Trudy James, Ph.D.
Registered Psychotherapist (RP)
Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT)
Co-Director, Willow Group
I have always been fascinated with family relationships. Even as a child, I was a keen observer of the small, nuanced interactions that occurred between others around me. I always knew that I would study psychology, but my road to becoming a therapist was not a direct path.
My career in Psychology began 30 years ago, in academia, where I did research and designed studies to help us understand child development and parent-child relationships. I earned my Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Waterloo and my Ph.D. in Human Development and Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto.
I have always been drawn to understanding human relationships, but studying it wasn’t enough. Following some major life transitions (e.g., becoming a parent, losing a parent) and my own growth through that time, I realized that my true passion was not satisfied with research alone. I wanted to work directly with people and support them on their path to understanding themselves and the people around them.
Almost 15 years ago, I began my Master’s Degree in Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Guelph and knew I had found my true calling. After graduation, I began working at a children’s mental health agency supporting children and their families with a variety of mental health concerns and then moved to a local counselling agency where I was a member of the Trauma and Attachment team.
I have been in private practice for almost 10 years in Kitchener-Waterloo. During that time, I have worked with children learning to identify their feelings or cope with stress and life transitions, adults who are experiencing major life transitions, and couples looking to reconnect or heal. I have also supported caregivers wanting to better understand their children and families who want to feel more connected. I also frequently work with therapists seeking their own therapy.
I have extensive, specialized training understanding the role of attachment and trauma in relationships, and I use this lens whether I am working with an individual, a couple or a family. I work primarily from an emotion-focused, attachment-centred lens with a systemic focus. This means that I always think about the broader context in which you live – such as the family we were born into and the society in which we live. People tell me I am non-judgmental, funny and warm.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist in good standing with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) with the Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). I attend workshops and training on a regular basis and stay on top of current research in relationships and attachment.
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