Bio - Marleen Filimon
I’m a Registered Psychotherapist and specialize in working with First Responders and people dealing with mental health struggles.
I obtained both my Bachelor Degree in Psychology, my first Master Degree in Cognitive Psychology and my second Master Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Leiden in The Netherlands.
I am registered with the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP) and I’m a member in good standing with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). and have worked as a therapist and counsellor for multiple mental health hospitals and organizations all over the world, including the United Nations in Haiti and a Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in The Netherlands.
For my work as a Trauma Therapist for the United Nations in Haiti, myself and the rest of the Staff Counseling Unit received the 2011 UN 21 Award, this award gives recognition to staff members for innovation, efficiency, and excellency in the delivery of the organization's programs and services.
I pride myself in doing my part of giving back to our community and do so by volunteering my time. I was active as the President of the Board of Directors of The Halton Women’s Centre in Oakville for several years, I have helped organize Hope in High Heels, and I have been an active member of Badge of Life Canada.
I have also been awarded with a Therapist Recognition Award from Badge of Life Canada, a charity organization supporting Police and Correctional Officers and promoting trauma and PTSD resilience. In order to receive this award, I was nominated by clients for my work helping them with PTSD and Trauma Resilience.
An International Background
Originally I am Dutch, born and raised, until the age of six years old. My father worked for a shipping company which took us on our first big move to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast in West Africa. That was my first encounter with having to learn a foreign language, French. Little did I know this would serve me well in both Haiti and Canada.
I have very fond memories of Abidjan, especially the many trips we took as a family: Ferkessédougou, Ghana, and all across Ivory Coast. Discovering new cultures and languages was installed in me from an early age.
Next my father’s work took us to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where I lived for about seven years. My family and I lived there in a time where women were not allowed to drive, had to wear the abaya, and were not allowed to attend school beyond the age of 16 years old. I look back on my time near the Red Sea with nostalgia and happiness: scuba diving, sailing, compound life with friends, and many travels throughout Saudi Arabia.
After obtaining my MSc in Cognitive Psychology, I decided it was time to stretch my legs and I took off to Cairo, Egypt to study Arabic. I stayed for one year and was able to travel to the Libyan and Sudanese borders, discover the old and forgotten parts of Cairo, and gain the ability to have a decent conversation in Arabic.
In Canada, I have discovered my love for motorbike tours and every year, my husband and I go on a big trip.
My biggest trip so far took us from Ontario, to Radisson in the North of Quebec, and all the way down to the Gaspé Peninsula. I enjoy going on backcountry trips in the parts of Algonquin Park where there is no cell phone reception, going for hikes on the Bruce Trail with my dog Thor, traveling, sailing, sketching, and working on my piano skills.