For as long as I can recall, I have had a keen interest in biography. In high school, I read all the biographies in the school library. Although I was registered in mathematics and virtually all my classmates chose university studies in engineering and science, humanities remained a strong interest for me. An undergraduate degree in economics presented a compromise of sorts.
While studying economics, I maintained an interest in better understanding the mind. I read popular literature of the time, including The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz, The Divided Self by R. D. Laing, and The Human Person by Magda Arnold and John Gasson. These books and other readings in philosophy, such as Paul Ricoeur’s Freud and Philosophy, Herbert Spiegelberg’s Phenomenology in Psychology and Psychiatry, and Joseph Donceel’s Philosophical Anthropology, had an enormous impact on me.
I was particularly interested in comparative economic systems, as its focus of study included the dynamics of social, economic, and historical relationships in diverse cultures and societal circumstances. In fact, systems theory was quite popular in the early 1970s and was adapted to the mental health field by many theorists in social work and, later, in psychology and psychiatry. Its essential presupposition is that individuals cannot be fully understood without understanding the context in which they live their day-to-day lives. It was probably no surprise that after achieving an undergraduate education in economics, I would decide to pursue studies in psychology.
Having never studied psychology, I applied to the University of Ottawa as they offered a qualifying year of studies in psychology for those wanting to pursue graduate studies in the field. Their psychology program was richly grounded in both the sciences and the humanities and provided an intensive study in philosophical anthropology. The stated orientation of the graduate program in 1975, which was “Christian Personalism in a Pluralistic Context.” It struck me as a bold statement in a society that was becoming rapidly more relativistic. However, the focus on personalism was compelling, insofar as personalists believe that the human person should be the ontological and epistemological starting point of philosophical reflection.
BComm, Honours Economics, Loyola of Montreal, 1970
Thesis: A History of the Canadian Banking System
MPs, Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa, 1975
Thesis: Self-Actualization and Influence of Therapist Values
PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa, 1983
Thesis: Methylphenidate vs Parent Training in the Treatment of Hyperactive Children: A Two-Year Follow-Up Study
College of Psychologists of Ontario: Registration no. 1748
Canadian Register of Health Service Psychologists: Registration no. 00306
Ontario Psychological Association
Canadian Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
Ottawa Academy of Psychologists
Firestone, Philip; Crowe, David, et al. “Vicissitudes of Follow‐Up Studies: Differential Effects of Parent Training and Stimulant Medication with Hyperactives.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1986, Vol. 56(2), pp.184-194
Della Zazzera, Claude and David Crowe. Two Essays on the Philosophy of Mental Health: Reflections on the Hermeneutics of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy, Ottawa, Miamine Press, 2015
University of Ottawa, Child Study Center (Internship)
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario – Intern
Ottawa Civic Hospital – Intern
Queensway Carleton Hospital – Psychometrist
Clients seek counselling feeling stuck or in distress, facing situations in which your normal coping strategies aren’t working as well. I see clients as a whole person: you have strengths, a story. You are more than the challenge you are going through. My role is to help you through your difficult time so you can thrive and find meaning, joy and purpose in life again. In the first session, you can expect to clarify the main reason you have come to therapy, share some of the stories that got you here, and work together to identify the treatment approach that fits you.
My approach to therapy draws on what we know about the connections between our physical self, thoughts, emotions, spirituality, and interpersonal patterns. I am trained in several classical talk-based psychotherapy methods, as well as creative and experiential options including art, recreation, nature, and animal-based (equine and dog) approaches that help you embody your life and balance your thinking in healthy ways. I support clients with depression, anxiety, work/academic/sports performance stress, life change, health crisis and other concerns. I have additional experience with body/food/wellness issues, and neurodiversity (higher functioning autism (Aspergers), ADHD). Virtual office video and telephone, and outdoor/walk-and-talk options are available (subject to public health restrictions).
I have a Master’s in Counselling Psychology, a PhD in positive psychology (resilience) through rural recreation, a graduate diploma in recreation therapy, a graduate diploma in spiritual care and psychotherapy, and training as a multi-faith hospital chaplain to support clients culturally and spiritually. I am also trained in Existential/Meaning Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Short-Term and Solution Focused Therapy, art therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples. I have other credentials for incorporating recreation, outdoor, and animal activity. My prior management career and years as a sport and life coach and recreation therapist inform my practice. My clinical experience has been at Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, Ottawa Hospital, Morneau Shepell, other EAP services, and in private practice.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and a nationally recognized counsellor through my membership with the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care (CASC).
Specializing in individual therapy, I bring a diverse background of counselling experience, professional training, and a focus on positive outcomes for my clients.
The goal of counselling is to empower clients to take action and work towards the positive change they desire. My goal is to work with clients to overcome whatever challenges or psychological barriers they may be struggling with. The aim is not only achieving symptom relief, but also creating a balanced and successful way for clients to be with themselves, in their relationships, and in the world.
The counselling setting is an important element of the therapeutic process. Creating a safe place for clients to receive counselling is the first step. Sessions are comfortable and informal, low on pretence, and high on support, honesty and understanding. In an open, caring and non-judgmental environment, clients are encouraged to explore their challenges and blocks to achieving their desired outcome.
My counselling approach has developed through academic experience and clinical training. Combining the latest research in mental health with solid therapeutic practices and counselling tradition, I employ an evidence-based approach to therapy.
Please be in touch with any questions or to schedule a meeting.
Currently only available for online or phone meetings.