Meet Our Team
Anna Raworth, MSW RSW
Director, Child & Family Therapist
Anna is a Certified Play Therapist and works with children and families to overcome challenges and strengthen connections. She utilizes Internal Family Systems (IFS) with all ages as well as Brainspotting. Anna provides Supervision to other clinicians working with children or developing skills in IFS, and provides education and training. She is not currently accepting new clients
Anna has worked with young people for more than 10 years. Beginning as a child and youth worker, and later training as a clinical social worker, she is experienced in supporting children, youth, adults and families to overcome the impact of mental health challenges. Anna has worked in a variety of settings, including residential treatment homes, schools, hospitals, secure custody and treatment facilities, and in youth justice.
Anna is passionate about helping young people to overcome challenges, develop skills, and strengthen relationships both with themselves, and within their systems, including family, school, and community.She uses an eclectic approach when working with individuals, drawing on various skills, trainings and experiences to tailor a treatment plan specific to the client’s goals, in collaboration with the client and significant supports in their life.
Anna holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW), a Bachelors degree in Child and Youth Care, is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). She is also a Certified Child and Youth Care Practitioner. Anna is dedicated to continuous learning, and regularly takes part in trainings and professional development opportunities to serve her clients better. She has training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), narrative therapy, Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Play Therapy, attachment and trauma. She incorporates mindfulness, play and creative methods to draw out strengths, build on supports, and learn new skills.
Anna lives in the Hamilton area with her husband, two wonderful kids, and two spunky Labrador retrievers. She has a love for nature and the outdoors, including camping, hiking, and water activities like SUP’ing and scuba diving. The deep connection with nature is what inspired the name Acorn Counselling; for more insight into the name, see BLOG.
Anna is not accepting new clients at this time.
Jaclyn Cronin, MSW RSW
Child & Family Therapist
Jaclyn helps individuals manage their emotional ups and downs, especially as related to obsessions and compulsive behaviour (OCD). Jaclyn has expertise in and practices CBT and Exposure and Response Prevention (ExRP) with children and youth (and sometimes adults too).
Jaclyn is a Social Worker registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers. She focuses on treating people with respect and meeting them where they are using a flexible, multi-faceted approach. She works with people of all ages via virtual and in-person individual sessions.
Jaclyn started her career as a Child and Youth Worker in residential treatment programs and specialized classroom settings. She then worked in crisis settings, including crisis counselling, crisis response, and with a mental health team with police supporting individuals in crisis.
She has a passion for working with individuals and has worked with Acorn Counselling for 3+ years.
Throughout her work, Jaclyn developed an understanding of OCD and sought out evidence based training in order to understand how to best support people. OCD can be very distressing and consists of obsessions and compulsions. ExRP is form of behavioural therapy. It is structured and collaborative approach and uses exposures to confront the things that cause anxiety or worry and/or provoke obsessions. Jaclyn has also taken training focused on body focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) and Tourette syndrome.
If you’d like to connect with Jaclyn for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Marsha Kooiman, MSW RSW
Marsha understands that there are times in our lives when we encounter challenges and changes that require extra support. She believes in creating a safe space for children, adolescents, and parents to explore meaningful solutions to address their needs and goals.
Marsha Kooiman is an individual, couples and family therapist, and licensed Clinical Social Worker registered with OCSWSSW. Her formal education includes a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Marsha has worked as a social worker for over 20 years within the Hamilton, Halton, and Niagara regions and has had employment in a variety of settings. She gained tremendous experience and clinical training in child protection, education, and mental health sectors working with children, adolescents, and adults providing counselling (individual and group), education, and support to those struggling with individual and family issues including relationship issues (conflict, abuse, violence, separation, divorce), mental health (depression, anxiety, addictions), grief and loss, challenge and change (parenting issues, school/work issues).
Marsha utilizes evidence-based modalities and tools and strategies that best fit the client’s needs and preferences including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Narrative Therapy. Marsha is also a certified kickboxing instructor and wellness coach and integrates Polyvagal Theory, Somatic Experiencing, movement and breathwork in her practice for healing trauma. Marsha firmly believes that learning is lifelong and is committed to regularly attending training and professional development opportunities to offer more skills to better serve her clients.
Working from a client-centred approach Marsha offers counselling services to help individuals, couples, and families through stressful experiences. Having gone through a divorce herself, Marsha is aware of the experiences, worries and issues that families encounter when parent’s separate. She is an empathetic professional who engages clients in the counselling process, encourages clients to feel at ease, listened to and understood. Marsha finds it deeply rewarding to help clients rediscover their strengths and find solutions that bring positive and lasting change and meaning to their lives.
Marsha values family and giving back to her community. She lives in Burlington with her blended family and many pets. She enjoys the outdoors including camping, hiking, and biking. She has actively volunteered with local schools, charities, and residential homes.
If you’d like to connect with Marsha for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Ashley Backstrom, MSW RSW
Ashley helps children and their families find joy, confidence, and connection. She has training in CBT and uses play, creativity, art and fun activities to engage kids and make meaningful positive change.
Ashley is a Registered Social Worker with a Masters of Social Work. Ashley utilizes a down to earth approach when working with children and youth, incorporating genuine connection and, where appropriate, a sense of humour. Ashley utilizes a variety of modalities with clients, understanding the importance of bringing an approach that is suited to the strengths and unique characteristics of each individual. She particularly enjoys using art-based and creative techniques to help discover themselves through a different form of expression.
Ashley specializes in working with children and youth with challenging behaviours, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and autism. She works with children who are looking to strengthen emotional regulation, self-esteem, peer relationships and social skills.
If you’d like to connect with Ashley for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Sarah Schwalm, RP
She works from a strengths based, holistic approach offering young people and those who care for them a variety of treatment options. She works with teens and emerging adults (12-25 years of age) and encompasses compassion and empathy.
Sarah has dedicated her career thus far to working with teens as they navigate the many challenges of adolescence including peer conflicts, family dynamics, substance use, mental health and all that they may present with.
She is a graduate of the Child and Youth Worker Program through Mohawk College in Hamilton more than 20 years ago and has taken courses through McMaster University Continuing Education in the Addiction Care Worker Diploma Course. Sarah is also a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario since 2017.
She works from a strengths based, holistic approach offering young people and those who care for them a variety of treatment options including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Narrative Therapy, Talk Therapy and Sarah continues to seek opportunities for new learning in order to best serve her clients needs. Sarah incorporates mindfulness into her sessions and believes in the ability of her clients to meet their full potential. Sarah encompasses compassion and empathy and shows up daily for her colleagues and clients.
Sarah is a proud mom to a fun loving, sports minded 7 year old son, married to a supportive entrepreneur and cares deeply for their 10 year old Coonhound, Rawlings. In her spare time you will find Sarah and her family enjoying the great outdoors at the baseball diamond or a local Hamilton arena.
Sharon Kiers, MSW RSW
Sharon works with teens and families with challenging relationships, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. She works collaboratively to improve coping, confidence, and connections.
Sharon is passionate about coming alongside families who are struggling and finding ways to engage in compassionate conversations that renew connection. There are times when each of us struggle, either as an individual or as a family. These times can be painful and also opportunities to grow, heal and learn about ourselves.
In her clinical work, Sharon uses an eclectic approach and believes that there are many different ways to bring healing to our bodies, minds and our relationships. Her foundation comes from attachment theory and the understanding that when we have a safe environment where we feel seen, heard and valued that we then have the opportunity to grow into our fullest selves. Sharon is passionate about offering a safe space to teens, young adults and parents who are looking for support in working towards their goals.
Sharon has a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Wilfrid Laurier University and completed her Bachelor of Arts (BA) at Redeemer University College. Sharon is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). She has over 10 years of experience in supporting families. Sharon is a Trust Based Relationship Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner and also is trained in facilitating Making Sense of Your Worth groups.
Sharon has lived experience with adoption and also being a foster family. She is passionate about supporting caregivers of children that have experienced trauma and/or loss.
Sharon lives in Hamilton with her two amazing kiddos and a charming budgie. She loves going for long walks while listening to a good podcast. Sharon enjoys spending time outside, going for hikes, camping, reading a good book or having good conversations with friends.
Haruka Kanai, MSW RSW
Haurka supports children, youth (6-15) and their families struggling with anxiety, low mood/depression, life transitions, anger and self-regulation, behavioural challenges, self-esteem, social and life skills, family dynamics, parenting support and school refusal.
Haruka believes that establishing a respectful, collaborative relationship that allows for openness, honesty and trust is critical to supporting children, youth and their families. She is passionate about guiding kids and their families to recognize their strengths and instil a sense of hope as she supports them in a caring, calm manner.
Haruka earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree from McMaster University and recently completed her Master of Social Work degree at University of Toronto, specializing in children and their families. Haruka is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Haruka has had various experiences working within Hamilton’s child and youth mental health sector and in school settings. Her work is guided by the lived expertise of children, youth and their families, as she strives to build a foundation of trust in all therapeutic relationships.
Haruka has been trained in cognitive behavioural therapy and solution-focused therapy and continues to partake in ongoing learning to further her clinical knowledge. Haruka has experience working with children, youth and their families struggling with anxiety, low mood/depression, life transitions, anger and self-regulation, behavioural challenges, self-esteem, social and life skills, family dynamics, parenting support and school refusal.
In her spare time, Haruka enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, baking for others, going to antique stores and exploring Hamilton. Haruka is grateful for her opportunity to be able to support children, youth and families at Acorn Counselling and is very much looking forward to connecting with the community.
If you’d like to connect with Haruka for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Meghan Noonan, DTATI Cand., RP (Qualifying), OCT
Meghan is an Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the CRPO. Meghan works from a strength-based and client-centered approach to help children and youth creatively overcome difficulties and connect with their thoughts and emotions through artmaking. She believes in providing a safe and non-judgemental space for her clients to explore and grow. Meghan is currently working towards the completion of her master’s level diploma from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.
Meghan is an Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the CRPO and a member in good standing with Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals. . Meghan is currently working towards the completion of her master’s level diploma from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She also hold’s a bachelor’s degree from the University of McMaster in Social Sciences and the University of Queens in Education (primary/junior divisions) along with a specialization certificate in Applied Behavioural Analysis from Mohawk College.
Art therapy is a therapeutic approach that combines both counselling psychotherapy and art making. In her work as an Art therapist, Meghan journeys alongside her clients by offering them a space to explore and engage in the creative therapeutic process. Meghan’s focus is on providing opportunities for her clients to creatively express their thoughts and feelings that would otherwise be difficult to verbally articulate.
Meghan’s therapeutic approach is strength-based and client-centered, with a strong emphasis on mindfulness and CBT/DBT-informed orientations. Her 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 of working with youth, Meghan has learned the importance of creating safe and empathic spaces for youth to express themselves and feel empowered.
If you’d like to connect with Meghan for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Leanna Bissell, M.A, RP(Q)
Leanna works with teens and young adults and adults with intense emotions and disordered eating. She uses tools like EMDR and mindfulness based practices, and is currently accepting clients.
Leanna is a registered psychotherapist (qualifying) with a Master Degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Brock University. Leanna has an accumulated ten years of experience working in mental health in community-based settings and most recently private practice. Leanna has worked with individuals from a myriad of backgrounds providing empathetic support and instilling hope for the future. Leanna has experience providing therapy for people with eating disorders, disordered eating, addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, ADHD and other mental health concerns.
Leanna believes that therapy is a partnership and a collaborative process that focuses on creating an atmosphere where meaningful and impactful conversations can take place to explore a person’s inner strengths and therapeutic goals. Leanna uses approaches such as narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution-focused brief therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and mindfulness-based practices to thoughtfully provide a safe space for healing. Leanna is passionate about continuing to learn and develop her toolkit in order to provide outstanding professional and relevant therapy for people of all backgrounds and walks of life.
If you’d like to connect with Leanna for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Ellen Robinson, M.Psych, RSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist
Ellen is passionate about her work with older teens and adults. She enjoys seeing her clients realize their own worth and potential as they learn more about themselves, the inner-critic that holds them back, and their untapped strengths and abilities.
Ellen helps clients explore how previous and current life experiences have shaped the way they think, behave, parent, cope, and interact in the world. She is especially skilled in supporting parents whose own mental health or marital conflict impact the atmosphere of the family unit.
Ellen uses modalities such as CBT, DBT, Mindfulness, and EMDR, offering virtual counselling.
If you’d like to connect with Ellen for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message you’d like to connect with her directly.
Deborah Tomlinson-Veit, MSW, RSW
Deborah is a client-centred Social Worker who uses a collaborative approach to therapy. She believes in the power of stories; those we’ve been told and those we tell ourselves. Through nonjudgmental curiosity, and lots of questions, Deborah nurtures space in which children, youth and their families can begin to explore the narratives of their lives. She believes you are not defined by your challenging life experiences, emotions or behaviours.
Deborah uses a variety of evidence-based modalities such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotion Focussed Family Therapy (EFFT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and trauma informed practices. She is also committed to on-going learning of how to be anti-oppressive, anti-racist and anti-colonial.
Deborah completed a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies & Social Work as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work at McMaster University. She is a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workrs and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).
Deborah’s areas of practice include anxiety, low mood/depression, anger, grief & bereavement, school refusal, bullying and peer victimization, stress & coping, self-esteem, parent-child conflict, parenting support and life transitions.
Deborah lives in Hamilton with her family which includes an overly excitable dog. She is an avid reader and mediocre runner.
Ravina Sangha, MSW, RSW
Ravina is a registered social worker (RSW) with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). She earned a Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree from the University of Victoria with a specialization in child welfare, and has obtained her Masters of Social Work through York University.
Ravina has 6 years of experience clinically supporting children, youth, parents, and families by practicing from a trauma informed lens. She believes therapy is relational, and needs to be client-centred; Ravina will collaborate with you in finding the right therapeutic approach and will provide a safe and non judgemental space to work through challenges together.
Over the past 6 years Ravina has been trained in various modalities such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness, solution focused, expressive arts, and play therapy. She completed training in foundational Play Therapy skills through the Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute. Ravina also has training in applied suicide intervention, working with oppositional, defiant and anger issues in children and adolescents, grief and loss, and childhood anxiety.
Ravina loves spending time outdoors with her dog (especially near water and/or hiking) – she enjoys road trips, making puzzles, and travelling!
Shaye Hutchinson, MSW RSW
Shaye understands life can be stressful, and sometimes even painful. She helps kids, teens, and adults manage their emotions and navigate through life’s challenges so that they can feel more confident and able to cope. Shaye is currently not accepting new clients.
Shaye has been working in the social service field for almost 10 years. She earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the State University of New York and an undergraduate degree from Trent University. She is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Shaye understands life can be stressful, difficult, and sometimes even painful. Shaye sees her role as a therapist is to support you in telling your story, and assist you in navigating through life’s challenges. Shaye works from a client-centred approach to support you in working towards individual goals, which could include personal growth, improved relationships, managing emotions/stress and/or developing healthy coping mechanisms. Her primary goal is to create a safe space in order for you to feel comfortable to share your experiences and to work collaboratively to foster positive change.
Shaye has several years of experience working with children, youth, families and adults, who are managing a variety of difficulties including anxiety, depression, anger/aggression, parenting challenges, complex family relationships, sexuality and gender identity, trauma related symptoms, and more. Her approach is trauma informed, and strength- based; utilizing cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy skills, and motivational interviewing techniques.
Shaye lives in West Niagara but was born in raised in Hamilton. She loves spending time outdoors with her two dogs. Shaye is passionate about bringing high quality care to the children, teens and families that she works with. She brings that same passion to her work in educating the next generation of helpers through her part-time teaching position at Niagara College.
Shaye is not accepting new clients at this time.
Adrien McKenna, MA, CYC-P
Mental Health Counsellor
Adrien is passionate about working with children, teens and young people to reach their full potential, providing them with a safe and nurturing space to do so. She works from a strength-based approaching, utilizing interventions such as DBT, CBT and EFFT.
Adrien holds a Master of Arts in Child and Youth Care from Toronto Metropolitan University, an Honours Advanced Diploma in Child and Youth Care from Mohawk College, and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work at the University of Windsor. With a focus on children and youth, Adrien’s clinical experience encompasses mental health counselling, developmental support, and family-centered care.
With over 20 years of experience, Adrien has dedicated her career to the well-being of children and youth in various settings, including residential care, outreach programs, and hospital environments. Adrien is skilled in creating customized treatment plans to address each child’s unique needs, helping them overcome challenges and reach their full potential.
Adrien believes in empowering children and youth by fostering their inherent strengths and abilities. She is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing space where young people can explore and express their feelings, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and build resilience. Adrien is passionate about working with marginalized, racialized, and/or LGBTQ2s young people. She utilizes a strength-based approach to change, guiding children and youth to harness their unique abilities to foster personal growth and transformation.
If you would like to connect with Adrien for a quick chat to see if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation and specify in the message you would like to connect with her directly.
Allie Witek, B.A.Sc, IMH
Infant and Family Mental Health Counsellor
Allie specializes in supporting infant and early childhood mental health including attachment and bonding, development, behaviour, perinatal/parental mental health, parenting and family dynamics. She recognizes that families and children rarely fit into neat ‘boxes’ and her goal is to find what works specifically for your child and family in this moment, and into the future.
Allie grew up internationally (US, Germany, Portugal) and became a Candian citizen in 2019 after living here for 11 year. She now lives in Hamilton with her partner who is K-6 teacher, and their 2 very fat black cats. She loves spending time with chosen family connecting with her community, and finding new interests.
If you would like to connect with Allie for a quick chat to she if she would be the right therapist for you, book your free consultation call and specify in the message that you’d like to connect to her directly.
Tamara Krbavac, M.Sc, CLS, RSW
Tamara has a Master of Science in Psychology from California Coast University, a Post Professional Diploma in Child Life Studies from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Applied Science: Family and Social Relations from the University of Guelph. Her focus and clinical experience is working with children, youth and their parents.
Tamara has 20+ years experience supporting children and families throughout the life course and through many different events including life threatening illness and death, acute and long term hospitalization, procedural preparation and education in the medical setting. Before shifting focus to parent support, Tamara worked in various areas of child and youth development such as daycare, residential settings, outreach and hospital settings.
Tamara believes that parenting is one of the most difficult and rewarding journeys we can take. She helps parents to see the skills they possess, and helps them to know what to do when. Tamara also enjoys working with children to help them explore their feelings and how to share these feelings with their parents and caregivers. Tamara believes in taking a strength based approach to change — helping people to recognize what they are good at, and how to use these skills to make desired changes. She uses a collaborative and tailored approach to support parents and caregivers. She creates the opportunity to talk openly and honestly about the challenges of parenting.
Tamara is a committed life-long learner. She has training in motivational interviewing and is informed in a variety of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).
Tamara is proud life-long Hamiltonian. She lives in the Hamilton area with her husband, 4 children and 3 dogs. She is an avid reader, loves Escape rooms and time with family.
Ben Weinstock, B.A., CYCP
Ben is an impassioned CYCP who brings experience from working in Ontario and Sydney, Australia. He is a graduate of The Child and Youth Care Studies program from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2012 and is a current member of the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care Practitioners. His career trajectory includes The Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health, out of home care, Ontario Early Years and the HWDSB.
Now with Acorn, he does individual counselling and runs a social anxiety group. He has been on journeys with families as they discover their inner strengths and foster psychological flexibility. He understands the stressors and pressures of being a young person in this modern age given our society’s changing landscape and technology.
Ben helps kids develop skills drawn from: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Internal Family Systems and Polyvagal Theory. Most importantly, play (both indoor and outdoor) is an integral part of the therapeutic experience between Ben and his clients. In sessions, Ben uses openness, awareness and engagement to help kids through their challenges.
His favourite games to play are all lawn games, Capture the Flag and Crazy 8 countdown. Outside of work his hobbies include coffee, podcasts and surfing.
Ben is one of our Group Facilitators and is currently running our kids anxiety group, Taming Worry Dragons. Ben also provides one on one support for children and youth.
Hannah Lewis, MA Candidate, RP (qualifying)
Hannah enjoys working alongside children, youth and families to build resilience and coping while strengthening family connections. She is completing her clinical internship under the supervision of Anna Raworth, MSW RSW.
Brenna Bomberry, MA Candidate, RP (Qualifying)
Brenna takes a client centered approach that entails collaboration with
clients to find a therapeutic method that best works for them.
Cognitive-Behaviour, Solution-Focused or Humanistic-Phenomenological
approach could be possible options but not limited. Brenna strives to
provide clients a better quality of life that they enjoy. She believes
therapy is not an individualized experience but a team effort in
obtaining an individual’s therapeutic goals. Brenna has experience
working with teenagers in vulnerable situations and children with
Zainab Choudhery, MA Candidate, RP (Qualifying)
Zainab has extensive experience supporting and empowering children, youth, and their families using anti-oppression and anti-racism approaches. Through strength-based counselling, she supports clients who are experiencing social, emotional, or psychological obstacles, and self-harm or suicide ideation. As a multi-lingual counsellor, she provides a compassionate and safe environment to explore cultural and religious practices, values, and traditions. Zainab is committed to developing a strong therapeutic relationship to help clients identify and accomplish their goals.
Carolyn works behind the scenes at Acorn Counselling. She provides administrative support to the practice and helps manage day to day operations. She is often the first point of contact for many and works to ensure all questions or inquiries are handled with confidentiality, sensitivity, and respect.