David Hesidence

Registered Psychotherapist

M.Sc. (Queen’s University)


Registered Psychotherapist at Ottawa River Integrative Mental Health Inc.

I believe in providing a warm, person-centred approach to those in need, meeting individuals where they are, treating them as equals with dignity and compassion.   With over 13 years of experience in providing counselling and therapy to individuals on a wide array of journeys I am aware of the stigma around mental health and substance use issues and understand that seeking help is a sign of hope and courage.  As such, I do not look on those with these issues as in any way defective, lacking willpower or less than anyone else but rather help folks identify and utilize the strengths that lie in us all. As someone with lived experience myself – with over 35 years of continuous sobriety and recovery who am I to judge anyone?  

Professional Focus

I work with a wide array of individuals who have or are concerned about depression, anxiety, PTSD, psychosis and other mental disorders.  I also specialize in supporting those with or who have questions or issues with their use of substances such as alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, opioids and others.  I have a particular interest in working with those who may have both mental health and substance use issues side-by-side. Such individuals often encounter barriers to treatment as the mental health and substance use systems of care often exist in silos.  I embrace the importance of addressing these issues concurrently.  

I also work with family members and loved ones of those with mental health and substance issues to build motivation for treatment and to engage the family in the recovery journey.  

Training and Experience

As a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, I have done Masters level work in Psychological Counselling at Argosy University.  I hold a certificate in Trauma and Addictions Recovery Studies from Algonquin College and have also worked there as a professor in that program. I also have a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality, Risk and Safety from Queens University.  

I have specific training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (including CBT for Psychosis and for PTSD), Structured Relapse Prevention, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness as well as Third Wave CBT therapies including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Schema Therapy.  

I have been an associate of Ottawa River Psychology Group since 2012.  I also have experience in an inpatient concurrent disorders program at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and worked on the Level 3 medical detox unit there.  

I have completed the University of Ottawa program in clinical supervision and do supervise other psychotherapists in their practice. 

I am designated as a Provider under the Non-Insured Health Benefit (NIHB) Program and the

Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP) through Health Canada.  As such I am able to provide services to eligible Indigenous people in the community and these are covered by these programs with no out of pocket costs by the client.  I have completed a series of Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Courses and am an honorary member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. I am honored to work with the Original People of this land within the context of their cultural and spiritual beliefs.  

Professional and Community Involvement

As a certified Project Management Professional and Lean Healthcare Black Belt I previously worked in a system-level community and hospital quality improvement and capacity building role through which I developed strong connections to the community mental health and addictions agencies providing public services across the Ottawa Region.  This experience is helpful as I am able to connect clients to a wide range of community services to support their recovery. I was a founding member of the Regional TransHealth Planning Table and am a past board member at Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services.  

Prior to entering the mental health and substance use fields, I had a career as a senior manager in the high-tech sector with significant international business experience and exposure to many cultures.  

I have been privileged to witness many individuals whose lives were affected by mental health and substance use issues turn themselves around to live happy, fulfilled lives.  I know from experience that while the journey is not always easy, it is very much worth the price of admission.