Welcome to the Centre for CBT in Toronto & Ajax

Registered psychologists and psychotherapists
providing clinically proven mental health therapy


CBT changes lives.

The path to a better you starts here.

Proudly treating first responders

Languages spoken: English, French, Spanish, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, and Portuguese

Our Clinic

Scientifically proven therapy, real results

We provide state-of-the-art psychological therapy, personalized for your unique needs, in a manner that is supportive, compassionate and kind.

Established in 2005, the Centre for CBT is a team of registered psychologists, psychotherapists and Masters of Psychology graduates who believe the best mental health therapy is grounded in science. That means our treatments are guided by the most advanced clinical research available and are backed by extensive empirical evidence.

But meaningful therapy is never one size fits all. You have your own unique history, values and preferences. That’s why we work with each patient to create a custom treatment plan that is not only scientifically validated, but is also tailored just for you.

Excellent credentials, extensive training

Our team of practitioners are selected for their expertise and clinical training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), widely considered the highest standard of care in mental health therapy today.

The Centre for CBT is now a well established private practice in the Ontario medical community and in the private health insurance industry. Our top 2 sources of new patients is by referral from current patients and from family physicians who trust our clinic with their friend’s/family’s and patients’ health care, respectively.

Please take your time to explore our website and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

CBT Toronto

Our Team

David Direnfeld CBT Toronto

Dr. David Direnfeld, C.Psych.

Dr. David Direnfeld, Clinical Director of the Centre for CBT, is a registered psychologist with over 25 years experience using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) for the treatment of psychological disorders. Since 1992 he has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, university-based psychiatric research units and private clinics.

Dr. Direnfeld obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology at York University and began his clinical training in the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH, formerly the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry). He earned his Masters and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo and completed his residency training at the University of British Columbia, where he worked in the Anxiety Disorders Unit and in the Health Psychology Clinic at UBC Hospital.

Dr. Direnfeld previously held a staff psychologist position in the Anxiety Disorders Unit at the McMaster University Medical Centre, as well as a faculty position at McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences.

Dr. Direnfeld’s extensive research activities have focused on the assessment and treatment of depression and anxiety. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in these areas, and has presented his findings at various international conferences.

Dr. Direnfeld has been featured as a guest psychologist on the television show Newlywed Nearly Dead, and he was also selected to provide psychological treatment to guests on the Dr. Phil Show and Hoarders.

Dr. Lynne Lamarche, C.Psych.

Dr. Lamarche is a registered clinical psychologist with more than 18 years’ experience using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for the treatment of psychological disorders. She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and has been researching and treating psychological disorders since 2003 in a range of clinical settings, including general and psychiatric hospitals, community clinics, detention centers and private clinics.

Dr. Lamarche received undergraduate training in general psychology at Queen’s University, earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa, and completed her residency training at the Royal Ottawa Hospital, and at the Centre for Psychological Services in Ottawa.. Her research activities have focused on sleep problems, specifically among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, and among women with severe premenstrual symptoms.

Dr. Lamarche offers services in English and French.


Dr. Denise Ma, C. Psych

Dr. Ma is a clinical psychologist with diverse experiences working with individuals across the lifespan. She utilizes evidence-based approaches, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, to treat a wide range of psychological disorders. She has worked previously in general and psychiatric hospital settings, university counseling centres, and community clinics.

Dr. Ma received her undergraduate training in psychology and philosophy at McGill University. She also completed her Master’s degree in psychiatry at McGill University. Dr. Ma received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Concordia University, and completed her residency training at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences. Her research interests have focused on the developmental psychobiology of anxiety symptoms in children and adolescents.

Dr. Ma is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario to assess and treat children, adolescents and adults.


Marina Mazer, Registered Psychotherapist

Ms. Mazer is a Registered Psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience, both in and out of Canada.  She holds a post-graduate degree in Behavior Analysis and a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Psychology Program at Adler School of Professional Psychology (expected to graduate in 2019).

Ms. Mazer has worked in mental healthcare in various settings and is experienced in a range of evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Her experience practising across cultures has enabled her to develop a better understanding of complex and challenging contexts that individuals, couples and families experience throughout life.

Ms. Mazer is a Professional Member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counselors, Psychometrics and Psychotherapists (OACPP) and a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Alec Toller, Master of Psychology

Alec has had extensive training in Cognitive Behaviour Training over the past 10 years. He holds a Master of Psychology from Adler Professional Graduate School. Alec has experience treating depression, anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, insomnia, relationship conflict, low self-esteem, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other mental health problems. He completed a specialized practicum in the treatment of severe OCD at the Sunnybrook Hospital Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre. His background is in the arts and his master's thesis explored worry and anxiety among artists.

Alec integrates a CBT framework with a variety of other approaches, including mindfulness, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and compassion-focused therapy. He aims to foster curiosity and resilience in clients to strengthen new ways of thinking about life's difficulties and practice new skills in response to stressors. He works in a compassionate, engaged, and spirited interpersonal style, collaborating with clients to individually tailor evidence-based treatments to their specific issues and preferences.

Roja pic

Roja Vivekanand, Registered Psychotherapist

Roja Vivekanand is a Registered Psychotherapist with more than 16 years of experience working in organizational, educational, community, and private practice settings. Roja is an integrative therapist whose training and experience includes working with adults from diverse backgrounds. She provides treatment using interventions that include evidence-based cognitive-behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, and mindfulness-based techniques to build self-awareness and help manage interpersonal challenges.

Roja obtained her master’s degree in Industrial Psychology and she is currently enrolled in her second year in the Master of Clinical Psychology program at ADLER Graduate Professional School in Toronto. She is also an affiliate member of the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology and has presented papers and research at their international conferences.

Roja is Registered Psychotherapist (RP) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and offers services in English, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi.

Regan Palmerio, B.Sc. – Office Administrator

Ms. Regan Palmerio graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She has worked with the Kids Help Phone counselling youth who have struggled with a range of situations, often exacerbated by the pandemic. Regan has extensive practical and administrative expertise in mental health. She has also been involved in research work, notably at McGill University’s Memory and Forgetting Lab. Regan previously worked as an administrator for the Cognition Clinic for ADHD in Montreal. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Psychology at Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto.

Regan Palmerio, B.Sc. – Office Administrator
Bio Deborah Tsagris, Registered Psychotherapist

Bio Deborah Tsagris, Registered Psychotherapist

Deborah Tsagris is a registered psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience. She has diverse experience working with individuals across the lifespan. She has provided psychotherapy to individuals in both educational and private practice settings. Deborah obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Toronto, a Master of Education degree in Human Development at OISE, University of Toronto and a Doctor of Education degree at the University of Calgary. Deborah has extensive training and experience in Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy, including a professional certificate program with the world famous Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  For the past 10-years, Deborah’s focus has been treating individuals with anxiety and mood disorders using a CBT framework combined with mindfulness and strength-based approaches.

Sadness, fear, worry and distress are treatable.

Your path to change starts here.