Dr. Valentina Munoz offers individual therapy, clinical supervision and training.
I have a Ph.D. in research and clinical psychology from Université de Montréal and I am a member of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec. Most of my training and experience are in the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) but I am also trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which I use to complement CBT. I speak English, French and Spanish and offer services to adults (18 yrs +) in any of these three languages as required.
I worked at Douglas Mental Health University Institute for 9 years and my role there included treating people with severe anxiety disorders, supervising Ph.D. psychology interns and acting as vice-president for the Psychology Clinical Supervision Committee.
In addition, I have given trainings to various mental health organizations on how to assess and treat anxiety disorders and have given conferences and interviews on related topics. I currently have a private practice in Old Montreal and offer three types of services:
In the province of Québec, the title of "psychologist" is reserved. Hence, for someone to have the right to use this title, they must be registered with the Ordre des psychologues du Québec. All members have a permit number. As psychologists, we are expected to understand human behaviour and be able to assess and treat psychological difficulties through different psychotherapeutic techniques. Psychologists in Québec do not prescribe medication.
Clients should be aware that the primary mission of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec is to protect the public. As such, psychologists have a code of ethics that they are expected to abide to and are subject to random inspections of their services each year.
This approach is proactive and solution oriented. It aims to solve problems that are usually related to maladaptive patterns of behaviours, perceptions and emotions. Psychotherapy is based on concrete goals upon which both you and I agree following the assessment phase. Although gaining insight about past patterns and experiences is important, this approach emphasizes the present as well as effective and long-term symptom alleviation. There is empirical evidence that cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is particularly effective for the treatment of a variety of problems such as mood and anxiety disorders.
For psychotherapy to be effective, you need to fully commit to this process. This means that part of the psychotherapy will be self-administered outside of sessions. Because your reality is unique, until you test the newly learnt strategies in your everyday life; you will not know if there is true, long-lasting progress. For example, if during psychotherapy sessions, you learn how to manage high levels of anxiety related to a fear of taking the metro, you will never know if these techniques are working unless you attempt to take the metro. This can sound scary for some of you, but there is a gradual and effective way of achieving this goal.
I assess and treat psychiatric disorders such as social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
However, you do not need to have a formal psychiatric diagnosis to pursue psychotherapy. If you feel that psychological distress and suffering are interfering with your everyday life and are not allowing you to function to your fullest potential you can benefit from psychotherapy. Many of my clients seek help for issues such as low self-esteem, lack of assertion, anger management, decision making/problem solving, time management and organization, work-life balance, stress management and life transitions (e.g. divorce, birth of first child, death of a loved one).
Post Traumatic Stress disorder
In most cases, I see clients once a week for a 50 minute session. However, depending on your progress, we can see each other more or less frequently. Less frequent sessions often occur once you have integrated techniques well and mood has improved significantly. Usually, the first 1-3 sessions are an assessment of your difficulties, which will be followed by setting priorities and goals. Therapeutic tools may be discussed and presented in these sessions but the main emphasis will be assessment. The rest of the sessions will consist of learning new tools, decreasing distress and practicing in your everyday life. This phase typically lasts from 8-12 sessions but depending on your goals you may need more or less psychotherapy. Finally, the last 1 or 2 sessions will address relapse prevention and information gathering (resources in the community, help-lines, self-help books etc). Note that these are general guidelines and your needs may differ from this model.
What is discussed in psychotherapy is confidential. As a psychologist, I cannot breach confidentiality unless you give me written permission. Some exceptions to this rule apply, for example, if there is a serious threat of harm to another person or to yourself.
Over the years, I have supervised a number of psychology interns from various Canadian and international universities, seasoned psychologists from other countries seeking an equivalence at the Ordre des psychologues du Québec and local peers seeking extra supervision in psychotherapy. As a supervisor, I like to alternate between teaching theoretical concepts and discussing clinical cases so therapists can prepare their sessions from week to week. I also encourage therapists to practice some of their skills during supervision (e.g.: how to present a behavioural exposure to a client, how to introduce cognitive restructuring). Supervision can extend from clinical skills to highlighting how our own dynamics affect our intervention style to report and note writing. Depth and frequency of supervision will be adjusted based on the needs and experience of the therapist.
I offer training to mental health professionals who wish to learn how to assess and treat anxiety disorders within a cognitive-behavioural framework. I also offer various types of workshops covering topics such as stress management, how men and women cope differently with anxiety, how to start a private practice in psychology and many more.
I have a teaching style that is very dynamic and interactive. I regularly use breakout groups, clinical vignettes and examples given by the participants to bridge theory and practice. The structure of trainings and workshops will be adapted to each mandate and to the amount of people participating in the training.
As I am member of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec, psychotherapy costs are usually covered by your private health insurance or employee benefit plan. Clinical supervision fees may sometimes be covered by some private insurance plans or by your employer. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance carrier or employer to find out if costs are covered in part or in full. After paying for your visit, a receipt will be issued for your insurance company or your employer. It is up to you to make the claim. Psychologists are not covered by Medicare.
Payment options include cash or cheque. Debit and credit cards are not accepted.
Face à Face:
Anger Control Workbook, M. Matthews & P. Rogers (2000)
Arrêter de vous faire du souci pour tout et pour rien, R. Ladouceur, L. Bélanger & É. Léger (2003)
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated,D.D. Burns (1999)
How to Control your Anxiety Before it Controls You,A. Ellis (1998)
I can’t get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors,A. Matsakis (1994)
Qui Sont Ces Couples Heureux? Surmonter les Crises et les Conflits du Couple,Y. Dallaire (2006)
La Peur d’Avoir Peur, A. Marchand & A Letarte (1993)
Letting Go of Anger: The Eleven Most Common Anger Styles and what to do About Them,R. Potter-Efron & P. Potter-Efron (1995)
Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think,D. Greenberger & C. Padesky (1995)
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques, M. Fennell (2009)
Régler les Conflits de Couple, Guide de survie, Alan E. Fruzzeti (2008)
Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining your Self-Esteem,M. McKay & P. Fanning (2000)
Se Relever d’un Traumatisme: Réapprendre à Vivre et à Faire Confiance,P. Brillon (2010)
Shyness and Social Phobia,M.M. Anthony & R.P. Swinson (2000)
Stress et Anxiété: Votre Guide de Survie,C. Bélanger & J. Beaulieu (2008)
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 4th edition,E.J. Bourne (2005)
The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships,H. Lerner (2005)
The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living, A Guide to ACT, R. Harris (2008)
The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias, and Worry Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, G.H Eifert & J.P Forsyth (2008)
The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free From Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,B. Hyman & C. Pedrick (2005)
The Worry Trap: How to Free Yourself from Worry & Anxiety Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy,C. Lejeune (2007)
Vaincre les ennemis du sommeil,C. Morin (1998)
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda : Overcoming Regrets, Mistakes, and Missed Opportunities,A. Freeman & R. DeWorlf (1990)