gordon dalziel RP
Above all, effective therapy requires an environment that feels comfortable, receptive and trustworthy.
Therapy unfolds as a process of gentle exploration and self discovery, made possible by the experience of safe containment, mixed with curiosity, insight, and a compassionate invitation to explore and feel deeply.
Gordon Dalziel holds a Doctorate of Education in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy (Ed.D.) from the University of Toronto, and is a member in good standing of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals (OAMHP), and is a registered mental health provider with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
His doctoral research considered the intersection of mindfulness, empathy, and psychotherapy. This work has been published, and is available on line at space.library.utoronto.ca.
Prior to his graduate studies, Gordon completed three years of specialized training in psychotherapy at a private institute. His training and 17 years of professional experience have focused on the delivery of a person-centered, process-experiential psychotherapy, informed by aspects of developmental and psychoanalytic theory. He has extensive experience in the treatment of early life trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, various forms of addiction, eating disorders, loss and grief.
Gordon offers psychotherapy services in Newmarket Ontario, and in Port Carling, Muskoka Lakes Ontario, for individuals aged 16 and over, and for couples struggling with relationship challenges.
Typically, appointments are made for one hour, though it is possible to reserve 90 minutes if this seems appropriate. Appointments are generally made for ‘in-person’ therapy sessions however phone, and video conference appointments can also be made in cases where physical attendance is difficult, or not possible.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, strict protocols are in place to permit seeing a limited number of clients face to face, in both the Newmarket and Port Carling offices.
Psychotherapy that is person-centred and process-oriented, places you and your experience at the focal point of our shared attention. Your therapy is uniquely tailored to suit you and your particular concerns.
Couples therapy invites you to explore points of conflict and difficulty, in a space that is neutral, and judgment free.
With the regulation of psychotherapy in Ontario, and the establishment of a licensing body in 2015, psychotherapy has increasingly been recognized as an essential component of mental health services. A growing number of extended health plans include coverage for psychotherapy. If you are considering therapy, check with your benefits provider. Examples of professions currently offering coverage for psychotherapy include: Veterans Affairs Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ontario public school teachers, and Ontario secondary school teachers.
There are many different things that bring people into therapy. Most often there is something in the present that feels intrusive, or chronically uncomfortable, distressing or preoccupying. There may be a clear connection between this distress and a particular life experience, but this is not always the case. It may take time, and an opportunity for patient, careful exploration, to connect the dots, and put some of these pieces together.
Often, chronic feelings of distress or discomfort are related to some form of trauma, a particular event (or events) that has caused deep fear, or hurt, or anger. If at the time of the event there was inadequate support for natural, deeply sensed emotional feeling, and both the expression and reception of that feeling, the trauma may stay ‘locked’ within the person, as an unhealed emotional injury. When something deserving of serious attention and compassion has been overlooked or denied, the full emotional experience that naturally belonged to that event is left behind, unfinished and incomplete. The trauma stays ‘alive’ in the body as a residue of unresolved feeling.
Single-event trauma is not the only kind of experience however that can generate such a pool of emotional residue. Various kinds of low-level but chronic emotional abuse, and any experience of consistently unmet need can also produce the content of unfinished business. Though perhaps harder to pin point, the effects of insidious trauma, the less visible, more easily overlooked forms of trauma, can be every bit as intrusive and debilitating.
In this work, emotional experience is understood to be central. The way we feel emotionally as we move through our lives affects the way we function, the way we experience ourselves, and the way we see others. It affects our sense of peace and well being, and our ability to concentrate and attend to things that are important to us. It often has a powerful influence on the choices we make. Though insight and understanding are helpful, effective therapy involves more than these. Its purpose is also to support clients as they 'feel through' and connect deeply with life experiences that may have left some form of unfinished business, that is now calling for attention.
Psychotherapy is the opportunity to turn our attention toward what is difficult, in an environment that feels supportive, compassionate, patient, and free of judgment. These conditions facilitate an unfolding process that moves us progressively toward resolution and self confidence, inspiring creativity and change along the way.
The study and practice of psychotherapy was a kind of homecoming for me. My father was a doctor, and early on I considered medicine, and even psychiatry. I was drawn by a deep interest in people, and in the many ways that we become injured and find our way toward healing. But…after high school, another passion took hold, and I went to university to study architecture! I spent two decades in the design and construction industry, but never lost my interest in people and in human relationships.
In my late 40’s, following a period of serious work-related stress that left me feeling restless, anxious and depressed, I entered therapy myself. Though this process was primarily about my own healing and renewal, it became as well a profound learning experience about the nature of psychological injury, and about the conditions that support and inspire the natural process of psychological healing. It reignited in me a passion for the helping professions, and ultimately led me to return to school, and to the formal study of psychology and psychotherapy.
Early in my graduate studies I discovered mindfulness, and took part in a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. Since then mindfulness and meditation have been central features of my life personally, and core subjects of study. I have found much support and inspiration in the writings of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pema Chodron, Jack Kornfield and John Welwood, among others. These teachers have deepened my appreciation for the miracle and mystery of being human, and for the healing power of kindness.