About
Sandbox

Our Process

How We Help

We strive to insulate kids from conflict by setting their parents up to separate successfully. We offer families tools to improve their co-parenting relationships, problem solve, and get on with their life.

Child-Centered

Your kids are the centre of your
universe. We are committed to
keeping them at the centre of
every conversation.

Safe Haven

Escape from the unpleasant
and unnecessary.

Straight Talk

We get to the point quickly,
and with clarity.

Compassion

Been there. Done that. We’ve got
a 360-degree understanding.

Honesty

Honourable in our intentions,
we’re fair and kind.

Transparency

It’s all out on the table.
No secrets. No lies.

Our Team

Who We Are

As collaborative clinicians, together we will help you navigate the divorce process so that you can feel less overwhelmed and more confident, able to make the best choices for you and your evolving family.

 All of our clinicians are independent contractors.

 

Melissa Lafreniere (She/Her/Hers)

Registered Psychotherapist, Qualified Family Arbitration, Screener, RHN, MA

As a registered psychotherapist, parenting mediator/arbitrator, and collaborative family law professional, Melissa helps individuals navigate all stages of the divorce process.

From contemplating divorce all the way to finalizing your settlement, Melissa keeps you focused on what matters – your child(ren) – all while supporting you in creating a new relationship with your former spouse.

After getting to know you and your unique situation, Melissa will identify the best dispute resolution process to achieve your goals. She’ll work with you to prioritize your interests as well as prepare you for difficult conversations such as finances and parenting. You’ll identify new communication strategies as well as receive guidance on how to manage the range of emotions that often contributes to a lengthy divorce process.

Melissa works with individuals and families and offers parenting support in mediation, parenting coordination, and coaching sessions. 

Christina Chevrette (She/Her/Hers)

Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW

Christina is a registered psychotherapist, registered social worker, and collaborative divorce family professional. She has over two decades of experience working with children, youth, and their families who have been struggling with their mental health, situational crisis, and psychiatric illnesses.

Throughout her career, Christina has held various roles in both community-based and larger health care systems, treating individuals that are experiencing a myriad of issues such as grief, trauma, emotional regulation difficulties. In addition, Christina is highly skilled in treating, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.

Christina holds competencies in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CB), CBT for psychosis, Solution-Focused Therapies, Motivational Interviewing, assessing risk of self and others, concurrent disorders, and de-escalation practices.

Christina works with individuals, couples, and families. 

David Lafreniere (He/Him/His)

Registered Psychotherapist

David is a registered psychotherapist and child/youth worker who is available to support families who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and parent-child conflict. David has worked extensively with children, youth, and families in Ottawa’s community and clinical settings for over 15 years.

Skilled in crisis management for families in conflict, David practices from a collaborative and solution-focused framework and is a Tier 2 CPS practitioner. He believes in building safe and trusting relationships with his all of his clients. He is passionate about providing an open,and non-judgmental environment where individuals can feel supported in their journey.

David’s services are available both in French and English.

David works with individuals and families.

Selena Ladouceur (She/Her/Hers)

Registered Psychotherapist

Selena is a Registered Psychotherapist  and a good standing member with the CCPA, OSRP, and CAMFT. Selena also graduated from Carleton University with an honours degree in Psychology, concentration in Forensic Psychology, and has her SSW (Social Service Worker) diploma. Selena’s training focused on individual, couple, and family therapy.

Throughout her career, Selena has worked with a multitude of issues such as grief, parenting conflict, emotion regulation difficulties, and has previous experience working with individuals struggling from an array of mental health concerns (i.e. anxiety, suicidal ideation, depression). Selena’s therapeutic intention is to focus on working with individuals and families to help them heal and process emotion in a supportive, non-judgmental, and safe environment. She tends to take an empathetic approach to treatment concentrating on theoretic lenses best suiting Humanistic, Person-centered, and Emotion-focused therapy.

She finds integrating treatment approaches very useful for emotion recognition and regulation, along with providing insight into understanding thought processes and the perspective of others. Selena believes that integrating facets from other modalities will allow for the unique needs of her clients to be best supported and met.

Selena appreciates having the opportunity to support and work collaboratively with her clients, many of whom are experiencing a diverse and/or complex array of concern for their mental health needs and/or well-being. Selena strives to offer a safe and supportive environment where her clients can feel secure in exploring their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Selena works with individuals, couples & families. 

Yvonne Duala-Ekoko (She/ Her/ Hers)

Registered Social Worker BSW., MSW., RSW.

Yvonne is a registered Social Worker with Ontario College of Social Workers in Ottawa, ON. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Carleton University in Ottawa.

She has been working with children, youths, and their families in the Ottawa area for over 7 years and brings extensive experience (10 plus years) working with young adults, adults, and seniors with behavior, physical challenges, developmental delay, and autism.

Yvonne has worked with a wide range of mental health challenges such as: ADHD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, bereavement and grief, trauma, interpersonal struggles, self-esteem struggles, sensory related challenges, family conflict, suicide thoughts, school challenges, impulsivity, sadness, aggression, and bullying.

She is trained in Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) Trier 1 & 2, Eating Disorder, NMT (Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics), TF-CBT Trauma base, Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS), and Nonviolence crisis intervention (NVCI)

Yvonne uses a caring, supportive and non-judgemental approach. She believes that “everyone will do well if they can”. She provides clients with a warm, supportive, respectful and compassionate space where everyone can feel supported through the journey.

Stacey Karuhanga

BSW, MSW, Registered Social Worker

Stacey is a dynamic therapist who has been working with children and their families in clinical and community settings for about 8 years. She received her master’s degree in Social Work specializing in Mental Health and Health from the University of Toronto in 2018. Since graduation, Stacey has worked with infants, children and youth experiencing a range of emotional and behavioural difficulties, including emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, low self-esteem, bereavement, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and social difficulties. She is additionally well-versed in working with individuals struggling with histories of anxiety, substance abuse, depression, and/or trauma.

Over the years Stacey has had the benefit of working with diverse groups of people across various social service settings within and outside of Canada. She has worked as a women’s outreach worker to support women in the community to navigate everyday challenges and learn basic skills to help them thrive. She has also worked as an instructional therapist for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities and other developmental delays. Stacey further expanded her experience with a position at a residential program for youth where she had the opportunity to connect with young parents and families, thus enabling her to gain insight to some of the complex issues within the Child Welfare System. Between 2017- 2018, Stacey participated in the Health Promotions Program at Fred Victor as a co-facilitator to a Peer Support group, a Women’s Wellness series and a Seeking Safety men’s group for PTSD.

Stacey uses an integrative, collaborative and CBT-based therapeutic approach with her young clients and families. She is trained in Collaborative Problem-Solving (Tier 1 & 2), Trauma-Focused CBT, Emotion-Focused Family Therapy and Eating Disorders. She fosters a safe and inclusive environment, with person-centered and harm-reduction practices forming the foundation of her work. She is passionate about working with individuals, children and their families, while guiding and supporting them through their healing journeys to achieve their desired goals.

Outside of work, Stacey enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and testing her hand at photography. She also enjoys travelling, listening to music, baking, hiking, spending time outdoors and trying out new recipes.

Stacey meets with individuals ages 4+ and families. 

Amber Gauthier (She/ Her/ Hers)

Registered Social Worker, Child and Youth Care Counselor

Amber is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) and Child and Youth Counsellor (CYC) who specializes in the development of social, emotional, and behavioural skills to support the healthy development of children, youth, and their families. She specializes in the areas of emotion and behaviour regulation, relationships, and self-esteem.

Amber supports children (ages 8+), teens, and young adults. She also works with parents to help them navigate and strengthen their relationship with their child(ren) or teen(s).

In addition, Amber works with families in conflict in our supervised parenting time program and during our reunification therapy clinical intake process.

Amber loves to read, be creative, and sip on a London Fog in a cute cafe planning her next travel adventure

Amber meets with individuals ages 8+.

Taylor Davidson

Registered Psychotherapist

Taylor’s psychotherapy practice is anchored in normalizing and validating. With a grounding in somatic approaches and Emotionally Focused Therapy, Taylor accompanies clients through stressful life events and emotional challenges, as well as relational and personal issues. Within relationships, Taylor hopes to help each partner understand their own and their partner’s experience better, so each feels seen and appreciated for who they are. Taylor’s focus is on helping clients find a state of calm and reassurance, so they can proceed through challenging situations with less panic and a better understanding of themselves.

Taylor helps many clients who suffer from depression and anxiety, who are dealing with grief, or managing stressful life events. Taylor has experience working with pregnancy loss, peri and post-natal mental health, as well as couples, family and sex therapy approaches.

Taylor is a Registered Psychotherapist, and has completed their Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University.

Taylor meets with individuals ages 16 +, couples & families.

Kerri Brennan (She/ Her/ Hers)

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), MPTh, MA

Kerri believes we are shaped by and have influence on the people and places around us. We can benefit from having someone from outside those circles reflect back what they see and hear in our stories. And in the sharing of those experiences, longings, pains, & celebrations, we are transformed-our perspectives altered, our roles adapted, our emotions claimed, and our direction clearer. Kerri serves Individuals (12 years +) Couples & Families. Treating issues related to communication, stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression or mood changes, life transitions, blended families, grief & bereavement, self-esteem & boundary management, and trauma & abuse. Kerri has a particular passion for working with families renegotiating how to communicate, collaborate, and parent in healthy and responsible ways while navigating difficult transitions, such as separation and divorce.

Kerri approaches therapy from a systemic, attachment-based, narrative, and somatically-attuned perspective. In other words, as people and our environment imprint on our lives, Kerri is attentive to emotions, behavioural patterns, and what our bodies reveal to us through the therapeutic process. The story you share is uniquely yours, retelling it can be transformative.

Kerri values your time and the trust you place in her by sharing your story. She looks forward to consulting with you as you decide how to build this therapeutic relationship together.

Kerri meets with individuals, couples and families. 

Kristin Davey (She/Her/Hers)

Office Manager

Kristin Davey has been in the administrative field since 2017. She prides herself on her organization and attention to detail. Kristin utilizes her background in retail management to provide exceptional customer service to clients. Kristin attended Algonquin College for Abnormal Psychology before discovering her knack for all things admin.

In addition to her regular administrative duties, Kristin enjoys earning add-on titles in her various jobs such as “Director of IT & Construction” and “Vice President of Miscellaneous Stuff.” In her spare time, Kristin enjoys crafting, gardening, and trying new recipes.