Barbara Szelest-Van Dussen, M.A. in Counselling, Psychotherapist

Barbara Szelest-Van Dussen, M.A. in Counselling, Psychotherapist

Professions: Clinical Social Work, Counseling Psychology
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Psychotherapy Licence from OPQ - 60992-14
Verified Credentials
1-800-651-8085 ext. 34707
Visit Website
Office 1
360 Victoria Avenue
Suite 402
Westmount, Quebec H3Z2N4
Click for Map Get Directions
Office 2
4150 Ste Catherine Street West
Suite 328
Westmount, Quebec H3Z2Y5
Click for Map Get Directions

Billing and Insurance

I do not work with insurance companies

Fees: Call, text or email for a free initial 15-minute consultation.

Standard fee $120/50-minute session.

Contact me

See other therapists in Westmount, QC.

Therapy is a safe, comfortable and confidential space where you are heard and understood. I listen to you in order to understand you deeply, not to judge. I don't push or evaluate, but listen. The purpose of this process is to gently and collaboratively arrive at the full, rich and deeply emotional understanding of your present situation. When we reach this powerful understanding of a given aspect of your life, a change can happen. You gain the courage to see your life in its true colors which allows you to better function in your current situation. You become better at facing real life challenges and having more satisfying relationships.

Here is how this might work in reality. A person* came into my office for her third session and sat down without removing her coat, just like she did during her previous sessions. She said that she struggled to feel invested and connecred at her new job, because she did not feel she could fit in. I was moved to hear her experience of rejection and loneliness. I felt that her not removing the coat was especially relevant, so I gently asked about it. She was rather surprised at herself telling me that she keeps her coat on as if to be ready to leave any minute. Preparedness to leave meant to her that she could avoid being hurt. I pointed out that while she was avoiding hurt, she was also missing out on opportunities to invest and trust. She now had a new piece of information to complete her vision of the struggle she was up against. This fuller view of her situation, permitted her to make a more courageous choice to be more engaged and open at work.

Email or Call Barbara Szelest-Van Dussen, M.A. in Counselling, Psychotherapist at 1-800-651-8085 ext. 34707

More Info About My Practice

I regularly pursue mentoring, reading and additional trainingto be better able to understand you. I also conduct research as a fellow at a scientific society which looks into cross-cultural dynamics of therapy. I have been practicing the art of psychotherapy for the last ten years. In Montreal, my placements have included Jewish General Hospital and the Douglas Hospital. I trained at the Argyle Institute of Human Relations. My Private Practice opened in 2013.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Please call, text or email me. I invite you to browse my website.

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

Relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, personality disorders and psychiatric disorders.

Had a Negative Therapy Experience?

It is unfortunate, but not uncommon, that sometimes a negative therapy experience happen. Don't give up because, given the right circcumstances, therapy can be helpful to you. Ideally, you should talk to your present therapist about what feels wrong. However, if the situation is beyond repair. You could see a different therapist or a therapist who practices a different type of therapy.

Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance

This alliance is the crucial to any sucessful therapy. Sometimes you are lucky and you meet a therapist which you 'click' with. This could be a good sign, because therapy is best when you can trust and rely on your therapist. A natural match is going to give you more ability to open up about anything in therapy.

My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'

While I am familiar with the taxonomies (DSM, ICD to name two) which categorize psychiatric disorders, I prefer not to think about intact discreet disorders in therapy. I work with real people and I focus on their real feelings, thoughts, actions and wishes. Therapy is a process where a person has a chance to be heard and understood in the most profound way. Labels, such as "good" and "bad" or "a psychiatric disorder-XYZ" are less relevant in therapy. What is more useful is naming feelings such as "sad", "withdrawn" "excited" or"open" or talking about defense mechanisms such as humor, avoidance or rationalization.

The Duration and Frequency of Therapy

Initally the sessions are once or twice weekly; the duration of the treatment is short, medium or long-term, depending on what you need to address. A person stays in therapy, typically, at least six months.

Image Gallery

Services I Provide

  • Consultation
  • Group Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Online Counseling / Phone Therapy
  • Other

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English
  • Polish

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues
  • Academic Concerns
  • Addictions and Compulsions
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Adoption / Reunion Issues
  • Aging and Geriatric Issues
  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Bipolar
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Body Image
  • Breakup
  • Cancer
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Fertility Issues
  • Forgiveness
  • Gender Dsyphoria
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Habits
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Hoarding
  • Identity Issues
  • Individuation
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Jealousy
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Money and Financial Issues
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Narcissism
  • Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Perfectionism
  • Polyamory / Nonmonogamous Relationships
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Power
  • Prejudice / Discrimination
  • Psychosis
  • Rejection
  • Religious Issues
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Harm
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Shame
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Somatization
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
  • Suspiciousness / Paranoia
  • Terminal Illness
  • Trichotillomania
  • Trust Issues
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy /REBT
  • Depth-Oriented Brief Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Psychodynamic

By using this site, you signify your assent and agreement to the Terms of Service.