Mary Elizabeth Borkowski, MSW, RSW, RCC
Hi, I’m Mary Elizabeth, or “Mary.” I’m a social work-trained psychotherapist. I have over five years experience working with individuals, families, and couples in hospital, community, and private practice. I am also training to become a psychoanalyst – a process that takes time and patience, which are also qualities that I bring to my therapeutic practice. I am a client-centred clinician, meaning I meet the client/patient where they are at, rather than imposing an expert-mandated lens or agenda according to my assessment. I utilize my education, training, and experience to work collaboratively with the client.
My work is best described as psychodynamic psychotherapy, which means I work with the client to examine their history, patterns, and conscious/unconscious beliefs and attitudes that lead to emotional discomfort or even crises. I work from a trauma-informed perspective and an anti-oppressive stance, which means, to me, that I care about what people have been through and how the intersection of their identities affects their life experiences. I am an LGBTQIA+ allied mental health professional and aim to affirm individuals in their identities with non-judgment and compassion.
I am currently an analyst in training at the Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. I hold a Masters of Social Work from Simmons University, as well as a two year certificate in the Core Program from Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute. I am currently a Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW) and Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in the province of British Columbia.
What is “psychodynamic psychotherapy”?
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the right therapy for you if you feel tired of being put in a box, given manualized answers, and treated like you are a checkmark on someone’s list. Every single human being alive has a unique history and personality, and this is the kind of talk therapy that respects that complexity. In this approach, the mind is viewed as a dynamic setting, where phenomena like dreams, thoughts, fantasies, and defenses animate our minds and behavior, and one’s past touches everything but doesn’t have to determine everything. Our minds are malleable and impressionable, but also elastic, and free, containing limitless opportunities for expansion, change, and integration.
You are not a static entity but a complex being composed of multiple systems and moving parts. You deserve a therapeutic approach that respects your complexity.
Psychodynamic approaches go deep in order to effect deep changes in the individual.
My therapeutic approach actively acknowledges and incorporates the emotions into therapy itself, including what is “here and now” and how it can be useful.