Meet Our Team

Clinical Directors

Julia van der Werf, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Dr. Julia van der Werf provides comprehensive assessment and integrative therapy for children, adolescents, and families, drawing primarily from Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She incorporates several training and educational experiences into her work, having completed her residency at the Waterloo Region Psychology Consortium, including training at the Lutherwood Children’s Mental Health and the University of Waterloo Centre for Mental Health Research. She was a psychologist at the Family Psychology Centre (formerly Kindercare) after having completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Guelph and her undergraduate degree at York University.

Dr. van der Werf has experience treating a wide range of challenges and diagnoses, including (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, trauma/loss, relationship and identity issues, parenting challenges, and behavioural regulation difficulties. She is a psychologist who is highly dedicated to providing evidence-based, empathic, and collaborative care to her clients.

Nadia Barakeh, M.Psy.
Child and Family Therapist

Nadia has a background in psychology and training in several therapeutic modalities including Brief and Narrative, Solution-Focused, Cognitive Behavioural and Emotion Focused Family Therapy to name a few. With over 20 years of experience that is shaped by a strong multicultural, client-centred and strength-based model, Nadia's approach is guided by the belief that with the right knowledge and support, every individual can develop their own strategies to cope with life’s challenges and overcome barriers. 

Nadia's commitment to her clients is evident in her integrative approach and her ease at combining modalities to fit individual circumstances. She has extensive experience working with children and their families. Her belief is that parents are the best coaches for their children and with the right support, their confidence in their parenting skills will shine through. Nadia welcomes the opportunity to work with individuals, couples and families to develop effective skills and strategies to achieve their goals.

Sophia Labonte, M.A.
Registered Psychotherapist

Sophia's educational experience includes a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Psychology, a B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) and a M.A. (Master of Arts) in Counselling Psychology. Sophia is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and has been working as a therapist for over 10 years. Sophia has taken many additional training and workshops over the years such as Level 1 of Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), BOOST’s Trauma Assessment Reports, Theraplay, and Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples.  She is passionate about helping people reach their goals of self-fulfilment and believes in empowering with kindness and positive regard. Her work at Native Child and Family Services since 2007 has given her extensive experience working with families, parents, children, teens, and individuals from a trauma-informed, attachment and intergenerational therapeutic lens. She also truly enjoys helping couples reconnect and break free from negative patterns. She is a mother of two strong-willed and kind young boys. She can provide services in both French and English.

Clinical Associates

Cathy Hibbert, M.Ed.
Parent and Education Consultant

Cathy’s educational experience includes a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Psychology, a Diploma in Counselling and a Masters of Science in Education. Cathy is a certified Shanker Self-Reg® leader. She has over 17 years of experience in the education and mental health field. In her teaching career, she has been a middle school teacher, guidance counsellor, athletics director and vice principal. She has worked closely with families and children of all ages who struggle with various learning disabilities, to collaborate on educational plans that best suit the child’s educational needs. An additional part of her work has been aimed at helping students and families find the right school placement to support their unique strengths and skills.  She thrives on working with families and students during times of transition and helping them navigate the private school world of Toronto (which can be at times intimidating and overwhelming).  Cathy is also passionate about using Collaborative Problem Solving (Ross Greene) both at work and at home with her two boys! She has counselled families and led parent workshops in this simple but effective technique. As an Educational Consultant, Cathy looks forward to working with you in finding the right fit for your child’s academic needs. Additionally, she can help you with parenting skills necessary to help your child achieve academic success.

Tara Pouyat, MSW, RSW
Registered Social Worker

Tara is a trauma-informed therapist and has over 10 years' experience working with people from diverse backgrounds who are struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, emotion regulation, grief and loss, low self-esteem, unhealthy relationships, family issues, sexual violence, a life transition, racism/discrimination, and trauma/PTSD related to childhood or adulthood.

She is dedicated to providing a safe space for her clients to explore their feelings and concerns. She helps her clients work towards greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance which she believes are all key to emotional healing.

Tara works from a client-centered perspective and uses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Mindfulness, Emotion Focussed Therapy, Solution Focussed and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches. Because each individual is unique, she tailors her approach to her client's needs. She has a special interest in working with trauma and using EMDR because it can reduce the number of sessions required to see positive results by resolving the impact of past traumas and allowing the individual to let go of painful feelings in order to move forward with their life.

Tara is available Monday and Tuesday evenings at Kaza Family Centre and offers a free 20-minute phone consultation.