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KYLA FOX, MSW, RSW

FOUNDER & CLINICAL THERAPIST

In my late teens and for years thereafter, I struggled severely with anorexia and an over-exercise addiction. I was in desperate need of medical and therapeutic attention. Due to the lack of immediate and ongoing services available in Toronto for those affected by eating disorders, I could not get the help I needed. I was put on 6-12 month wait lists for treatment and saw countless medical professionals who had very limited eating disorder knowledge and most, I felt, lacked concern for my life-threatening situation. I was told to take medication or I was simply told to “eat”.

Because of my lack of options, I had to learn how to recover on my own – something no one should have to go through. When I was well enough, I enrolled back into University where I was determined to study to become the therapist that I would have always wanted to have had myself.

Over the many years I have been practicing, I’ve dreamt about a way to bridge the gaps in our Toronto system for those affected by eating disorders. The Kyla Fox Centre is the opportunity for people to have clinical therapy and holistic healing right when they need it. It is the opportunity for people to receive treatment from those who deeply understand eating disorders and from those who have immense compassion for those who suffer. It is the opportunity for people to choose the way(s) in which they want to heal so that it meets their personal needs. It is the opportunity to recover. The Kyla Fox Centre is everything that I believe recovery should be about and I hope you will feel the same.

Kyla is a Master’s level clinician with degrees from both the University of Toronto in the Master’s of Social Work program as well as an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies. Kyla is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers and is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She is also a member of the Academy of Eating Disorders and the National Eating Disorders Association.

Before opening the Kyla Fox Centre in February of 2012, Kyla spent almost a decade in private practice along with running groups in the field. She is a public speaker, writer, educator, advocate and media expert for eating disorders. Because of the years of silence in her suffering, Kyla has made it her mission to get loud about changing the way we understand eating disorders in our culture.

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NOELLA TAYLOR MA, RSW

CLINICAL SUPERVISOR

How did you get here?

In my 30+ year career as a therapist, I have worked in many different settings

supporting clients and their families to address a wide range of issues. Through this

work, I have come to realize that clinicians are more effective at helping others if they

take care of themselves and have the support that they need to learn and grow in their

professional practice. While I continue to love working directly with clients and families, more and more of my work has focused on program development, mentoring, and leading teams of clinicians. I am passionate in my belief that every clinician deserves the opportunity for strong mentorship, coaching, and guidance to enhance their skill and enjoy better outcomes for their clients. As a clinical supervisor, I deeply enjoy working with other clinicians as they reflect on their practice and bring their passion and authentic self to their work with clients. That is what I bring to the amazing team at the Kyla Fox Centre. 

 

Noella is a Registered Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Psychology from the

University of Toronto and an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from

Western University. Noella is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and is a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She has worked in many settings including corrections, in-patient and outpatient treatment, and private practice to address addiction and mental health concerns. In addition, Noella has worked extensively with couples and families whose loved one is struggling with mental health and/or addiction.

 

Why do you love working at the Centre?

Being a part of a strong leadership team is energizing and gratifying. I am so pleased to

work with such a dedicated treatment team who are passionate about the important and impactful work that they do. The warm collegial atmosphere at the Kyla Fox Centre is a wonderful balance with the highly ethical and professional standard of care that is evident at the centre. I love the holistic, immersive, and personalized experience that allows clients and their families to get their lives back.

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ALEX BECKER RP

PSYCHOTHERAPIST

How did you get here?

I struggled with perfectionism and pressure to perform at an elite level – which showed up in my athletic career as overtraining and restricting.  When my athletic career ended, I grasped at things outside myself to define me or deem my self-worth. I held onto my restrictive eating patterns to maintain structure and familiarity while I attempted to transition into a more balanced life. As my relationship with myself strengthened and became more balanced my relationship with food became healthier and more stable as well.  

For the past few years, I have worked in a treatment centre for adolescents struggling with addiction. I recognized the added challenge that comes when manifested in food behaviours since it is something that can’t be totally eliminated. As I worked more closely with individuals who struggled in relationship with food, I learned that food was often the solution to something going on internally. In supporting clients in connecting to themselves and exploring all their wonderful qualities they began looking within for answers. 

 

Why do you love working at the Centre?

I love the holistic and integrative approach at the centre. While the treatment at the center honours the relationship with food and body it extends to digging into the root of the issues. I find this approach to be the most impactful and sustaining when working with eating disorders. Additionally, since the centre is an immersed outpatient program, a client can practice a new way of living in the environment that they will continue to live post-treatment. Lastly, I love the collaborative approach that allows us to put our heads together to find the most helpful treatment for each client while learning and growing as clinicians too.

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How did you get here?

As a child, I absorbed so many lessons, rules, and fears about food and weight shared by the adults and other kids around me. These lodged in the back of my mind, and I didn’t question them until many years later when I was working at a University counselling centre. I was surprised at the number of students who came through my office that had been experiencing eating disorders for years and struggling in silence. In order to support these students, I signed up for trainings, and read and listened to as many resources as I could find. Learning about the effects of diet culture and fatphobia on women and girls was a light bulb moment for me. As I learned more about the relationship of shame, trauma, and connectedness to eating disorder symptoms, I became passionate about healing these wounds on an individual and community level. 

 

I completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Queen’s University and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University. I am currently completing a Body Trust® Provider certification.

Why do you love working at the Centre?

I enjoy working at the centre with such passionate and kind colleagues and I appreciate our comprehensive approach to recovery. The thorough circle of care, wrap-around therapeutic services offered to clients, and the flexible and personalized treatment plan over a generic one-size-fits-all. I feel energized working alongside individuals whose approach is anti-diet, weight-inclusive, and trauma-informed.

STEPHANIE PHILLIPS, RP

 PSYCHOTHERAPIST

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How did you get here?

As a teenager, I used food as a coping mechanism to handle the pressure I felt to perform in athletics and academics. Perfectionism and the burden I felt to do everything on my own led me to an unhealthy restrictive relationship with food.  I suffered in silence for many years and did not reach out for the support I desperately needed. I reached a point where I could no longer manage and began to do the work necessary to reclaim my life. I was able to process my life experiences and gain an understanding of my patterns. I developed a healthy relationship with myself and learned to practice self-compassion. I made peace with food and transitioned to a more balanced life. 

 

I have a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from The University of Western Ontario.

Why do you love working at the Centre?

Eating disorders are all consuming. Watching clients take back their lives and learn to live in a much more positive way is rewarding. I love the deep commitment each person at the centre has to the well-being of our clients. The centre approaches client care from an understanding that each person is unique. The circle of care approach allows for collaboration amongst professionals to ensure that the needs of each individual are met. This includes healing body and mind. Once we begin to gain an understanding of how food has become negatively intertwined in the clients life, we can start on the path to healing. Unravelling current patterns and creating new, leads to a positive and sustainable change.

ANNE-MARIE RASMUSSEN RP (Qualifying)

PSYCHOTHERAPIST (QUALIFYING)

How did you get here?

For much of my life I was a performance-driven individual, motivated by others’ perception of me. I edited parts of myself out, denying my own wants and needs in order to fulfill the expectations and needs of others closest to me. This felt like a kind and loving way to exist in the world, but it was unfortunately at my own expense. While there is a part of me who altruistically enjoys helping people, I didn’t know how to delineate the altruistic part from the people-pleasing part. 

 

I’ve had 13+ years of experience as an RN in a hospital setting, providing care for people in incredibly vulnerable stages of their lives—both physically and emotionally. Through my exposure to so many different patients, I’ve observed that preventable “dis-ease” doesn’t necessarily start in the organ it manifests in. Left unchecked, negative thoughts, emotions, or behaviors can erode our overall wellness in the same way. My work as a Recovery Coach is all about helping the client find integrity and alignment with who they are (in all aspects!) and where they want to go on their journey towards betterment.  

 

Why do you love working at the Centre?

Working at the Centre is viscerally energizing to me, because it provides the opportunity to take care of people in a way most suited to them. Wellness is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and the Centre embodies this ethic, operating collaboratively with a great deal of empathy. It’s a privilege to walk alongside clients as they navigate the direction and desired speed on their path towards health. 

LANA LACEY

RECOVERY COACH

How did you get here?

During my undergraduate Nutrition degree at Ryerson University, my view of nutrition shifted from a weight-central to a weight-neutral approach after being educated on Health At Every Size (HAES) and Intuitive Eating within my own recovery. These paradigm-shifting concepts changed my entire view of food, nutrition, weight, and health. Throughout my Master’s in Health Science, I dedicated my research and clinical training to the treatment of eating disorders from a nutritional and holistic lens. My goal as a practitioner is to help clients heal their relationship with food and their bodies so that they can reclaim their mental energy and spend it on living a life according to their truest values. I am a Registered Dietitian with the College of Dietitians of Ontario, a regulatory body of allied health professionals.

 

Why do you love working at the Centre?

Being a part of the transformations that clients experience through the trajectory of recovery is the most fulfilling work I could imagine. If you had told me when I first decided to pursue nutrition if eating disorders would be the area I’d end up working in, I might not have believed you- but now, I can’t picture my life any other way. 

BRITTANY ALLISON, RD, MHSc

REGISTERED DIETITIAN

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LAUREN HOFSTEE  RD

REGISTERED DIETICIAN

How did you get here?

I always knew that I wanted to be in a helping profession, so connecting that with my love of food inspired me to go into the field of dietetics. I have a passion for connecting with all kinds of people and have developed this through working with a community health centre, an organization in Guelph that provides resources to people in need, and a local neighbourhood group. I believe that food is so much more than just what we put into our bodies, and that everyone deserves to eat without feeling guilt or shame. My goal is to use a weight-free, health at every size perspective to support people on their recovery journey. I am a Registered Dietitian with the College of Dietitians of Ontario and have a Master's degree from the University of Guelph. 

Why do you love working at the Centre?

Being part of clients' recovery journey is some of the most rewarding work I could imagine! Working with such a wonderful and holistic team of people, and supporting each individual client to find peace with food is what drew me to working at the centre.

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PENNI KEAN, BSc, MSc, RD

REGISTERED DIETICIAN

How did you get here?

I was drawn to work at the Kyla Fox Center as a wonderful opportunity to help others by merging my clinical nutrition knowledge and holistic perspective.As far back as I can remember I had an instinctive orientation towards natural health and wellness and curiosity about how the body and mind interrelate. I felt inspired to study nutrition in university and was drawn towards holistic healing approaches and helping others.My nutrition practice has spanned over 20 years working in different cultures and health settings with a focus on children, adolescents and their families experiencing complex health and nutrition challenges. Through my personal and work experiences I discovered how unique and complex the relationship with food and self can be and how healing this relationship can empower and transform a person. I wanted to support people on this journey.

Why do you love working at the Centre?

I was drawn to how the Kyla Fox Centre approach to healing eating disorders is rooted in trust, integrated and holistic.
I  feel honoured to be part of each client’s journey as well as join such a genuine and dedicated team supporting the recovery of our clients.

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MIA VINCIC RHN

HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST

How did you get here?

My relationship and struggle with food and self journey showed me how unique everyone's needs are. My passion to help and curiosity to understand individuals, led me to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and pursue a Master's in Counselling. As a trauma-informed nutritionist, my goal is to create a space for clients to be heard and supported. For me, getting to witness a client's transformation and to be at the forefront of their recovery and journey is such a gift.

Why do you love working at the Centre?

It is an honour to support client recovery, hear their stories and be a part of their journeys. I believe, integrative client-centred care through a holistic lens is the hallmark of best client care possible. I enjoy working with a team of passionate and knowledgeable colleagues that place their all to help the clients!

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KELSEY DRHA RHN

HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST

How did you get here?

I have always been drawn to food through cooking, learning about nutrition & of course long strolls through the grocery store! But my relationship with food has not always been positive. From a young age I struggled with anxiety, digestive issues, body image & low self esteem. In my attempts to ‘control’ my seemingly chaotic environment I resorted to restrictive disordered eating patterns that hindered both my physical health and my mental health. These all-consuming maladaptive practices prevented me from living life to the fullest capacity.

 

I spent many years navigating various ways of eating and focused solely on nutrition to heal my body. But it wasn’t until I started looking at my being as a WHOLE (i.e. mental, physical, emotional, spiritual), that I started seeing profound change. I began practicing yoga and incorporating various modalities that assisted with managing stress, coping with anxiety, healing my relationship with food, breaking through self-limiting beliefs, and moving my body in a healthy way to encourage healing from a holistic approach. I truly believe that healing is a lifelong journey and that the journey looks different for everyone. Although our journeys are unique & curated, I believe it requires effort from a physical, mental, emotional & spiritual level. It is such an honour to be walking alongside folks who are exploring their healing journey.

Why do you love working at the Centre?

My passion is for supporting others on a healing journey that is deeply rooted. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to work in a field that provides people a space to grow, transform and heal in a safe, compassionate and inclusive way. I believe that you don’t have to go about healing alone, it takes a community to support each other. The Kyla Fox Centre is exactly that; a community. It’s a multidisciplinary team of passionate, empathic and dedicated individuals who want to see others heal & thrive. I resonate with and fully believe in the holistic approach to care that the Kyla Fox Centre is built on. It’s an absolute honour to be part of this loving group of individuals.

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JILLIAN MURPHY ND

NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR

How did you get here?

In my late teens I developed an addiction to running and a condition we now call orthorexia (obsession with healthy eating). It wasn’t well understood back in 2001 and I had a terrible time finding anyone who’d acknowledge that what I was going through was a problem. I just didn’t fit any of the boxes… so I had to climb my way out of that on my own. It was long and challenging, especially as I was studying naturopathic medicine – a profession I love but that tends to perpetuate toxic, weight-centred, health and wellness beliefs.  20 years, a partner, and two kids later I’m proud to say that I’ve worked my way through my food and body issues and I genuinely enjoying living life in this body of mine. I move for JOY, I eat because food is delicious, connecting, and pleasurable, and I’ve focused my naturopathic practice on helping those with food and body issues pursue health from a Health at Every Size perspective.

Dr. Jillian Murphy is a registered, licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, having completed the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine’s four-year postgraduate program in 2006. Prior to attending CCNM, Dr. Murphy graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Kinesiology. Jillian’s background includes 10 years of general naturopathic practice and over 8 years of working with adults and children in various fields, including intuitive eating and body image. Jillian has dedicated the past 10 years to studying the psychology of eating, the relationship between weight and health, intuitive eating, and the most in-the-know strategies for exiting the diet cycle. She has additional training in CBT and coaching, studying under Ellyn Satter for two years. Jillian works from a Health At Every Size (HAES) perspective.

Why do you love working at the Centre?

I love working on a team! Everything is so much better with friends, amirite?

After working alone for years it feels amazing to be able to collaborate, providing the highest level of care possible. 

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AYAH NORRIS

HOLISTIC HEALER AND YOGA + MEDITATION TEACHER

How did you get here?
I graduated from business school, and worked in national and international sales and marketing across corporate, start-up, and creative environments. I had some incredible experiences in this career, but also a lot of pressures and stressors. I turned to yoga, meditation, holistic therapies, eastern philosophy and spirituality to find a sense of grounding and balance, and eventually followed the tug of my soul to share these practices with others. I studied holistic healing, yoga and meditation in India, and returned to build my practice in Toronto.

Why do you love working at the Centre?
I love working with clients to help them find a sense of grounding, ease and peace within themselves, feel at home in their bodies, and deepen their connection to their intuitive wisdom. I also love the centre’s holistic approach to recovery and working alongside a talented and compassionate team of practioners.

MICHELLE KARKIC

HOLISTIC HEALER AND YOGA + MEDITATION TEACHER

How did you get here?

As a sensitive and intuitive soul I truly have always been interested in the mind, body and soul connection.  After working for 4 years in a more traditional marketing work environment it became very clear that a less linear, more health focussed, career was calling me and so I began my study of yoga.   Since 2010 I have been fully immersed in the study, practice and teaching of yoga and meditation and have completed numerous training’s in various styles. In addition I’ve also spent many years managing Yoga studios as I love the community aspect of this work and truly believe in the power of community.  In 2019 I completed a postgraduate certificate training in Relational Therapy,  Somatic Therapy and Energy Healing.  I have also studied Astrology and a system called Human Design as I find these modalities to be very helpful in understanding and accepting oneself. 

Through my own healing journey I have come to really understand that much of my own suffering and dis-ease was in large part due to a deep disconnection from my body or a dis-embodiment. This showed up in numerous ways, such as disordered eating and so much of my personal work has been to connect with my body as the pathway back to reconnect with my true self.  This helped me to develop a self love and care that was tangible and practical.  My hope as an embodiment practitioner is to help support others in connecting to their bodies, and themselves and in doing so begin to develop a deep and loving acceptance of oneself.  


Why do you love working at the Centre?

I truly believe in the power of community and that we cannot grow and heal alone.  The principles of the center and its holistic approach to recovery and healing really touches on these aspects at its core. I love how the client has access to so many practitioners. This gives such a broad and deep experience of different modalities, personalities , relationships and support systems of all kinds. What’s amazing is that as a practitioner I too benefit from the community and the wealth of knowledge experience and support of the whole team.

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SASHA SKURKA

SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER 

How did you get here?
I discovered my passion for health and wellness through lived experiences which made me realize how interconnected physical and mental health are and how important supporting others who struggle with an empathetic ear can be. After graduating with a BA in History at Western University, this passion propelled me to become a certified Holistic Nutrition and Health Coach. Ultimately, I want people to love their body and it gives me so much joy to help as many people as I can down that path towards self-love.
 

Why do you love working at the Centre?
Beyond being an incredible and empowering work environment, I feel very privileged to work at the Kyla Fox Centre because of the meaningful work I get to do. What makes this Centre so special is its holistic approach: rather than focusing only on the eating disorders themselves or finding quick fixes, the Centre provides a supportive and compassionate environment for its clients that addresses the complexities of their lives in order to help them in a lasting way.

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NATALIA BIENIEK

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT + HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST

How did you get here?

My passion for holistic health began with my own challenges around disordered eating.  Having to navigate this on my own was what lead me to pursue a career in holistic health and continue self study around trauma, the body and mind connection. 

It has been such an incredible experience to work at a centre that has such an integrative and holistic view on helping people recover. I am so happy to be a part of the team!

Why do you love working at the Centre?

This center is the definition of holistic care. It bridges the gap between body and mind care.  You can truly feel how passionate, caring and team oriented each practitioner is. I feel beyond grateful and privileged to work along side such brilliant and empathetic individuals. 

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