Derek de Braga MA, CCC, OCCOQ
Mental Health Therapist
Working and supporting individuals towards healing, understanding and integration has always been the focus of my work. After completing my Master’s degree in counselling psychology at Yorkville University in 2012, I began working at a publicly funded addiction treatment center in Montreal which offered inpatient as well as outpatient support. Throughout my eight years at this organization I learned valuable skills and acquired clinical training in the areas of mental health disorders, trauma, and addiction. More importantly however, I learned about compassion and the painful realities that many people face when seeking support for issues related to substances and compulsive behavior. This experience taught me the value of a harm reduction approach and how to support individuals with an open heart.
While my clinical influences are rooted in mindfulness-based approaches and a harm reduction perspective, I utilize aspects of Emotion-Focused Therapy, Person Centered, Cognitive & Dialectical Behavior Therapy and various somatic practices that encourage connection to the physical self and one’s environment.
As a clinician in private practice, I value a therapeutic relationship that focuses on trust and helping individuals develop a sense of safety in their lives. The integrative harm reduction approach towards substance use and other behavioral addictions is also at the foundation of my work. This allows clients to explore their individual experiences and relational needs in a non-judgmental way. The scope of my clinical practice is broad in addressing issues around addiction and mental health that present in many forms.
Along with my experience and clinical practice, the re-emergence of psychedelics in the therapeutic community as a potential for profound healing and personal growth has been an interest of mine for many years. Having attended trainings and participated in group consultations around psychedelic integration, it has become an area of study and work where I see much potential. Individuals who are interested in, or who have had experience with non-ordinary states of consciousness often have questions around these topics, and working with an integration therapist can facilitate this journey. When working with me in this context, you will be invited into a safe and confidential space where you may begin to explore and integrate positive or challenging psychedelic experiences into your everyday life.