Paula DeJesus | Social Worker
Hello! I am a Registered Masters level Social worker (MSW/RSW) with over 20 years experience working with trauma, abuse, and family violence. I specialize in working with women, youth, and children, tapping into strengths, resilience and the wisdom that lies within. I have extensive experience in parenting after abuse and supporting women, children and youth who have witnessed family violence and lived through complex trauma. My BFA in theater and expressive arts certification allow me to bring aspects of drama therapy and creative methods of working when it is of interest and helpful to my clients. I am a lifelong learner drawn to continuous self-study in evidence-based ways of supporting my clients.
About My Family
As the daughter of immigrant parents who left a repressive regime to provide and thrive, I give much gratitude to my family (including supporting me to become fluent in Portuguese!). From these lived experiences I hold firsthand knowledge of both the challenges and joys of embracing two cultural perspectives. I am a widowed mother of two wonderful adult children who continue to grow into the beautiful people they are meant to be. Being a widow has brought challenges, but great learning and perspective both personally and professionally. I am surrounded by a caring and loving family and deep and meaningful friendships.
About My Professional Experience
Whether it’s navigating through current experiences of abuse, healing from past abuse, or exploring challenges such as loss or major life transitions , I endeavour to create a safe space for you where all your thoughts and feelings are held with compassion and curiosity, where internal and external relational challenges can be gently explored and where creativity and humour will often enter the room in support of your goals and wellbeing. It is the creation of a space where experiences are understood and transformed into stories of survival and resilience. My practice focuses on healing, building identity, purpose, and empowerment. I work with the visiting feelings brought on by life’s challenges such as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, sadness, loss, loneliness, shame, guilt, responsibility. I work with clients in many different ways; through an understanding of attachment and the developmental stages of life, through trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT), Solution Focused methods and Internal Family Systems (IFS) that see every part of you as valuable in the story of your life. I support emotion regulation through mindfulness, self-compassion, self-care, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and through expressive arts. I believe in a reflective practice that sees client continue their work outside of sessions which often means leaving sessions with a little something to think about or maybe a little something to practice until we meet again. And ultimately, I work by the principle that everything you are looking for is within you – working with a therapeutic social worker can sometimes be the conduit to tapping into the next steps in your journey.
About My Fun Side
My children and I are avid movie buffs, and we adore watching all types of film genres together and playing amateur critics! I love hiking and exploring new trails, enjoy yoga, mindfulness, love complicated puzzles, silly board games, dancing and enjoy all music genres.