Milena Romalis [B.A., B.Ed., OCT] (She/her) is an Ontario Certified Teacher and Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional with more than two decades of experience in teaching, counseling, and assessment. Milena is a skilled educator, curriculum developer, and case manager with in-depth knowledge and experience in the areas of curriculum development, disability programming, accommodations and support, public funding, and transition planning. Her specialty is working closely with families and individuals to develop and implement practical solutions to complex personal, functional, logistical, and financial challenges. Milena is also the mother of three dynamic, intense and affectionate boys, ranging from elementary school to early adulthood. She has personal experience within her household managing diverse challenges including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities, advanced learning, and Celiac disease.
PARENT COACHING, CASE MANAGEMENT
RINA RODAK, COO & Co-Founder
Rina Rodak [B.A. M.A Applied Ethics] (She/her) has more than 20 years of experience as an educator, curriculum developer, school administrator, and advocate for children and their families. Rina is an ADHD & Executive Functioning specialist with advanced training in the Ross Greene method of Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), DBT, SibShop™ sibling support workshops, and UCLA PEERS social skills training for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other social challenges, and challenges related to sex & gender identity. Rina is a sought-after Parent Coach and family strategist. She can maneuver through educational, medical, and therapeutic systems while managing delicate social and cultural expectations with sensitivity and respect. Her approach emphasizes individualized learning styles, conflict resolution, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and applying out-of-the-box thinking to help people problem-solve through complex challenges. She specializes in applying practical Executive Functioning and DBT strategies to real-life situations, as an adult ADHD & Executive Function coach, facilitator, and consultant. She also provides practical communication and relationship strategies to couples who are living with ADHD. Rina is the mom of three busy teenage boys who eat a lot of food, make a lot of noise, and use a lot of Wifi. She brings her personal experience in managing Aspergers, Anxiety, ADHD, giftedness, and Learning disabilities within her household.
PARENT COACHING, DBT, ADULT ADHD COACHING, CASE MANAGEMENT, SCHOOL ADVOCACY
CATHY PENNY, Supervising Social Worker
Cathy Penny [SSW, CDP, BA, BSW, MSW, RRP, RSW] (She/her) is a compassionate, trauma-trained therapist who engages in client-centered practice to help people manage well through stressors, life transitions, and a wide range of mental health conditions.She has been counseling for over 15 years and incorporates multiple evidence-based modalities into her practice. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused CBT, Narrative Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy.
Cathy has specialized in anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and trauma, as well as working with people living with disabilities. She has also helped clients address esteem issues, set boundaries, improve communication, and delve into their core values to help improve their quality of life.
She has a special certification to assist with career planning and development. Her experience as a rehabilitation professional includes assisting individuals who have experienced concussions and acquired brain injuries. Cathy has completed a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is both a Registered Social Worker and a Registered Rehabilitation Specialist. She identifies as an indigenous counselor and is an NIHB-approved mental health service provider.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, INDIGENOUS COUNSELLING, NIHB, ADULT THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, CASE MANAGEMENT, PROGRAM SUPERVISION
SARAH MILMINE, Supervising Social Worker
Sarah Milmine [RSW, MSW] (She/her) – has been working within the helping profession for over twenty years with a strong focus on the well being of children and their families. She utilizes a number of evidence informed approaches in her practice that include CBT, DBT, Trauma Informed, Narrative, Strengths-Based and Solution Focused therapies. Sarah has been a formal trainer through the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Society’s and a part of the Social Work teaching team at McMaster University.
The focus of her work has largely surrounded Children’s Mental Health and how to establish creative treatment plans that incorporate the child’s natural and professional support systems. In addition to this Sarah has experience dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, self-esteem, PTSD, divorce and separation.
Sarah enjoys using tools like art, movement and animals to help engage the clients she works with to build and sustain change. She currently has an Old English Sheepdog Puppy named Bandit who is working towards his therapy dog certification and can often be found in her office at NowWhat.
Sarah has been afforded the opportunity to work alongside the Indigenous Community in her career and has experience with Indigenous Alternative Dispute Resolution, Talking/Healing Circles, and treatment plans that utilize the medicine wheel as a guide.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, INDIGENOUS COUNSELLING, NIHB, TEEN THERAPY, CHILD THERAPY, CASE MANAGEMENT, PROGRAM SUPERVISION
SIOBHAN BERNACKI, Registered Social Worker
Siobhan Bernacki [RSW, MSW] (She/her) – Siobhan is a Registered Social Worker with over 10 years experience working with Children and Families within the Child Welfare System. As a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers; Siobhan comes to our agency with her BA in Health Studies at McMaster University and her MSW from the University at Buffalo.
Siobhan works from a strengths-based, solution focused modality and places great importance on utilizing and building up the strength within the client and family. Siobhan has experience working with diverse populations helping to addressing a wide range of presenting problems including abuse, neglect, mental health, self-harm, domestic violence, substance use, custody and access, and other complex matters.
Outside of work, Siobhan lives an active life participating in team sports, organizing sports teams and has sat on the executive board for the Burlington Soccer League as the President of Women’s Soccer.
DBT, TEEN THERAPY, ADULT THERAPY, CASE MANAGEMENT
JUSTIN PINKSEN, Registered Social Worker
Justin Pinksen [BA, BSW, MSW, RSW] (He/Him) is a child and family therapist who began his clinical work in his home of St. John’s, NL. Justin’s varied experience and academic background allow him to deeply understand and address human dynamics and complex psychosocial factors in a holistic way. He has worked with youth and families for nearly 15 years across southern Ontario and in several provinces in a clinical capacity. He has worked in inpatient services, outpatient services, as a public servant as well as in private practice.
Justin works from an attachment-focused, trauma-informed lens. He is consistently commended on his ability to join with youth and families incredibly quickly, with his genuine and empathic personality, his quirky sense of humour, and his deep passion to be helpful. Treatment focuses of much of Justin’s work include intergenerational trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, loss and bereavement, familial violence, and attachment-related challenges. Other practice areas include gender and sexuality-related challenges (including identity discovery, hormonal and transition navigation, and familial education). Justin identifies as a gay male and strives consistently to advocate and represent the 2SLGBTQIA+ community within best community practices.
Justin tends to be informed by ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), SFT (Solution Focused Therapy) CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and is also a certified trainer for caregivers in EFFT (Emotion-Focused Family Therapy). He is an avid traveler, self-proclaimed foodie, and dog lover.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, FAMILY COUNSELLING, ADULT THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, LGBTQ2S+
MARK THOMPSON, Registered Social Worker
Mark Thompson [MSW, RSW] (He/him) comes to NowWhat with extensive experience in providing compassionate, non-judgemental clinical therapy to children, adolescents and adults. He is also highly skilled in supporting those living with neuro-diversities [ADHD, ASD, intellectual disabilities and other exceptionalities]. Mark has leveraged his expertise in these areas to help develop, plan and deliver our unique DBT courses. Mark’s clinical approach involves integrating an individual’s unique strengths with evidence-based therapeutic techniques, pulling together the best of various modalities. Drawing upon his experience working in community-based and inpatient mental health services, he feels his role as a therapist is to provide a collaborative, personalized form of support that facilitates movement towards an individual’s full potential. He utilizes a number of techniques and therapies including Mindfulness, Trauma-informed care, Play-based therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Mark specializes in helping people with compulsive disorders. He is also an active parent to two daughters, and an avid outdoorsman.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, DBT, PARENT COACHING, ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, ADULT THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, CHILD THERAPY
SADIE LANTZ, Registered Social Worker
Sadie Lantz [RSW, BSW] (she/her) is a passionate and enthusiastic therapeutic coach, counsellor, and DBT program facilitator at NowWhat. She brings an inclusive, strengths-based, and holistic approach to her work with children and youth, both when facilitating groups and when working with individual clients. With a background in community counselling, Sadie focuses on accessing strengths and providing individuals and families with tools to help navigate and manage their challenges. Sadie incorporates several treatment modalities into her practice including CBT-informed, DBT-informed, and Narrative Therapies.
Drawing on evidence-based DBT skills-training, Sadie regularly incorporates mindfulness concepts, distress tolerance skill development, social and interpersonal practices, and emotional regulation strategies into her work with children and youth. Outside of work, Sadie enjoys hiking and strolling through Hamilton’s forest trails, writing songs on her guitar, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
CASE MANAGEMENT, BEHAVIOUR COACHING, PROGRAM PLANNING, DBT
ANDREA HERTEL, Registered Social Service Worker
Andrea Hertel [RSSW] – (she/her) comes to NowWhat with more than 20 years of professional experience. After a successful career in marketing and administration, Andrea has shifted her focus to the enriching field of social services. Driven by a passion for supporting others through challenging life circumstances, Andrea specializes in supporting tweens, teens, and young adults coping with anxiety, low self-esteem, emotional dysregulation, and executive function challenges. Using a blend of motivational interviewing and DBT and CBT-based skills training, Andrea helps to empower her clients to develop social and emotional life skills. Andrea is also an excellent resource for supporting clients through practical skills such as time management, organization, prioritizing, task initiation, focus, attention and motivation. When she is not surrounded by her wonderful family and friends, Andrea can be found working on a minor home renovation or volunteering with a local non-profit.
CASE MANAGEMENT, COACHING
ABI HUTCHISON, Registered Social Service Worker
Abigail Hutchison [BA. Psych, SSW] (she/her) Along with her qualification as an SSW, Abi recently completed her bachelor’s degree (honours) with a double major in Child and Youth Studies and Psychology.
Abi is passionate about empowering and equipping her clients with the skills and strategies to navigate and manage the challenges they face. Abi takes on a strengths-based and compassionate approach to working with her clients and their families. She uses DBT-informed and CBT-informed modalities within her sessions and applies related skills and strategies in an engaging, meaningful, and practical manner. Abi has experience as a youth program facilitator, camp cabin leader, soccer coach and convener, and as classroom support to students in alternative education programs. Abi loves spending time outdoors at any time of year and is in her element when sipping a coffee, spending time with family and friends, or listening to a good podcast.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, CHILDREN’S TEAM, DBT
LOUISE OKE, Registered Psychotherapist
Louise Oke (BA, MSc, RP, RMFT) (She/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist who trained as an individual, couple and family therapist at the University of Guelph. She is a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience working with children, youth and families in community based, private and group home settings providing individual and family therapy. Louise is a lifelong learner, both personally and professionally, who sees herself as work in progress. She is a caring and compassionate listener and a resourceful clinician who works hard to understand what is important to her clients and tailors her approach to their unique preferences and needs. Louise is passionate about removing the stigma attached to mental health challenges and strives to help people uncover what matters to them and move their lives in their preferred directions. In recent years Louise has been learning about and incorporating Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in her therapeutic work. Louise is an approved NIHB mental health service provider.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, ADULT THERAPY, FAMILY THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, VIRTUAL THERAPY, NIHB
ADAM LAW, Registered Psychotherapist
Adam Law [RP, BCC] (he/him) is licensed with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). He specializes in counseling and coaching adults and young adults in mental health, life transitions, business/career coaching, relationships, mediation, spiritual care, divorce, family systems, ‘failure to launch’, and alienation. His passion is to help people get unstuck from hard moments in their lives so they can move forward with hope and purpose.
Adam is a public speaker and international lecturer as well as a consultant in medical ethics, advising hospitals, clergy, doctors, and other medical professionals.
In his spare time, he enjoys writing, music, the great outdoors, and artistic pursuits.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, ADULT THERAPY, VIRTUAL THERAPY
TRACY PRYCE, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
MEGHAN NOONAN, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), Art Therapist (Cand.)
Meghan Noonan (RP (Q), DTATI C, OCT) (She/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a member in good standing with the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals. Meghan is currently working towards the completion of her master’s level diploma with the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Meghan also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of McMaster in Social Sciences and the University of Queens in Education along with a specialization certificate in Applied Behavioural Analysis from Mohawk College.
Meghan’s therapeutic approach is strength-based and client-centered, with a strong emphasis on mindfulness and trauma-informed orientations. Meghan’s goal with children and youth is to promote emotional literacy, provide opportunities for emotional expression, learn, and practice self-regulation strategies, and teach and rehearse safe and effective coping skills. With over 10 years of experience working with youth and two years of working as an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT), Meghan has learned the importance of creating safe, non-judgemental, and empathic spaces for youth to express themselves and feel empowered.
ART THERAPY, CLINICAL COUNSELLING, CHILD THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY
VANINA NOEJOVICH, Registered Psychotherapist
Vanina Noejovich [MA, PhD, RP.OACCP] (She/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist with the benefit of extensive international experience as a Registered Clinical Psychologist in Argentina and Mexico, and a Registered Psychotherapist in Spain. Her clinical experience here in Canada includes working in mental health clinics, and not-for-profit clinical agencies as well as in private practice. She has a long-standing career working with individuals from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, lending her expert support to those experiencing complex challenges such as depression and anxiety, severe mental illnesses and addictions, as well as working with adult survivors of early life trauma. Her approach is to tailor treatment based on each individual’s needs and strengths using a variety of modalities such as solution-focused therapy, insight-oriented therapy and psychodynamic therapy. She provides treatment in both English and Spanish.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, ADULT THERAPY, SPANISH LANGUAGE
BELINDA MARAZZATO, Registered Pyschotherapist (Qualifying)
Belinda Marazzato [RN, BScN, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)] (she/her) is a Registered Nurse and Registered Psychotherapist (qualifying) with the CRPO, completing her practicum training at NowWhat.
As a certified substance use and tobacco cessation counselor, Belinda is experienced in strength-based Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Motivational interviewing, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
Belinda has worked with pregnant and parenting families for over 20 years. She is passionate about supporting families with perinatal (pregnant and post-partum) mental health challenges such as anxiety, postpartum depression.
In addition, as a bereaved parent, Belinda has six years of parental-grief support group experience, facilitating and providing support to parents as they navigate their journey through this unfathomable loss and trauma. Her goal for these clients is to instill hope, and provide a genuine, empathetic, and safe space for clients that is both client centered and trauma sensitive.
Belinda has three grown children and three fur babies that keep her home busy and hug-filled. She also credits her love for cooking, hiking, playing baseball and different forms of mindfulness practice as providing peace, balance and fun in her daily life.
Supervisor: Louise Oke, RP
ADULT THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY
BREANNE SCHUIT, Child Life Specialist
Breanne’s approach is holistic and family-centred. She recognizes that healthy parents and siblings of children in distress need individualized support to help them understand and cope with their own experience and often works in partnership with our Parent Coach Rina Rodak.
In her spare time, Breanne enjoys spending time with friends and family, and working on her rural property with her much-loved German Shepherd by her side.
CHILD THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, GRIEF SUPPORT, TRAUMA SUPPORT, COACHING, CASE MANAGEMENT
TARA LYNN MITCHELL, Child Life Specialist
Tara Lynn Mithcell [BA, CLSt. Dipl., CCLS] (She/her) has been a Child Life Specialist for over 20 years, working with children of all ages and developmental abilities. At NowWhat, Tara has found a niche in educating and supporting parents of preschoolers through developmental challenges.
Most of this time has been focused in hospital settings helping children cope with medical interventions, educating families on challenging experiences, and providing coping strategies to support children and families through difficult situations.
Tara supports child development skills through play-based learning and creative arts to teach children how to express and regulate their emotions, and manage their responses in healthy and positive ways.
In her spare time, she loves travelling and spending time at the cottage with her husband, two teenagers and two dogs.
ANGELA HAYES, Child Life Specialist
Angela Hayes [RECE, CLS, M. Ed.] (She/Her) has spent 23 years in the area of children’s mental health and development, the last 10 of which she has been teaching at the post-secondary level. Angela has extensive knowledge of child development and works with parents using a family-focused approach. Angela has a diverse portfolio with a degree in psychology, diplomas in Early Childhood Education, Resource Teaching and Infant Mental Health, as well as being a Child Life Specialist and having a Masters in Education.
Angela supports families struggling with challenging behaviours at home or in school/child care, who have experienced trauma, and/or are striving to enhance the parent-child relationship.
Angela enjoys being at the rink either playing hockey herself or watching her family members on the ice, as well as cooking and trying new foods in her own kitchen or in the community.
THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, PARENT COACHING, CHILD THERAPY, TRAUMA SUPPORT, INFANT MENTAL HEALTH
MELDA WALES, Auditory Verbal Educator
Melda Wales (B.A.,B.Ed.(Child Studies),OCT, AVEd, LSLS Specialist, CCW) (She/her) has more than 40 years of professional experience working with children and adults as a Specialist Teacher and an Auditory Verbal Educator working with clients and their families who are deaf/hard-of-hearing, incorporating listening and spoken language, in addition to sign language. For the past four years, Melda has continued to work as an occasional teacher for the HWDSB primarily in Special Education settings. Her passion and knowledge have led her to a broad range of experiences working with children with ASD, ADHD, OCD, behavioural, cognitive and mental health challenges, and children with selective mutism. In addition, she has a strong interest in working with English Language Learners (ESL) She has also had a successful private practice as an Auditory-Verbal Educator for over 10 years. Melda has practiced a team-based approach throughout her career, consulting proactively with colleagues and advocating vigorously for students and their families. Melda was born and raised in the town of Ancaster, where she maintains a home and maintains deep roots. In her spare time, Melda enjoys yoga, year-round tennis, reading, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, COMMUNICATION, DEAF & HARD OF HEARING SPECIALTY
ASIA LAVIOLETTE, Registered Speech-Language Pathologist
Asia Laviolette [B.A French, M.Sc SLP, Reg. CASLPO] (She/her) is a registered speech language pathologist with 8 years of practice in the field, working in both french and english. She is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of an extensive range of communication and swallowing disorders including language, articulation, fluency, and voice. She has worked with a diverse population of individuals across the life span including clients with ASD, ADHD, developmental delays, acquired brain injuries, and stroke. Asia is passionate about person-centred, empowering therapy with a focus on activities that are functional to her clients’ lives. Asia is also a wonderful parent to her young son, and – fun fact – she is also a professional Aerialist and circus performer, and she is excited to incorporate this unique life experience into speech and communication programs at NowWhat in the future!
SPEECH THERAPY, FRENCH LANGUAGE
LOREN ALEXANDER, Registered Speech-Language Pathologist
Loren Alexander [M.S. CCC-SLP TSSLD Reg. CASLPO] is a registered speech-language pathologist and a proud alumna of New York University, where she earned her M.S. in Communicative Sciences and Disorders, and Pace University, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Education.
Loren has spent her career assessing and treating students with a variety of speech and language disabilities from preschool through high school in several states across the US. More recently, Loren assesses private practice clients in Ontario, creates speech therapy goals, and supervises communication disorders assistants and speech-language therapy assistants.
Loren is a certified member of the American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA), a registered member of the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario (CASLPO) and member of Speech-Language and Audiology of Canada (SAC). She is registered to practice in Ontario, Canada as well as in several states.
Loren aims to make speech therapy as enjoyable as possible for clients and advocates for client-led therapy. She strives to be a neurodiversity-affirming SLP and is constantly learning and adapting to be a better clinician.
EMMA GREENBERG, Registered Occupational Therapist
Emma Greenberg [BSc Psychology, MScOT, OT Reg. (Ont.)] (She/her) is a registered Occupational Therapist who is passionate about building inclusive spaces where every child can meaningfully participate. Emma believes in building capacity and empowering clients to lead their own care. Emma has experience working in the school system, child care centres, private paediatrics, and community programming, including dance and nature-based OT. She has worked with children, youth & families to support the development of fine & gross motor skills, emotional regulation, self-care skills, and functional sensory processing strategies. Emma is also a certified dance instructor, and spends her free time dancing, reading, or enjoying the outdoors through running, skiing & hiking.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY, CBT, ADHD, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
SHANNON OSUNDE, Director of Children's Programming
Shannon Osunde [RECE] (She/her) is a skilled Executive Function & behaviour coach, program planner and group facilitator with over a decade of experience supporting children with a range of developmental, behavioural, social-emotional and neuro-cognitive issues. In her current role, Shannon supports our pediatric clients and their families through the intake and placement process for children under 12.
She has been instrumental in developing and running children’s programming for NowWhat. When working one-on-one, Shannon takes a whole-family approach, implementing individualized organization strategies, practical life skills, time-management techniques and structured routines to remove functional barriers to success and uncover her clients’ best potential. Her creative programming initiatives incorporate a sly balance of fun & games with emotional awareness, self-regulation & mindfulness techniques, hands-on executive functioning strategies, and an emphasis on fresh air and nutrition. She has earned Diplomas in both Marketing and Early Childhood Education from Mohawk College and is a fantastic mother to her elementary aged son.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, PARENT COACHING, ADMINISTRATIVE
DAN ZAITZOW, Executive Function Coach & Family Mediator
Dan Zaitzow [B.A., B.Ed., OCT] (They/them) is an Ontario Certified Teacher with over 7 years of experience in teaching, literacy coaching, executive skills support, and special education. Dan is a dedicated educator who excels in both group settings and one-on-one instruction, and this is reflected in their commitment to education in and out of the classroom. Dan is the lead teacher in our high school support program as well as offering individual behaviour coaching & Executive Function coaching sessions. They also contribute to our DBT programs, having recently been trained in DBT for adolescents as well as family mediation. While they have worked as a school teacher since graduating with their B.Ed, Dan has also dedicated their extra time to volunteering with marginalized adults teaching literacy, and to working with students on their executive skills. If that wasn’t enough to keep them busy, Dan is also the parent to two fantastic little people.
THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, TUTORING, DBT, HIGH SCHOOL SUPPORT
DENISE HAGGER, Certified Learning Resource Teacher & Executive Function Coach
Denise Hagger, BA, PGCE (Education) (She/Her) Denise spent 30 years teaching with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board at the Secondary level. She holds a Specialist qualification in Special Education and English and has spent the last 20 years of her career focussing on alternative education and special education as a Learning Resource Teacher, with a range of learners including those experiencing giftedness, ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, and social-emotional struggles. She is an Executive Function specialist who uses a wide range of behavioural and support strategies to assist students to understand themselves as learners, leverage their strengths and find a way around, over and through any challenges. She is also a long-time partner, and mom to a wonderful university student and four adorable four-legged creatures.
THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, HIGH SCHOOL SUPPORT
CARRIE SNIDERMAN, Adult ADHD & Executive Function Coach & Intake Coordination
Carrie Sniderman [HBA, MSc] (She/her) is passionate about the power of learning and development. She devoted her education to researching emotional and cognitive development throughout the lifespan.
Carrie specializes in applying practical Executive Functioning, CBT, DBT and Mindfulness strategies to real-life skill acquisition as an adult ADHD & Teen Executive Function coach, facilitator, and consultant.
Carrie also uses her skills internally to support our intake and placement process.
Carrie is also the mom of two incredible teenagers who keep her captivated with the awesomeness of being a human!
She brings valuable personal experience in managing Anxiety, ADHD, chronic pain, giftedness, learning disabilities and medical complexities to her work at NowWhat. Some of Carrie’s best moments are when moving in nature and/or to the beat.
THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, ADULT ADHD COACHING, TEEN ADHD COACHING
JAMIE CHRISTMAN, Executive Function Coach & Behaviour Therapist
Jamie Christman [BA] (He/him) has a direct, ‘straight talking’ respectful and creative approach, which makes him a highly successful behaviour and support therapist. Jamie holds a graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science and works intensively with many of our younger clients on the Autism Spectrum. His professional and educational experience has been wide-ranging, which allows him to relate to his equally diverse clients on many levels. His breadth of experience also includes a BA in History, a former career in radio-broadcasting & print media, and thirty-plus years as a hockey coach. Other notable skills are his abilities to harness his own ADHD to fix anything that is broken, learn any new skill from YouTube, and cook amazing meals as a short-order chef for his family with diverse dietary needs. At NowWhat, Jamie helps clients to develop independent life and functional skills (such as money management and practical skills) and social-emotional regulation while engaging in outdoors, community-oriented activities.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, DBT, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, AUTISM, ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
NIGEL APPLEWHAITE, DBT Facilitator & Therapeutic Coach
Nigel Applewhaite [BA (Hons.) Psychology] (He/him) lends his irrepressible energy & enthusiasm as well as his widely varied therapeutic experience to NowWhat as a Behaviour Coach, Executive Function Coach and program facilitator. Nigel specilizes in delivering DBT concepts to children and teens in a relatable and enjoyable ways as a facilitator in our group programs as well as 1:1. In the past, Nigel has worked in recreation therapy with seniors suffering from dementia, assisted in running supported conversation groups for individuals with aphasia, and worked in rehabilitation therapy within the ABI population. Nigel’s free time revolves around sports, recreation and music, as well as pursuing further education in the social work field. His passion for athletics and understanding of that world is an important shared interest for many of his 1:1 clients. He is a regular at the gym, and during the warmer seasons you can find him running and mountain biking various trails in the Hamilton area.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, DBT, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING
HAYDEN GUITARD, Therapeutic & Executive Function Coach
Hayden Guitard [BA Psychology] (He/him) lends his attention to detail & hard work as well as his therapeutic experience to NowWhat as a Behaviour Coach, Executive Function Coach and Youth Program Facilitator. Hayden specializes in delivering DBT concepts and teaching skills to children and teens in a relatable and enjoyable way as a facilitator in our group programs as well as in 1:1 settings.
In the past, Hayden has worked in respite situations with diagnosed ASD individuals, in multiple children’s sports programs and camps, as well as gaining volunteer experience tutoring and mentoring youth in the Hamilton area. Hayden’s free time revolves around sports, music and video games as well as pursuing further education in psychology and social services. His passion for athletics, social settings and technology are important shared interests for many of his 1:1 clients. Hayden is originally from the Hamilton area, and during the warmer seasons you can find him enjoying life at the local golf courses and farmer’s markets.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, DBT
RON SMITKO, Therapeutic & Executive Function Coach
Ron Smitko [BA Psychology] (he/him) – uses his background in public relations and psychological research to create a dynamic and creative environment for 1:1 Executive Function Coaching, Behaviour Coaching, and group program support, including being the Dungeon Master for our Dungeons & Dragons based program. In the past, he has held multiple positions in camp and sports facilitation, and enjoys using his experience to deliver concepts in an engaging and meaningful way. Aside from camp programs, Ron continues to work in the academic field as a lab manager, studying attention and memory.
In his free time, Ron enjoys movies, sports, and tabletop games. You can find him volunteering at local shops and charity events, as he loves to bring characters on screen to life through a passion for costuming.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, DBT, CHILDREN’S TEAM
BILLIE PIWTARAK, Therapeutic & Executive Function Coach
Billie Piwtarak [B.Ed Cand., BA Soc. Cand] (she/her) is a part time coach on our Children’s Team, also completing her final year of a dual degree in teaching and sociology at Lakehead University.
Billie has a wide variety of experience working with children in both volunteer and employment positions, including coaching sports, mentoring at-risk youth, teaching ESL to Gr 1-6 students, and supply teaching in the Haldimand-Norfolk board at both elementary and secondary levels. Billie supports our camp, weekend & PA day programs.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, CHILDREN’S TEAM,
LAURA JANE, Business Manager
Laura Jane (She/her) came to the NowWhat management team with two decades of experience in all aspects of business development, from administration, strategic planning & marketing to frontline customer service. She has also volunteered over the years with adults with developmental disabilities, in camp leadership for at-risk teens, and in palliative care with those facing life-limiting illnesses. As an avid learner and a parent living in a neurodivergent household, she understands many of the challenges that NowWhat families face. Laura is passionate about connecting people to resources & support that will make a positive and practical difference in their lives. You may find her supporting families through the intake process, collaborating with team members to develop program structure, designing & creating customized resources, and communicating our offerings to the world. In her personal time, Laura loves to take her 3 boys out to hike, bike, and paddle with friends, jam on their various instruments, or curl up on a couch to read together.
CASE MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATIVE
KAREN LANE-GROEN, Accounts Manager
Karen Lane-Groen (B.A.) (She/her) has over 10 years of experience working with children of all ages and abilities as an Elementary School Teacher, Director of an international tutoring company, and various other volunteer roles in her church and community. These experiences have shown her the importance of positive and open communication, the struggles of families with children who have special needs, and insights on how to deal with the limitations of doctors, teachers, and schools. Connecting with children in one on one or small group settings is a joy and strength of hers. She is also a mother of 3, with whom over the years she has worked through OT needs, giftedness, ADHD, struggles with executive function, and mental health challenges. At NowWhat, Karen brings all her strengths together to coordinate with clients and manage our accounts department.
JOANNE OSTAPUK, Office Manager
Joanne Ostapuk (she/her) is our daytime office manager. She comes to NowWhat with two decades of experience in customer service, HR, business administration and project management across various industries, including charitable organizations, insurance, and finance, as well as her Medical Administration certification.
Joanne has enjoyed volunteering with Hamilton Health Sciences for over ten years, and in her spare time she hangs out with her family (including several furry members) and enjoys creative writing.
KIM CAIN, Account Coordinator
Kim Cain B.A. Social Development Studies, Diploma of Social Work (She/her) Kim believes in lifetime learning and has a passion for creating strengths-based, inclusive supports for children and families! She joined our team in 2021 with two decades of experience in social services including Child Welfare Services, Young Parent Support Worker, Case Management, and as a member of the Ontario Family Group Conference Coordinator Roster. Kim has shared her knowledge and leadership in many roles at Now What Supports as a Family Liaison and Case Manager, DBT program coordinator, and Intake coordinator. Most recently, Kim supports our administration and accounts team.
REGULAR PLACEMENT STUDENTS
NowWhat values investing in the future of mental, emotional and social health in our communities. We are a proud collaborator with a number of universities and post-secondary institutions from around Ontario, accepting a broad range of placement students from several disciplines, including SSW, RSW, CYW, BSW & MSW programs, as well SLP, OT, and Psychotherapy. This allows both opportunities for greater therapeutic accessibility as we are able to offer subsidized sessions to our clients, and encourages clinical best practices – they keep us on our toes and up to date with the latest innovations and developments in their fields!
As an educational site, you can expect students to be present supporting our group programming, offering subsidized counseling sessions where appropriate, and shadowing senior therapists with client’s permission.