Katherine Van Meyl, M.A.

psychodynamic therapist
& educator

Welcome.

My name is Katherine (Kat) Van Meyl. I provide therapy in English and French in Ottawa, and consultation, and education services in English and French in Ottawa, nationwide or internationally through SecureVideo. I am in private practice at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships, with locations in Ottawa and Toronto. 

My Journey To Becoming A Therapist

I’m a survivor of complex trauma and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) triggered by the loss of a loved one by suicide. I know first-hand how childhood adversity and trauma effects the human psyche and what is required for recovery. I draw on evidence-based practices, informed by my personal experiences, to help my clients recover from trauma.  I was inspired to become a therapist in my early 20s when I first sought treatment, but it took until after the birth of my daughter in my early 30s to start my master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. In my teens and early 20s, I had many negative experiences with therapists. I felt they did not understand me, and I felt judged by them. I remember feeling blamed for my symptoms, which felt both infuriating and shaming. Once I found a therapist who shared my values and really listened to me, I worked with that individual for over a decade. My personal experience inspired me to become a therapist to offer treatment to those who might not fit within the confines of what most consider “normal.” 

Guest Lectures & Workshops

Starting in my mid-20s and to this day, I have provided countless guest lectures and workshops to students, mental health professionals, social service providers, and police service providers on issues related to sex, gender, and sexuality. I feel inspired to share my knowledge of sex work, non-monogamy and kink/BDSM with other mental health professionals so they may better work with these (often intersecting) populations.

Professional Experience

In 2017, I founded Ottawa Independent Companions, a collective of independent sex workers whose goal is to share information, reduce isolation and increase safety among sex workers in the Ottawa and Gatineau region. Prior to this, I was employed by the Global Network of Sex Work Projects to help amplify the voices of sex workers globally through a robust communications plan. In the past, I volunteered with POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa, Gatineau, Work, Educate, Resist), CASWLR (Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform) and Pink Triangle Services (currently known as Kind Space).

"I feel inspired to share my knowledge of sex work, non-monogamy and kink/BDSM with other mental health professionals so they may better work with these (often intersecting) populations."