About The Couch Counselling and Support Services

At the Couch, staff are either Social Workers/Psychotherapist or trained in other related fields. They have skills in CBT, SFT,  EMDR, DBT, Trauma-Informed or other modalities. Staff at The Couch will also be registered with a regulatory body such as; The College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario or The Ontario College of Social Workers. At some points the Couch does work with qualifying Psychotherapist who are in need of supervision hours to become fully registered with a college. As such these clinicians will work directly under myself who is an approved CRPO supervisor. All workers are supervised with supervisor access at all times.

The Couch Counselling therapists offer mental health counselling under the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program.

The Couch strives to help facilitate change with the client and support the client as they move forward in the change process. Here to help!

Psychotherapist in Brantford
Lori McDonell - (Owner and Therapist, MA RP)

Lori McDonell

Lori McDonell is a Registered Psychotherapist who specializes in Play Therapy, CBT, and SFT. Lori has been working with the First Nations community for the past 12 years and has been supervising clinical workers for the last seven years. Lori is a Play Therapy specialist with many years experience working with First Nations children Lori also has trauma informed, SFT, CBT, and Children’s Grief and Bereavement certified. Lori is currently working on specializing her skills in SFT around Play Therapy. Lori also is a NeurOptimal session provider and is able to perform Sand Tray Therapy.

“I am a client focused therapist and I do this work because I care about people and blessed that clients allow me to be a part of their healing path. I am the owner and operator of The Couch Counselling and Support Services and proud to offer client a variety of therapist who can fit their needs. We are truly Here to Help.”

Lorraine Parke

Lorraine, BSW, has worked in the social service field for 14 years. She has acquired the training, skills and experience to offer the highest quality counselling to her clients. As a Registered Social Worker, Lorraine trained in clinically proven modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Strength-Based Perspective, and Solution Resolution Therapy. Lorraine is a Certified Nutritional Advisor and has also been trained as a Life Skills Coach. She incorporates these skills into her session(s) in order to offer holistic care.

Lorraine specializes in the following areas: discrimination (including racism against people of colour, ageism, ableism, sanism) grief and bereavement, anxiety, depression, stress, chronic pain, low self esteem and life cycle changes.

Lorraine’s therapeutic approach is Person-Centered, non-judgment and empathic. She believes in the human capacity to change and helps her clients deconstruct harmful beliefs that stem from social norms and structures. Lorraine is confident in her ability to empower her clients and to walk with them through their process of change.


Lorraine Parke - Social Worker

Lorraine Parke

Lorraine is trained in Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) and has a thorough understanding of the indigenous people, the history they endured, as well as their issues. This combined with her certification in Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) has allowed Loraine to work for the Six Nations of the Grand River as a Mind in Motion Instructor. Here, she assisted indigenous people in their recovery from brain injury and trauma.

Donna Varao of The Couch Counselling in Brantford, Ontario.

Donna Varao

Donna Varao

Donna has been working in mental health for almost 10 years now, supporting clients through depression, anxiety, trauma and the challenges of being diagnosed with BPD. As a person centred therapist with lived experience, Donna employs several types of therapy to suit and support the needs of all clients. Donna offers DBT and Polyvagal Theory based interventions, EMDR therapy, and would be honored to help you along the path to your goals.  “You deserve to live a life free from past traumas and low self-esteem. Therapy is a tool you can use to heal, and I am here to show you, support you and cheer for you on your journey.

Fran Westerhof

Fran Westerhof earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2007 after which time she worked in a number of positions with a mental health focus (homelessness, addictions, trauma).  She received her Master’s in Psychological Counselling from Athabasca University in Alberta in 2022. She is a member in good standing of both the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario and the Canadian Counselling Association. Fran has additional training and experience in Brief Solution Focused Therapy as well as Brief Narrative Therapy. She has worked as a Child and Youth Therapist, a Mental Health Clinician, a Single-Session Crisis Counsellor, and now a Psychotherapist.

Fran Westerhoff of The Couch Counselling in Brantford.

Fran Westerhof
RP, Qualifying

Jenny Desimone


Jenny is a Registered Social Worker who has been in good standing with the OCSWSSW since 2004. Jenny spent the first part of her career working with the elderly and end of life care assisting clients to find meaning in their lives and applies a Narrative Therapy approach to helping clients find the story to their current life situation.  Jenny also received training in Solution Focused Therapy, CBT and DBT which Jenny utilizes with her heart centred, down to earth style and storytelling ability to provide clients with a catalyst to inner growth, healing and success.  Jenny has overcome many personal traumas and difficult life situations and loves to work one on one with clients to support and do the same. Jenny has training in Trauma Informed Care and in the Resilient Heart -Trauma-Sensitive HeartMath Certification to provide soft, heart-based healing that is client-centered and client directed.  

Jenny is an animal lover and has three dogs which are her joy, loves to complete crafts, beading, is an avid reader and is currently studying herbal medicine as a past time

Krystal Gauthier (B.S.W, R.S.W, Psychotherapist, CCA)

Krystal R.S.W has adopted a clinical and holistic approach to client care, recognizing resiliency and capacity for change in individuals as they progress towards desired healing goals. 

Krystal is certified in Global Assessment of Needs (GAINSQ3) a psychosocial assessment tool utilized to guide all aspects of treatment planning and used in Substance Use referral to treatment centers, Acudetox an Auricular Acupuncture Treatment used in the management of withdrawal maintenance, Mindfulness Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practice, Narrative Therapy, and Internal Family Systems Models of Practice.

Krystal Gauthier - Registered Social Worker

Krystal Gauthier
BSW, RSW, Psychotherapist, CCA

Krystal has spent over a decade working in community practice with individuals and families experiencing Mental Health challenges and Addictions struggles. Krystal has worked with individuals from all walks of life, who are experiencing pain and struggle in their life and want to increase self-awareness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and overall quality of life to transform trauma and pain towards contentment and emotional stability. Krystal provides specialized treatment for clients experiencing substance use, generalized addictions, anxiety, trauma, grief, loss, and overall mental health challenges. 

Krystal has experience working within the Indigenous communities through Native Child and Family Services participating in family strengthening groups, where she was able to take in more about heritage, traditions, culture, rituals, spiritual beliefs, and healing.


Brandon Weber

Brandon Weber

Brandon Weber, RSW, Has always had a deep interest in working with and assisting those who are struggling, regardless of age, creed, ethnicity or gender; with that in mind, he chose to major in social work, with a double minor in psychology and Indigenous studies. Graduating with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University, Brandon has since worked with clientele of all ages, cognitive abilities, orientations, and from all walks of life. Brandon has specialized interests and focuses on mental health, Trauma-informed therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectic Behavioural Therapy, 2sLGBTQ+ and Indigenous Therapy approaches.

Teliea Brown

Teliea is a qualifying psychotherapist/Intern. She graduated with a bachelors degree in child Studies and a double minor in psychology and human rights at Carleton University. She is currently enrolled in the masters program of counselling psychology at Yorkville University. Teliea has a passion for working with children and hopes to aid in child development with the implementation of experiential and art therapy. With future plans to specialize in Trauma-informed therapy.


Teliea Brown
RPQ, Intern working under Lori McDonell

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Introducing our new AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) dog Frasier to The Couch Counselling and Support Services. He helps clients to reduce their stress and anxiety while in session and can help keep these symptoms down for some time afterwards. He works with the Owner and Psychotherapist Lori McDonell RP and can be incorporated into the sessions at any time. If you request to have Frasier as part of a session with any other counsellor there will be an added fee of $20.00 for him to come into the office.

Couch Counselling Psychotherapists in Brantford and surrounding areas are available to help. 


519 820-6522


226 325-8255

Email Address


Business Hours

Monday/Friday: 8am to 6pm - Saturday: 9am to 12am

Payment Methods

We accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, e-Transfer, NIHB, auto insurance; MVA/HCAI, and most work insurances.