Louise Dessertine is a graduate of Concordia University and the University of Geneva, Switzerland, with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. She has been practicing as a psychologist
and psychotherapist for 35 years, working predominantly in the First Nations communities.
She has spent much of her carrier working in Mohawk and Cree communities in Quebec;
Kahnawake, Kanesatake and for the Cree Board of Health but also has provided supervision and support to staff and participants and the Montreal Native Woman’s Shelter and more recently in the P.A.Q. Shelter in Montreal. Louise has also been in private practice since 1995.
Her therapeutic approach is humanist and she integrates some aspects of Cognitive therapy, Systems Theory and Narrative Therapies in her work, always adapting her interventions to the needs of the clients and families. Louise has training in Psychodrama therapy and Ethno-therapy, and worked as a co-therapist at the Anna Luisa Cabesas Center and Community Clinic for immigrants from 2000 to 2010. She was in Jungian Therapy and Dream Analysis intermittently from 2001 to 2008 and is presently completing a 3-year training in Lifespan Integration Therapy.
Louise emphasizes the importance of cultural and community identity, spiritual wellbeing, creative expression and the involvement of the family and extended family in the healing process. Louise has integrated aspects of the Healing Circle in her group work on grieving, trauma debriefing and processing, family work and team building.
Since 2006, Louise has been creating and giving workshops on various pertinent topics in the communities where she works, such as; debriefing techniques, care for the caregiver/vicarious trauma, anxiety management, depression and grieving/post-partum depression, parenting in the aftermath of Residential Schools, emotional eating, creativity and healing, the origins and Impacts of domestic violence, developing secure attachment in the parent-child relationship.
These workshops and trainings are usually given in collaboration with first nations colleagues.
Between 2008 and 2015, Louise participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Gatherings across Canada and throughout Quebec, as a Health Support Worker and Assistant Trainer. She is presently involved in providing group support in the form of Wellness Retreats to the families involved in the Missing and Murdered Women’s Commission in Quebec.
She has worked extensively with the following issues; anxiety, depression, multi-generational traumas, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual abuse and incest, addictive family systems and parenting and attachment issues. She has carried out groups and healing circles for anxiety, depression and grief, parenting and the impact of sexual abuse. Louise has also been a mentor and supervisor for the Early Childhood Intervention team Â Mashkûpimâtsiît Awash in
Waskaganish, since 2011.
In her healing work, Louise emphasizes the importance of cultural identity and cultural practices, spiritual wellbeing, creativity and healing, and the involvement of the family and community in the healing process. She is a strong advocate for prevention and education, and has a longstanding interest in the use of radio, video and other forms of
media in reaching the members of isolated communities.
Louise is in a committed relationship, is the mother of two adult children, and a grandmother by alliance. Family relationships, friendship, creative expression and spirituality are the focus of her personal life. She enjoys nature, singing and songwriting, poetry, sewing, cooking and outdoors activities such as gardening, walking/hiking, skating and biking. Louise is bilingual, working in both the English and French Language, and she has some knowledge of Spanish.