Award Winning Therapist, Speaker and Author

Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, RSW, has advanced degrees from York University and the University of Toronto and has been working in the mental health field since 2000. Her extensive experience with and knowledge of Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness Practice has inspired her to write a number of books, and she regularly conducts training sessions for fellow professionals. Sheri worked at Southlake Regional Health Centre in an outpatient mental health clinic for 14 years, and now works full-time in her private practice. 

 

Sheri has built a reputation for herself as an expert in providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and works from a trauma-informed perspective. In recent years she has also become certified in providing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP), and is constantly working to learn more about treatment modalities to help her clients heal. 

 

In her spare time, Sheri enjoys spending time with her family, hiking with her dogs, traveling and scuba diving, and she is an avid reader. 

Sheri provides psychotherapy for individuals aged 16 and older, both in-person from her office in Newmarket, Ontario, and virtually. You do not have to have a diagnosis to engage in therapy with Sheri, but following are some of the common problems she works with:

 

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 

  • Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Anxiety Disorders

  • Emotion Dysregulation

  • Depression

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Eating Disorders

  • Self-esteem 

  • Chronic Shame 

  • Grief and Complicated grief

  • Substance Use Disorders (secondary to other mental health problems)

 

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

This is a skills-focused treatment that was created to help people who really struggle to manage emotions:

  • Do you tend to walk around in an “emotional fog”, struggling to identify how you feel, or trying to avoid those emotions?

  • Do you engage in problematic behaviours in attempts to manage intense emotions? This could be through extreme behaviours such as self-harm or engaging in suicidal thoughts or behaviours, but this could also be behaviours such as lashing out at others, using substances, sleeping, disordered eating behaviours, and so on. 

  • Do you struggle to keep your emotions in check, so that they negatively affect your functioning in some way – for example, your ability to work or attend school, to have fulfilling relationships, or just to live a fulfilling life?

 

Sheri has written a number of DBT self-help books that you can check out here. You can also read some articles she’s written and interviews she’s done on this topic here.

What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)?

EMDR is an evidence-based psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Through the use of eye movements or other bilateral stimulation, the brain’s information processing system is activated so that over time the meaning of a painful event is transformed on an emotional level and the memory that was once excruciating and intrusive, for example, becomes just a memory. 

 

EMDR does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. Rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviours resulting from the distressing issue, EMDR allows the brain to resume its natural healing process.

 

Once specifically used to treat PTSD, we now use EMDR to treat Complex PTSD (PTSD that develops where the trauma was typically prolonged and repetitive – for example, someone who grew up in an abusive home); core beliefs that develop in our early years and influence how we see ourselves and the world; anxiety disorders; depression; substance use and other addictive kinds of behaviours; and many other conditions and problems in living. 

 

Here's a YouTube video explaining how EMDR works.

 

For more information about EMDR, visit the EMDR International Association https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/