Desiree Harvey

(she/her)
Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
RP Qualifying, CTP Dipl
Availability:
Accepting New Clients
Session Format:
In-Person SessionsOnline TherapyPhone Sessions
Office Hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday
Clientele:
Adults
Email Desiree
  • Aging and Age-Related Concerns
  • Anxiety
  • Career Dissatisfaction or Transition
  • Depression
  • Dream Work and Dream Interpretation
  • Existential Concerns
  • LGBTQ
  • Life Crisis and Transitions
  • Loneliness and Isolation
  • Loss and Grief
  • Mourning and Bereavement
  • Multicultural Issues
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sexuality and Gender Issues
  • Stress
  • Client-Centred
  • Existential
  • Intersubjective
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Relational
  • Contact Information

    Email:
    desireeis@hotmail.com
    Phone:
    (647) 705-4326
    Address:
    344 Bloor Street West | Ste. 305 | Toronto | ON | M5S 1W9
    Wheelchair Accessible

    Psychodynamic psychotherapy is about learning to be curious and excited about what’s going on inside ourselves, rather than feeling lost, judgemental, or ashamed about our feelings, sensations, thoughts, and beliefs. 

    Curiosity creates space to wonder: What am I feeling in this moment, and why?  When and why do I ignore my own needs?  What makes me feel ashamed?  Why did I react that way?  How do I find myself in this situation again?  Who am I, really, and how can I be happy with who I am?  By asking questions like these, we make space for other parts of ourselves, parts we might usually silence or ignore, to speak, and we can consider more of the complexity of our existence.

    Practicing this kind of curiosity expands who we are and what we allow within ourselves.  It allows us to feel more, imagine more, and be braver when facing obstacles.  It leads to the development of respect and appreciation towards the self. This self is then there to hold us when we feel most alone, and allows us to respect and love others more fully.

    You contain more power and agency than you think.  You can learn to bear pain more gracefully, really mourn old or ongoing traumas, and have more discernment when relating to others.  You can feel a connection to and love for your unconscious self, that part of you that is often in charge, with or without your conscious participation.  Rather than fighting ourselves, in therapy we can learn to embrace ourselves, bringing us more influence over our own lives.

    In session, I am attentive, curious, warm, and playful. I come with an openness and respect for you and your willingness to start on this journey of self-understanding. It takes a lot of bravery to do that, and I commend you.

    It is important to slow down in therapy in order to give ourselves the space to feel and reflect. This pacing allows us to take a deeper look at whatever you find yourself talking about. I will encourage you to tune into your body in therapy, reflecting on what it is feeling or doing, and we’ll work together to decipher what it might be saying. Your own questions and observations will guide our work, and I will encourage you to look at yourself with care and thoughtfulness rather than judgement or criticism. I will ask questions that draw you deeper into yourself and closer to understanding. Our relationship, that of patient and therapist, will also be open to conversation and questioning.

    In time, we will come to see your unconscious at work, through your body sensations, dreams, relational patterns, and free associations. The unconscious is a wise and humorous teacher, and much can be gained by noticing and respecting it. You will begin to develop a working relationship with your own unconscious, which will allow more meaning, and multiple meanings, to be made of your life.

    On the practical side of things, I offer 50-minute sessions once a week. My rate is $130 plus tax per therapy hour ($146.90). Psychodynamic therapy is long-term therapy, which means I tend to work with people for a year or longer.  If that sounds useful or agreeable to you, I look forward to hearing from you!

    I come from a family that struggles with mental illness, which, from birth, has shaped who I am. My experiences have made me curious and empathetic about the causes and consequences of mental health issues, not just for the suffering individual, but for each family member in a distinct way. We each respond uniquely to the challenges fate has set for us. I am interested in seeing how you have carried your personal fate with you.

    As for my own journey, after almost a decade of intense solitary meditation practice, I entered psychodynamic psychotherapy. It helped me to see the importance of having another person there to hold, listen, reflect, and digest in a way I wasn’t able to do by myself, or within myself. The transformational experiences I’ve had in my own personal therapy make me excited to work with others in this capacity.

    Professionally, I come from teaching high school English. I bring with me a love of words, metaphor, and symbolism. We all have a narrative, a story we tell ourselves, about our lives, and in therapy we can look to see what that is and what it might mean.  In this way, literature and therapy have a lot in common.

    I also come to this work from an anti-racist, queer, and feminist perspective. My own experiences with privilege and oppression have shaped me and continue to do so. It is a personal passion of mine to continue to understand myself and others better through the lens of power in society. Experiences we have with societal forces like racism, sexism, or homophobia can have as strong an impact on us as more personal or familial traumas. For these reasons, talking about race, gender, and sexuality might be a part of your work with me.

    If you think you’re ready to get started, please email me at desireeis@hotmail.com, or call or text me at (647) 705-4326.  I will respond within 24 hours to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation, or an initial session, whichever you prefer.  I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and although I am currently working online due to COVID, I am hoping to go back to in-person sessions at my office located at Bloor and Spadina.  My rate is $130 + tax per therapy hour ($146.90).         

    Psychodynamic therapy allows us to develop an interest in and ability to pay attention.

    By paying attention, we can learn a lot about the world and ourselves.  Patience, hard work, and curiosity are required.  But finding ourselves, over and over again, is possible and rewarding.  I am honoured that you are considering contacting me, and wish you happiness and success, whatever path you choose.  If you feel ready, I look forward to hearing from you to begin this transformational journey at desireeis@hotmail.com, or (647) 705-4326.