Psychotherapy and Counselling

"I would rather be whole than be good."

Carl Jung, Psychoanalyst

“Pain is an unavoidable part of the human experience but suffering is optional.”

Many Wise Beings

Areas of Specialization and Interest

Short-term and in-depth psychotherapy for adult individuals and couples

  • Anxiety (generalized, phobic, existential) and Panic Attacks
  • Depression
  • Relationships, Sexuality & Intimacy
  • Obsessions & Compulsive Habits
  • Internet “Addiction”/compulsion
  • Traumatic Events (accident, assault, fall, abuse)
  • Healing from a dysfunctional family experience
  • Spirituality & Search for Meaning
  • Personal Growth & Self-Knowledge
  • Life & Career Transitions
  • Grief and Loss
  • Sexual, Ethnic & Cultural Identity
  • Assertiveness

Philosophy and Therapeutic Approaches

Sylvain C. Boies, Ph.D.As a psychologist, I am committed to helping people live their lives in ways that support and facilitate their growth at various levels including personal, relational, social and spiritual. Individuals come to me for many different reasons and with various intentions (clear or unconscious). Most people seek relief from temporary pain or lasting suffering that leave them confused, anxious or depressed. They may also be reasonably happy, yet dissatisfied with aspects of their lives. I explore with my clients how to access their wisdom to better understand themselves, to develop the coping skills they need to face challenges, and learn to accept or surpass the limitations they face.

The therapeutic relationship is a unique tool for my clients and me to discover how change can occur. The relationship that develops between us becomes an instrument that we use to establish together a respectful and collaborative environment. Ultimately, it is the client who has the courage to use therapy and its resources to heal and change. By the end of an in-depth therapeutic process, my clients have often voiced how they could not have imagined the transformation that ended up taking place for them. They also noted having a new understanding of what psychotherapy is about. It is a joyful moment for the client and the therapist when they see that, together, they have created a space in which their experience of self, relating, mutuality, and life have been redefined.

Three main beliefs inspire my work. First, I believe that people seek therapy and counselling because they want to get better. They may not know if they are ready to change their ways or how to do so, yet they long for a new way of being. Second, people get more out of a therapy that is well suited to them. I use my experience and knowledge of different psychotherapy approaches to develop with a client a distinctive experience. Third, people want to connect with others in a way that preserves their dignity and integrity while supporting their personal growth. They may find it difficult, however, to let go of learned patterns no longer useful to them. A first step consists in noticing if one’s primary impulse is to move toward, away from, or against others. These three principles are useful guides in doing exploratory therapy that aims to foster personal growth.

Some people benefit from more concrete and problem-solving approaches at particular times in their lives. That is especially true when the problem can be clearly defined and likely be resolved within a limited number of sessions. In that context, therapy focuses on changing how someone thinks and behaves, without looking too deeply at possible motivations. In simple terms, it rests on the assumptions that we can feel different if we change how we think and that our actions often speak louder than our words. Similarly, being mindful of impulses, thoughts and reactions can create the space needed to observe the working of our minds without identifying with it. The approaches I use appear on this website.