Professional counselling services for children and families.

At some point in all of our lives, we all reach those crossroads where we know we need help in order to make our way forward.

At North Toronto Counselling Services, we specialize in providing supportive counselling for children, youth, parents, couples and individuals.

Mary Wells, Registered Social Worker

Mary Wells is a Registered Social Worker, counsellor and consultant. As a volunteer, Mary is past President of the Board of Feed the Need in Durham and is member of the Advisory Board of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto Art Centre. As therapist and counsellor, Mary has over 30 years experience assisting hundreds of families, individuals, children and adolescents through counselling focused on trauma recovery, communications issues, relationship problems, parenting, grief and loss and other life challenges.


Mary is best known for her work in the field of child sexual abuse where she did pioneering work as a clinician, policy developer, trainer and consultant starting in 1980. She has been repeatedly accepted as an expert in child abuse by Canadian criminal and civil courts and tribunals. She has written numerous articles, and is the author of Canada’s Law on Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook, published by the Department of Justice, Canada. This guide to understanding child sexual abuse law in Canada was welcomed across Canada and over 600,000 copies have been distributed across the country.


As a consultant and trainer Mary has provided consultation and training in matters related to abuse prevention, detection and treatment in First Nations communities, Canadian Armed Forces Europe as well as institutional and religious settings since 1990.

Click to learn more about Mary.

Publications and Major Papers




Canada’s Law on Child Sexual Abuse; A Handbook. Department of Justice, Canada, 1990.


(WELLS, Mary, L’exploitation sexuelle des enfants et la législation canadienne : Manuel,Ottawa, ministère de la Justice, 1990).


Responsible Ministry: A Model Misconduct Policy for Faith Communities and Institutions. Published and distributed by North Toronto Counselling Services, 2002.


Articles, Papers and Major Presentations


“Restoring Confidence” a Training Package for Response to and Prevention of Abuse in Religious Institutions. Offered through Family Services of Eastern Nova Scotia and Whitby Counselling Services


“Misconduct Policies and Procedures for Faith Communities”, (power point presentation), Partnering for Prevention Conference, (International) Anglican Communion Safe Church Consultation, University of Victoria, British Columbia, June 2011.


“Maintaining Personal Boundaries in Ministry”, power point based seminar for M.Div. students, Regis College, University of Toronto, and September, 2010.


“Response to Complaints of Misconduct under the Misconduct Policies of the Dioceses of St. John, New Brunswick and Antigonish, Nova Scotia”. Three day training program for administrators, legal counsel, Bishops and volunteers, October, 2010.


“Responsible Ministry”, a power point based training program on maintaining personal boundaries in Ministry. Developed for the Canadian Jesuits, 2007, revised, 2010. provided training based on this to all Jesuit communities in Canada.


“Providing Support to Complainants and Respondents Involved in Investigations of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct”, Diocese of Charlottetown, April, 2000.


“Administration of a Sexual Misconduct Policy”, Canadian Conference of Religious, April, 2000.


Anglican Diocese of Toronto, “Sexual Misconduct Policy: sexual harassment, exploitation and assault”, October 2001. Consultant and writer.


“Investigation of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct by Persons in Ministry”, Canadian Conference of Religious, May, 2000.


“Development of Policies and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Sexual Abuse in an Institutional Setting”, Association of Treasurers of Religious Institutes, May, 1998.


“Procedures for Investigation of Complaints of Abuse of Children in Care”, Tikinagan Child and Family Services, 1997.


“Investigation Procedures Recording Format”, Tikinagan Child and Family Services, 1997.


“Adoption Services Policies and Procedures”, Policy Manual of Tikinagan Child and Family Services, 1996.


“Institutional Response to Abuse Allegations”. Canadian Institute Conference on Sexual Assault in an Institutional Setting”. 1995.


Wells, M. and W. Addley, SJ, “A Religious Institution Responds to the Problem of Child Sexual Abuse”. Canadian Institute Conference on Civil Liability for Sexual Assault in an Institutional Setting, 1993.


“A Group Treatment Program for Sexually Abused Children and their Families in Native Communities,” Tikinagan Child and Family Services, 1993.


“A Risk Assessment Guideline for use in Remote First Nations Communities”, Tikinagan Child and Family Services, 1993.


“Videotapes of Children’s Statements; Pros, Cons and How To’s”, Institute for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1990.


“A Review of Advances in Child Testimony”, Brief to the Mount Cashel Enquiry, 1990.


“Child Victim Witnesses, Issues and Strategies”, Law Society of Upper Canada Symposium on Criminal Code Amendments, Child Sexual Abuse, Bill C-15 and their Implications for the Practitioner, April, 1988


“Court as a Catalyst for Treatment,” in Vis à Vis, Health and Welfare, Canada, 1987.


“Over- cautious Approach to Child Witnesses”, Globe and Mail, October 8, 1986.


“Guidelines for Investigative Interviewing of Child Victims of Sexual Abuse,” Metropolitan Special Committee on Child Abuse, 1983.


(Wells, Mary. * Lignes directrices pour l’entrevue exploratoire avec l’enfant victime d’agression sexuelle, Centre national d’information sur la violence dans la famille, Santé et Bien-être social Canada, mai 1984.)

Services for Families

At North Toronto Counselling Services, we can provide supportive counselling for many different needs.





Communication issues

Reactions to abuse and trauma

Relationship difficulties

Parent/Child conflicts

Grief and loss

Parenting difficulties

Young parents

Sexual abuse, harassment & exploitation

Services for Children

There can be times in a child’s life when the child needs someone to talk with about circumstances going an on around them that are affecting them. At North Toronto Counselling Services we are specially equipped and experienced in providing support to children that is individually tailored to their age and stage of development. Children and youth are referred to us when they are dealing with a variety of issues, such as the following.


Parental separation

Grief and loss

Witnessing violence

Living in foster care

Multiple foster care moves

Sexual abuse

Post traumatic stress



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