Toronto Team

Dr. Sela Kleiman, C.Psych.

Identifying that you want things to be different is a crucial step toward changing your circumstances for the better. Changing aspects of how you think, feel, act, or relate to others can be challenging and sometimes painful. Change is not easy but if you’re contemplating seeing a psychologist, you’ve probably determined that it’s better than the status quo. Some people may feel embarrassed or ashamed about sharing feelings or needing help—so it’s easy to understand why you may be reluctant to seek treatment. However, just as most of us would seek treatment for a medical concern, we also need to tend to our mental health. Once you have made the decision to seek help, the next important step is to find a psychologist with whom you feel comfortable and trust. Continue reading below to determine whether I’m the right psychologist for you.

In individual therapy, I help adults struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, as well as those trying to cope with the effects of past and/or current verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Some of the psychological symptoms that may compel someone to seek treatment are feelings of low self-esteem, worthlessness, low self-confidence, chronic feelings of emptiness, difficulties managing strong emotions, and various manifestations of fear and dread that seem out of proportion to the actual risk present in one’s life. I have extensive experience helping clients utilize their strengths and their inherent drive toward growth and self-improvement by helping them work through the issues that interfere with them being more fully engaged and present in their lives. Part of this work also involves supporting individuals to address challenges with effectively navigating relationships with family, friends, peers, and colleagues. Issues that may arise in an interpersonal context may include being assertive, seeking and giving support to others, negotiating conflictual relationships, and developing more intimate connections with others. I also support clients to effectively manage unhelpful coping behaviours such as excessive substance, alcohol, and internet use which may interfere with their functioning in important aspects of their life. My experience and training have prepared me to work with a wide diversity of individuals, including racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, to address the full spectrum of human experience – not just those common to members of dominant cultural groups.

I also work with couples to help them address challenges regarding emotional and physical intimacy. The focus of these issues are diverse and may include challenges with parenting, infidelity, finances, and intimacy.

In therapy, after your reasons for seeking help have been established, we would collaboratively build a treatment plan uniquely tailored to your concerns and needs. To help gain a deeper understanding of what may be troubling you, I will conduct a comprehensive psychological assessment comprised of various scientifically validated questionnaires and obtain a personal history of your concerns. I then draw from various evidence-based therapeutic approaches as they best apply to your needs, including cognitive-behavioural, emotion-focused, psychodynamic, and acceptance and commitment therapies. In addition, I supplement more traditional forms of psychotherapy with mindfulness-based interventions. If you do not have a clear understanding of what these treatments entail, that’s okay. I will help you become well-informed about how therapy works and how it can best serve your needs.

In addition to my work here at CFIR, I have provided clinical and assessment services in a variety of settings such the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the McGill Psychoeducational and Counselling Clinic, and the Health and Wellness Centre within the University of Toronto. I regularly attend professional training workshops and keep abreast of scientific developments in clinical psychology. I have published numerous academic articles on topics that include suicide prediction, racial and social attitudes, and racial and sexual discrimination. Moreover, I have presented at various national and international conferences on topics within psychology.

I completed my Ph.D. in clinical and counselling psychology at the University of Toronto. I am registered as a member in supervised practice with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.