Ells Photo For True North

Mackenzie Ells


RSW, MSW Clinical Social Worker

How can I help you make progress with your mental health, wellness, and life goals?

I welcome individual adult clients (18+ and seniors, for virtual appointments and in person). I also offer counseling to children, youth, couples, or family groups by request.

My areas of specialization:

Mental health concerns (egs. managing anxiety, depression, obsessions, phobias, negative thinking, spontaneous tearfulness, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality disorder etc.); addictions treatment; bereavement, grief and loss; emotional adjustment to an acute health diagnosis or issue you or a family member are facing (eg. cancer diagnosis); managing emotions related to chronic health issues you or a family member are facing (eg. diabetes management); (dis)ability issues (egs. articulating your strengths, requesting accommodation etc.); working on general health and wellness goals; life transitions and coping with life stressors (egs. divorce, separation, infidelity, marriage, moving, death, illness, career related stress, school transitions, family conflicts and relationship issues, elder care concerns, elder transitioning to long-term care); LGBTQI+ health and themes; development of coping skills and strategies; problem solving (or improving); conflict resolution (or reduction); and social skills (egs. working on social anxiety, hypervigilance, and being at a loss for words in social settings etc.). 

EMDR by request: I am trained and approved by EMDR Canada to offer Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a form of trauma therapy that is safe and approved in Canada when offered by trained therapists. EMDR has been empirically proven to be particularly effective in treating PTSD and other types of traumas. During EMDR we follow an established set of steps to access and reprocess your painful memories from the past, so that those memories, or present day “triggers” / reminders, no longer cause you the same amount of upset / emotional charge, freeing you up to continue your day calmly. 

Family: Whether the family we were born into or the family we made, family can give our lives a sense of belonging, meaning, and continuity as the years go by, and the world changes around us. If you are experiencing communication issues or breakdowns, conflicts, or estrangements in your family, I am offering you experience supporting clients in this area and a place to talk through your experience and consider your next steps clearly and calmly. 

Follow through: I also help people with mental health concerns, ADHD diagnosis, and other “mental blocks” who also want to work through struggles with motivation, goal setting, prioritizing, follow through, concentration/focus, life organization, time management, as well as school and work “executive dysfunction” concerns, (eg. coming “unstuck” and making progress on your goals).

Career / work-life: Our career and work play such a big part in our lives. From both a counselling and a human resources management perspective, I also offer a specialization in supporting clients who are working through work-related concerns: rehabilitation and return to work after an absence, career change, putting one’s best self forward at work to design work for success, interpersonal effectiveness and relationships at work, and work/life balance. I also offer experience supporting clients who are dealing with various forms of workplace toxicity (egs. bullying, harassment, intimidation, invalidation, incivility, conflict resolution, issues related to workload demands / fair distribution of work, and managing challenging conversations etc.)

Diversity: I also welcome clients from the LGBTQI+ / Rainbow community who would like to discuss and process various themes (egs. exploring and coming to peace with any angst or questions you may have around your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, deconstructing shame, self-esteem, confidence building, preparing for “coming out” conversations, healing from rejection, dealing with family conflicts and/or estrangements, responding calmly to invalidating experiences, workplace issues, dating and relationships, community dynamics, self-care, being raised rural and queer and/or religious and queer, and celebrating oneself etc). 

WPATH: I also offer experience providing World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) assessments and recommendation letters for adults (age 18+) who are seeking gender affirming surgeries in Nova Scotia, or at clinics elsewhere in Canada. Recommendation letter(s) are needed to apply to MSI / the NS Department of Health and Wellness for the gender affirming surgeries to be considered for funding through MSI.

Relationships: I also offer counselling experience and an accepting / judgement free zone for all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, who are working through any concerns or complexities you may be experiencing relating to monogamous relationships, polyamorous relationships, non-monogamous relationships, and/or the world of dating etc.

My counselling services are based on my clinical social work experience in hospitals and public health systems, as well as working with rehabilitation programs, and in the area of LGBTQI+ / Rainbow community health. My education and training include a Master of Social Work with a specialization in clinical counselling, a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, and an Advanced Diploma in Human Resources Management. I continue to study in the area of psychology, so as to offer you the most current information to collaborate with you on your goals.

I offer an eclectic style of counselling based on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness, and other evidence-based counselling modalities. My approach is client-centred and can be adjusted as we go to respond to your specific needs and goals.

Could we make a good team for your mental health counselling journey? It’s your choice.