About

Who we are

Senta Counselling Services provides individual psychotherapy and couple counselling in Barrhaven. In addition to a wide-range of counselling services offered, special focuses involve women’s wellness, teen girls mental health, anxiety management, and couple counselling. Counselling services are offered in English and French, in the Barrhaven area of Ottawa. Reduced rate counselling and sliding scale rates available for low income families or individuals who are unable to afford regular rate treatment.

Cassandra Petrella of Senta Councelling in Ottawa Ontario

Cassandra Petrella , MA, C.C.C
Registered Psychotherapist, Independent Practice

Education &  Certification

Cassandra Petrella is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She is also registered as Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She holds a master’s degree in Counselling & Spirituality from a joint program at Saint Paul University & Ottawa University. She completed her degree with a both individual and couples counselling training. Her undergraduate degree was completed at Carleton University in the Bachelor of Arts, Honours Program, in Psychology.

Counselling Experience

Cassandra has developed several years of counselling experience in treatment, research and education. Special focuses of her work include women related issues, anxiety management and counselling for adolescent girls. She also focuses on on helping individuals improve interpersonal relationships through both individual and couple counselling approaches.

Prior to private practice, she had been a counsellor at the Saint Paul University Counselling Centre and Cornerstone Supportive Housing for Women. At the Saint Paul University Counselling centre, she worked with a wide-range of individuals and couples struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship difficulties. At Cornerstone Supportive Housing for Women, she was a resident clinician for trauma survivors and women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder and bipolar disorder.

Cassandra is a frequent guest lecturer at Carleton University and Saint Paul University. She is often invited to speak on the topics of women’s mental health, adolescent well-being and the importance of touch in human connection. She mentors novice therapists in the field as they start their own clinical practices. Cassandra is a clinical supervisor and provides both individual and group supervision to psychotherapists.

She is a published author in both academic scientific journals and clinical book publications. Much of her publications focus on her research related to the role of touch in human connection for couples.

Personal Approach to Counselling

I understand that life can be unpredictable and challenging at times, whether it’s day-to-day frustrations, ongoing issues or overwhelming circumstances. The first step is to understand that you have it within you to change. In therapy together, we will work towards overcoming the difficulties and obstacles you may be facing personally, at home, in the workplace or school, or with your significant other. You will be free to express and consult with me in an open and safe environment.

As a cognitive behavioural and attachment therapist, I take a hands on approach in my counselling to help clients develop coping skills which will allow them to personally reduce the symptoms they are experiencing. These coping skills are often life-long techniques which help reduce anxiety or depression and help improve interpersonal relationships and personal self-esteem. Therapy will be both emotionally explorative and solution focused in each and every session.

Elisa Makadi, MA
Counsellor

Education

Elisa Makadi holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Her master’s thesis research involved looking at self-compassion and mindfulness for those with social anxiety disorder. Her master’s thesis research was funded through the Government of Canada’s Canadian Institutes of Health Research scholarship, and her completed thesis has been nominated for a University of Ottawa prize. Elisa’s undergraduate degree was completed at Carleton University in the Bachelor of Arts, Honours Program, in Psychology. She is in the process of certification for the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

Counselling Experience

Elisa has gathered experience in counselling treatment and research, with special interest in young adults experiencing anxiety, self-pressure, and/or perfectionism. Prior to private practice, Elisa had been a counsellor at the University of Ottawa, helping a wide range of individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic pain, and family-related and interpersonal concerns. She has also spent time with Hospice Care Ottawa working with individuals experiencing grief and loss.

Personal Approach to Counselling

My treatment approach involves fostering growth and understanding through self-compassion, values, and strengths. In session together, we will work toward new coping strategies and new ways of relating to your self. I provide a warm, supportive, light environment for my clients, often using therapeutic strategies while also searching for the humour in our struggles.

I take a cognitive-behavioural, self-compassionate approach to therapy, while also employing aspects of self-acceptance, mindfulness, and emotion-focused work. I help guide my clients toward understanding unhelpful thought patterns, learning about one’s values and strengths, sitting with difficult feelings, and finding new ways of engaging with your self and everyday life.

Bianca Maschi (she/her), Hons. BA, MA Candidate
Counsellor, under the clinical supervision of Cassandra Petrella (Registered Psychotherapist)

Education

Bianca Maschi holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours program, in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa, an Ontario College Advanced Diploma in Behavioural Sciences and is currently completing a Masters in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University.

Counselling Experience

Bianca offers counselling to teens, adults, couples and families. Bianca has gathered counselling experience in counselling treatment with special interest in both youth and adults experiencing addiction, anxiety, depression, self-harm, anger management, trauma and issues related to self-esteem. In addition, Bianca holds specific experience working with individuals living with, affected by or at risk of acquiring HIV. Her special interests include working with teens, LGBQT, and couples counselling.

Personal Approach to Counselling

Bianca’s treatment approach places a strong emphasis on inclusivity, warmth, self-compassion and acceptance. She works from a person-centered biopsychosocial spiritual lens to foster both lasting healing and change. Bianca offers an integrative approach drawing from evidence-based practices with a focus on cognitive-behavioural therapy, acceptance-based commitment therapy, and solution-focused therapy. Bianca holds an appreciation for the courage that accompanies deep therapeutic growth and is grateful to be entrusted with the lived experiences of her clients.

Bianca offers reduced rate and sliding scale counselling for low income families and individuals who are unable to afford regular rate treatment.