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Aikisha Beckwith

Registered Psychotherapist - Qualifying

Hello friend - if you've found your way here there's a good chance that you, your child, or family is suffering in some way, and I want you to know I'm so very sorry for the pain you're experiencing. But I'm hopeful that together we can find a way forward, into a brighter future for you and your loved ones. I have worked with adults, young adults, youth, and children for the past decade, helping them journey through challenges including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and emotional reactivity, managing anger, childhood trauma, difficult life transitions and separations, and many more.

If you or someone you love could use a friendly ear and a helping hand, you may find (as my clients and I have) that art therapy, play therapy, or talk therapy modalities (like CBT, DBT, EFT, narrative, existential, DDP, solution-focused brief therapy, and spiritually-integrated psychotherapy) – or some combination – can help.

So you can rest assured that you (or your child) are in capable hands, keep reading below to learn a little bit more about me, my qualifications, and what I do in therapy.

As a psychotherapist my approach is...

Systemically Informed​

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Based on Bowen family systems theory, this means that my work is "rooted" in the belief that human behaviours do not occur in a vacuum - they are a complex interaction of each part of a person's system. Individuals are better understood in relation to each other.

Client-centered​

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Stemming from the Humanistic therapy tradition of Carl Rogers, this means that I strive to be genuine, empathetic, and unconditionally positive in our interactions. I don't have a "one size fits all" approach - I will work with you to customize an eclectic therapy experience  based on your needs and expressed concerns.

Attachment Based

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My work is mindful of and informed by theories of attachment, which state that some of our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours are reflective of the ways we have coped with and responded to early life experiences.

Education

B.Sc. Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour (Mental Health Specialization)

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

M.A. Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy

Wilfrid Laurier University/Martin Luther University College, Waterloo, ON

Ministerial Diploma

Spirit Ministries Training Centre, Hamilton, ON

Credentials

Certified Counsellor - Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals (OAMHP)

Registered Psychotherapist - Qualifying - College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO)

Additional Training

Certifications & Continuing Education:

- Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) Level One

- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) with couples - Externship

- Walking Through the Fire: Working with Escalated Couples with EFT

- Healing Shame in Inner Children and Actual Children

- Mental Health First Aid

- 150+ hours of art therapy, play therapy, child, couple, and family therapy education:

- Directive and Nondirective Play Therapy

- Storytelling with Superheroes in Play Therapy

- Using Pop Culture in Play Therapy and Counseling

- Introduction to Using Videogames in Play Therapy

- Tele-PLAY Therapy: Creative Virtual Interventions for Connection

- Sand Therapy: Integrating Narrative and Metaphor with Children & Teens

- It’s All Focused: LEGO®-Based Play Therapy Techniques

- Introspective Brick Building: LEGO®-Based Play Therapy

- Implementing LEGO®-Based Play Therapy Online Using Storytelling & Metaphors

- Video Games in Play Therapy: An Introduction for Working with Children, Adolescents, and Adults (Eventbrite)

- Family Ties: Using Family Play Therapy to Loosen Binds and Strengthen Bonds

- Play Reveals what Words Conceal: Using Play Therapy for Trauma

- Playing while Black: Addressing Racial Trauma with African American Families in the Play Therapy Setting

- Video Games in Play Therapy: Supporting Executive Functioning Skills in Neurodivergent Populations

My Approach

In my experience - and according to research - the biggest factor in how well therapy works is the client-therapist relationship. That’s one reason you can expect me to be genuine, empathetic, positive, and affirming. Most of all, I love people and believe we each represent limitless, untapped potential. I believe most people are genuinely good and are trying their best amidst often unfair, extremely difficult circumstances. That's why my approach to therapy is all about you, your family, and/or child, and helping you all see your own and each other's best qualities and strengths again.

My approach to therapy is heavily client-centered - I believe that you’re the expert on you. I’m an expert on psychotherapy: I specialize in being creative, connecting with clients about what they love most and helping them use that as a source of strength, whether it’s a love of sports, socializing, education, pop-culture, or even a movie or videogame they identify with, like Lord of the Rings or Minecraft (a technique that has lovingly been come to be known as “geek therapy”). Using the metaphors of familiar stories and characters, I love to help clients begin to see themselves in a more positive light and build a new story about themselves that is more fair and full of their strengths. Together, we can use what you know about yourself and what I know about therapy to create a space for catharsis, processing, and change.

As a therapist for clients of all ages, I have training in and enjoy continually learning more about developmental psychology, neuroscience, and psychotherapy, and am familiar with using talk-modalities like CBT, DBT, EFT, narrative therapy, existential therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, spiritually-integrated psychotherapy, and more in sessions (learn more about the approaches I utilize here).

For younger clients, creative therapies like art and play therapy can help children process emotions without needing a complex emotional vocabulary. Painful emotions can be hard to put into words – for adults and especially for children – and so play often offers an easier and fuller way to communicate. I practice both directive and non-directive play therapy, and use the play therapy room (virtually, during COVID) to create a safe relationship and opportunity for children to express themselves freely, develop autonomy, and work through difficult thoughts and emotions. I am also understanding about the Children's Aid system and have provided a safe and caring atmosphere while working closely with adoption, foster, and reunification families and children.

My Background

My mom immigrated to Canada from Trinidad and my dad is Metis-Canadian: my own personal culture and ethnic identity is somewhere in the undefined space in-between. In my personal time, I love to paint and play video games - everything from RPGs like Mass Effect and Zelda, to Roblox and Minecraft, and silly simulation games like Graveyard Keeper - I'm a kid at heart. I love the outdoors and feel most connected and at peace in nature.

MY
TEAM

In the age of virtual therapy, you may become acquainted with the self-designated therapy supervisor cats:

Registered Therapeutic Supervisor

- slacks off on the job (unless he's hungry)

Cheddar Bob, 5

RTS

Certified Zoom Infiltrator, Registered Therapeutic Supervisor - Student

 - specializes in dyadic distraction

CZI, RTS-S

Acorn, 7 months