Northern Moth Therapy is a private practice offering feminist, client and trauma centred counselling to individual clients (18+) in-person (Ottawa) and virtually (across Canada). It blends the practices of narrative, attachment, and expressive therapies while orienting itself towards justice.
This practice might be a good fit if you are seeking a space to unpack and process emotions around:
Relational patterns or ruptures
Trauma (birth, systemic, historic, or generational)
Invisible illness or pain
Who am I?
Hi, I'm Julena (she/her)
[pronounced ju-leen-ah] I'm a settler of Dutch and Irish ancestry and exist in spaces with white, cis, straight-sized, able-bodied, post-secondary education, and middle-class privileges. I was born and raised along the salty coastlines and camas filled fields of the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples and now reside on the lands of the Anishinaabe Algonquin peoples.
I believe I have been pointing towards therapeutic work throughout my life as I often witness and support people navigating difficult life experiences, particularly when pain, anguish and sorrow are present. These seasons of our lives can feel isolating and disorienting, my work attempts to soften those edges by providing a place to be seen and validated in all of the emotions that make us human. My intention in this work is to co-create safe enough space for us to unpack, understand, and make sense of that which is causing discomfort.
My academic work and lived experiences have strengthened my ability to attune to the ways our environments, systems, and family webs (present and ancestral) shape stories and beliefs we carry about ourselves. I believe through expanding our view to encompass the cumulations of our lived experiences, family histories, and body-based wisdom we can illuminate the ways you have creatively managed survival while also working towards more ease and emotional balance in your life. My deepest hope is that through this work you will experience a sense of genuine belonging, a coming home to yourself.
Therapy and healing is political. The roots of the mental health industry are deeply entangled with cis-hetero-patriarchy, colonization, ableism, and white supremacy and mental health professionals occupy positions of power where their actions can lead to policing and incarceration of others, particularly BIPOC, disabled, fat, trans, poor, and queer people under the guise of care. I carry responsibilities to interrogate, disrupt, and subvert the ways these systems live within myself and attempt to make invisible the wisdom and brilliance of bodies that are different than my own. I strive to consistently act in ways that are aligned with my values around trauma-centred, justice-oriented, fat-positive, anti-carceral, sex/gender/culture/life-affirming practices while acknowledging because of my privileges and complicities this is lifelong (un)learning with potential to cause harm. I am committed to learning from mistakes, repairing ruptures, and being transparent about shortcomings.
Northern Moth Therapy is housed on the unceded, never surrendered territories of the Anishinaabe Algonquin peoples who have been caretaking and stewarding these lands and waterways since time immemorial. It does not go unrecognized that my business has a home on land many have been violently displaced from and experience houselessness on. As a settler who directly benefits from these stolen lands, Northern Moth Therapy is committed to consistently redistributing a portion of income to mutual aid efforts that hold Indigenous peoples and families up in times of crisis and joy.
Trauma-Centred & Collaborative
Trauma-centred means I come to this work recognizing the multitude of ways relational ruptures, harm, and violence may be already woven into your story and can make a felt-sense of connection and safety with others difficult. We will not rush this heart-heavy work, instead we will prioritize connecting to your inner supports and resources before exploring external issues that may feel destabilizing. The therapeutic relationship will act as the container for processing and healing and we will only move at the speed of trust. All pieces of our work will be collaborative, grounded in consent, choice and autonomy.
Using this approach we will create some distance between yourself and that which is causing pain so we can get to know distressing behaviours, experiences, and emotions in safer, more tentative ways. We will approach familiar stories we tell ourselves with curiosity and neutrality, centring the wisdom those narratives carry, while holding space to imagine additional perspectives. By widening the experiences and examples we attend to and honouring the knowledge within, this work aims to expand the possibility that other stories, behaviours, experiences, and emotions might also be central, and important pieces, to our identities.
Expressive & Attachment-Based
Feelings and body-based knowing may reside in non-verbal places and/or can feel vulnerable to put words to. Expressive mediums such as art, nature and movement can be helpful ways to acknowledge and process that which we may not often speak about.
Attachment therapy is a lifespan model of human development that seeks to understand how the primary relationships developed early in life influence and shape the ways we navigate important attachments today. Orienting to relational ties through the lens of attachment allows us to slowly and intentionally scaffold experiences of secure attachment in our present day even if that has previously not been one's lived experience.
What to expect
Our work together will be situated around the specific concerns, tensions, ruptures, or losses in your life that have led you to seek support. I trust the body’s inherent wisdom to move towards healing at its own unique pace and will follow its signals and cues by continually inviting and making space for feedback around your felt sense of safety and trust within our relationship. While our work together will gently push up against your working edges and involve stretching emotionally this will happen in manageable, contained ways and always in relationship with one another.
I believe our past can provide rich insight and help us make sense of present concerns. Part of our work will be to look at the ways the cumulation of your lived experiences and environments have shaped the stories, beliefs, and patterns you carry around yourself and others. I will support you in identifying, unpacking, and processing ones that may be causing pain while also illuminating and honouring others that have kept you alive and safe enough.
My therapeutic approach is informed by my academic knowledge, personal and professional lived experiences, and continued learnings. I weave together theories such as attachment, emotionally-focused, parts, expressive and narrative therapies to meet you where you are and develop a rich understanding of your internal world. Creating therapeutic experiences that are non-judgemental and non-pathologizing is central to my work; making space safe enough for you to bring your whole self to our sessions. Being given the opportunity to deeply know clients in all their nuances and complexities is a gift I hold with tremendous tenderness, care, and respect; all of you is welcome here.
Rates & Policies
Session Length + Rates
Therapy sessions are 50 minutes and conducted virtually through JANE, a secure online platform (if located it Ottawa in-person is available)
Individual session: $150 (incl. HST)
I currently have sliding scale spots open ($100-125)
As part of my commitment to growth and ethical practice I work with both a clinical supervisor and personal therapist regularly.
As I hold membership with both CCPA & CRPO sessions are available to folks across Canada.
If utilizing insurance please check with your provider to confirm my services are covered. (Registered Psychotherapy or Certified Clinical Counsellor).
Northern Moth Therapy is an NIHB approved mental health care provider.
Cancellation with less than 48-hours will be charged a cancelation fee (crisis, illness, or compassionate need exempt).
Payment to be made within 24 hours of sessions via e-transfer.
'Northern' invokes the landscapes that were both teacher and backdrop to the therapeutic knowledge I carry. The lands and peoples of Lheidli T'enneh, Gitxaała, and Ts'msyen territories have informed and transformed the way I walk in this world; they are woven into all that I do. The path of becoming a better clinician is unjust as it happens on the backs of others, each client has taught me how to be a safer, more skilled practitioner. To the peoples and territories where there is an abundance of spruce tips, cedar boughs, salmonberries, and hurricane winds: I carry your generosity and medicine with me everywhere I go and hope to honour these gifts in the work I continue to do.
'Moth' tend to be misjudged insects, ones who are highly creative, clever, and important pollinators. They are known to mimic their environments, an analogy for all the ways in which humans shape-shift and transform to stay alive. Like a moth, comfortable in darkness, I will meet you in the depths of your struggles and not abandon you. Through our work we will make space for that which is hopeful and nourishing, like moths who always are attuned to glimmers of light, while also honouring all that is needed to survive in a world where social conditions and structural inequalities are unjust.
What's in a name?
Julena Breel, MEd, CCC, RP