Meet Our Therapist: Laura Bercuson, MSW RSW

It's nice to get to know you. We think it's only fair you get to know us, too!

1. What made you decide to become a therapist? 

    I worked in non-profits for many years and always found that working with people - whether it was volunteers or program participants - was always the most rewarding. So I re-directed my focus and started taking social work and psychology courses, and it just clicked for me. It's such a privilege to work with all kinds of people to support their growth and help them gain a better understanding of themselves. And I often learn just as much from my clients' resilience and wisdom, so I'm always humbled and amazed by being a therapist.

2. What do you love most about working at Shift? 

     I love working on a team of like-minded, competent women. We all support each other in our individual and professional growth, and in supporting our clients. It feels like a unique and special environment in a field that can be very stressful. That, and the Nespresso machine!

3. When you're not at work, what fills your time? 
     Spending time with friends and family. I also love to read. I recently finished the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, which I highly recommend. I also just started learning to play guitar!                        
4. Do you have a favourite quote or mantra? 
     “You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”  
       ― Jon Kabat-Zinn (from "Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)

5. Whats one therapy technique you use most often yourself?
     I like the 3-minute breathing space because it's something I can integrate into a busy day while I'm on the subway or waiting in line at the grocery store. I think setting aside 30 minutes to meditate can feel daunting and unrealistic for many of us, so I like that this is a quick and easy way to shift attention, check in with the breath and body, and move on with our day more mindfully.

          Here's a quick break-down of each one-minute step (from

  1. Attend to what is. The first step invites attending broadly to one’s experience, noting it, but without the need to change what is being observed.
  2. Focus on the breath. The second step narrows the field of attention to a single, pointed focus on the breath in the body.
  3. Attend to the body. The third step widens attention again to include the body as a whole and any sensations that are present.