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Habitude Team Bio’s

John Vereecke – Co-Founder, Executive Director

John knew that having a successful professional career, a loving wife, healthy children, a nice home and car wasn’t enough to overcome addiction and support his own mental health issues. He personally felt the physical, psychological, social and spiritual affects of his own trauma, and felt that individuals should have an opportunity to seek help that would support their whole beings.

Together, with a team of experienced professionals, the Habitude™ Addiction and Wellness Program was successfully developed. A program that not only addresses the physical addiction but the physical, mental and spiritual maladies. The Habitude Program is Canada’s only authentic Bio-Psycho-Social and Spiritual Program that supports individuals, their families and their employers.

John is a certified chemical addictions Counsellor and continues to educate, innovate, inspire and support clients, families, and health practitioners about using a more common sense approach to supporting individuals addicted to substances or struggling with mental health issues. He has mentored many others, encouraging them to stop talking the talk….. and begin walking the walk. He feels blessed for having had the opportunity to reflect on his past and move forward into a future that is built on healthy habits and a positive attitude…. one step at a time.

Tammy Francoeur – Co-Founder & Director of Peer Support and Programming 

Tammy is considered an Expert in Addiction and Family Issues. She has personally helped 1000’s of families, individuals and health professionals since 2005.  As a co-founder of the Habitude Program, Tammy strongly believes in the Bio-Psycho-Social and Spiritual Model of healing. Leaving one component out, leaves people at risk of becoming un-well again.

Tammy delivers outstanding Solution-Based Workshops, Lunch n’ Learns, and Customized Seminars to employers, families, and health practitioners. Tammy is an excellent speaker and has empowered many individuals to not only understand addiction better but to do their jobs better. .


Dr. Carolyn Rogers, MD   Medical Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Rogers believes strongly in the Habitude Program. She has personally supported and witnessed physical and mental health challenges that had remarkably positive outcomes from a bio-psycho-social and spiritual approach. In November 2011, while attending the Canadian Association of Addiction Medicine conference, presenters were just starting to talk about the importance of a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to the treatment of addiction. Dr. Rogers says she has never seen these types of outcomes in  any other clinic, her own family practice, or any hospital since she graduated from McMaster Medical Program in 1990. She has not seen this in her work as the Federal Institution Physician for the Ministry of Corrections for the past 14 years either.  Dr. Rogers believes that the Habitude Addiction Program addresses each of these facets of recovery in a unique and intensive way and remains the most cutting edge program in Canada today.

Dr Rogers is a remarkable human being. She is compassionate, smart, and open to looking at things that most people in her position would not. She has experienced many non-medical modalities that she believes have had a positive impact in her own life.

Dr. Shelly Linehan, N.D. licenced with Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine photo ShellyPic_zpsf3ac3383.jpg

The role of a Doctor of Naturopathic medicine at Turning Point is to assess the health of new clients and develop individual programs tailored to meet the specific detoxification needs of each client. Dr. Linehan fulfills this role with a lot of compassion and scientific knowledge. She says that the unique blend of physical detoxification with sauna, and evidence based vitamin and mineral supplements has a dramatic effect within days of starting treatment and a provides medically safe support for the client during their acute and post acute withdrawals. “The client are physically better, able to think clearer and have significantly reduced cravings for their addictive substance with this type of support.

Dr. Linehan’ approach to biophysical detoxification is rooted in basic physiology, and how the use of orthomolecular nutritional and herbal therapy can, not only support individuals, but truly optimize the functioning of those in recovery. Dr. Linehan emphasizes the use of basic and advanced evidence-based natural therapies with astounding success. Dr. Linehan follows all of our clients closely with compassion and understanding and a true desire to see them succeed in their recovery. Her goal is to empower people with the tools and strategies necessary to manage their health and apply them both at home and the workplace. Dr. Linehan says. “It has been a pleasure to work in this environment and see the benefits manifest so quickly in new clients.”

Turning Point’s Habitude™ Addiction Program supports a complimentary medical approach that enables Dr. Linehan to work concurrently with licensed Medical Doctors who are formally trained, and have the pharmacology experience, with the same patient.


Kelly Porter – Office Manager

Kelly is a graduate of the Mohawk College Business Administration Program, She is personally responsible for implementing and creating a strong foundation that ensures seamless transitions to sustain operational excellence.

Kelly has an infectious personality and her enthusiasm for life is truly contagious. She loves her career, and says “she enjoys working in a positive environment where the clinicians love what they do, and the clients are getting healthy”


Kelly-Lee Mansi – Psychotherapist 

Kelly-Lee is a Therapist, Counsellor, Coach, Speaker, Writer and Educator and has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups for more than 20 years helping them to achieve well-being. Kelly-Lee is a graduate of the prestigious Holistic Psychotherapy program from Transformational Arts College. She also trained in several psycho-spiritually based therapies focusing on Stress, Depression, Addiction, Grief, Loss and Trauma. Kelly-Lee is a registered member with the College of Psychotherapists, International Coach Federation (PCC), Guild of Hypnotists (CH) and the Human Resources Association (CHRP), she graduated from McMaster University with a Combined Honours Degree in Sociology and Labour Studies (Hons. BA). Within her community Kelly-Lee now serves on the Board of Directors with the Brain Injury Association of Durham Region and Frontenac Youth Services.

Guy Colasanzio better known as “Butch” – Recovery Coach/Mentor

Butch was personally addicted to substances for 28 years. In 2000, something happened that caused him to change his path in life, bringing him out of the hell that he had created and into a wonderful life of creating good.

Being associated with Turning Point has given Butch the opportunity to share what he has learned about leading a successful, spirit-filled life with other individuals who are on the path he once traveled. For Butch, to realize that he is part of the empowering, dynamic team of Turning Point is a very humbling experience.

Butch provides Life Coaching services, Auricular Acupuncture, Mentoring and Spiritual Guidance.


Jorel Revaly- Addiction and Mental Health Support Counsellor

Jorel is originally from Haiti and most recently the Dominion Republic, where he went to school and worked as a Social Worker in the field of Mental Health and Addictions since 1995.  He then completed the Addiction and Mental Health 3 year Program at McMaster University. Jorel is gentle by nature but firm in his beliefs that a healthy life does not include drugs. Jorel is wonderful at supporting the clients during their acute and post acute withdrawals. He brings compassion and strength to the Heath Residence. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and is very involved in mission services.
Jorel is excited to be a part of an amazing team that share his compassion for mankind.

Nigel Turner – Anger Management Specialist,  Registered Psychotherapist, a Clinical member of OSP and a Board member of OSP

Nigel is considered to be the best Anger Therapist in Canada. He believes that “he who angers you…. controls you”.  Nigel’s style is compassionate and direct. With a background in addictions, he pursued an interest in men with addictions and
relationship problems. He understands that addiction, anxiety, anger and relationship issues many times go hand in hand, and often the challenges are the same. Individuals lack the awareness, understanding or tools to control the negative behaviour.  Nigel teaches the men that they need to start acting like men, and refers to it as a process of “Manning” Up.

Nigel was trained in the Partner Abuse Response (PAR) Program and works extensively with the courts with mandated clients. He is currently Program Director and lead facilitator of an Anger Management and Abuse program in Toronto.  Nigel’s  work with the court mandated clients has given him clarity and efficiency in identifying clients’ issues, and in helping them not only find solutions to their problems but to begin to enact necessary changes. The focus is on brief rather than long term therapy. He understands the male psyche and what a man needs to hear to move forward with “solutions to his own problems”. He is conscious of the deep reluctance men have in dealing with these issues and the importance of a man discovering for himself what he needs to do. He teaches men to learn how to protect themselves and provides them with invaluable information on how to do that.

Nigel was successful in business for much his life before returning to school and making a career shift. He therefore brings a wealth of life experiences adding much to his clinical knowledge.

Heather Simai – Addiction and Mental Health Counsellor, SSW

Heather is a Withdrawal Management and Addiction Specialist as well as a Mental Health worker. Heather comes to Turning Point with 7 years front line training and employment with Hamilton Health Sciences.

Heather specializes in individual and group counselling; psycho- educational and psycho-therapeutic groups; cognitive behaviour therapy; person centered therapy. She is skilled and has helped many individuals identify triggers, and learn to deal with cravings by improving, coping and problem solving skills.  She will help you investigate the relationship between emotional stress and addiction – including early adversity, family systems, neglect and abuse. This includes identifying, challenging and repairing distorted beliefs and negative thinking patterns that may be blocking your progress.

She is dedicated and passionate in her commitment to helping individuals living a life free from addictions and realizing their true potential for happiness.  She loves her work and her clients love her!

Dawn Zivanovich – M.S.W, R.S.W,  Certified in EMDR Therapy

Dawn has been on the Turning Point team since 2010, offering her professional services to our inpatient clients. Dawn uses an eclectic blend of solution-focused, cognitive-behavioral, and EMDR psychotherapy with individuals, couples, and families.

Dawn is a Preferred Provider for the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario Victim Quick Response Program.

Dawn’s other specializations include: Childhood Trauma, Grief and Bereavement, Physical and Sexual Abuse, Addiction including alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, gambling and sex addictions, eating disorders, depression and anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, self esteem issues, psychological assessments, critical incident stress.

Dawn is able to provide assessment and counselling services in English and Serbo-Croatian.

Jayne Ferreira – Family Addiction Counselor

“Addiction within a family affects everyone. Each person can benefit from support, not just the one in treatment.”

Jayne offers psycho-educational and empowerment workshops as well as individual/family counseling. She is a professional counselor through McMaster University. Her client centered / solution focused approach helps families move toward change in beginning their own journey of recovery. She has worked in numerous different settings including; an accredited children’s mental health agency, youth agencies, women’s drug and alcohol treatment centre’s, and emergency shelters for women /children. She also implemented and taught violence and drug prevention to grades 5 through 12 on the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten. Jayne’s professional experience goes back thirteen years but her own journey of addiction and recovery began 40 years ago. She feels her personal experience only adds to her knowledge and professionalism. Jayne is also an advanced level 3 EFT (energy tapping) practitioner, and author of the children’s self-help book “Tapping Away the Blues.”

Emoke Tifan Torma – Therapeutic Support, Addiction Counsellor, and Grief Therapist photo DSC_0249_zpscfc95080.jpg

Emi is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, and a member in good standings of CACCF, OACCPP, GRI.  Emi is a trained Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapist (DBT), Grief and Loss Therapist, and Grief Coaching. At Turning Point, Emi utilizes these therapies and lends support to clients on a daily basis.

Emi leads holistic, therapeutic and educational groups that help our clients on their road to recovery. Over the years Emi has explored many spiritual, psychological and self help practices which she has used to transform her life and attain spiritual awakening.

Emi’s spiritual path has included many cycles of healing and releasing, which was necessary after her own difficult journey which included many losses in a short period of time. She is a true fighter, and did not allow these losses to damage her future. Emi is loved by everyone who has the pleasure of meeting her. She radiates love and compassion. She has taken her frown and really turned it upside down and is a great mentor to others.

Yvonne Onyango – Therapeutic Support

Yvonne, a graduate from Everest College in Addiction and Community Services has been a member of Turning Point- Habitude team since 2010. Yvonne is also a graduate of the Social Service Worker Program from Mohawk College and is registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service workers.

Yvonne is a dedicated and motivated team player and taps into her optimism, empathy for different individuals and has demonstrated the ability to work effectively with individuals of different ages and ethnicity. Yvonne is passionate to work with individuals facing the stigma of addiction and mental health and uses her skills to guide and help individuals going through the process of recovery and sobriety and living with a mental illness.

Yvonne is trained in Assessment Tools of Addiction, group therapy, concurrent disorders, substance abuse, client centered approach, solution focused approach, case management, withdrawal management, family education and Social Services.

Originally from Kenya, Yvonne speaks fluent Swahili and semi- fluent French and is open to learning more about different cultures to better herself and better assist individuals and be the best of who she can be.  EVERY INDIVIDUAL HAS INHERENT WORTH AND DIGNITY.

Lisa Drewry – Yoga Instructor photo photo2_zps2c77cd64.jpg

Lisa is a certified Yoga Instructor, Fitness Instructor, Indoor Cycling instructor, Personal Trainer, Mind &  Body Specialist and Competitive Runner. Lisa has been teaching various group exercise classes as well as training individuals one to one for several years now. She caters to various levels of yoga and also instructs yoga to kids. Lisa has previously instructed specialty yoga to young athletes on-site as well as off-site.

During her years of her own personal training  and training of others, she learned a very valuable lesson. Having a positive, healthy attitude towards yourself in life is truly contagious to others around you.

Lisa is committed to training, pursuing and achieving her own personal goals in life. She is very passionate about mentally and physically guiding others in pursuing their own personal goals in life. She is inspired to help people focus on improving their lifestyles through healthy life-choices as she believes that ultimately healthier life choices, lead to a better quality of life all around.

She is a perfect fit to the Habitude™ Program as her goals support the goals of Turning Point Habitude™Addiction Program.

Tyler Arsenault – Nutritionist

Tyler has been a leader in the natural health industry since 2005. Tyler is a wonderful educator, and is open to teaching individuals why and how diet and nutrition is so important in recovery. Tyler will speak about the co-relationship of diet/nutrition and creating nutrition plans that support physical and mental health.

Tyler teaches all of our clients  a series of Nutritional Groups, and also does individual dietary planning for our Habitude Plus clients. The clients definitely embrace this information, as it allows them an opportunity to talk about some of there own personal struggles they have had with weight gain/loss, sugar consumption, dairy intake or even question how much protein an individual actually needs in their diet to maintain healthy muscle.

Tyler is a very humble , and very brilliant individual when it comes to health and wellness. He is also certified in Yoga, and is walking the walk in his own life.


Liam Carey – Addiction and Employment Specialist

Liam Carey is an Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counsellor, Pre Employment Facilitator and Life Skills Coach. He is also a Partner in Care at Turning Point’s Habitude™ Program facilitating groups, individual and family counselling.  He has helped many individuals create employment opportunities that support healthy recovery. Training can many times be offered at no charge or for a minimal payment. The benefits of this type of support is priceless.

Liam understands the challenges of addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling being in recovery, attending his own treatment in 1980. He celebrates over 30 years of recovery and found his calling working in the addictions field.  He brings humour, creativity, dedication and a huge heart to his work when he helps people believe they are not too young, old, or too messed up to set and achieve new goals in their lives.

Liam has played a major role at the Oasis Addiction Recovery Society for over 10 years and has a private practice called Celtic Corporate Services.  He also attends George Brown College as a guest Lecturer for the Career Counsellor Diploma Course for the special needs population for since 2010. Liam facilitates Family Groups; teaching and training family members to become more empowered in their relationships and brings his expertise to Habitude’s People Helping Group every Monday Night in Burlington, Ontario from 7pm-9pm.

Pamela Grace

Rev. Pamela Grace has over 20 years as a holistic spiritual counselor specializing in Crisis intervention, Mental Health and Addictions. Pam is an ordained Interfaith Minister, Social Support Worker, Master Reiki and holistic life coach practitioner utilizing prayer, meditation, numerology, Aromatherapy and Herbology and is focused on health and healing to attain balance and harmony in her client’s lives. She believes that all healing is the act and art of restoring wholeness, further reflecting her keen interest in holistic health, co-creating positive life experiences as well as cycles of growth and change. Pam serves as a public presenter, wedding officiant and educator in the fields of spirituality and The Law of Attraction. She is the founder of Revolutionize Holistic Services. Pam is a perfect fit to the Habitude™ Program as her mission of empowerment and deep connection supports the goals of Turning Point Habitude™ Addiction Program. She states she feels blessed to be a part of the incredible journey of participants in the program and a part of such a dynamic and highly skilled team.

Rev. Pamela Grace relates to others on all levels of experience; physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. She works with individuals helping them to find their worth and their purpose. Her approach is intentional, positive, inspirational, open-minded, accepting, inclusive and honoring of each person’s path. She believes that we are meant to be the change we desire in our lives, that our greatest strengths come from our vulnerabilities and that challenges are always opportunities for revolutionizing our lives. “It’s not about changing who you are; it’s about being who you are!”

Howard Cohen, B.A. L.L.B

For three decades, Howard has worked with individual recovering from a gambling addiction and is actively involved today with helping compulsive gamblers lead productive lives. Howard has lectured on the compulsive gambling epidemic to many professional organizations, including The Banking Association of Canada, The Civil Servants of Ontario Credit Union, and the Doctoral Candidates at the University of Toronto, to name a few. He was one of the founders of the Canadian Foundation of Compulsive Gambling, in 1984.
As an experienced interventionist, Howard brings a wealth of expertise to the field. He believes that any person who is addicted to gambling, if treated in a loving and caring way, through proper intervention, rehabilitation, and closely monitored follow-up,can return to a normal way of thinking and living.

Frank Kempf, Community Peer Support Coach

Frank has seen a lot of trauma in his role as a law enforcement officer since 1994 and has personally witnessed, bad things happen to good people.
He has learned that bad choices only make things worse. Frank has received training in addiction and the use of illicit drugs and current drug subculture. He is familiar with the Law. He is also familiar with the importance of having a healthy foundation and strong family dynamics and has extensive training and understand the underlying issues contributing to domestic violence.

Frank personally knows that addictions has no boundaries. Education, Title, Affiliations and Organizations are all affected by the realms of addiction. He has been working with The Habitude™ Program since 2005, as he strongly believes in the BIO-PSYCHO-SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL approach. He has witnessed good people physically sick in the early stages of withdrawal and recovery, continuously relapse only to start the cycle all over again.  Some end up in Jail and some end up dead. The lucky ones get help.

Front line workers are victims to addiction as well. It can affect them personally or someone they love. Frank is an excellent liaison for families, probation officers, Employee Assistance Programs and workers who need guidance on how to get someone help for their addiction. His honest and caring approach allows individuals to talk openly about their struggles with an addiction and create an action plan to start creating healthy habits and a positive attitude in their own lives, free of substances.

Frank is authentic in his belief that it takes a village to raise a child and is continuously paying it forward. In his own community, he is an active Member of the Kinsmen Club and Chair of the Lake Lisgar Revitalization Project and has helped many good people find their way back to creating their own legacies; one’s they can be proud of. Frank is a loving father and husband, and an avid musician. He loves the outdoors, and practices healthy habits and has a positive attitude in his day to day life.