OUR SPECIALISTS

OUR MISSION

At Udynamics our mission is to provide support to individuals and families through counselling, education and mentorship. We strive to be a genuine and authentic service removing unnecessary barriers and obstacles to accessing services. We strive to provide a high-quality of service through professionalism and integrity in our work. We utilize a holistic approach in our treatment and programming and respect the beliefs, dignity of each individual.

Doug & Tracy Amouzouvi

Founders

As the founders of Udynamics, Doug and Tracy Amouzouvi bring over 35 years of experience working with children, youth, adults and families. We strive to promote health, healing and wellness for each individual and to inspire you to grow and live the most satisfying and meaningful life possible.

Doug Amouzouvi

Director of Addictions Services & Nurse Therapist

Life can be difficult and overwhelming even at the best of times. Reaching out for support can help bring clarity and meaning to your situation and provide you with the support you need during these times. I want you to live the satisfying and meaningful life you deserve free of addictions, anxiety and depression. I view treatment holistically and through a trauma-informed lens. You are valuable and have unique gifts and abilities to share with the world.

I want you to know you are not alone. Your story and your journey are very important, and made you who you are today. You will encounter resistance when trying to make positive changes in your life, but we can use your fear and resistance as a compass which will help guide you to become the person you are intended to be.

For over 10 years, my specialty has been helping individuals with substance and/or behavioural addictions face the challenges during this journey. I believe anything is possible when you feel safe and supported. You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this very moment. You can do it!

Carla Pauls

Clinical Specialist/ Therapist

Carla has been working in the field of mental health and addictions for over 20 years. She began her career in corrections, working with incarcerated youth and adults, learning that each person has a unique story and history which affects their ability to make good choices and feel some sense of control over their lives. Through that experience, she realized the importance of community and personal connections, and became interested in helping people see the resilience, and hope for the future in finding pathways for change, through meeting people where they are at.

Carla has worked extensively with First Nations clients while living in Alberta, providing support to individuals, families, and community both on and off reserve, and worked for twelve years as a school counsellor learning the importance of culture, identity, and finding new stories through narrative therapy both to honor the past, and encourage creative, empathic, and courageous links for the future, including past trauma, grief and loss, and abuse to allow a shift, believing that one small change can allow us to begin a new journey to creating the life we are meant to live.

Carla is experienced in working with persons living through trauma and abuse, persons experiencing anxiety, depression, and co-occuring disorders, addictions, relationship discord, parenting and attachment issues, and working with high risk and vulnerable populations.

Carla believes in a holistic approach to therapy, incorporating mindfulness, cultural rituals where appropriate. hypnotherapy, stories, art, music, and nature in sessions encouraging each client to celebrate the unique gifts and strengths they have to move towards personal empowerment and overall healing to achieve healthy relationships, boundaries, and goals.

Carla has and undergraduate degree from The University of Winnipeg in Conflict Resolution and Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Counselling. She is able to see clients for early morning appointments, evenings, and on the weekends if desired.

Giselle Bernardo

Therapist 

Embarking on this path called life is not always what we may perceive to be. There are twists, turns, and bumps that deter us in this journey may seem all so overwhelming and ambiguous. Sometimes it may take a few steps back to move a few steps forward. Seeking therapy is a steppingstone towards challenging those moments where we may feel lost in our journey.
I would love to help you along your path in a supportive, empathetic, and non-judgmental environment. I believe we all have a story to tell!

Giselle has been working in the areas of mental health, geriatrics, and developmental disabilities for 14 years. She is a registered social worker (RSW). She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) in 2007 and her Master’s Degree in Social work (MSW) in 2015, both from the University of Manitoba. She had the opportunity to work with individuals, couples, families, and groups at New Directions in areas of anxiety, depression, trauma, and inter-generational patterns of conflict.

She is passionate about mindfulness-based practice, disability, and cross-cultural awareness. She utilizes diverse approaches in therapy including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), narrative therapy, solution-focused and strength-based approaches

Sonia Nasri

Therapist 

It takes courage not to be discouraged especially when life gets hard and not matter how much we do, it may feel like that it is never good enough. I have gone through many difficult times in my life, but I have also learned that our experiences do not define our worth nor they determine our future. If you allow me to learn more about your story and your unique needs, I will help you develop new perspectives, build self-compassion while also celebrating your gifts!

I am a registered Social Worker (B.S.W) and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W) candidate at the University of Manitoba. For many years, I worked with immigrants and refugees that have experienced complex trauma, PTSD, grief, and loss while I also provided crisis counselling, psychoeducation, case management and group facilitation to children and families.

Together, we can explore and collaborate on therapeutic goals that matter to you and that will promote wellness in your life. Some of my areas of expertise include trauma-informed care, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), play and arts therapy, psychoeducation, culturally sensitive practices, compassion-focused and attachment-based therapies.

I believe in caring and helping each other and I would be honored to support you at the best of my abilities. I am looking forward to meeting you!

Gillian Sidon

Therapist 

Hi, I am so glad our paths have crossed. I believe that we all have the answers within our inner selves and are doing the best we can with what we know at any given time. Our inner world helps us understand what’s going on in our minds and bodies that’s invisible to the eye. I believe in a person-guided practice where I support/guide you to discover your authentic self. If you are ready to start exploring your inner world I would be honoured to walk alongside you.

I provide mental health services to adults & youth. I utilize a variety of different evidence-based interventions as I believe everyone is unique and deserves a service tailored to their needs. I specialize in providing Brainspotting Therapy (which is a newer alternative to EMDR), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Relationships are important to me and I know the therapeutic relationship can take time. I want you to feel like I am a good fit for you. Can’t wait to chat!

Aya Ryan El-Alawi

Occupational Therapist

Aya is skilled in working with a variety of clients from youth to seniors in a holistic sense. She is a creative and enthusiastic therapist who easily builds rapport with children and their families. Aya believes in the power of connection and aims to always create a positive space. She provides a sense of safety, build regulation and trust through a therapeutic relationship. She values family-centered care and is passionate about creating a fun, safe space for children to play and develop social, emotional, and functional skills and tools for success in everyday life.

Therapist has specialized training in areas of attachment and Trauma. Aya uses a body-based, sensory-enriched and an occupation-based approach through a trauma-informed lens. She utilizes diverse approaches in therapy including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, play and arts therapy, psychoeducation, culturally sensitive practices, compassion-focused, narrative therapy, and strength-based approaches. Therapy is provided for children, adolescents and families in a variety of environments to enhance resilience to stress and increase people’s ability to engage in their life.

Treatment is primarily guided by attachment and sensory-based theories and utilizes the client and family to help identify goals, strengths and facilitate growth. Aya’s interests and passion include working with children/youth and older adults who have experienced attachment trauma, struggling with complex mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder as well as neuro-developmental and sensory processing disorders across the lifespan.

Together, Aya will support your child with their sensory/ behavioural needs to help them learn to interpret their body cues, respond to their needs and self-regulation. At the same time, you’ll develop strategies for home and school environments that make life easier and more fun!

Aya graduated with her Masters of Occupational Therapy Degree from The University of Manitoba in 2017, after completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology. She has worked in Long-Term Care and Community Mental Health. She is able to see clients in-person and virtually for late afternoons and evenings appointments, and on the weekends if desired.

Aimee Schwager

Therapist 

I strive to provide a safe, open and non-judgemental environment in sessions and interactions. I understand how nerve-racking and uncertain seeking services can be. I try to eliminate these barriers by making your experience as comfortable and safe as possible. I’m grateful to hear your story, help you flourish, support and guide you along your healing journey.

Having experienced a significant amount of adversity in my own life, I understand the healing journey from the inside out. I foster authenticity, humility, and integrity in my practice. 

My therapeutic approaches include holistic, trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, decolonized, anti-oppressive, empowerment, strengths-based and client-centered care. I have a diverse range of formal and informal education, training, and experiences in mental health, addictions, and social work. I’m continually learning and growing with ongoing professional development, mentorship, and research.

I’m available for individual, family and group therapy, coaching, mentorship, resource navigation, professional development, and psychoeducation opportunities. I’m available to work with adults, children, and adolescents.

I use a variety of therapeutic techniques in practice tailored to each individual’s unique journey. Some examples of evidence-based techniques include CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), Play therapy, Expressive Arts therapy, Trauma work, Psychoeducation, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Cultural practices, Motivational Interviewing, Talk therapy, games, nature, crafting, cooking/baking, to name a few.

Some examples of experiences I work with include depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, addiction, relapse prevention, recovery management, loneliness and isolation, parenting, family conflict, behavioral issues, self-esteem and body image, school experiences (preschool, elementary, middle, high school, university/college), life transitions, cultural identity, coping skills, burn-out, stress management, suicidality, emotional awareness, and regulation, negative self-talk, thinking traps, domestic violence and abuse, LGBTQ2S+* experiences, newcomer experiences, chronic pain and illnesses, anger, resource navigation, career coaching and skill building, interpersonal communication, relationships, borderline personality disorder, learning and developmental disabilities, etc.

If you have any questions or inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to chatting with you! Take good care! 

Amber Dittberner

Addictions Counsellor

I am committed to improve the lives of those living with addiction in a non-judging environment. Using goal setting to achieve recovery with a counsellor who has achieved recovery themself.

I have over 9 years of sobriety from alcohol, I am a member of a 12 step program, and have been active in service work. I am a member & on the board of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and have my Applied Counselling Certificate from the University of Manitoba specializing in Addictions (having completed courses at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba).

People of all ages and backgrounds experience problems with addictions, and they can make positive changes. I can help clients by providing tools for assessment, working through the 12 steps with them, maintain accountability, and use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to pave the road to recovery. I can provide client centred services such as; Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model, Levels of Involvement, Stages of Change, Motivational Interviewing, and Co-occurring Disorders Initiative.

Ashley Pharazyn

Health Coach

Ashley Pharazyn graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a holistic health coach in 2013. Since then she has been helping clients navigate digestive issues and find their hormonal rhythm. Through her business, My Quaint Traditions she teaches fermentation and cooking classes across Manitoba.

Bio-individuality means that we are all individual people with individual needs. A healing plan is not one size fits all, every body has different needs. While working with clients she will help add in healing foods and remove foods that cause inflammation and damage to the digestive system and body. Ashley has overcome her own health issues including candida overgrowth, leaky gut and chronic eczema and is passionate about helping others find their health.

As well as working with clients Ashley offers a number of hands-on cooking classes including, fermented foods, fermented drinks, hormone health, glowing skin, good fats snack class, and more.

As a health coach, I assess my client’s lifestyle, address health concerns, and then work with the client to make behavioral, nutritional, and other changes in order to promote better health and wellness.

Irma Pangborn

Therapist

As a Master’s in Divinity Irma has 46 years experience providing counselling and therapy to children, youth, families and individuals who are struggling with grief and loss, depression, anxiety, sense of hopelessness and trauma.

Irma brings a genuine warmth and an unconditional compassion to her therapy. Irma believes life is a journey, sometimes a difficult one but there is always help available. You don’t have to walk this path alone.

Irma can provide you with kindness and support to help ease the difficulty of your journey. Let us show you how valuable you are and how possible it is to grow and to heal and become the person you are intended to be.

Grace Odupitan

Therapist 

Grace is a licensed social worker who specializes in teaching people the skills to make better decisions and communicate their needs. Grace has nine years of experience as a social worker. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from University College Cork, Ireland in 2012. She is completing her Master’s Degree at the University of Waterloo. Grace is skilled at developing comprehensive assessments, building interpersonal relationships with clients, and providing crisis intervention for clients in need.

Grace worked closely with indigenous clients who accessed emergency services. As a result, she is familiar with resources that meet the needs of her client. Grace enjoys building relationships with her clients, and she believes that a healthy relationship is a key to successful therapeutic intervention. Grace brings diversity to her team; her education in Europe and her African heritage helps clients to connect with her.

Some of the many tools that inform Grace’s practice include Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, which provides for; mindfulness skills, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal effectiveness skills, and emotional regulations skills. She also adopts attachment theory, strength-based and solution-focused approaches to work with clients in need. She offers space for her client to open up and deal with complex thoughts and feelings. Grace helps her client to develop effective coping mechanisms to improve their lives. Her goal is to see her clients succeed and teach them the skill that helps deal with the helplessness of overwhelming emotion.

Thomas Enns

Massage Therapist

While giving a Massage Treatment I strive to create an atmosphere that is comfortable, relaxing and honest for my clients. I encourage questions and feedback, and love to get to know my clients personally. At the same time, if a client prefers to drift into silent relaxation, I am equally as happy with that. I like to remind clients that they are always in charge of the session.

Before I became a Massage Therapist, I spent lots of time traveling, and living abroad. I have worked in foster care and home care, and volunteered with different communities. I am very fortunate to have met different mentors and spiritual teachers through the years, and have been able to spend time on personal and group retreats. I love camping, being outdoors and playing guitar.

I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to begin my next chapter as a Massage Therapist at Udynamics. I hope to offer a chance for people to experience calm and healing in the midst of life’s changes.

Daniel Fagerstrom Castro

Active Therapist

Daniel has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and with a minor in Native Studies. In addition to being a licensed EMT-Paramedic for the Province of Manitoba, Daniel is studying a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Red River College. In 2009 Daniel started to work for the Coast Guard in Vancouver as an EMT-Paramedic. In Vancouver, Daniel also expanded his knowledge in youth addictions working for the Greater Vancouver Youth Detox as a counsellor. In 2013 Daniel moved back to Winnipeg to work for the Southern Health authority as a Paramedic and for the Youth Addictions Stabilization Unit.

As a foster parent, Daniel has extensive experience working with individuals with disabilities and young people that struggle with addictions.

In 2019 Daniel continues to expand his knowledge obtaining certification as a First Aid Instructor for the Canadian Red Cross teaching courses for youth and adults all over the city.

Daniel brings a sense of humour and zest for life into everything he does.

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