About Me

I am a Registered Psychotherapist, Member 001180 of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and a Clinical Member of Ontario Society of Registered Psychotherapists providing individual counselling since 1994 to adults and older teens (15+) I often work with couples of many kinds, including poly couples/pods etc. and couples including trans or non-binary people or those contemplating transition. I also welcome parents whose children of any age are trans or are exploring their gender. 

I hold an MEd in Counselling Psychology from OISE, University of Toronto, and an MA in Modern History from Oxford University, England. I am a member of a dynamic “Peer Consultation Group” of experienced psychotherapists who meet regularly to guide and enhance each other’s work. I read the professional literature closely, and am connected to the more progressive wing of international clinicians, attending as many conferences as I can afford and studying with a range of trainers and Clinical Supervisors.   

My training includes a wide variety of psychotherapy modalities. I hope this enables me to fit the therapy to the client, rather than trying to cram all my clients into some favourite theoretical structure! 
I have studied the following modalities in workshops and readings 

Affirmative Counselling for parents of Gender Independent children
Anti-Oppression Practise
Attachment theory
Couples Therapy (EFT: Emotionally Focused Therapy)
Feminist Counseling 
Internal Family Systems
Jungian Dreamwork
Narrative Therapy
Psychodrama
Psychodynamic Practise
Relational Supervision
Self-Psychology
Strengths-based Practise
Therapy for Children and Youth 
WPATH Hormone Readiness Assessor Training 


After 26 years of counselling, though, it is my firm belief, supported by much research (see recent article in the Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/10/psychotherapy-childhood-mental-health) that what makes therapy effective is above all the quality and depth of the human relationship between client and therapist. We work together to build and maintain a “working alliance”, a useful tool that can enable my client(s) to make the changes in their life they need.

My working style and my office space are quite informal. I work not in an office building but in a pleasant, well-lit, private room in my home, close to the Boardwalk in the Beaches area of Toronto. Public Transit is convenient and close, parking on the street is usually easy (except on hot summer days!) and the bicycle path along the lake goes past the bottom of the street.

I am myself an older, somewhat feminine, transgender man, cheerfully comfortable in my skin, of (Viennese/English) Jewish ancestry. Assigned female at birth, I transitioned in middle age. I have identified as “Queer” since the mid-1980s and am familiar with and at home in LGBTQ2S (aka “Gay”) communities. I have two middle-aged sons as well as a lively and interconnected “Family of Choice” to whom I am devoted, including quite a number of Queerlings from babies to young adults.

Since I am trans myself, clients who are also trans, non-binary or exploring what might be a more authentic gender for themselves can feel especially comfortable in my office. (Cisgender people welcome too!) Over the years I have been the “Transition Consultant” for many trans people, of a wide range of genders. I have no opinion of what might be the “right” way to transition but a great interest in helping to discover what might be the right way for THIS person, living in THIS context at THIS time. Some of my clients, after careful consideration, decide that medically assisted transition is not right for them, and find other ways to express and to be at peace with their gender. Some of my clients decide to access medical interventions. Via my work at Rainbow Health Ontario, I can often help with system navigation. Partners, parents and children of trans and non-binary people work with me to come to terms with the changes in the lives of the people they love.

When I see children exploring this complicated thing we call gender, I think that’s healthy. I don’t see anything wrong with children being “Gender-Diverse” or “Gender-Creative” or trans and I don’t think it requires any kind of treatment. What I can offer that can be useful is a safe and knowledgeable place where parents can process two sets of issues: 
— the endless complex decisions they must take as they try to balance their children’s safety and their need to be true to themselves, 
— and their own feelings as adults, including sometimes troubling and confusing ones, about raising these wonderful kids. 
Where families decide to access medical intervention e.g. puberty blockers, again, I can often help with system navigation. 

I have co-written an article published in a peer-reviewed journal, that continues to be widely quoted in scholarly and medical journals

Wallace, R., & Russell, H. (2013). Attachment and shame in gender-nonconforming children and their families: toward a theoretical framework for evaluating clinical interventions. International Journal of Transgenderism, 14(3), 113-126.

as well as a less scholarly, more accessible, shorter version of the same ideas at
A Tale of Two Clinics | EENet eenet.ca/a-tale-of-two-clinics/

I have appeared in a number of documentaries, including

w.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/transforming-gender

ww.tvo.org/video/trans-nation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHuEpcmXvG0
  (TVOparents: Child Gender Identity)