Jacob Ernst, MSW RSW

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August Headshot - Jacob (circle).png

Jacob Ernst, MSW RSW

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Child and adolescent development, parenting and relationship challenges, trauma.

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Meet Jacob

We all want to feel connected to others and know that we belong. Sometimes, big thoughts and big feelings get in the way of that. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed or leave us believing that we are not capable of handling life’s great challenges. You are not alone. 

I believe that everyone should get to feel safe and understood in this world, and I use this as a guiding framework for helping people heal. Your feelings and opinions will be at the forefront during this process, and I will hold space for all that is believed to be "too big" or "too messy". 

Leading with the understanding that healing happens in safe and caring relationships, I will listen to your story and start where you want to. In my work, I draw on a range of therapeutic approaches in order to meet your specific needs, and you can trust that I will be flexible in the process. You can expect that my warm and compassionate approach will meet the needs of anyone looking to foster a deeper and more meaningful connection to themselves and others. 

I have experience with people of all ages, and I typically see clients who are experiencing a diverse range of emotional, thinking pattern, and self-worth related challenges. In our first session together, we’ll explore your goals and develop a shared understanding of what you can expect from this partnership. You tell me who you are, and I will follow you on your journey to finding a better you. 


Jacob received his Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Toronto and is a Registered Social Worker. His expertise is in the areas of psychoeducation, emotion regulation, self-esteem, trauma, and attachment, and has even written an article "You're Being Needy" on the subject. as well as several pieces for the Huffington Post. His other articles, "The Stories We Tell Ourselves" and "Rewriting the Stories We Tell Ourselves" eloquently capture his deep understanding of identity, something he brings into every session. At Shift, Jacob regularly hosts speaking engagements and workshops, such as Shift into Summer, an educational workshop on the tools and strategies needed for a smooth transition into new routines.

Education

  • Master of Social Work, MSW; University of Toronto, Toronto ON
  • Bachelor of Social Work; BSW; Lakehead University, Orillia ON
  • Bachelor of Arts; BA Criminal Justice and Public Policy; Psychology; University of Guelph, Guelph ON

Certifications

  • Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Management, Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children
  • SNAP Parent and Child Training, Child Development Institute
  • Advanced SNAP Training, Child Development Institute
  • Tough-to-Treat Anxiety: Effective Solutions for Anxiety with Concurrent Disorders, LeadingEdge
  • TAPP-C The Arson Prevention Program for Children, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • The Early Assessment Risk List for Boys (EARL-20B) and Girls (EARL-21G), Child Development Institute
  • Treating Trauma Master Series (The Neurobiology of Trauma, Attachment, and Traumatic Memory), National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Using TF-CBT With Childhood Traumatic Grief 
  • Brain Story Certification (ongoing course through Alberta Family Wellness Initiative)

Specialties

  • Child & Adolescent Mental Health Development
  • Parenting
  • Mood Disorders
  • Sexuality & Gender
  • Life Transitions / Dealing With Change
  • Anti-Oppressive Practices

Residency & Fellowships

  • Woodgreen Community Services, Community Care and Wellness for Seniors
  • Child Development Institute, SNAP Boys Program

Professional Memberships:

  • Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers; Registered Social Worker (RSW)
  • Ontario Association of Social Work
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