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Connection is a biological imperative, vital to our survival. 

- Stephen W. Porges

 

About Me

 

My name is Duane Williams, and I welcome you as the Director of New Connections Counselling Services. In October 2021, after 20 years of clinical experience in public sector mental health settings, I established New Connections (NC) Counselling Services with a mission to advance mental health through the provision of innovative, accessible counselling services.

 

In my past work, I have provided counselling to a diverse range of client groups, including homeless people with schizophrenia, LGBTQ people living with HIV/AIDS, victims of domestic violence, survivors of childhood trauma, people with substances use challenges and bereaved seniors, to name a few. My treatment specialties include anxiety, depression and PTSD. From a breadth of professional training and experience, I am well-prepared to support you or your loved ones in your quest:

● to (re)gain and retain hope,

● to better understand your abilities and/or disabilities,

● to actively engage in your life,

● to foster your personal autonomy,

● to (re)claim your social identities,

● to find meaning and purpose in your life,

● and to develop a positive sense of self.

 

I know firsthand what mental health recovery involves because I have been living it gratefully in my own life for many years. The knowledge that I have gained through lived experience with mental health informs the passion and commitment that I have for helping others on their quests for healing, self-determination and personal fulfillment. At NC, I strive to provide culturally relevant services that foster a collaborative therapeutic relationship with clients, informed by the core values of community service, social justice, the dignity and worth of every person, the importance of human relationships, integrity and professional competence. In my work, I am driven by the conviction that mental health recovery is a quest that anyone can successfully undertake when connected with the right resources and supports.

 

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Academic Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (McGill University) 

  • Bachelor of Social Work (Dalhousie University) 

  • Master of Social Work (McMaster University)

Professional Memberships: 

  • ​Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW)

  • Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) 

  • EMDR Canada

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Specializing in Anxiety Treatment, Depression and Couples Therapy

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Anxiety
  • Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge

  • Not being able to stop or control worrying

  • Trouble relaxing

  • Being frequently restless and unable to sit still

  • Becoming easily annoyed or irritable

  • Being often afraid that something awful might happen

Depression
  • Feeling down or hopeless

  • Feeling bad about yourself or that you have let yourself or your family down

  • Trouble concentrating on things such as reading or watching TV

  • Poor appetite or overeating

  • Thoughts of ending your life or of hurting yourself in some way 

  • Feeling frequently tired with no energy 

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in doing things

Trauma/PTSD

  • Attachment disruptions such as being in foster care as a child

  • Childhood neglect, abandonment or rejection

  • Witnessing conflict/abuse

  • Childhood/adolescent or adult sexual, physical or verbal/emotional abuse

  • Being bullied

  • Over-reactive anger 

  • Complicated loss/grief 

  • Serious illness/accident

Relationships
  • Family disruption related to divorce or separation

  • Struggling to find or maintain a fulfilling, healthy relationship

  • Communication or boundary problems

  • Unable to assert your needs or wishes in a relationship

  • Struggling with parenting issues

  • Concerns about sex and sexuality

Grief & Loss
  • Increased irritability after the death of a loved one

  • Numbness or detachment

  • Bitterness or anger about your loss

  • Preoccupation with your loss

  • Unremitting sadness and depression

  • Struggling to function in work or family life after loss

LGBTQ  Issues
  • Sexual or gender identity issues such as disclosure/coming-out or self-determination

  • Struggling with substance use issues

  • Impacts of stigma and discrimination in your life 

  • Positive sexuality 

  • Living with HIV/AIDS

  • Rejection from your family of origin

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