Our Team

Our Team

Dr. Olive Okraku

Registered Psychologist

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Dr. Olive Okraku is Registered Psychologist with over 10 years of extensive clinical experience. I have a Masters degree specializing in clinical psychology and a Ph.D in counselling psychology. I also have experience in teaching and research. Much of my work and experience has involved working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families within counselling, clinical, health, school and community psychology specialties.

My interest is in trauma and PTSD, resilience, chronic illness and pain management, depressive and bipolar disorders, anxiety, stress/lifestyle related issues, women issues, spirituality and multicultural issues.

I practice from the biopsychosocial(s) model meaning I assess and explore the biological, psychological, social and spiritual contribution to the presenting concerns of my clients. As such, I have received specialized training in approaches (e.g. CBT, EMDR) to reduce distress and improve daily functioning of my clients. I offer a collaborative approach to working with individuals and draw on a variety of therapeutic approaches. I also take strengths-based and outcome-informed approach with all my clients. The outcome informed approach monitor’s client’s progress to collect feedback about the service they receive, which helps evaluate the needs of the client.

 Areas of interest

Treatment Approaches

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

  • Hope -Focused Counselling

  • Mindfulness-based (MBCT)

  • Play Therapy

  • Resilience and Strength Based Counselling

  • Solution Focused Approaches

  • Trauma Focused Therapy

For more information,
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More About My specialties

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Children:
I have experience with children in community settings, schools and in hospitals. My work involved working collaboratively with families, teachers, and physicians. In my practice with children, I conduct initial assessments and gather information from both parent and child.read more
Depending on the presenting concerns, I often engage parents in psychoeducation on behavioral principles (e.g. reinforcement) as well as equipping parents with behavioral skills to implement. I use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with children which is tailored to their developmental level. I also incorporate non-directive play with children between ages 3-10 years. I believe that while adults use language to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs, children use play as their form of language to communicate their needs. My focus is to develop and create a feeling of safety and permissiveness in the relationship in order for the child to feel free to explore and express him/herself completely. I engage in unqualified acceptance which enables the child to develop self-understanding, acceptance, regulate emotions and problem-solving skills. I also use emotionally focused coaching with parents which are effective for healthy interactions, foster trust, and safety in parent-child relationships.

Teens:
I have worked with adolescents and young adults in post-secondary institutions, community and in hospitals. I also have experience working with youth who struggle with issues relating to substance addiction, anxiety, depression, stress, bipolar disorders, trauma, self-harm, academic pressures, cultural identity, as well as a challenging relationship with guardians. read more
I use CBT and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy as they are evidence-based treatment approach for these issues. I also use Emotion-Focused approach and coaching with parents and their children (with child’s permission) to enable parents to validate their children’s experiences and have a better understanding while undergoing stressful periods. I also use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to process any traumatic experiences as well as life stressors.

Trauma:
I have experience working with child soldiers, children and adults who have experienced various life stressors, sexual abuse, and assault, neglect, abandonment, witnessed violence, kidnapped and were tortured during wars. Trauma is experienced and interpreted differently by each individual. read more
Therefore, what could be traumatic for one person, may not be traumatic for the other. My focus when working with individuals who experienced trauma is to validate and process the experiences by using CBT techniques (e.g. psychoeducation, exposure, relaxation) or EMDR to provide symptom relief and enable a better quality of life. I also focus on identifying an individual’s internal and external resilience and coping resources and assist them in rebuilding their lives instead of being overshadowed with trauma.

Addictions:
I have worked with teenagers and adults who have present substance use concerns or concurrent disorders meaning they have both mental health illness (e.g. depression, schizophrenia) and have a substance use problem. I use motivational interviewing toread more
assess readiness or ambivalence to change their behaviors and subsequently, their substance use. I also use client-centered therapy and include some CBT techniques to provide psychoeducation and enable individuals to have a perspective and make informed choices. In addition, I focus on any beliefs that are maintaining the behavior of using substances. In my experience, most addiction issues are masked by a single or multiple-traumatic events. I use EMDR and CBT which are effective in processing these events.

Couples:
My goal is to focus on communication, the meaning of the relationship to both parties, conflict resolution, develop deeper intimacy and friendship. read more
My approach utilizes an emotionally focused approach with the goal of increasing insight into emotions and to identify unhelpful patterns and process emotional barriers that are preventing a healthy relationship. I also believe that due to the differences in background, experiences, values, and beliefs, it can be useful to incorporate some skill building.