About

Joanne-Doucette-therapy-ottawa-ON-parents-family-therapist

My goal is to create a safe place in which my clients can be honest and open about the challenges they are facing. I focus on building trust and connection in my relationship with each person, as I believe that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is the most important component of therapy being a success.

“Empathy is … creating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone’”.

- Brene Brown

My office environment is warm and welcoming, thanks to the beautiful heritage home in which I work. I encourage clients to help themselves to coffee or tea in the waiting room, to kick off their shoes before sitting down on the couch and to make themselves at home.

Anxiety is a frequent focus in my work with both children and adults. With children, we address their fears or worries in a playful way: with games, art work and other activities to help them explore their feelings and learn new strategies for coping.

Parents are included in the interventions, in keeping with my philosophy that in order to help children I must support their families. I provide coaching and guidance to parents to help them learn how they can reinforce the use of new coping strategies at home. At times, this involves family therapy to strengthen the parent-child relationship and help families change patterns.

I support adults in individual therapy with anxiety, stress and other struggles by first guiding them to understand, and to be be compassionate towards themselves, regarding their intense emotions. We then develop new skills to manage anxiety and increase emotional resilience. This often includes learning to be vulnerable about emotions with others, in order to deepen connection in relationships.

I have many families reach out to me for support with grief. Whether they have experienced the death of a spouse, parent or child, I welcome children and adults to share their grief journey with me. There is no “fixing” grief, but my goal is to walk alongside those who are suffering and to learn together to cope with loss, as part of their life story, and move towards finding meaning in life again.

My educational background includes a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from Queen’s University. I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. My professional background includes nine years at CHEO working on the inpatient mental health unit and in Palliative Care. At CHEO, I was also part of the team at Roger Neilson House, a paediatric hospice. I provided individual and group therapy to bereaved parents, including couples who experienced perinatal loss.

I have been in private practice since 2009 and have been very happy to be part of the wonderful team at CAFCO since 2015. I have also been a part-time instructor in the Faculty of Social Work at Carleton University. I frequently present workshops in the community around topics related to parenting, mindfulness and grief.