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Natalie Michel, Ph.D., C.Psych.



Dr. Natalie Michel is a Clinical Psychologist licensed with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She is also the founder of Connect and Thrive Psychology. She supports adults and couples.

Training & Experience

Dr. Michel completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Toronto and her master and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at York University. Her clinical training took place across some of the leading mental health care facilities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area GTHA, including North York General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). After completing her degree, Dr. Michel undertook a postdoctoral fellowship in the Borderline Personality Disorder Clinic at CAMH. Despite having completed her formal training, Dr. Michel remains committed to a process of on-going learning. She continues to advance her knowledge and skills in the therapeutic process through coursework and advanced training opportunities, through her regular review of the latest research, and through her consultation with colleagues. This ensures that she remains well-equipped to assist her clients in healing, growing, and thriving in the world.

Through these experiences, Dr. Michel has developed expertise in several evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), as well as mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches to care. Over the years, she has drawn on these and other approaches to provide therapy to hundreds of individuals and couples in private practice, outpatient, day hospital and inpatient settings across the GTHA. She now primarily supports clients through her work at Connect and Thrive Psychology.

To complement her therapy practice, Dr. Michel devotes a portion of her time to training and supervising students and early career psychologists, and provides consultation to other mental health care professionals in the provision of DBT, CBT and couples counselling. She also provides talks, information sessions and workshops to community organizations and corporations, on the topics of stress, burnout, communication, relationships, as well as personal and collective mental health more generally.

Client Goals & Concerns

Dr. Michel works with clients with broad range of goals and concerns, including:

  • Self-exploration and understanding
  • Communication and assertiveness
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Relationship health and intimacy
  • General stress and burnout
  • Emotion awareness and regulation
  • Problematic emotions (e.g., anger, shame)
  • Anxiety (panic, phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety, chronic worry)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Self-esteem and self-worth
  • Perfectionism
  • Complex mental illness and psychosis

She also has extensive experience working with physicians, first responders, military personnel and lawyers, as well as a special interest in working with refugees.

Therapeutic Style

Dr. Michel believes that we all have the capacity to heal, learn, grow, and thrive. Our progress towards these goals, however, is sometimes hindered by personal or environmental circumstances. In keeping with this philosophy, Dr. Michel aims understand her client’s history, their strength and struggles, their needs and goals (even if aspirational) and what has made it difficult to reach them. Common barriers include negative self-talk, gaps in learning or skills, problematic emotions, relationship stressors, environmental demands and mental illness.

The information gathered through these discussions is used to develop a plan to assist clients in overcoming the roadblocks that have slowed their progress thus far. Every effort is made to ensure that this plan draws on evidence-based approaches to therapy, that it is actionable, and importantly, that it caters to the client’s needs, goals and learning style. Therapy may be structured and goal-oriented, or unstructured, exploratory and focused on deepening emotional experiences and finding meaning and direction in life. Treatment may be informed by a singular approach (such as CBT) or may integrate complementary methodologies and techniques. At times, one-on-one work may seem most fitting, while at other times it may be strategic to invite others (e.g., partner, family members, friends, other health care providers, etc.) into therapy. In every instance, Dr. Michel works with her clients to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to them and that evolves with them. This empowers clients with a personalized roadmap towards meaningful and effective change. Once there is a roadmap, Dr. Michel and her clients get to work – as a team.

Dr. Michel’s interpersonal style allows clients to quickly feel at ease in this working partnership. Like other therapists, Dr. Michel is empathic and non-judgmental, allowing clients to broach difficult topics and tasks without fear of judgment. What differentiates her from other providers, however, is her commitment to keep things “real.” She has a transparent, genuine and down-to-earth manner. She works to both support you in acknowledging any challenging circumstances you may face with compassion, while at once honouring your strengths and supporting you in moving towards a greater sense of connection, purpose and wellness. While the work of therapy is challenging, Dr. Michel’s light manner, humour, and strength-based focus make the process more manageable, and allow clients to build the confidence they need to thrive in their world.

Treatment Approaches

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • CBT for Psychosis (CBTp)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT; for individuals and couples)
  • Gottman Method (for couples)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance-based interventions

About Dr. Michel

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