Lorie Walton,  E.C.E., B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., RP

Ontario Registered Psychotherapist #002118
Certified Theraplay® Therapist Trainer Supervisor (C.T.T/TS),
Certified Play Therapist Supervisor (C.P.T/S)
Certified Gently Sleep Coach
Owner of Family First
Executive Director of Theraplay® Canada

Lorie Walton is the Founder and Lead Therapist of Family First Play Therapy Centre Inc, in Bradford and Burlington Ontario Canada, a centre focused on assisting children and families dealing with attachment, trauma and emotional and developmental issues. Family First has been successfully providing therapeutic supports and services to children and families since the year 2000.

Lorie is an Ontario Registered Psychotherapist, a Certified Child Play Therapist Supervisor and a Certified Theraplay® Therapist Trainer Supervisor. She has extensive training in working with adopted and foster care children who experience attachment related issues and trauma. Along with her private practice in Canada, Lorie is a Certified Theraplay Trainer and Teacher. She has been a part of the Theraplay® Institute’s International Training team for almost 20 years and became the Executive Director of Theraplay® Canada in 2020. (www.theraplaycanada.ca) She has the great honour and privilege of bringing Theraplay®, Sunshine Circles and Group Theraplay® training, supervision and support to professionals, families and communities across Canada. She has also been an active board and registered member of the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy (CAPT) and has held positions such as Board President (from 2005-2010), Editor of Playground magazine (2004 to current) and Membership Chair (5 years) in order to help grow Play Therapy across our great nation.

Before training to become a Child Play Therapist, Lorie devoted her life and studies as a Special Needs Resource teacher for children, especially those with Developmental and Physical Disabilities, including Autism. She has worked with the Ministry of Education Program Standards Unit (Ontario, Canada) as well as for the Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services, Special Needs Branch (Ontario, Canada) as a consultant in developing programming for children with Special Needs.

Along with running Family First Play Therapy Centre and Theraplay Canada, Lorie provides clinical consultation and Play Therapy and Theraplay clinical supervision to agencies in Ontario and to Play Therapists and Theraplay Therapists throughout Canada and the US. You can reach her at [email protected] or by calling the centre at 905-775-1620.

Dr. Dillon Browne, Certified Psychologist

Consultant and Clinical Supervisor

Dr. Dillon Browne is a registered member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the Canada Research Chair in Child and Family Clinical Psychology, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Browne completed his B.A. Hons. in Psychology at the University of Guelph and his MA/Ph.D. in School and Clinical Child Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. For Doctoral Internship and Clinical Postdoctoral Fellowship Dr. Browne studied and practiced in the Child Trauma Research Program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he gained expertise in Child-Parent Psychotherapy, play therapy, and family therapy.

As a clinical psychologist, Dillon works exclusively with children, adolescents, and families. For over a decade, Dillon has provided assessment and therapy services to young people of all ages who struggle with anxiety, depression, behavioural difficulties, ADHD related challenges, learning difficulties, school refusal, and other common challenges. He is also versed in providing trauma-informed services to children and families who have experienced traumatic events. Depending on the nature of presenting concern, Dillon may work with children and parents together, children alone (most common with older adolescents), parents alone, or entire families. In other words, he provides a variety of services including individual therapy for children (with parental involvement), parenting support, and family therapy. Dillon primarily relies on cognitive behavior therapy when working with children. However, he also provides conjoint (dyadic) therapy with parents and children, including those under 6 years of age. For families who are experiencing relationship difficulties, he primarily utilizes both structural and emotion-focused family therapy.

Dr. Browne will be working with Family First in a consultative and supervisory role, in addition to providing psychoeducational and socioemotional assessments for children. Please visit his website for more details on services.

Elizabeth Wiltshire (she/her), RSW, MSW

Registered Social Worker

Elizabeth Wiltshire is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and a Play Therapist Intern with the Family First Team.  Elizabeth achieved her Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto in 2007.   Over the past fifteen years, Elizabeth has worked with children, youth, and families, supporting a wide range of need through individual, family and group therapy sessions.

Elizabeth has a collaborative nature and a non-judgmental perspective.  Her therapeutic approach is tailored to meet the client’s needs and goals.  She incorporates an eclectic use of modalities and she aims to establish a supportive alliance so that the client can move toward their desired outcomes.

Laura Archer, BASc, Addictions Cert., MSW

Registered Social Worker

Laura Archer is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Laura joined the Family First team in 2022 and is certifying in Theraplay Level 1. Laura completed her Bachelor of Applied Science in Child Studies at the University of Guelph in 2006 and her Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2014. Laura has worked in the Human Services field since 2003 in varying settings including: childcare centres, child welfare, school guidance office, social planning council, municipal social services, and currently in private practice offering support to families and children. Laura practices from a trauma-informed, attachment lens that focuses on the strengths of the individuals and families while working together to achieve progress.

Michelle Baer (she/her), MA, CCC, RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Michelle is a Registered Psychotherapist, and Canadian Certified Counsellor. She has an MA in Creative Arts Therapy (2008, Concordia University) specializing in Drama Therapy. In 2015, she completed post-graduate training in Levels 1-3 of Play Therapy (CAPT). Michelle has over 15 years of experience working with children and youth ages 3-17 years in a variety of settings including a pediatric hospital, community counselling centre, children’s mental health agency, and since 2020, virtual teleplay services from the comfort of your own home!

She has expertise in working with anxiety, neurodiversity, 2SLGBTQ+ children, youth and families, and using nondirective and directive techniques incorporating CBT, Sandplay, puppets, yoga and mindfulness, and expressive arts experiences.

Michelle is a creative, and playful therapist, who is passionate about supporting children and families in sharing their stories, witnessing, validating and guiding them through the process of healing, growth and change. She is so excited to be joining Family First in 2022!

Elda Almario (she/her),  RP

Registered Psychotherapist

Elda is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario(CRPO) and a Play Therapist Intern with the Family First team. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals(OAMHP) and Canadian Association for Play Therapy(CAPT).

Over the past decade, Elda has worked with children, youth, adults, and families in schools, live-in treatment, community, and private practice. She has provided psychotherapy to individuals dealing with a variety of issues including mood, behavioural concerns, trauma, attachment, and other life transitions. She uses play and art and enjoys working with neurodivergent and/or racialized individuals. Her approach to therapy is collaborative, strengths-based, trauma-informed, and person-centered. She meets the clients where they’re at and allows them to direct their work together at a pace that they’re comfortable at. She offers therapy in English and Filipino/Tagalog. 

Rebecca McClure RSW, MSW

Registered Social Worker

Becca is a registered Social Worker with a Master in Social Work from the University of Waterloo. She has provided a wide range of social work services in a number of diverse settings and is very excited to be on the Family First team working towards Play Therapy certification and training in Theraplay.

Becca has experience working with young people and their families with a variety of mental health needs including low mood, anxiety, emotion-regulation, low self-esteem and experiences of trauma. Becca’s approach to therapy is playful, collaborative and strengths-based. She is committed to cultivating a safe space for young people to express themselves genuinely and foster the healing process unique to each individual.

 Anna Sgambato (she/her), RSW, MSW

Registered Social Worker

Anna is a registered Social Worker and graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, in 2007. She has been working with children, youth, adults and families in community based services, for most of her adult life. Anna continues to be curious and inspired by the strength, creativity and resilience of people of all ages, when faced with a wide range of challenges.

In order to thoughtfully connect with individuals, couples and families, Anna is warm, attuned and down-to-earth. Her style is influenced by her skills and experience in a range of modalities that are attachment and trauma informed, as well as play and mindfulness based. It is important to Anna to gain a good understanding of what it is that brings you to therapy. She wants to ensure that you are getting the most from your time, while valuing your input and being respectful of your pace. In addition to including play, laughter, and new perspectives in your work with Anna, her hope is that you will feel welcome, accepted and energized.

Samantha Walton

Office Administrator & Gentle Sleep Coach

Samantha joined our Family First team in January 2020 as our new Gentle Sleep Coach. She has many years of working as an Early Childhood Educator and decided to further her learning and become a certified Gentle Sleep Coach. She will work with you one on one to create the best sleep coaching program for your family. 

Samantha is also our office administrator. She is responsible for scheduling client appointments and overseeing all things which make Family First a top notch service within our community.

Sierrah Hamilton 

Office Administrator

Sierrah joined our Family First team at the beginning of 2022 as an office administrator. She is responsible for managing client intake requests, scheduling appointments, and other administrative tasks. She works closely with our team to ensure all of our clients have a positive and seamless experience when working with us. She is also currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at York University, working towards becoming a Registered Psychotherapist.  

Sierrah is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of, and contribute to, a practice with such strong family-focused values, and a team full of professionals dedicated to providing top quality service

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