About Renew Neurotherapy
Founded in 2012, by Sharie Woelke and Kevin George as Woelke Occupational Therapy and Neurofeedback, we have expanded and developed to meet the needs of our valued clients. We are currently able to support you online, or in-person at one of our three locations in Ottawa, Pembroke, or North Bay.
Why Renew Neurotherapy?
A Unique Approach to Healing
At Renew Neurotherapy, we recognize that healing is not a one-size-fits-all process. Our integrative approach sets us apart by addressing both the mind and the body, making therapy more effective for a range of conditions, from trauma, to anxiety, from ADHD to brain injury rehabilitation.
Understanding the Challenge
Imagine feeling trapped in a whirlpool of anxiety, unable to pause and take a breath. Or envision a racing mind that won’t slow down enough to focus on the strategies that could help. This is the struggle many clients face when their nervous system is dysregulated. The conventional therapies might have all the right answers, but the body refuses to cooperate.
Whether it’s extreme anxiety, hypervigilance, or attention deficit problems, the challenges lie in the imbalance within the autonomic nervous system. The constant battle between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems leaves many clients stuck in an unproductive cycle. These challenges can create barriers to progress. We understand that therapy must go beyond mere cognitive strategies to reach the underlying state of the body.
Our Integrative Approach
We focus on the balance between the sympathetic (active) and parasympathetic (calming) nervous systems, aiming for optimal functioning. Here’s how we do it:
- Targeting the Autonomic Nervous System: By paying attention to the client’s autonomic state, we can integrate interventions that help calm the system, making traditional therapy techniques more effective. We use a blend of therapies to achieve this goal, including neurofeedback, yoga therapy, somatic experiencing, sensory integration, lifestyle change, sleep therapy, EMDR, and walk-and-talk therapy. These approaches are tailored to individual needs.
- Support: We use thinking and/or behavioural change-based approaches like CBT, DBT, ACT, CPT, interpersonal therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, life skills training, and more. These strategies support overall well-being and growth.
Meet Our Team
Occupational Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist, Board Certified in Neurofeedback
Sharie Woelke is an occupational therapist and registered psychotherapist who is board certified in neurofeedback through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. She is the clinical director of Renew Neurotherapy.
With over 22 years of clinical experience, she has worked with veterans and civilians with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, brain injury, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, chronic pain, stroke, and more.
Sharie has provided both community and hospital-based intervention. Sharie uses a client-centred, integrative approach to therapy (CBT, Acceptance and Commitment-Based, Solution-Focussed, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia, etc.), adapting the approach to the client’s needs.
Sharie is the author of Brain Injury Rehabilitation Basics: A Guide to Providing Community-Based Rehabilitation, published through the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, and is the learning designer and co-author for online learning workshops provided through ISF Associates, an organization dedicated to providing quality education, tools and resources, and high-quality research in the field of neurofeedback.
Dr. Jeffrey Phillips
Dr. Phillips is a practising psychologist who grew up in North Bay. He worked at The North Bay Psychiatric Hospital for 5 years and Hands Children’s Mental Centre as a supervisor and clinical manager for 9 years. He has been in private practice for a total of 30 years and has done so on a full-time basis for over 20 years.
His studies took him to Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Western Ontario and York University.
After graduating with a Doctoral Degree in Clinical Counselling Psychology from York University, he returned home to North Bay to work with adults at the regional psychiatric hospital for 5 years. He then moved on to perform the duties of Clinical Supervisor at North Bay’s Children’s Mental Health Centre, working with children and families as well as associated community resources such as schools. A part-time practice evolved into a full-time practice in 1995.
Registered Psychotherapist, Board Certified in Neurofeedback
Rena is a registered psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and a clinical member of the Ontario Association of Psychotherapists. She has a psychology degree from Laurentian University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Addictions.
Rena has over 13 years of clinical experience working with civilians and veterans with PTSD, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, addiction, and grief.
Rena encourages clients to be collaborative in their treatment. She believes there is always an opportunity for growth and change, and supports clients as they explore their pathway to increased wellness. Rena integrates multiple treatment modalities including CBT, DBT and neurofeedback, and offers clients a holistic, supportive approach to treatment.
In addition to her clinical work, Rena has a passion for teaching and has four years experience as a psychology professor teaching Introductory Psychology and Group Therapy. In keeping with the teaching interest, she provides supervision to students completing their practicum requirements in psychotherapy. She is also an experienced trainer, tailoring workshops to organizational needs.
OT Reg. (Ont), Psychotherapist, C-IAYT, Yoga Therapist
With over 20 years of experience, Lynn Palfenier has been a consistent source of support for individuals navigating a range of mental, emotional, and physical challenges. Her training in psychotherapy, occupational therapy, and yoga therapy allows her to offer a therapeutic approach that aligns with the individual needs of her clients.
Lynn’s practice is built on the understanding of the connection between the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Utilizing techniques from mindfulness, somatic practices, yoga therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and neuroscience-based nervous system practices, she provides an integrative approach. This perspective aims to help her clients lead fuller lives, even when faced with mental, emotional, cognitive, or physical challenges.
A key component of Lynn’s approach is resilience. With a person-centered perspective, she works to foster this resilience in her clients, helping them navigate various challenges. Every interaction with Lynn is marked by compassion, acceptance, and kindness, creating an environment where clients can set and work towards their goals.
Lynn’s expertise covers a range of conditions, including pain, trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADHD, addictions, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. She also has experience in supporting veterans and their families.
If you’re interested in Lynn’s approach, she is available for collaboration across various therapeutic disciplines including psychology, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, and yoga therapy.
Emily Cartwright is a registered occupational therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) and a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists. She received both her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Bachelors of Health Science with Honours Double Major in Health Science and Psychology from Western University.
Emily’s clinical experience includes working with all ages in home care, acute care, community development, and rehabilitation. She is passionate about co-creating care plans with clients and their supports including family, friends, and other providers that fit into their daily lives. She works with clients to build skills and strategies, adapt their environment, find appropriate aids/adaptive equipment, and make home modifications in order to meet their goals. Emily has a specific enjoys working with clients with neurological impairments to improve their quality of life and engage in the activities that are the most meaningful to them.
Emily has completed additional training in motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, brain injury rehabilitation, mindfulness based stress reduction, assessing for suicide risk in kids, and applied suicide intervention skills training.
Clinic Manager / Mental Health/Learning Coach
Kim graduated from the University of Guelph. Following several years working in the field of science and technology, she changed fields and began working as a rehabilitation assistant, where she feels she can make a difference helping individuals. She primarily works with clients who have suffered a brain injury.
Along with her role of rehabilitation assistant, she is a clinic manager at Renew.
Clinic Manager/Neurofeedback Associate / Mental Health/Learning Coach
Although Christine’s previous career path was in the field of science and technology, she was always
interested in a career where she could help people.
Christine Grise has been working at Renew Neurotherapy as a rehabilitation assistant and neurofeedback associate in the North Bay area for the past five years.
She has experience working with individuals with PTSD, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, brain injury and ADD/ADHD and enjoys seeing the positive impact that her work has on clients and their loved ones.
Christine enjoys spending time on Trout Lake with her husband and three
Occupational Therapist/ Neurofeedback Associate
Alesha Allan is a registered occupational therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO). She received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Alberta in 2016 and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from Dalhousie University in 2012.
Alesha’s clinical experience includes working with individuals of all ages in various areas of practice, including brain injury and concussion, concurrent mental health conditions, emotional regulation, and pain management.
She has experience working with veterans and serving military members. As a military spouse, Alesha has unique experience and understanding when working with veterans, serving military members and their families.
Alesha has worked with individuals who have been in motor vehicle accidents and has experience working with individuals with attention deficit disorder (ADD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and learning difficulties.
Using her unique skills, Alesha formulates a comprehensive treatment plan in collaboration with each client, with the use of multiple modalities including neurofeedback therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and equipment provision as needed.
Alesha is certified in the Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP) and Neuro-meditation. She is ADP certified, granting her the authority to authorize ambulation aids and wheelchairs (power and manual).
Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)/Board Certified in Neurofeedback
Laura Friberg is a registered psychotherapist (qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, and an Ontario-certified teacher with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in neuroscience. She is completing her master’s in counselling psychology currently practicing as a student psychotherapist. She is an enthusiastic nerd for all things related to brains, science and mental health.
In addition to her work at the clinic, she is a professor at Algonquin College and a teacher/course developer at Ontario eSecondary School.
Occupational Therapist / Psychotherapist
Ashley Hemmings is a registered Occupational Therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. She graduated with a Masters of Science in Occupational therapy from McGill University after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Concordia University.
Ashley’s clinical experience includes working with individuals of all ages, in areas of practice such as acute-care, role-emerging, mental health and physical rehabilitation. She has a profound interest for neurodegenerative conditions and utilizing various therapeutic modalities that improve quality of life for these individuals.
Ashley currently works with serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as veterans who are living with various physical and mental health conditions.
Marina Cremonese is a registered occupational therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists. She received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria.
Marina’s clinical experience includes working with people of all ages in various areas of practice including community mental health, home care and rehabilitation. At Renew Neurotherapy, Marina conducts psychological and psychoeducational assessments for adults and youth, including those facing mental health or learning challenges. She works hard to provide a non-judgemental space where her clients feel safe and supported.
Marina also works with individuals experiencing mental health challenges such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. She utilizes therapeutic modalities such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness to help clients achieve meaningful goals. Marina is passionate about learning and growing her skills and has completed additional training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.
Registered Psychotherapist, Board Certified in Neurofeedback
Chelsea Cloutier is a registered psychotherapist who has worked with individuals of all ages in both assessment and treatment realms. Her experience includes working with individuals with various presenting concerns including ADD/ADHD, post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, time management, procrastination, anxiety, depression, self-confidence, worthiness, inner critic and learning disabilities.
Guided by a client-centered approach, Chelsea believes that clients are the expert of their own journey. She strives to provide a warm and non-judgemental space for clients to explore their concerns at their own pace. She works to help clients gain self-awareness and discover their resiliency and strength with the aim of promoting growth. Chelsea focuses on fostering a strong therapeutic relationship that allows the client to feel safe and heard.
Chelsea has recently become EMDR Level I trained. She incorporates this as another therapy modality with clients. Through this process, clients learn effective resourcing skills, process emotional blocks, and develop more adaptive emotions and ways of thinking about oneself and experiences.
Chelsea currently resides in North Bay, Ontario. She practices virtually and at the Renew clinic in North Bay.
Nicole is a Registered Psychotherapist who has a passion for working with clients dealing with a variety of mental health difficulties and symptoms. Her practice focuses on helping individuals navigate and manage difficulties with stress, anxiety/panic, depression, trauma, attachment injuries, and somatic symptoms. She also has a specific interest in helping clients cope with the difficulties they are experiencing post-impairment and diagnosis for a variety of chronic illnesses and conditions, including those with chronic pain and neurological impairments (i.e., concussions, MS, strokes etc.).
Her approach focuses on using therapies such as Somatic Experiencing (SE), Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT Level 2), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), interpersonal therapy and mindfulness interventions to help the client overcome barriers that may be preventing them from reaching their full potential. She uses body-based approaches to promote regulation and resilience in the nervous system. As well, she also helps clients explore the emotions that show up for us to better understand how these emotions often are integral to our daily functioning and are necessary to us living happy, healthy and meaningful lives.
Stephanie McHugh is a registered Occupational Therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and a member of the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists, and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. She received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western University and her Bachelor of Arts Honours in Psychology and Neuroscience from Carleton University.
Stephanie’s clinical experience includes working with youth, adult and geriatric populations in diverse areas of practice including acute-care, home care, community rehabilitation (motor vehicle accidents), role-emerging contexts and mental health. Stephanie has a strong interest in brain injury and mental health and utilizing an individualized treatment approach focused on recovery, promoting meaning and enhancing the quality of life of her clients.
Stephanie has completed additional training including Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training, Psychological First Aid, Concussion Awareness Training, Mindfulness and Exposure Therapy. She is certified in delivering the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and in treating clients through Action Over Inertia (enabling positive change through healthy activity engagement).
In over 20 years of practice, I have gained much insight and expertise in supporting a diverse client population. This includes children, youth and their families, through individual, group, couple and family sessions. Often clients shared the belief they were to blame for their individual and/or their family’s struggles, feeling that this made "sense of their world (“it’s gotta be me, right?”). This burden impairs one’s ability to live a rich and fulfilling life (passion, healthy relationships and joy). Self-blame and guilt can create an immense barrier and this can be especially true for young people, closing doors and opportunities for personal growth. By tapping into existing strengths, abilities, and exploring alternate stories, the best outcome in therapy is remembering one’s values and abilities and regaining social “connection” and the skills for life happiness. These conversations can be held by using many therapeutic perspectives – for example, a Solutions-Focused and a Mindfulness lens which helps us all to understand our emotions and thoughts in a powerful way.
With a trauma-informed lens, therapy can help create safety for clients and helps them to explore the thoughts/feelings that either misguide or overwhelm them. It’s also amazingly effective when one can build on the “exceptions to the problem” and remember their inner skills and strengths. Sometimes though, it’s also about learning extra skills in order to manage emotions with self compassion and acceptance. Cognitive and Dialectical
Behaviour Therapy (CBT/DBT) provides just these kind of skills and can empower people in their ability to manage and to have self-control. It can be so valuable to recognize that we sometimes just need to learn skills and that we are not born flawed or left too damaged by
I describe myself as conversational, humorous and creative in my approach which proves to be so essential in contributing to helpful and effective conversations on attaining success with therapy goals. I believe it is also important to educate clients on therapy styles so that they can choose the right fit for them.
I am a certified and practicing member of CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of
Ontario) and have received extensive training over my years of practice.
Clinic Manager / Neurofeedback Associate
Kevin graduated from the University of Manitoba. Following years of work in the high-tech industry, he joined Renew in 2014 after seeing the dramatic results it was producing with Renew’s clients.
After several years of working with neurofeedback clients, Kevin has moved into a management role. Kevin’s goal is to make each client’s experience with the clinic a pleasant and stress-free experience.
Kevin lives in Ottawa with his wife and two sons, Wyatt and Seth.