Psychotherapist (RP) in Toronto: about changehappens

Hi, and welcome to changehappens. My name is Natalie Gold, and I’m a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) and human being living and working in Toronto, Canada.

I’ve been a practicing psychotherapist since 2007, specializing mainly in binge-eating and all that goes with it.

Working with any type of disordered eating – binge-eating, bulimia, emotional and stress eating, compulsive eating, food restriction and addiction (and the accompanying body image and weight concerns) — means treating the many underlying issues.

Each client has a range of unresolved complications. These can include anxiety, depression, emotional and mental stress, trauma and abuse, OCD, anger difficulties, codependency, creative blocks, grief and loss, and difficult relationships, to name a few.

I work intuitively, using whatever is going to help the client. I see everyone as a unique individual.

So while my Gestalt training is the base, I draw from many other modalities. These include: CBT (cognitive behavior therapy); DBT (dialectical behavior therapy); emotion-focused therapy; art therapy; psychodrama; dream interpretation; family systems, mindfulness and spirituality; the wisdom in 12-step programs; harm reduction; and the bio-psycho-social approach.

My job is to be with you and support you—to listen, to guide you to some awareness, and with your permission, to suggest things to try (experiments). The aim is to find what works for you.

The aim is to help clients discover practices and behaviors to replace the dysfunctional ones. These can include setting boundaries and assertiveness, anger management, and healthy ways to recognize and work with the emotional stress and daily hassles of modern life.


education & training

education & trainingAfter incomplete stints at the State University of New York, Buffalo (Theatre Arts) and at Ryerson Polytechnic (Radio/TV Arts), my real education and training started in the 1980s at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto (GIT). It continued in the 2000s when I became certified in Gestalt Therapy as a post-graduate of the GIT’s 4-year Training Program.

I hold an Honors B.A. in Psychology (Ryerson University – now Toronto Metropolitan University, 2011), and a Graduate Certificate in Addictions and Mental Health Counseling (Durham College, 2012).

Professional memberships include:

          • CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario)
          • OAMHP (Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals)
          • CCPA (Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association)
          • IAAGT (International Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy).

For me, learning is a constant. So workshops, seminars and research are essential to stay up-to-date.

But it is my clients who teach me the most.


work: current & historical

good questionAs a curious Sagittarius, I began asking “good questions” when I was a child (a good question was usually one that adults couldn’t answer!). This served me well in my 25-years as a Toronto-based qualitative researcher. As a consultant and trainer, I traveled across Canada to ask questions (in focus groups and in-depth interviews), observe and listen carefully.

Asking questions, listening and observing definitely helps as a psychotherapist. Along with an open mind and heart.

I started developing workshops based on what was important for me to learn in my own recovery. And these took place over a 20-year period on a range of topics.

Most recently, during the pandemic I created an online training workshop for therapists on disordered eating — a lifelong goal. There is such a need for help in this area.


personal story

long-winding road

Before my psychotherapy practice in Toronto began in 2007, I was on a search to find out what I really wanted to do with my life.

Since age 20, I have worked on personal issues, and traveled a long and winding road towards growth and healing.

One-on-one therapy, group therapy, workshops and seminars with different therapists have exposed me to a range of modalities. So I have been there, groped in the dark, grasped at straws, tried, fallen down, and picked myself up again. And again.

You can find more details in my book, whose title is self-explanatory —  Binge Crazy: A Psychotherapist’s Memoir of Food Addiction, Mental Illness, Obesity and Recovery  (2015).

The two major influences of my recovery: Gestalt and a 12-step program. Both take a holistic approach to change where what you think, how you feel, what you do and what you believe are all relevant, as are the many pressures we all face in this changing world.

The 12-steps have influenced my understanding of addiction, mental and emotional health, and the personal importance of developing a spiritual outlook.

Gestalt has prompted awareness and acceptance of who and what I am, what I want and need, how to recognize and feel my emotions, understand their impact on my body and in my life, and use them constructively.

Both have shown me that we each must find our own path.

change isn’t easy
even when we’re totally committed.
we naturally resist what change invites:
the new, the strange, the unfamiliar.
we can end up
compromising our lives
not pursuing our dreams
and settling for just okay.
but with some skilled support
and willingness
change can lead to
a different journey and outcome.
it is possible.

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