Laure-Marie Carignan holds a M.A. Pastoral Studies (marital counselling) from St-Paul University and studied theology at the Master’s level at séminaire baptiste évangélique du Québec. For over 20 years, she has provided individual psychotherapy, and couple and family therapy in English, French, and Spanish in the national capital region.
Laure-Marie founded the Counselling program at Ottawa-Carleton Immigrant Services Organization, where she offered direct client intervention, as well as training, supervision, and clinical direction to a team of therapists specializing in war trauma, political persecution, and torture. Under her direction, this program was recognized by the United Nations, and was awarded the highest amount of subsidy available at the time for programs of its kind.
For 14 years, Mrs. Carignan worked with individuals, couple, and families at Christian Counselling Ottawa. In addition to her direct services to clients, she also served as director until July 2011. Under her clinical direction, the team of therapists and interns benefited from supervision and training specifically integrating Christian faith. Additionally, Laure-Marie developed several community education programs on counselling-related issues, and provided professional consultation services for local churches in the national capital region.
Since autumn 2012, Laure-Marie teaches in the Counselling and Spirituality program of St-Paul University’s Faculty of Human Sciences and Philosophy. Her areas of expertise include psycho-spiritual development of children and adolescents, couple and family development and spirituality, and couple and family therapy intervention techniques. As a PhD candidate at St-Paul University, she is particularly interested in autism spectrum conditions, Asperger Syndrome, and spiritual development in Asperger families.
In Quebec, Laure-Marie is a registered marriage and family therapist (t.c.f.) with l’Ordre professionnel des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec, (O.T.S.T.C.F.Q., permit #CARL 04/02/130).
In Ontario, she is a certified psychotherapist and a certified consultant/trainer of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (O.A.C.C.P.P. #3632-0399-C). She is also a registered psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario (CRPO), registration # 3141.
Laure-Marie’s supervising psychologist is Dr. Martin Rovers, PhD, (College of Psychologists of Ontario registration #3251).
On a personal note
Although my range of therapeutic interventions is extremely broad, I tend to favour experiential and narrative approaches with couples, such as emotion-focused therapy and encounter-centered couple therapy, which combines Imago therapy and relational neurobiology. Research demonstrates that new neural pathways are formed when the limbic system is activated in each partner during emotional connection, and I love to choreograph that experience for couples.
I also love to work with families, helping them to develop new and creative ways of communicating using techniques inspired by Virginia Satir, one of the foremost pioneers in the field of family therapy.
With individual clients, I apply cognitive-behavioural, narrative, and family-of-origin work to help them deal with anxiety, depression, and various mental health issues. But the various systems to which the client belongs (their couple, family, or work relationships, for example) are always important to me as the therapist, because in day-to-day experiences, the client continues to interact with everyone else in their world and needs to do this in a way that enhances healthy relationships.
The special world of autism spectrum conditions, and particularly Asperger Syndrome, is personally and professionally fascinating to me. In my PhD studies and my work with clients and families, I have come to greatly appreciate the inherent strengths of systemizing, a prevalent spectrum condition, and integrate this strength to enhance understanding in and of relationships.
My passion for clients has not abated over the course of my career, and I continue to learn and grow as a therapist, whether I am working directly with my clients, supervising, or teaching intervention techniques to novice therapists.