We are pleased to present you with the candidates running for election to CRPO Council this year. There are three Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) running for two available positions in District 7 (Central) and three RPs running for one available position in District 8 (Ontario). No nominations were received in District 6 (Central West). To learn more about each candidate, be sure to read the candidate statements below. Online voting opens on May 22, 2019 and continues until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 21.

Members who are eligible to vote can access their ballot on the Elections tab of their CRPO user account beginning May 22. Not sure what district you are in? Use these maps or log in to your CRPO user account and click the Elections tab. Find out more about serving on CRPO Council.

District 7 – Central

Andrew Benedetto Candidate Statement

It is a privilege to stand for election to Council.  I have appreciated the opportunity to serve as the current president of CRPO for over two years voted to the position by my Council peers.  I have served as vice-president as well as chair of the Registration Committee in addition to serving on several committees and task groups.  Prior to my election to Council I was an appointed professional member of the Transitional Council.  As a professional member of CRPO, I maintain a private practice as a Registered Psychotherapist and Jungian Analyst.

I believe that CRPO delivers on its mandate of protecting the public through a recognition of the diversity of psychotherapy modalities and Council’s efforts to ensure high standards for the profession that are both reasoned and realistic.  Our clients and the public can be assured that their psychotherapist of choice, in whichever psychotherapeutic modality they might be working, is committed to practicing professionally.

My contribution to this mandate has been my intention to participate, facilitate, or lead, depending on my role on a given committee or at Council, in a manner that promotes a process of thorough reflection, fair consideration, and sound decision-making.  This process benefits from acknowledging the need to identify opportunities as well as gaps in our understanding and our work, build where needed, and refine as necessary.

I have valued the opportunity to meet and learn from so many individuals including CRPO members at Town Halls this past October, various stakeholders, and from Council members representing diverse professional and public perspectives. I have been pleased to participate in the growth of a relatively new regulatory body—particularly where its members are reflective, engaged, wish to share their ideas, and have excellent communications skill.

I would appreciate your support for my continued work on Council.

Jessica Maronski Candidate Statement

I believe I would make an excellent contribution to the Council of CRPO based on my work experience and passion for the practice of psychotherapy. I have been a full-time employee in a residential treatment setting for five consecutive years, and have worked as a forward-facing counsellor, assessment counsellor, assistant to the manager, Acting Manager, and in administrative capacities. I have experience working alongside the Director of Programs in the successful accreditation of our organization, and developed the organizations Practice Guidelines manual, assisted with developing and creating the Policies and Procedures Manual, and acted as the Navigator of Programs in the accreditation process, which included being the go-to person for the assessing individuals and provide guidance and information on all aspects of the organization. I have also been actively seeking continued education as it relates to the practice of psychotherapy, such as non-violent crisis intervention training, training in treating symptoms of PTSD, serving marginalized communities, Anti-Oppression training and sensitivity, and many more. My education and experience has provided me with the knowledge and tools to exhibit a client-centred approach to care, assuring competence and safety in all practices. In my five years of working within this organization, I have worked within a multi-disciplinary team, and my work ethic proves to be supportive and encouraging to a team environment. I would like to be considered to sit on the Council of CRPO as I am eager to learn and enjoy communicating with other professionals, and primarily, I am interested in being a part of positive change, and further growth in the healthcare community.

Paula (Pat) Rayman Candidate Statement

I am a seasoned psychotherapist with 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families on a wide variety of issues.   In addition to my private practice I have consulted, trained and provided clinical supervision to mental health professionals.  I have an eclectic repertoire of clinical skills emerging from my training in psychodrama, gestalt, self psychology, psychodynamic and relational therapy, and am well-versed in both short and long term therapeutic approaches.  My strong belief is in collaborative leadership and good governance practice.  I have served as Coordinator of a Downtown Toronto Highschool, President of the Board of Directors at a Daycare, and as a board member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists in the position of Chair of Nominations, Vice-President, President, and Past President.  I have also been privileged to serve as a Council Member of CRPO for the past 4 years, and in that position have served as the chair of The Quality Assurance Committee and The Nomination Committee.  In addition, I have been a member of various committees of CRPO. I am currently a member of numerous educational and therapeutic Institutes and Associations.

It would be an honour and privilege to continue to serve on the Council of CRPO and to continue the excellent work of the Council.  I believe I have a lot to contribute and would like to continue to develop the integrity of the profession, as well as develop the concept of risk based/ right touch regulation.   I place strong emphasis on maintaining the rigorous standards of ethical and effective practice that has been established, and safeguarding the rich diversity of psychotherapy modalities that have been available in Ontario.   I believe our diversity is our strength,  and want to continue building and growing in this manner.

District 8 – Ontario

Heidi Ahonen Candidate Statement

Please accept my expression of interest for the position on the CRPO Council. I would like to continue contributing my experience in this important role. From 2009-2015 I served as a Professional Member at the Transitional Council, and since 2016 I have continued serving on the Registration Committee/Panels, and Discipline committee. I believe my openness, analytical skills, and integrity, along with my ability to deliver within a complex, and sometimes divided environments are some of the key qualities that I would bring to the CRPO council position. I drive to respect diversity, and even when engaging dialogue between conflicting views, I am able to listen, reflect, and learn from the different perspectives. My professional career has included leadership and administrative roles in both government and academia, including 18 years as Professor at WLU and a Director of a Research Institute. As a clinical supervisor and psychotherapist specializing in trauma psychotherapy, I integrate psychodynamic and humanistic-existentialistic approaches; incorporating CBT and solution focused interventions as needed, and utilizing music psychotherapy and various creative arts therapy techniques. An active researcher, I have authored several books and 100+ articles, most recently about SEUS and vicarious traumatization. At the CRPO I have deeply valued the transparency, accountability, and highly respectful working relationships with all of our committees, members, and staff. I believe Council members play an essential role in visioning, and attaining the best outcomes for both the psychotherapy profession and public protection. Being able to bring my passion and dedication in building and maintaining this environment, are key motivators for my interest serving in this capacity. Yours truly, Heidi Ahonen, RP, PhD, MTA.

Kathleen (Kali) Hewitt-Blackie Candidate Statement

I have worked as a psychotherapist since 1988 and have deep understanding of conflict resolution, mediation and development. A Philosophy BA taught me rational and ethical thinking; an MA in psychology and doctoral course work in community psychology and organizational change gave me expertise in systemic change. I am trained in Gestalt therapy and was a founding member of the Gestalt alumni association.

Over the course of my career I taught psychology, facilitated groups, and now supervise other therapists. For many years I specialized in eating disorders and sexual abuse thereby developing sensitivity to systemic oppression. In the early 90s, in Toronto, collective awareness was just beginning to connect the political and personal for women struggling with abuse, eating disorders and body image issues. I had the good fortune of being at the forefront of depathologizing eating disorders through education and media. I participated in radio and TV broadcasts on the subject and sat on the steering committee for NEDIC (National Eating Disorders Information Center) and EDAW.

In 2015 I was appointed to the ICRC (Inquires, Complaints & Reports Committee) of CRPO as a non-council member, and have had the privilege of sitting on the ICRC to present. In this capacity I have experienced the fiduciary duties of CRPO, first hand, in maintaining the public interest and the broad-base of knowledge that is required to do so.

I am at a stage in my career that I feel the need to give back, by helping to ensure that we, as psychotherapists, maintain the highest of professional standards and ethics. Sitting on Council would enable me to broaden that scope of service. I teach aikido at Regent Park Community Aikikai where training is free. I am a volunteer co-ordinator of a shelter build program running out of Toronto Humane Society, for https://torontostreetcats.com. I sat on the Board of Directors of https://www.freekoreandogs.org for many years.

Michael Machan Candidate Statement

My name is Michael Machan and I am submitting my candidature for the CRPO Council position representing District 8, Ontario.   I have been keenly interested in contributing to the development of the psychotherapy profession since the beginning of the conversations around regulation.

As a Registered Psychotherapist and a Clinical Supervisor, I have been actively involved in the activities of the CPRO since inception.  Currently, I work at Saint Paul University where I am the Director of the Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre and I operate a private practice from my home.

The strength of my candidature is focused on my understanding of the competencies of a psychotherapist required for applicants, the application process and my experience in working on other boards of directors.   At Saint Paul University, I have been assisting graduates for 4 years with their applications.  More importantly, I lead the application process (for educational institutions) that resulted in Saint Paul University becoming recognized with the CRPO in September 2018.  I have been on various Boards of Directors and most recently as President of the National Capital Region Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.    My professional experience directs me to have a valuable contribution to any of the CRPO committees to which I may be named.

Becoming a Registered Psychotherapist is part of a second career for me that started in 2008 when I returned to school in my early 40’s.  For the sixteen years prior, I worked in the banking industry in relationship management, competency development and curriculum design.

If elected, I look forward to honouring your vote with hard work to contribute to the regulation of the profession and the protection of the public in a manner that serves the College best.