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about felisa

work history, interests & professional training

My curiosity has always led me to question how we all live, from the inside out. The very creative and adaptive ways we learn to survive fascinate and inspire me. My love of art, beauty, and wonder about our inner worlds drew me towards both art making and to working with people. These are the two landscapes of my work life. I received my Bachelor's degree in English Literature from McGill University in 1991, and then worked for several years in Toronto’s group homes, and supportive housing programs. This brought lives torn by poverty, illness, and addiction to my door, and I felt drawn to work therapeutically with people. Earning a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology from OISE/University of Toronto in 1998 helped me begin working as a therapist in hospital and community settings in Toronto and in South Eastern Ontario. I have completed training in the use of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for addressing the aftereffects of trauma, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I maintain ongoing studies and attend a bi-weekly supervision group. Since 2003, I have been a Clinical Member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists. For me, continuing to learn and being challenged personally, professionally and creatively feels essential for maintaining an alive and engaged practice of psychotherapy.

current practice

I have been working as an individual and group therapist in the Trauma Therapy Program at Women's College Hospital in downtown Toronto since 2003. During that time my private psychotherapy practice in Toronto and Cobourg has evolved alongside my hospital-based trauma focused work. I also contribute to the field through presentations, supervision of students and colleagues, as well as writing and publishing.

recent presentations & pursuits

Compassion Fatigue, Transference, Counter-Transference & Self-Care
Trauma Therapy Program, Student Seminars, Women's College Hospital, Toronto ON.

A Stage II Trauma Group Working with Perpetrator Reenactments
American Group Psychotherapy Association, New York City NY.
International Conference on Violence and Abuse, San Diego CA.

WRAPback: A Thinking Clinician's Play with Group Psychotherapy & Dissociation
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation AGM, Philadelphia PA.
Canadian Group Psychotherapy AGM, Toronto ON.

Women Recovering from Abuse Program: An Innovative Day Treatment Program for Childhood Trauma Recovery Psychology Grand Rounds, North York General Hospital, North York ON.

WRAPback: The Drama of Trauma Group Therapy
Eating Disorders Program, Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga ON.
Ontario Society of Psychotherapists, Toronto ON.
Women's Mental Health Rounds, Women's College Hospital, Toronto ON.

Description of a Multi-Modal Group Therapy Treatment for Chronic Interpersonal Trauma: Women Recovering from Abuse Program
International Society for the Study of Dissociation AGM, Los Angeles CA.

A Day in the Life of WRAP
International Society for the Study Dissociation AGM, Toronto ON.

Re-Inhabiting The Body: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Trauma Recovery
Sunnybrook and Women's Health Sciences Centre, Dept of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Toronto ON.
CAMH - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Women's Mental Health Research Group, Toronto ON.

There She Goes Again: Dissociation and Association within the WRAP Team Dept of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto ON.

Treatment Approaches for Problem Gambling CAMH - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Problem Gambling Service, Ontario wide workshop presentations.


"A Multi-Modal Treatment Program for Childhood Trauma Recovery: Women Recovering from Abuse Program (WRAP)" by Marlene Duarte Giles, MSW, Andrea L. Nelson, BA, Felisa Shizgal, MEd, Eva-Marie Stern, MA, Anne Fourt, MEd, Pat Woods, RN, Judy Langmuir, MT, & Catherine C. Classen, Ph.D.: Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 8 (4).

My Mother's Dreams, participated as subject The Current,  CBC Radio 1, first broadcast on April 16, 2006.


Ontario Society of Psychotherapists

TTP - Trauma Therapy Program, Women's College Hospital, Toronto Ontario

WRAP - Women Recovering from Abuse Program, Women's College Hospital, Toronto Ontario

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy, International Centre for Excellence in EFT

Art Not Violence

TED Ideas Worth Spreading

This American Life