Nicole Cormier, Ph.D.
Clinical Associate In London, Ontario
Being at peace with yourself can be a terrible struggle, especially when your life feels so very different from those around you.
I know how it feels to be excluded from the group, to be the odd one out. I know what it means to have life experiences so outside the “norm” that you give up trying to talk about it, because nobody seems to understand how hard it is.
You’ve been made to feel you don’t measure up – physically, mentally, or socially.
Maybe your body doesn’t fit our culture’s impossible ideals, or reflect who you know you are in your heart. Maybe you or a family member are living with a disability. Maybe you’ve been mistreated, abused, or denied equal treatment because of your race, your gender, or your sexuality. Maybe your family is from a culture or religion very different than others around you, and you feel torn between your family’s ways and those of your peers and colleagues. Maybe you’ve experienced devastating loss or trauma, and those around you just keep telling you to “suck it up” or “get over it,” even though you still feel like you’re drowning.
You might be feeling devastated by others’ subtle (or not-so-subtle) judgments – or worse, by their well-intentioned but harmful attempts to “help” without understanding your needs. Perhaps you’ve often felt isolated, misunderstood, and alone among people whose lives seem so much simpler and happier. Others have violated your boundaries, turned their backs on you, or treated you in abusive ways, and then blamed their behaviour on you.
You’ve grown so used to being treated badly that you’ve learned to blame yourself, or fear you are broken and unloveable. You’ve become your own worst enemy, because bullying yourself first is safer than waiting for others to do it. Or maybe you’ve coped by focusing on others’ wishes and needs as a way of blending in, and finding purpose – but in doing so you’ve lost track of your own.
You are not alone.
In our work together I will listen without judgment. I will provide unconditional support, empathy, validation, and positive regard. I will journey alongside you, and encourage your compassion for yourself, your feelings, and your experiences. We will explore how to find your voice, how to take up space, how to care for yourself and hold others accountable when they hurt you. We will examine how life events and social systems have shaped your experiences and ways of coping, rather than focusing blame on broken “mechanisms” within you. We will share joy, and anger, and sadness, and fear, and work toward a peaceful relationship with those feelings.
Throughout my PhD clinical psychology training at Ryerson University and my residency at the London Psychology Residency Consortium, I’ve focused on clinical work with oppressed and marginalized clients.
I continuously educate myself on intersectional social justice (including anti-racism, feminism, LGBT activism, fat activism, and disability self-advocacy), and I work hard to integrate those principles into my clinical practice. I have extensive experience with diverse populations through my work in university counselling at Ryerson and Western University, and have trained in cognitive-behavioural (CBT), dialectical (DBT), humanistic, feminist, and emotion-focused therapy methods. My clinical method is eclectic, and I will work flexibly with you to develop strategies best-suited to your needs and preferences.