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About Us

A Relational Approach

More and more today we hear about the increasing problem of mental health challenges faced by too many children, youth, and families.  It’s an extremely troubling picture affecting people in all walks of life.

But there is good news. Today we understand much more about the most effective ways to help children, youth and families experiencing challenges, and we know much more about the skills and knowledge that can help them avoid such problems in the future.  Every day, countless individuals take deliberate, positive steps forward in their own recovery toward a more fulfilling life.

The key is something called a Relational approach, and it is the basis of all Ripple Effect programs and services. Through the power of human relationships, children and youth are helped to recognize and apply strengths and positive attributes in themselves, develop adaptive, self-empowering beliefs, master coping techniques to deal with stressful situations, and begin to formulate practical strategies to achieve their future goals.

If you are seeking help for yourself or someone in your family, the Ripple Effect approach can make a real difference.  We offer a range of counseling and psychoeducational services, including individual and group options for children, youth, adults, and families. We hope you’ll contact us to discuss your particular needs.

Lisa Marucci

Lisa Marucci

CCW, MSW, RSW, Clinical Director

Lisa is a Master’s level clinician with degrees from the University of Toronto in the Masters of Social Work Women’s Collaborative Program, an Honours BA in Women’s Studies from York University, and a diploma from George Brown College as a Child Care Worker. Lisa was the founding Executive Director of the Gatehouse Child Abuse Advocacy Centre in Etobicoke, Canada. Under her leadership The Gatehouse was awarded Best Practice Site recognition by the Office of the Attorney General. Lisa has been an Instructor at Ryerson University for 17 years, and has operated a private child and adult clinical Social Work practice in Toronto since 2001.

Ron Old

Ron Old

CYW, BA (CYC), Program Manager

Ron Old has worked as a Child and Youth Care Worker in a variety of settings since 1980, including group home, school-based, and clinical programs. He has a diploma in Child and Youth Work from George Brown College and a Bachelor Degree in Child and Youth Counselling from Ryerson University. He has been a part-time Instructor in the Child and Youth Care Program at Humber College since 2006, and currently operates a private child and family counselling practice in Toronto.

Annie Liston Walters

DTATI, RP, Professional Art Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist

Annie is an art and movement fanatic with an endless curiosity of the world and all its creatures. Annie strongly believes in the strengths and abilities of all individuals and works to empower children and youth to live their healthiest, fullest lives.  A session with Annie may include art-making, movement, breathing, or exploring thoughts and feelings with curiosity and openness.

Image of Kelly Cassano

Kelly Cassano

MSc, C.Y.W., CYCP

Kelly Cassano began working for Ripple Effect in Jan 2019. Kelly holds a MSc in CYC and has spent the last twenty years learning from resilient and bright young people in the field of Child and Youth Care, in both direct practice and management. She has also spent over twelve of these years teaching in Child and Youth Care programs, where her students continue to inspire her work. She believes that wherever you go and whatever you do, infuse it with love! 

Image of Nancy Marshall

Nancy Marshall

MA, BA, CYC

When not at home snuggling with her cat (and best buddy) Boris, Nancy enjoys long walks, hikes, swimming, and lazy days by babbling brooks in the forest. Her absolute favorite time of year is autumn, which represents a time of change, rest, and regrowth. Nancy is a fan of pop culture, especially anime from Japan! She has also been known to stick her nose into comic books- she is more of a Marvel fan than DC, and loves independent local artists and creations by young people. 

Christina Lee

MA, RP, DTATI

Christina believes that everyone deserves an opportunity to explore personal challenges in an empathic, non-judgmental, and collaborative space. She has a gentle, compassionate, and anti-oppressive approach. Christina is a Registered Psychotherapist with a Master’s in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from Wilfrid Laurier University. She holds a Professional Art Therapist designation, having completed her graduate studies at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (TATI). Christina had the privilege of training and conducting her thesis research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre as the first art therapist. She has worked at the Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre in Toronto and has extensive experience supporting children, youth, and families who are experiencing serious illness, grief, and bereavement.   

I’ve had a passion for art ever since I could hold a pencil. I love dinosaurs, games, puzzles, and reading. I collect stuffies and I’m obsessed with Harry Potter! My favourite snacks are neon gummy worms. I’m a snowboarder and have a pet hedgehog named Bear. I’m super excited to meet you and to learn about you! 

Courtney Chow

RP(Q), R-DMT

Courtney is a registered psychotherapist (qualifying) with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counselling and Dance/Movement Therapy. Courtney has spent the past several years working in a variety of mental health settings providing compassionate and holistic care to adolescents and young adults. Courtney’s therapeutic approach integrates evidence-based practices with other body-based and artistic forms of healing. She is committed to being open and curious in order to help individuals of all ages overcome challenges and move towards personal goals. She believes that everyone has a unique story and is grateful to be along for the journey!

You can find her at home tending to her house plants, or on a walk looking at the flowers and trees. On her days off, she loves to eat food with family and friends, especially outdoors where she can soak up the sun. Courtney’s favourite movement activities include dance and yoga but she’s happy to do anything as long as it’s fun! A session with her might include movement, meditation, breathing exercises, and/or talking about your thoughts and feelings.

Sarah Laye

B.A. Psych., B.S.W., M.S.W., R.S.W.

Sarah is a skilled and compassionate therapist who has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto and a psychology degree from York University. Previously, she had a career as an Early Childhood Educator and Behavioural Therapist. She has additional training in cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, emotion-focused therapy, and mindfulness. She is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). 

Sarah has a background in working with children, youth and their families in school, hospital, and other clinical settings. Sarah takes a strengths-based and client-centred approach to support her clients in improving their health and well-being. She supports her clients in learning effective ways to manage their stress, anxiety, depression, regulate emotions, develop self-esteem, navigate life transitions, and heal from trauma. She has a deep understanding of and extensive experience with supporting neurodiverse children and youth. She helps parents learn new and helpful ways of understanding and responding to their children’s behavioural challenges. 

With her caring, non-judgemental, and collaborative approach, she strives to develop a strong therapeutic bond with each client. Acknowledging that coming to therapy can be difficult, Sarah provides a supportive and compassionate environment in which clients can share their experiences, learn life skills, and gain confidence.

Sarah loves to be a teammate with her clients. She believes that therapy is about combining each other’s superpowers to figure out the best ways to manage even the most difficult experiences. It’s hard to know what your superpowers are, too, so Sarah helps you discover them! Sometimes, it’s really hard to know what to do or how to feel in lots of different kinds of situations. Sarah knows serious ways and fun ways to navigate these challenges and is passionate about teaching them to her clients. When Sarah is not at work, she is often doing some of her favourite hobbies which include playing board games, reading, singing, going for walks/hikes (even in the winter!), having picnics in the park, and enjoying the sunshine. She loves animals and hopes to one day get a kitten and name is Husky because she also loves huskies.

Jenna Berseth

Jenna is a Master’s of Social Work candidate from York University and holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. They are a yoga instructor with a passion for body-based approaches and mindfulness. Jenna believes children should be seen and heard and values every child’s uniqueness. She has an eclectic approach to counselling and spent the last two years working with, and learning from, young people attending a program aimed toward addiction and mental health.

Jenna loves yoga and spending time in nature! Their favourite thing to do is go kayaking and find trails in the forest to explore. A fun fact about Jenna is she has Synaesthesia, which means letters and sounds show up as different colours in their head! Jenna enjoys reading in her hammock, gardening and making jewelry. Their favourite holidays are New Year’s Eve and birthdays because they offer a time for reflection, gratitude, and connection. Jenna loves to learn about other people and believes there is beauty in everyone’s uniqueness. 

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