Improving well-being through therapy, assessment, and advocacy
Welcome to Silm Centre for Mental Health.
Silm means peace. We believe that as individuals, we are each searching for well-being and acceptance. For peace. We work with a philosophy that so much of what causes pain and distress in this world is connected to what goes on outside of the individual person. By taking this approach, finding peace and achieving well-being is not only about working on the self, but recognizing that society needs to change as well. We aim to work on both.
Silm Centre for Mental
Health is a place where you will be heard, acknowledged, and understood. Our
expertise lies in working with individuals who are having difficulties with
their mental health and/or well-being. We create and hold space for people to
share and reflect. We also leverage evidence-based approaches to ensure that we
are providing the best care and support for each client we see. We know that
each person we meet is unique—each person comes with their own gifts,
strengths, challenges, values and experiences. We seek to get to know you for
who you are, and we accept you just the way you are.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Silm Centre for Mental Health offers a variety of services with the goal of promoting mental health and well-being. These include:
Individual Psychotherapy: this is what we typically know as therapy or counselling. Psychotherapy can take many forms, and can look very different for each client and for each clinician. If looking for something specific (e.g., CBT), let us know so that we can make sure we find the best clinician for you.
We offer a sliding scale, and our rates range from $90 to $275 for a 50 minute session.
Couple Therapy: couple therapy offers a platform for couples and individuals in diverse intimate relationships to work to build trust, resolve conflict, and grow intimacy. This type of counselling is not restricted to those who are married or in monogamous relationships. Couple therapy can benefit any intimate and/or romantic relationships.
We offer a sliding scale, and our rates range from $150 to $270 for a 75 minute session.
Family Therapy: family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is meant to help family members understand each other, be supportive of one another, and work together for the common goals of the family and the individuals within it. Family therapy can be offered to all members of a family, or can be meant for specific members of the family who are motivated to work on their relationship.
We offer a sliding scale, and our rates range from $150 to $270 for a 75 minute session.
Group Psychotherapy: group psychotherapy involves participating in therapy with other individuals who are experiencing similar difficulties. This approach to therapy is effective because it allows for opportunities to learn from others, to feel validated in one’s experiences, and to engage in problem solving with others.
We are currently enrolling for two group psychotherapy programs:
ADHD Coaching: ADHD, and symptoms of inattention, distractibility, and hyperactivity can sometimes pose challenges to our everyday lives. ADHD coaching is meant to help individuals identify how their ADHD symptoms affect them, and how to implement strategies and problem solving to leverage those symptoms to their benefit. ADHD does not have to be something that holds us back–it can help us excel. We need to figure out how to make our symptoms work for us, and ADHD coaching can help with this. A diagnosis is not necessary to access ADHD coaching. This service is available to adolescents and adults.
Cost: $200 for a 50 minute session
Assessment: psychological assessment helps to answer questions about what is going on with a person’s mental health. Generally the goal of a psychological assessment is to clarify the presence of mental illness and to make recommendations for how a person’s well-being can be increased. We offer the following assessments:
Psychodiagnostic assessments: These assessments help clarify the presence of a mental illness. These assessments are offered to adolescents and adults. The process includes a thorough unstructured and structured clinical interview, file review (when available), and psychometric testing. At the end of the assessment, we provide you with documentation that outlines the findings of the assessment and describes recommendations for treatment and/or accommodations for work/school. Cost ranges from $2500 to $3000.
Psychoeducational assessments: These assessments assess an individual’s learning needs and identify the presence of a Learning Disability. These assessments are offered to adolescents and adults. The process includes a gathering of academic and developmental information, file review (when available), and extensive psychometric testing. At the end of the assessment, we provide you with documentation that outlines the findings of the assessment and describes recommendations for treatment and/or accommodations for work/school. Cost is $3500.
ADHD assessments: These assessments assess the presence of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These assessments are offered to adolescents and adults. The process includes a thorough structured clinical interview, file review (when available), and extensive psychometric testing. At the end of the assessment, we provide you with documentation that outlines the findings of the assessment and describes recommendations for treatment and/or accommodations for work/school. Cost ranges from $2500 to $3000.
There are a variety of reasons an individual may get an assessment, including out of curiosity, for a second opinion, to provide documentation to access medication, to access accommodations for work/school, for accessing disability (including ODSP and long-term disability), for court, or for immigration. We support assessments for all of these reasons. If you choose to work with us, the first step of the assessment is a free initial consultation where we will gather information about what you need, and then provide you with information about the assessment and cost.
We see clients through WSIB, the Interim Federal Health Program for Refugees, Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces, and the RCMP, and Indigenous Peoples through the Non-Insured Health Benefits government program (NIHB). Victims of crime are also eligible for funding for therapy through Victim Services. Post-secondary students who are struggling with their academics may be eligible for funding for a psychoeducational assessment to determine the presence of a Learning Disability. Our services are offered by regulated health professionals, and/or are supervised by a registered psychologist. This means that our services are often covered by extended health benefits plans, and this is another way to access funding for psychological services.For more information about these programs and your eligibility, please contact us.
Teaching, Public Speaking, and Facilitating: we believe that one of the most effective ways of promoting mental health and well-being is through the sharing of knowledge. This is why we seek to teach at every opportunity we can get. This means teaching in classrooms, libraries, community centres, and much more. We specialize in talking about self-care and burnout, mental health stigma, cultural humility, anti-oppression, and understanding mental illness and ways to care for oneself.
Consultation, Program and Policy Development and Evaluation: we engage in consultation to support companies and organizations make mental health services more accessible. This includes developing programs and policy to support mental health, engaging in training, and offering mental health services. All of our services are specific to the companies and organizations with whom we work
At Silm Centre for Mental Health, our business
model and our practice approach are both based on our ethical framework.
Each of the clinicians at Silm Centre for Mental Health is trained and
professionally licensed. We ensure that not only do our clinicians come in with
the expertise needed to serve our clients, but we also value professional
development, and ensure that we are constantly increasing our knowledge and
proficiencies. We define best practice as taking what research and evidence
demonstrates, and integrating this with what we know about the people with whom
we work to ensure that all of their needs are met. We know that all people are
unique, and we strive to ensure that we are always working towards person-centred
No matter how much knowledge, training and experience our clinicians
have, we know that we are not the experts on our clients—each person is the
expert on themselves. This means that we know we will not always understand
something, and we are willing to acknowledge and correct our mistakes and our
All peoples are equally worthy and entitled to accessible care and
respect. This includes those that society does not deem worthy, those who have
survived traumas that have convinced them that they are not worthy, and those
who have engaged in behaviour that has caused them to believe that they no
longer deserve respect. We work to ensure that not only each of our clients is
treated with the respect that they deserve, but that we work to increase equity
within the communities in which we live and work.
We want the change that we make to continue to exist and to transform
once, even if we are no longer a part of this. This means that when we work
with clients, we work to make sure they no longer need us for support. When we
work with communities or organizations, we work to make sure that they have the
tools they need to continue to do the work. We will try to always be there for
those with whom we work, but our intention is to ensure change that can survive
in whatever way it needs to past our involvement.
The work we do is not just about helping those who can access our
services—it is about making mental health services accessible and building
capacity within our communities while we do so. As such, we ensure that we
engage in pro bono services that are community-oriented and that a portion of
the money we earn is re-invested in the communities in which we live and work.
We know that to make a positive impact on our communities we must work
with our communities in order to really understand need as well as how those
needs can be met. We seek to engage in participatory and collaborative approaches
to community development, and to ensure that the approach is bottom-up. When we
build partnerships, we seek reciprocity and mutual respect.
Meet Our Team
DR. TASLIM ALANI-VERJEE
Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee is a Clinical Psychologist, and the Director and Founder of Silm Centre for Mental Health. She practices from a Cognitive-Behavioural orientation (e.g., CBT, DBT, and ACT). She works with adolescents and adults who are having difficulties with adjustment and/or with their mental health.
Dr. Taslim graduated with her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Lakehead University, and has a Masters in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University. She currently teaches at Adler Graduate Professional School, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, and Lakehead University. She is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Lakehead University and at Adler Graduate Professional School.
Dr. Taslim is a keynote speaker and is often featured in the media. She consults, teaches and does research related to mental health, well-being, intimate partner violence, stigma, social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, culturally-adapted psychotherapies, and cultural humility in clinical practice.
Alessia Caputo is a Clinical Associate and Registered Psychotherapist who provides psychotherapy and psychological services to adolescents and adults under the supervision of Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee at Silm Centre for Mental Health. She previously worked in case management before pursuing a graduate degree in psychology, and believes this has deepened her understanding of systemic issues in navigating the mental health system and incorporates this knowledge into her work with her clients. She is also a Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) provider.
Alessia works with individuals affected by mental health disorders, with a particular interest in supporting those dealing with anxiety, addiction, trauma/PTSD, and ADHD. She practices from a trauma-informed and anti-oppressive approach and integrates the modalities of Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Alessia believes that providing safety and having a strong therapeutic alliance is crucial when working with her clients, and she works to provide them with unconditional positive regard.
Nabiha Rattansi is a Registered Social Worker with over ten years of experience working with children and adolescents within a strengths-based framework. Nabiha believes preventative strategies are essential when navigating through difficult situations and the stresses in life. She has a particular interest in supporting individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, self-esteem and stress.
Nabiha offers individual psychotherapy to children, adolescents and young adults. She also offers family therapy, and supports parents in their parenting.
YASENE MAWJI (on leave until September 2024)
Yasene Mawji holds a Master of Social Work from Carleton University. Since 2014 she has provided counselling, advocacy and case management services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence, chronic illnesses, anxiety, depression, and substance use issues. Yasene firmly believes in maintaining the dignity of each one of her clients. She treats each individual, regardless of their background or situation, with care and compassion. She draws from multiple therapeutic modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Trauma-Informed Therapy, to help clients tap into their inner resources and strengths. Ultimately, Yasene would like to see her clients lead healthy and happy lives spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Danielle Chang Gardner is a Registered Social Worker and has acquired over 10 years of experience within the non-profit, education, and government sectors. During that time she has gained experience in case management, mental health, research, counselling, child welfare, mediation, and consultation. Danielle currently provides individual and couples therapy. By practicing from an anti-oppressive framework committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and implementing a solutions focused approach, her aim is to enable her clients to realize their strengths and empower them to take the necessary steps towards health, happiness and successful relationships.
DR. RAHIMA ALANI
Dr. Rahima Alani is a family physician with special interests in mental health and counseling, specifically as it relates to sexual and reproductive health and transgender care. At Silm Centre for Mental Health, she offers OHIP-covered one-time or short term sessions to our clients who are looking for support with decision making as it relates to their sexual and reproductive health and to our trans-clients with their assessments for gender-affirming surgery. Dr. Rahima uses a patient-centred, trauma-informed and anti-oppressive approach and is pro-choice.
Mona Atrzadeh is a Clinical Associate who provides psychotherapy and psychological services to adolescents and adults under the supervision of Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee at Silm Centre for Mental Health. She holds a Master’s degree from Adler Graduate Professional School, and is currently completing her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Mona offers individual psychotherapy, and practices from a trauma-informed, and integrates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) into her practice. She supports assessments at Silm Centre for Mental Health.
Natalie Blake is a Registered Social Worker who completed a Master of Social Work with a focus in mental health. She has extensive experience supporting people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life who have encountered significant personal and professional challenges. Also, as a professor of human services she has in-depth knowledge and expertise of the varying dynamics of the student experience. Natalie provides a welcoming and safe space for clients and truly believes that healing and hope start with one conversation. She practices from a strengths-based, client-centered and anti-oppressive framework where she acknowledges and values the potential and uniqueness of every client.
Karen Smith is a Registered Social Worker and has a background in mental health, addictions and delivering social service supports to improve the quality of life for communities. She has held leadership roles in government and not-for-profit organizations and has a passion for helping people in their journey of grief and loss, anxiety and stress related to work and life. She has an interest in working with people experiencing work-place trauma and overcoming the impacts of bullying and harassment in the workplace. She uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, trauma informed, strength-based and anti-oppression approaches in her practice. She is engaging, collaborative and creates a safe, inclusive space to build therapeutic partnerships with clients. Karen is committed to helping people achieve wellbeing by exploring their strengths, building resilience and recognizing their ability to make positive change.
Andrea Hall is a Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist who has been in practice for 14 years. She addresses a variety of issues including complex trauma, relationship issues, grief and loss, pregnancy and parenting, life transitions, anxiety, depression, and isolation. She also offers therapy for couples and diverse intimate relationships. Andrea draws from a variety of modalities to meet clients’ goals, and is committed to providing trauma-informed care. Her clinical approach is inherently relational, as she aims to foster connection, and ensure clients feel heard and acknowledged. Andrea is committed to living and practicing from anti-racist, anti-colonial and anti-oppressive approaches, and she makes advocacy a part of her work wherever possible.
Yalda Omari is a Clinical Associate and Registered Psychotherapist who provides psychotherapy and psychological services to adolescents and adults under the supervision of Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee and Jesse Roberts at Silm Centre for Mental Health. She has her Master’s degree from Adler Graduate Professional School. She provides therapy, taking an integrative approach to address a wide range of mental health challenges. She uses evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), using a trauma-informed approach. She also supports psycho-diagnostic and psycho-educational assessments. She enjoys working with both adolescents and adults. Yalda is fluent in Dari and also speaks conversational Turkish and Dutch.
Karima Hassam, M.Sc. OT. (Reg.) Ont, is a registered Occupational Therapist (OT) with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. She has her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. In her work as an OT for over 13 years, she gained an appreciation for the profound impact mental health has on physical and functional recovery after an injury. Karima uses various therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). She believes in client-centred, goal-directed practice and views the client from a holistic lens. She offers trauma-informed care and has a keen understanding of the impact of generational trauma on one’s mental health.
Karima offers individual, couples, and family therapy.
Karthiga Mahendran is a Clinical Associate and Registered Psychotherapist who provides psychotherapy and psychological services to adolescents and adults under the supervision of Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee and Jesse Roberts at Silm Centre for Mental Health. She is a graduate of Adler Graduate Professional School, where she completed her Masters in Psychology. She has a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree and earned her York-Seneca Rehabilitation certificate at York University. She provides both individual therapy and supports assessments at Silm Centre for Mental Health. Karthiga believes that seeking therapy is a journey that is unique to each individual, whether they are experiencing difficulties with adjustment and/or their mental health. She ensures that her clients feel heard and understood in a way that is non-judgemental and compassionate. Karthiga provides evidence-based treatments including CBT, DBT, and ACT using a trauma-informed and Adlerian approach. In addition, she utilizes her skills as an ADHD coach providing individual and group therapy. She enjoys working with adolescents and adults. Karthiga is fluent in Tamil and English.
Jawhar Iman is a Clinical Associate and Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) who provides psychotherapy and psychological services to adolescents and adults under the supervision of Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee at Silm Centre for Mental Health. He has his Master’s degree from Adler Graduate Professional School. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology from York University with a minor in Cinema Studies. He also holds a Multimodality certificate. Jawhar’s therapeutic method is to provide a safe and collaborative environment; working on strategies that allow the client to address the root causes of their difficulties, to enhance their self-awareness, and help them build meaningful social connections. He likes to incorporate a trauma-informed approach, in addition to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Mindfulness, Emotion-Focused, and Person-Centered Therapy. Jawhar enjoys working with both adolescents and adults and speaks English, Farsi and Dari.
Monica Aguilar is a Clinical Associate who provides psychotherapy and psychological services to adolescents and adults under the supervision of Dr. Taslim Alani-Verjee at Silm Centre for Mental Health. She is a graduate of York University where she completed an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree. She is a current student at Adler Graduate Professional School pursuing a Master of Psychology degree.
Monica is passionate about creating a safe space that is non-judgmental, accepting, compassionate, and respectful where clients can feel genuinely comfortable discussing whatever is on their mind. She is dedicated to collaboratively working with her clients, and primarily uses a trauma-informed and person-centred perspective in therapy. She also believes in an integrative approach to therapy, and includes CBT, ACT, and mindfulness. For Monica, being able to help in any impactful capacity is the most rewarding gift.
Kelsey Franklin graduated from McMaster University with a Master of Science in Global Health Management. She is the Research and Advocacy Consultant at Silm Centre for Mental Health. Having worked in various roles in the health sector, she has gained experience working with diverse populations in high-pressure environments. This experience, coupled with her educational background and training, has given her the tools to become a proficient facilitator for workshops and training focused on anti-oppression and anti-racism. She has an interest in using her acquired knowledge to help foster more inclusive workplaces, to increase public awareness about racial and social inequities and to promote solutions in education.
Jesse Roberts, M.A., C.Psych., is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. He completed his Master’s in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto.
Jesse accepts adult clients for individual therapy and assessment. He uses a cognitive behavioural approach in his clinical work (e.g., CBT, DBT, CPT) and works collaboratively with clients to develop meaningful and individualized treatment plans. Jesse sees clients for a variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety, trauma-related disorders, substance use issues, bipolar and psychotic disorders, gender dysphoria, and issues of emotion regulation (e.g. anger, self-harming).
Jesse also welcomes clients who are at-risk for initial or further involvement with the criminal justice system. He is experienced in working to address risk factors for offending in individuals with a history of violent and/or sexual offending (including internet-related sexual offences).
Mariya Thomas is a highly accomplished and dedicated Office Manager at Silm Centre for Mental Health, where she plays a crucial role in ensuring the clinic’s seamless operations. With a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Husson University in the United States, Mariya possesses a solid educational foundation that enhances her expertise in the field. She excels in creating a warm and inviting environment for both patients and staff, utilizing her innate empathy and outstanding interpersonal skills. Her genuine care and concern for others foster a supportive atmosphere where everyone feels valued, heard, and respected. Drawing upon her extensive background in healthcare administration, Mariya effectively facilitates communication and maintains an organized workflow within the clinic. She understands the importance of efficient coordination and ensures that all team members can collaborate seamlessly, resulting in enhanced patient care and satisfaction. Mariya is deeply passionate about mental health awareness. She actively contributes to the clinic’s mission of destigmatizing mental health issues and promoting greater understanding.