• Mary Ellen Mahoney Registered Toronto Psychotherapist

Mary Ellen Mahoney

Registered Psychotherapist
RP, CTP Dipl
Not Currently Accepting Clients
Session Format:
Online TherapyPhone Sessions
Office Hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Adults, Couples
  • Addiction
  • Aging and Age-Related Concerns
  • Anxiety
  • Career Dissatisfaction or Transition
  • Chronic Pain and Disability
  • Couples & Relationship
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Dream Work and Dream Interpretation
  • Infertility and Fertility Issues
  • Loss and Grief
  • Mourning and Bereavement
  • Parenting and Co-Parenting
  • Self-Destructive Patterns
  • Self-Esteem
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Spirituality
  • Contact Information

    Bloor West Village (minutes from Jane subway) | Toronto | ON

    Feelings, or emotional states, create our experience of living. Feelings contain tremendous energy, and energy has to move. If it can’t get out, it will create some sort of disturbance within. If there’s too much pent up, unexpressed emotion you will feel anxious or depressed, resentful or guilty, unsettled, upset, unfulfilled, uncreative, unwell – unhappy.

    On the other hand, if your feelings do gain expression but are ignored, shamed, put down, argued with or attacked, then that emotional energy has not found satisfactory release and will, again, boomerang back inside you, weighing you down, clogging your life.

    Psychotherapy provides a context in which all that emotional energy trapped inside you, or thrown back in your face, can emerge safely, and can be heard with compassion. Just being deeply heard sets in motion the process of healing and regaining confidence and equanimity, and this process is augmented and accelerated by the use of the simple neuroscientific techniques I use with clients in session.

    In addition to providing you with a safe environment in which to feel and express the difficulties you face in your life, I engage your nervous system in an active way, though without any contact. As you tell me what you’re going through I’ll be listening deeply and also observing your eye movements and both intentional and involuntary bodily expressions such as shifting your position on the couch. We will take note of these moments together, decoding what your nervous system may be communicating. This in itself has a validating and stabilizing effect.

    If you are feeling anxious or depressed when we begin, or if these states arise as you talk about what’s causing you emotional pain, we can employ basic elements of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or Tapping). Within minutes these techniques will enable you to feel calmer, more energized and focussed, and more able to cope with the challenges you face.

    In using these simple interventions we send a signal to your amygdala (the danger centre of the brain) that you are safe in this moment. When this signal is received, the production of cortisol and adrenaline (the fight/flight response hormones) will slow down and stop, allowing you to return to a state of calm.

    Having spent over 7,000 hours working with clients individually, in couples and in groups, I have become more and more convinced of the importance of bringing neurobiological awareness into psychotherapy. When you can identify that you are in a state of hyperarousal (fight /flight/ cry for help) or hypoarousal (freeze or play dead/ submit) you can then begin to regulate your own nervous system through the simple movements I will teach you in session as we continue to converse about your life and experiences.

    These techniques, in combination with the time-honoured practice of verbalizing feelings in a safe context, bring about improved states of mind every time they are utilized. When they are practiced in session clients experience relief, often with surprising speed. Over time clients become able to use these simple practices at home to calm agitation, lift the blues and focus on the task at hand.

    fter a rigourous education at The Centre For Training in Psychotherapy, I began my practice with a focus on individual therapy, particularly geared to activating underutilized potentials and resolving negative patterns of behaviour. I continue to work with people one-on-one on a weekly basis with very positive results.

    I have received couple therapy training in both Dr. Sue Johnson’s “Emotionally Focussed Therapy” and Dr. Stan Tatkin’s “Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy”. (If interested please see their respective books: Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, PhD.; Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin, PhD. Also both authors can be found on Youtube.)

    These two avenues have enabled me to help couples express their difficulties in an atmosphere of safety and kindness; to develop empathy for each other; and to discover new ways to communicate with love and without blame.

    In addition I facilitate support groups for:

    1. Women and Couples on the Fertility Journey
    2. Mid-life Transition; Career Transition
    3. Bereavement and Grieving
    4. Depression/ Anxiety
    5. Creative Self-Expression through poetry, prose, singing and song-writing

    If you would like a complimentary 10-minute consultation with me please text or voice-mail me at 647-280-6160 at any time. Your message will be received by me only, will be kept confidential and will be responded to promptly. When we speak you can tell me a little about your situation, ask any questions you might have and get a sense of me. After that conversation you can decide whether or not you’d like to book a session with me.

    If you are not in Toronto I offer phone and Skype audio sessions. I have worked, and/or am now working, with clients across Canada, the US, the UK, the EU and Asia.

    If you respond to the idea of working with me in therapy from a neurobiological perspective please text or voice-mail me at 647-280-6160 to schedule a 10-minute phone consultation at no charge. I look forward to hearing from you.