Maddie Wandler (she/they), B.S.W., R.S.W., M.S.W. 

B.S.W. (University of Regina, Saskatoon Campus)
R.S.W. (Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers)
M.S.W.  (University of Calgary, Specialization: Clinical Social Work with Individuals, Families, and Groups)

Favourite Quote

"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive." - Audre Lorde (1934-1992)

Areas of Practice

  • 2SLGBTQ+
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety & Stress
  • Depression
  • Grief & Loss
  • Life transitions
  • Family & Relationship Issues
  • Self-esteem

I work with individuals ages 16+. At this time, I accept a limited number of couples and families on a case-by-case basis only.

Therapeutic Approaches

I am a generalist-eclectic practitioner and pull flexibly from multiple approaches and theories to best suit your needs. These include:

  • Narrative Therapy: examining the story we tells about ourselves, others, and the world to transform our relationship to our suffering.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: using mindfulness to accept and embrace the discomfort that may arise in becoming who we want to be and doing the things we want to do in life.
  • Transactional Analysis: examining how the structure of our personality, shaped by our past, influences our intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics in the present.
  • Anti-Oppressive: recognizing how dynamics of power and oppression operate in our lives, and critically engaging with or disrupting the status-quo.
  • Minority Stress Theory: understanding that members of minority groups (based on race, sexuality, gender, abilities etc.) often experience distinct and chronic stressors related to their minority status.
  • Trauma-informed: understanding the impacts and legacy of trauma on our lives
  • Attachment: understanding how our childhood experiences of being cared for impact our lives and relationships in the present.
  • Differentiation: working towards the development of a solid sense of self and holding onto that within the presence and pressures of others and society.
  • Bowen Family Systems: understanding relationships through a systemic lens, where individuals and relationship dynamics interdependently influence the other in many ways.

My Philosophy

I believe that we as people suffer when what we think things 'should be like'--inside ourselves, in relationships, and in life-appear inconsistent with our reality. This pain often culminates in experiences of distress, shame, conflict, and avoidance. These powerful 'shoulds' are shaped by many things including our families, past experiences, and sociocultural beliefs.

I believe that through non-judgemental curiosity about ourselves, our inner world, our relationships, and the unique context of our lives, we become better able to re-connect with our inherent worth and value and emancipate from the 'shoulds' that constrain us. Through this healing process, we increase our capacity to define who and how we want to be, the kind of relationships we want to have, and the kind of life we want to live.

In general, I believe that therapy is a process of co-constructing knowledge, with both client and therapist shifting flexibly between teacher and learner throughout the process, generating new ways of seeing things. As a white, able-bodied, cisgender, queer, settler woman, I am committed to ongoing critical reflection of how my social location shapes how I construct my therapy practice. In this process, I aim to approach people and their problems with humility and an openness to lifelong learning and growth.

Professional Development

  • Certified in ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program (Living Works)
  • Certified in Mental Health First Aid (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
  • Mental Health First Aid Facilitator Training (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Intensive Online Training (PESI, Presented by Steven Hayes, Ph.D. & Daniel Moran, PhD, BCBA-D)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Essentials (The Association for Psychological Therapies, Online Course, Presented by Dr. William Davies, B.Sc., Ph.D.)
  • Foundations: 5 Day Narrative Therapy Practice Training (Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy, Presented by Stephen Madigan, Ph.D., David Martsen, MA., Todd May, Ph.D., David Nylund, Ph.D., & Rosa Artega, MA)
  • Treating Trauma 5-Part Series (nicabm, Online Course, Presented by by Ruth Bucynski, PhD, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Pat Ogdden, PhD, Ruth Lanius, MD, Daniel Siegel, MD, Stephen Porges, PhD, Allan Schore, PhD, Peter Levine, PhD))
  • Developmental Model (Couples Institute, Level 1, 12-month Online Training, Presented by Ellen Bader, PhD and Pete Pearson, PhD, in-progress)
  • Trauma-informed care (Oaks Mental Health, Live Workshop, Presented by Cara Taylor, B.S.W., M.S.W., R.S.W.)
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Bowen Family Systems
  • Psychodynamic
  • Gestalt

2SLGBTQ+ Specific Professional Development

  • Peer Support Training (USSU Pride Centre)
  • Safe Zone Training (Safe Zone Project)
  • Clinical Work with Trans Youth (Webinar, Presented by Emily Coates, BSW, MSW, RSW)
  • Queer Informed Narrative Therapy (Vancouver School of Narrative Therapy 5-Day Foundations Certificate, Presented by David Nylund, Phd)
  • Male Homosexuality and Differentiation (The Bowen Centre for the Study of the Family Clinical Conference Series, Live Webinar [6 hrs], Presented by Kent Webb, LCSW, PCC)
  • LGBTQ Youth: Clinical Strategies to Support Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PESI, Live Webinar [8 hrs], Presented by Deb Coolhart, PhD, LMFT)
  • Autistic-Affirming Therapy for the Allistic Provider (Affirmative Couch, Recorded Webinar [3 hrs], Melissa Dellens, MA, AMFT)
  • Identity Development around Sexuality, Gender, and Relationships (Affirmative Couch, Recorded Webinar [5 hrs], Presented by Cadyn Cathers, PsyD)
  • Psychological Preparation for Medical Transition (Affirmative Couch, Presented by Recorded Webinar [12 hrs], Cadyn Cathers, PsyD)
  • Shame Resilience and Trans Liberation (Affirmative Couch, Recorded Webinar [2 hrs], Presented by addyson tucker, PsyD)
  • Working Alliance with Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Clients (Affirmative Couch, Recorded Webinar [2 hrs], Presented by Cadyn Cathers, PsyD)
  • Countertransference/Transference with 2SLGBTQ+ Clients (Affirmative Couch, Presented by Cadyn Cathers, PsyD)
  • Fighting without Fighting: DBT Skills for Responding to Microaggressions (Affirmative Couch, Homestudy [2.5 hrs], Presented by Rachel Jones, M.A.)
  • Helping Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Young Adults Develop Self-Compassion (Affirmative Couch, Homestudy [1.5 hrs], Presented by addyson tucker, PsyD)
  • Gender Minority Stress and Resilience in Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Clients (Affirmative Couch, Homestudy [1.5 hrs], Presnted by addyson tucker, PsyD)
  • The Psychological Impact of Suppressing Kink Identity (Affirmative Couch, Homestudy [2 hrs], Presented by Elyssa Helfer, MA, LMFT)
  • Fundamentals of Kink (Affirmative Couch, Recorded Webinar [3 hrs], Presented by Elyssa Helfer, MA, LMFT)
  • Monthly 2SLGBTQ+ Peer Counsellor Supervision Group

Professional Background (2016-Present)

  • Counsellor in private practice
  • Mental health educator at Oaks Mental Health
  • ADHD Coach/Academic Strategist/Social Worker at the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan
  • Crisis counsellor at women's crisis shelter
  • Direct Support Professional & Day Programmer for adults with mental illness and/or disabilities