• Toronto Psychotherapy - Barry Olshen

Barry Olshen

Registered Psychotherapist
RP, CTP Dipl, PhD (English Literature and Drama)
Not Currently Accepting Clients
Session Format:
Online TherapyPhone Sessions
Office Hours:
Wednesdays and Thursdays
Email Barry
  • Abuse (physical and psychological; past or present)
  • Aging and Age-Related Concerns
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Career Dissatisfaction or Transition
  • Depression
  • Dream Work and Dream Interpretation
  • Existential Concerns
  • Life Crisis and Transitions
  • Loneliness and Isolation
  • Loss and Grief
  • Obsessive and Compulsive Thoughts and Behaviours
  • Parenting and Co-Parenting
  • Personality Disorders
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self-Destructive Patterns
  • Self-Esteem
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Sex and Intimacy Issues
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Body-focused Therapy
  • Client-Centred
  • Eclectic
  • Existential
  • Humanistic
  • Intersubjective
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Relational
  • Contact Information


    Psychotherapy offers an effective way to explore what is not going well or does not feel right in our lives. Almost any perceived problem or issue—including, of course, a more urgent crisis—provides an appropriate place to begin and a fruitful theme to pursue. The conversation is guided by self-inquiry and avoids self-criticism. It stimulates curiosity and helps us to discover and to develop more of ourselves. It enhances our capacity for living a fuller and deeper, more capable, more creative, and more satisfying life.

    To learn more about this process and how it may be actualized, please read “How I Work.”

    The psychotherapy I practise is usually called Interpersonal or Relational. The relationship with you, the client, provides a key transforming element in the therapy. I believe that it is you who knows, better than anyone else, what path to follow, even if you do not always know how to find your way or where to begin. We work at the pace you set for yourself. We discuss the subjects and problems you wish to pursue.

    A successful therapeutic relationship will soon cast light upon some of the beliefs and patterns of behaviour that have been out of your awareness until now, but have nonetheless influenced your experience. Once made conscious and once accepted, these beliefs and patterns may be transformed or adapted or dealt with in any way you choose. This process is empowering and its results become evident in your personal interactions, your intimate relationships, and your sense of yourself.

    The work of psychotherapy is both very challenging and very interesting. Although the process can be troubling at times (because of certain memories, experiences, or misgivings that inevitably arise in the course of the work), it may also be humorous, joyful, and enlivening. We need not focus all the time on the individual’s problems or even on the individual at all. In fact, clients of mine are encouraged to talk about issues of culture, religion, philosophy, politics, current events, and so on, issues that interest them now or have influenced them in the past. The conversations that arise usually enrich the work and lead to personal discoveries that serve the therapy well.

    Typically I see my clients once a week for a full hour. The room is private, comfortable, and conveniently located; and the sessions are entirely confidential.

    My first career was very happily spent as a university professor, fully engaged in both teaching and research. I was fortunate to be appointed to a department of English and also to another called Multidisciplinary Studies. This cross-appointment enabled me to pursue a variety of interests in literature, drama and theatre, the Bible, and creative writing. A broad engagement with the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts has shaped my psychotherapy practice from the start, and, with certain clients, I may incorporate creative practices into the therapy itself.

    At this stage of my life, I believe I can say that I have had a fairly broad and deep experience of the world, which helps me as a psychotherapist. I have lived in Toronto for much of my life, raised a family and established my roots here, but I was born and raised elsewhere and, as an adult, have also lived and worked abroad. I have many intimate friends, many long-standing social relationships, and a very wide variety of acquaintances in many spheres of life.

    My own personal psychotherapy and my long-standing interest in psychoanalysis led me to the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (CTP), where I received rigorous experiential, clinical, and theoretical training during my six years as a student. I have been in private practice since 2003 and am delighted to have found this second career as rewarding as my first. I am as dedicated to therapy as I was to teaching, and I am as fully engaged in its practise.

    You may have questions to ask and matters to raise. If you wish more information or more personal contact with me, I offer an initial consultation free of charge. It is best to email me on weekdays at barryolshen@gmail.com.

    If you would like more information or would like to schedule an initial no-fee consultation please contact me at barryolshen@gmail.com.