To me, therapy is first and foremost about human connection. I endeavour to create a safe, compassionate, warm, and authentic environment.
In our work together, I will meet you where you are and learn about what motivates you. We will work to develop an understanding of your strengths, your goals, and your wants and needs. We will also learn together about what gets in the way of the things that are most important and meaningful to you. This will allow us to craft an individualized treatment plan for you, one that is based on scientifically validated tools. Our work will empower you to break out of old patterns and establish newer, more helpful ways of relating to the world, in accordance with your goals and values. Collaboratively, we will work at your own pace to help you make the changes you want to see in your life, as well as to address any challenges that may arise along the way.
I believe that we often act with the best of intentions. However, sometimes we engage in thoughts or behaviours that may have once been helpful but are no longer serving us. Other times, we may encounter stressors, injuries, or major life events that forever change us or how we see the world.
While the idea of change can initially seem overwhelming, I strongly believe that small changes implemented consistently -- just like one foot in front of the other -- add up into something momentous. I would be honoured to be a part of your journey.
I am a licensed Clinical and Rehabilitation Psychologist in the province of Ontario. I completed my M.Sc. & Ph.D. at Queen’s University, followed by a residency at the Ottawa Hospital’s Rehabilitation Centre and Heart Institute. My additional work experiences include: Baycrest Health Sciences, Hotel Dieu Hospital Kingston, and Oakville Centre for Cognitive Therapy.
Additionally, I have held an Assistant Psychology Practice Lead Role at a Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) specialty clinic within University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto. In addition to providing psychological assessment and treatment services to individuals with work-related injuries, I have also been involved in psychological assessments to determine surgical candidacy for a variety of procedures, including spinal cord stimulator implantation. I also recently developed an 8-week manualized group-based mindfulness program for injured workers.
As an international speaker and author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, I have received multiple awards for my research, including a national doctoral grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). I also received a Canada Graduate Scholarship Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement to study at the Deafness, Cognition, and Language Center (DCAL) Research Center at University College London, UK.
I am a proud member of an international disability advocacy group for scientific researchers and clinicians. I am also involved in the training and supervision of other mental health professionals.
Committed to providing an exceptionally high standard of care, I continue to attend novel seminars and workshops. This helps me to stay up-to-date with the latest research and evidence-based treatments, while also continuing to expand my own toolbox.
For interest in supervision or consultation services, please contact us.
DR. RACHEL WAYNE
I am hard of hearing since birth. I wear both a hearing aid and a cochlear implant and rely on visual speech cues (not just reading lips, but also other parts of the face!) I am passionate about (dis)ability advocacy and making the world a more inclusive and equitable place for all. I consider the most important things in my life to be my work, my family and friends, my writing, and being in nature.
VALERIE PRESTI, B.A.
Valerie is committed to making the client experience at Dr. Rachel Psychology as seamless as possible. She prides herself on being warm, personable, and responsive to client needs.
Valerie graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor’s degree in Administrative and Commercial Studies. Prior to joining Dr. Rachel Psychology, Valerie worked in a number of executive administrative roles in a variety of fields, including healthcare, real estate and advertising.
In her spare time, you’ll find Val enjoying tennis, cycling, and volleyball, travelling to warm places with good food, and volunteering with her kids’ school programs and sports teams.