Better Self -
Psychotherapy & Counselling
Welcome to my practice. My name is Halyna. If you are wondering how to pronounce it, you can call me Ha-lee-na.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist in good standing with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. My academic credentials, both relevant and less so, include
Master of Counselling in Counselling Psychology
Honours Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics
Halyna Batsoura, MC, RP
Like my education and my life, my career has taken a winding path. For many years, I held a variety of technical and managerial roles in software development. From developing commercial software at IBM, to building and leading teams at software start-ups, to consulting – I've done it all. And though I was learning and growing professionally throughout this time, I felt like I was living someone else’s life – something was missing.
While I was working in software development, I studied psychology in my spare time. Gradually, I came to realize what type of work I would find most fulfilling, the work I was meant to do. When I decided to follow my calling, I began a series of changes that led not only to a career as a psychotherapist, but also to a more authentic and meaningful life.
In addition to my graduate training and self-study, I find that life itself has been one of my greatest teachers. Through my diverse life experiences, including my academic and professional pursuits, I've come to understand and appreciate the variety of ways that people organize their lives and create meaning for themselves. Through my own life challenges, I've developed a strong ability to empathize with my clients, along with a firm belief in our capacity to heal and grow.
I try to tailor my approach to the unique needs of each client. No single theory is comprehensive enough to address the great variety of challenges we, humans, face in our day-to-day lives. Each client is different. Each client’s situation and needs are different. Moreover, clients’ goals for therapy often change along with their wellbeing and circumstances. To adequately address the diverse and changing needs of my clients, I utilize theoretical ideas and methods from a variety of counselling models.
My approach can be best described as the integration of common factors and technical eclecticism. I am guided by a broad framework of factors that are common to all therapies, such as the role of the client, his or her personal context, our relationship, and our expectations for positive change. I consider the client’s personality, motivation to change, awareness, expectations, social support system, stressful events, and many other variables that may influence the course and outcome of therapy.
I try to create a strong working alliance with my clients, based on mutual trust, emotional involvement, and compatible goals. I look for ways to mobilize my clients' hope and positive expectations for change. In doing so, I aim to maximize my clients' exposure to the most important factors associated with positive therapeutic outcomes. At the same time, I recognize that sometimes what clients need the most is a safe place to talk and focus on themselves.
While I am guided by common factors, I am technically eclectic in my intervention approach. I select ideas and methods from across a variety of evidence-based counselling models based on their potential to activate or enhance common factors for each specific client in each specific situation. I also consider what interventions have been known to work for clients with similar presenting concerns.
I see a lot of commonalities among various theories of counselling. I also see similarities between counselling models and spiritual teachings. I recognize that, despite the differences between individuals’ beliefs and cultures, the human psyche is governed by the same laws, which can be described in a variety of ways.
Although psychology has accumulated an ocean of findings, it still lacks a unified theory. In my search for synthesis, I've adopted a holistic integrative position, whereby I consider not only the psychological and emotional, but also the spiritual, political, and bodily concerns of my clients. I've come to realize that there is more to life than the meaning we assign to it through any counselling theory.
Instead of limiting my perspective to a single theory, I stay curious and open to the mystery of human existence. This openness helps me to appreciate the complexity of my clients and their concerns, and to tolerate both the ambiguity and the elasticity of the helping process. I try to let go of certainty and my ego, and to meet my clients where they are. I try to enter each client’s world without losing myself in it or controlling it. I feel especially privileged when clients invite me to explore the depths of their spiritual worlds. I try to understand and appreciate my clients’ spirituality and culture even if I do not share their religious and cultural beliefs. I have profound respect for the depth and complexity of the human condition.
I see my clients as the experts of their lives. I see my role as a consultant on the processes of change. I collaborate with my clients to set goals for therapy, and to uncover the patterns of thoughts and behaviours that are holding them back. And together, we work for positive change.