For more than 30 years, Samuel Waldner M.Ed has served generations of individuals and families struggling with the difficulties of living with alcohol, drug, nicotine, compulsive eating, compulsive shopping, and other dependencies.
As a leading addictions counsellor/psychotherapist in Toronto, Canada, he feels honoured to have been able to encourage the recovery of hundreds of individuals and in turn to have helped thousands of family members affected by the disease.
He has helped countless others on their road to recovery from codependency, weight preoccupation, anxiety, depression and relationship issues.
Samuel has consistently pioneered new approaches to counselling while drawing wisdom from well-recognized sources. His “story healing” approach has benefited many clients. He launched a therapeutic process that combines his passion for painting and photography with his expertise as a counsellor. This approach gives clients a powerful and simple way to engage their creativity through artistic expression and find innovative solutions to their problems.
Samuel has a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology. He was trained as an addiction counsellor at the Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota. He has counselled in both outpatient and residential settings. He has been in private practice since 1989 and is a registered psychotherapist through the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
Philosophy and Approach
I believe that no matter how hopeless you feel or how terrible your current situation seems to be, there is always a way out. As one of the leading practitioners in the area of addiction counselling, I wholeheartedly believe this and I have consistently seen clients move from despair to hope.
Many of us choose, because of various life experiences, to go it alone emotionally. We decide that there is no one that we can truly trust or rely on. We think that we have to solve our own problems.
The solution for many people begins with the awareness that they cannot solve all their problems on their own. I encourage you to reach out and ask for help.
My helping approach draws from the 12 Steps/Minnesota Model and techniques derived from cognitive-behavioural therapy and mindfulness meditation. I have pulled wisdom from each of these sources and have brought them together into the individual approach that I call “story healing”.
I believe that is not people or events that make a person happy or sad. It is that person's beliefs or stories about people or events that make them happy or sad.
One of the great challenges of recovery is to identify and heal from the negative stories that we tell ourselves that block us from being present and enjoying the now.
I believe that there are four basic concepts that need to be addressed in counselling to bring about a sustained recovery. The client needs to be encouraged to begin to 1) ask for help, 2) take responsibility for their thoughts and feelings, 3) get in touch with their creativity, 4) learn to live in the here and now.