the greatest influence in your life?

My nana. While she only graduated high school, she was the greatest student of human nature I have known. She taught me how to pull back the curtain and see the truths that are hidden behind.

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
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