Pam Santon MSW RSW RMFT
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a person changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” MAHATMA GANDHI
Therapy as a Growth Experience
Therapy as a Growth Experience
Our world needs each and everyone of us to grow to our full potential, to honour our uniqueness, to respect and cherish one another!
Through healthy connection with our own self, we learn the concepts of boundaries, grounded self esteem, self compassion and emotional intelligence. Through relationship skills we learn how to be in healthy connection with others, to forge the bonds required to support our own growth and that of future generations.
Through these skills, we thrive and achieve our full potential, including the deep intimacy and peace we all crave and deserve. Only then, are we willing and able to share the full extent of our gifts with the world.
Taking time to reflect and breathe!
Prioritizing yourself and others!
Envisioning the possibilities! What would change look like!
Learning new skills and taking calculated risks to bring about change!
Following an Honours Degree in Psychology in 1978, I completed a Master's Degree in Social Work at the University of Toronto. Upon graduation I was employed at Toronto East General Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry where I furthered my passion for understanding human suffering through the systems in which they are embedded. Through post graduate training and externships, I earned my registration as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy(www.aamft.org). I was on the Board of the Ontario Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (www.oamft.com) from 1988-1996 and was President Elect, President and Past President for six of those years.
Working at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health during the 1980's as an individual, group and family therapist, I developed my knowledge and experience with individuals and families experiencing particular challenges with mental health and addiction issues. I was then hired as the Clinical Director of Addiction Services for York Region where I worked with an interprofessional team of talented and creative clinicians for sixteen years. Along with students from all the major universities and colleges in Ontario, we developed and provided individual, couple, family and group treatments across the Region of York. During this time I also started a private practice at the Richmond Hill Medical Centre. During the first decade of the new millennium, I completed my registration as a Sex Therapist with Bestco, the Board of Examiners in Sex Therapy and Counselling in Ontario ( www.bestco.info) and sex therapy continues to be a focus of my work.
In 2008, I moved to Hamilton ON where I continue to work with the Hamilton Family Health Team as well as operate a private practice office in west Hamilton. I see individuals, couples and families during day and evening hours as well as supervise therapists working towards their registration as Marriage and Family Therapists and/or Professional College registrations. Having studied all the major models of change over the years (including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Emotionally-Focused Family Therapy, Intergenerational Family Therapy, Imago Therapy etc.), I work from a client-centred perspective in which I am able to draw from a vast array and assortment of interventions that are best suited to the individual, couple and/or family in my office. My current mentor for couple's work is Terry Real and his model of Relational Life Therapy(www.terryrel.com) emphasizes the skills and concepts we all need to be successful in our relationships. My most recent training is in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) which is a neurologically based treatment protocol used for a variety of presenting issues and with an emphasis on diminishing triggering experiences.
I have taught for many years at the University of Guelph and continue to teach in the OAMFT Couple and Family Therapy Studies Program there. I am also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McMaster University and facilitate first year medical students in the development of their professional competencies in working with patients.
It is with much respect and enthusiasm that I continue to be inspired by people's ongoing search for health and happiness. Although I have a particular but not exclusive passion in helping couple's understand the dynamics of their relationship in the hope of preserving their bond and deepening their intimacy, the first relationship we need to understand and deepen is with our self.
I look forward to the possibility of working with you!