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, counselling 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), 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 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 teenaged 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 THERAPY, CASE MANAGEMENT
KIM CAIN, Family Liason & Case Manager
Kim Cain [B.A. Social Development Studies, Certificate in Social Work Studies] (She/her) comes to NowWhat with two decades of experience in social services. She worked as an alternative dispute resolution practitioner within child welfare services and has been a rostered member of the Ontario Family Group Conference Coordinators at the George Hall Centre for Children and Families in Toronto since 2014. Kim is the Case Manager for our innovative adapted DBT programs, as well as working to enhance your client journey and helping families get situated in the right services.
Kim is the mother of three fantastic boys and in her spare time is an avid choir member and soloist, and would-be interior designer.
CASE MANAGEMENT, ADMINISTRATION
LISA ZAITCHIK, Office Manager
Lisa Zaitchik (she/her) is the friendly and capable face of NowWhat and is usually the first point of contact for new clients. Lisa handles scheduling and manages client flow from the front desk with unshakeable style. She began her career as a CYW, and worked for the Toronto CAS for 5 years and in daycare before moving into HR for 15 years, always in frontline customer-focused roles including training and recruitment. In her spare time Lisa enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
KAREN LANE-GROEN, Accounts Manager
Karen Lane-Groen (B.A.) (She/her) has over 10 years 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.
LAURA JANE, Business Manager
Laura Jane (She/her) comes to the NowWhat marketing & development team with 16 years 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 of children with neuro-diversities, she understands many of the challenges that face NowWhat families. Laura is passionate about connecting people to resources & support that will make a positive and practical difference in their lives. She collaborates with team members to develop program structure, design & create customised resources, and communicate our offerings to the world. In her personal time Laura loves to take her 3 boys out to hike, bike, paddle & skate with friends, jam loudly on their various instruments, or curl up on a couch to read together.
HELEN BROOK, Registered Social Worker
Helen Brook [RSW, MSW] (she/her) has been a social worker for 18 years, working extensively in child welfare as well as with parents, children and youth. Helen is an experienced individual counsellor, as well as a highly competent supervisor and treatment planner. She has worked with women who are at risk or in conflict with the law, helping them reenter society and establish themselves in the community after coming out of the justice system. One of her favourite experiences was doing presentations for the Triangle Program (educating children about the many shapes of family) within the Toronto District School Board. Helen is a member of the LGBTQ2S community and has done a lot of work in this arena, most recently with folks who identify as gender diverse. In her work running the mental health program at a family medical clinic, Helen supported patients with depression, anxiety, mental health challenges and stress, largely within the transgender population. Helen has always been passionate about advocating for vulnerable populations, having facilitated Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism Training at the CAS among other social justice initiatives. Her approach to therapeutic intervention is to always find the gentlest path to healing for each individual. Helen is also a parent to two wonderful girls and has personal experience managing various learning disabilities and neurodiversities within her household. She enjoys hanging out with our therapy pets, drinking coffee, eating tacos and hiking.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, DBT, ADULT THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, CHILD THERAPY LGBTQ2S+ SPECIALIST, CASE MANAGEMENT
AINSLEY HOWARD, Registered Social Worker
Ainsley Howard [RSW, MSW] (she/her) – Ainsley brings to us a wealth of social work experience supporting vulnerable and diverse populations in a variety of different settings including education, health care, and criminal justice. She is flexible and adaptable, adept at working with children, youth, adults, and families in both individual and group settings. She specializes in mental health and addictions and utilizes an array of evidence-based treatment modalities to support her clients as they manage and overcome challenges. She is passionate about guiding clients to identify their strengths, abilities, and capacity in order to flourish and improve their overall wellbeing. Ainsley’s approach is compassionate, inclusive, and collaborative. She maintains cultural humility throughout her work. When Ainsley is not working, she is busy taking care of her hobby farm, and taking too many pictures of her dog, Chloe.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACH, ADULT THERAPY, TEEN THERAPY, CHILD THERAPY, CASE MANAGEMENT
REVA KATZ-ULSTER, Registered Social Worker
Reva Katz-Ulster [MSW, RSW] (She/her) is a versatile professional who has decades of experience in her field and whose practice includes counselling, case management and vocational assessment. She completed her BA in Psychology from the University of Toronto, her BSW in Social Work from McGill, and her MSW in Social Work from the University of Toronto. She is a Regulated Health Professional and a member in good standing of the Ontario Association of Professional Social Workers and the Ontario College of Registered Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Prior to entering into private practice, she worked in mental health and children’s services both in hospitals and community agencies. As well as specialising in clinical counselling for individuals with complex challenges, Reva oversees, consults and collaborates on many of NowWhat’s program initiatives.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, ADULT THERAPY, VIRTUAL THERAPY
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 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
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
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.
CLINICAL COUNSELLING, ADULT THERAPY, FAMILY THERAPY, TEEN THERAPYVIRTUAL
BREANNE SCHUIT, Child Life Program Manager
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, DBT TEEN THERAPY, TRAUMA SPECIALIST, GRIEF SPECIALIST, CASE MANAGEMENT
HEATHER HARDY, Child Life Specialist
Heather Hardy [BA, MSc, CCLS, CT] (She/her) Heather Hardy Heather is a Certified Child Life Specialist & Certified Thanatologist (grief specialist) with years of experience working with children navigating hospitalization, grief, illness and transitions. She has worked with patients and their families in outpatient, inpatient and emergency department settings, as well as in group and individual support sessions. Heather uses emotional expression activities and therapeutic play to build rapport, develop coping strategies and help children better understand their environment. During her undergraduate degree, Heather doubled majored in Child Development and Thanatology. She then obtained her Master’s degree in Pediatric Psychosocial Care from McMaster University. Heather also holds a diploma in Grief and Loss from Western University. Heather is an avid cyclist and enjoys camping adventures with her fiancé and Chihuahua. When she’s not outdoors, you’ll find Heather working on her car, knitting or reading a book.
CHILD THERAPY, DBT, TEEN THERAPY, TRAUMA SPECIALIST, GRIEF SPECIALIST, CASE MANAGEMENT
HALEY AGAR, Child Life Specialist
Haley Agar [BA, CLSt Dipl., CCLS] (She/her) is a Certified Child Life Specialist with years of experience working with children and families in a healthcare setting. Haley graduated from McMaster University with a post graduate diploma in Child Life Studies. Prior to attending McMaster, she graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Child Health. Haley specializes in supporting the developmental and emotional needs of children and families. She has a range of experience helping children cope with difficult life experiences. Haley has a passion for utilizing creative modalities such as art and play-based therapeutic activities to help children to feel comfortable expressing their emotions and to learn helpful coping strategies. In her spare time, Haley enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling to new places and going for long walks with her Cavapoo puppy named Finn.
CHILD THERAPY, TRAUMA SPECIALIST, GRIEF SPECIALIST
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. 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!
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
DANA DEMPSEY, Certified Music Therapist
Dana Dempsey [BMT, MTA] (She/her) is a certified Music Therapist and Behaviour Coach passionate about making music an accessible resource. Dana enjoys taking on an interdisciplinary approach to fit the needs of each person she works with. In the past, Dana has worked with a wide range of populations including seniors living with dementia, adults with developmental disabilities, youth with mental health and behavioural challenges, and children with ADHD and neurodiversities. She has also enjoyed collaborating with local communities in Canada, Egypt, and Jordan to create music programs tailored to the needs of the group (in English and Arabic). Dana’s free time usually involves some combination of exploring new places with friends, going to concerts, baking, working out, or taking photos. When able to, Dana visits her family back home in Cairo, Egypt.
MUSIC THERAPY, CBT, ADHD, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, BEHAVIOUR COACHING
DAN ZAITZOW, Certified Teacher
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 one incredibly energetic, incredibly talkative, incredibly curious toddler.
THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, TUTORING, DBT, HIGH SCHOOL SUPPORT
DENISE HAGGER, Certified Teacher
Denise Hagger, BA, PGCE (Education) (She/Her) Denise is in her 30th year of 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.
NOWLEARN, THERAPEUTIC EDUCATION, BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING, TUTORING, DBT, HIGH SCHOOL SUPPORT
SHANNON OSUNDE, RECE & Children's Program Coordinator
Shannon Osunde [BA, 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. Shannon has been instrumental in developing and running programming for NowLearn (our alternative education program), pre-DBT Skill Builders social groups, Junior DBT, Animal Assisted Therapy and mindfulness workshops. 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, ECE
JAMIE CHRISTMAN, Executive Functioning & 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 has found his passion and specialty in helping 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
TRACEY KORNBLUM, Therapeutic Coach
Tracey Kornblum [HBA Women’s Studies/Cultural Studies] (She/her) is an experienced behaviour coach & parent coach with NowWhat. Tracey’s particular expertise lies in helping adolescent girls navigate through unique or complex challenges, opening up doors that feel blocked and finding ways to connect meaningfully with this demographic, meeting them where they are and helping them move forward with positivity and hopefulness. She comes from a diverse background, having been a certified group fitness trainer for 25 years, an artist who has worked with children in the community for over two decades on community & school based projects, and a teacher at Beth Jacob Hebrew school in Hamilton. Additionally for most of the last decade Tracey has spent 7 weeks each summer supervising, mentoring and training up to 30 teenagers around the clock as the facilitator of an in-depth camp counsellor-in-training program. Tracey also combines her passions to run various creative therapeutic fitness and art-based programs, workshops and retreats with NowWhat throughout the year.
NIGEL APPLEWHAITE, Program Coordinator & 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, NOWLEARN, SKILLBUILDERS, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING
AIMEE WIGLEY, Therapeutic Coach
Aimee Wigley, [BA (Hons), M.Ed, Mental Health & Crisis First Aid] Aimee brings has a wealth of experience in case management, educational programming, client support and executive function and has worked as a Camp Director, Program Coordinator for educational programs, and in Case Management. She holds a BA (honours) in English Literature and an M.Ed (Merit standing) in the Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing, specializing in working directly with at-risk and neurodivergent youth. Believing that every neurodivergence is just a superpower that needs to be harnessed, Aimee enjoys both 1:1 and group work at NowWhat including being on the DBT support team. In her free time she plays the ukulele, loves to bake and can often be found out on an adventure with her bubbly puppy, Winston.
BEHAVIOUR COACHING, EXECUTIVE FUNCTION COACHING,
TIM HAVERCROFT, Therapeutic Coach
Tim Havercroft [BA, FGCC] (He/him) comes to us with a decade of experience serving youth, individuals, families and communities with various physical, mental, emotional and educational needs in the greater Hamilton area. Tim holds a certificate in Conflict Management and Mediation and is a trained Family Group Conferencing Coordinator specializing in finding inclusive and creative ways to help individuals and communities work through complex challenges. Tim has developed and worked in a variety of programs including camps, life skills courses, workplace preparation, and youth leadership training.
At NowWhat Tim is on the DBT support team as well as providing group and individual coaching for kids, youth and teens, as he works towards further qualifications in the field.
In between parenting two little girls, He’s also currently working towards becoming a psychotherapist.
REGULAR PLACEMENT STUDENTS
NowWhat values investing in the future of mental health in our communities and is 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 BSW & MSW programs, SLP, OT, Psychotherapy. This allows both opportunities for greater therapeutic accessibility, and encourages clinical best practices – they keep us on our toes and up to date with the latest innovations and developments in their fields!