Our Team

Danny Firestone

Team Supervisor: Danny Firestone

PEACE Cofounder, Individual and Family Therapist

Danny  is an Individual and Family Therapist (RP) with over 30 years of direct service experience. He has an Honors BA in psychology and a M.Ed. in counselling psychology. He has spent his adult life working with adolescents, young adults and families struggling with the problems that result from overwhelming challenges in regulating their emotions, thoughts and behaviors. As a particularly empathetic and skillful therapist, he has built a reputation for working with the hardest to serve clients. Over the years, he has worked extensively with people dealing with problems related to attention deficit disorders (ADHD, ADD), Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Mood disorders (Depression; Dysthymia, Bi-polar), Anxiety disorders (OCD; GAD; PTSD), Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Addictions (gaming, drug use), Autism Spectrum Disorders (Asperger’s), and Parent/child relational problems.

Danny’s strengths lie in his ability to “go where angels fear to tread”. He believes that no matter how self-destructive or impaired someone is, they deserve a therapist who will do what it takes to help them find a better way to go through life, and he is confident enough to journey with them through their darkest thoughts, feelings and experiences. Danny’s ability to conceptualize the problem from the client’s point of view, allows him to engage more difficult clients and help them work towards a more integrated, less dysfunctional lifestyle.

Danny also understands that many young people and their families are struggling with powerful negative emotions, impulses and behaviours, and they have become trapped in “the blame game”. He believes “the truth shall set you free”, and he is known for his ability to take on “the elephant in the room”. He is prepared to fight the good fight, even when it gets messy. He will ask the difficult questions, challenge you when you are full of unresolved contradictions, and support you throughout the process. He believes that empathy and compassion are essential tools for living a good life, and that all people, no matter how hopeless they feel or how much they struggle, have the capacity for change and the desire to live a life worth living. He also believes that people have to live skillfully to get the most out of life, and he has devoted his professional life to helping people learn and live these skills. The skills to accept the things they cannot change, the skills to change the things they can, and the skills to determine the difference.

Danny’s primary focus over the past 13 years has been developing his skills and practice in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), a modification of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) developed by Marsha Linehan out of the University of Chicago. DBT was designed and adapted specifically to treat the problems related to emotional dysregulation, including behaviours such as self-harming, suicide thoughts, urges and attempts, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, or alcohol and drug problems. Over the past decade in particular, Danny has had intensive training in DBT, has taken a lead role in consulting with and developing a DBT residential treatment program, and has developed and presented several trainings and workshops in DBT for other service providers.

Danny believes that DBT is a therapy uniquely suited to the problems faced by the families of struggling adolescents, and to some extent, to everyone who wants to get more out of life. It avoids the blame game, while teaching skills and providing coaching to facilitate skills development in all areas of life. It brilliantly combines Acceptance and Dialectics to help clients experience their emotions fully while being in control of their behaviors in order to live “a life worth living”.

Melanie Cheskes MSW, RSW, DBTC, B.Ed, BFA

PEACE Cofounder, Individual and Family Therapist

Melanie Cheskes has been working as a clinical social worker since 2012, providing psychotherapy to youth, adults, couples, families and groups. Melanie will work hard with you to develop an understanding of your strengths and challenges, and identify your goals. Melanie is direct and transparent, while being mindful of moving at a pace that works for you. She will not shy away from the things that are hardest for you, but will help you go there by using compassion, empathy, curiosity, humour, and whatever else it takes. With you, Melanie will learn about and tackle habits and ingrained patterns non-judgementally, moving towards knowledge and skills that will improve your life.

Melanie works with clients on a wide range of issues, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidality
  • Self-harm
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • LGBTQ questions and concerns
  • Emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Grief and loss
  • Trauma

In individual work, Melanie will ask you the difficult questions to help you observe your own thoughts and urges, and make connections between your internal experiences, belief systems and behaviours. She will teach you skills and help you learn how to apply them, even in the contexts that are most difficult for you.

With couples and family members, Melanie will work hard to help you uncover what is beneath the anger, avoidance, resentment, blame and hopelessness, and better understand your role in ingrained relationship patterns and dynamics. Melanie will offer psychoeducation, modelling and direction for more effective communication, even when it’s hardest. She will hold a grounded posture, staying focused on your goals in order to help you self-reflect, listen for understanding, be accountable, repair damage, and make real positive change.

As a DBT group facilitator, Melanie’s passion for teaching and experiential learning comes through. She is animated and enthusiastic about what she teaches, and sensitive and responsive to what her group members are bringing into the room.

Melanie’s career first began in fine arts and teaching in the early 2000s, from which she has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Education. Her love of helping people deal with the vulnerabilities and struggles they face in their lives led her to return to school to complete a master’s in social work. Upon completion, she worked as a clinical social worker at several non-profit mental health agencies in Toronto.  

In 2017, she began a business partnership with her clinical mentor, Danny Firestone. They cofounded PEACE Psychotherapy with the intention of building a team of psychotherapists committed to doing the hard work of truly helping people to address their problems effectively and build a life worth living.


Erin Powley


Individual and Family Therapist

Erin has been working as a clinical social worker for over 10 years. She has experience in various settings including hospital emergency departments, and inpatient mental health units, sexual assault and violence services, correctional facilities, and in child welfare. Erin has also worked with parents and children who have experienced parental alienation. Her career has been multifaceted and has included working with individuals and couples, facilitating groups, and providing support and psychoeducation to families. Erin expertly selects therapeutic approaches and treatments to empower her clients by fostering self-awareness and teaching skills that can change problematic thinking patterns and behavioural responses.  Erin draws from a variety of treatment modalities including DBT, CBT, brief solution-focused therapy, trauma focused, family systems, and culturally sensitive therapy.  She works within an Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression framework.

Erin’s down to earth approach and warm personality enable her to connect quickly with clients of all ages. She provides the right combination of support and challenge so that clients can move towards a more skillful and productive life with improved sense of self, compassion, healing and resilience.

Erin’s experience covers a wide range of symptoms and diagnosis including:

– Anxiety and related disorders including social anxiety & OCD
– Depression
– Suicidality
– Self-harm
– Parental alienation
– Trauma including historical and/or current emotional, physical, sexual abuse
– Addiction 
– Personality disorders
– Emotional dysregulation
– Grief and loss
– Sexuality, sexual orientation

Leah Breslow



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Individual and Family Therapist

Leah Breslow received her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology: Applied Developmental Emphasis from the University of Guelph with a primary interest in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). She has pursued focused training in DBT over the past few years and is passionate about providing DBT to clients, especially adolescents, young adults and their families. Why is Leah committed to utilizing this evidence-based treatment with clients? Since DBT is based on a blend of different therapeutic philosophies, Leah sees this as a solid foundation for a balanced and enriching therapeutic process. One of the philosophies DBT draws from is Eastern mindfulness which Leah has utilized in her own meditation practice and enjoys sharing this powerful tool with clients. Leah also sees the value of the therapist consultation team – an integral part of DBT therapy, where therapists are clinically held accountable and supported in the treatment provided to clients.

Leah’s career first began in teaching, where she taught a second language to preschoolers and adults. Supporting both her young and mature students in learning a new language, Leah developed a strong belief that growth is possible at any age.  Whatever stage you are in your life, and however challenging your life circumstances are, Leah is a firm believer that you and your life can transform. Leah understands that the process of shedding ingrained habits and introducing new ones is often a non-linear and bumpy one. She will stick by your side through the inevitable growing pains of the therapy process as you transform your inner landscape — including your emotions, perception of self, and thoughts — and the landscape around you — including your interpersonal relationships and your life’s circumstances.

Leah’s approach is rooted in psycho-education; together, you will learn new skills and develop a robust toolkit personalized to you, so you can move through life with more ease, confidence, and inner calm. A key component of Leah’s therapeutic toolkit is appreciating meditation, one of the four core building blocks of DBT, and something that’s often challenging for clients with a lot of overwhelming thoughts and emotions. Meditation is a crucial exercise to maintain a healthy “thought-world”, just like going to the gym or doing other physical exercise is necessary to have a healthy body. Leah will support you in learning and applying that and other DBT tools in your daily life to manage overwhelming emotions skillfully, tolerate stressful events and to improve your relationships.

Leah can help you or your child manage issues related to any of the following:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • emotion dysregulation
  • ADHD
  • interpersonal relationships
  • addictions
  • LGBTQ questions and concerns
  • disordered eating
  • self-harm
  • suicidality

Leah brings a high degree of patience and compassion to your work together. She will help you tend to your vulnerable spots and critical self-talk when they pop up. And she will also gently guide you to reflect on things that may be difficult to explore, and yet are necessary for positive change to occur. Leah will work with you to deepen your understanding of your inner world. For Leah, non-judgmental awareness is the very first step that paves the way to healing — and she is committed to walking alongside you for the rest of the steps in your therapeutic journey together.


Jennifer Grandy

MACP candidate, RSSW, RP (Qualifying)

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Individual Therapist

I am a graduate student from Yorkville University under the supervision of Melanie Cheskes (Registered Social Worker) and Danny Firestone (Registered Psychotherapist). I completed a Specialized Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at York University and obtained my Social Service Worker Diploma, with honours, from George Brown College. I am registered and in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and am a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with membership at the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

During my employment as clinic assistant for the medical director of residential treatment centres for addiction, I provided confidential, compassionate, and in-depth intake for clients being admitted to the treatment homes. In my role as night shift support staff I gained significant experience providing supportive counselling to women in residential treatment homes for addictions. I have worked in a community agency to support individuals and families by offering supportive counselling specifically around the stresses and challenges of caring for loved ones who are ill.  As a volunteer, I worked closely with patients and their families at a large mental health institution providing psychoeducation and supportive counselling on a drop-in basis. In one volunteer role I worked in a women’s shelter providing brief supportive counselling and resource navigation for clients with multiple and severe life challenges. As an undergraduate student, I volunteered at a 24-hour distress centre liaising with the local police and mental health workers while providing supportive counselling to callers with varying degrees of urgent/crisis needs.

Drawing from several evidence-based treatment modalities, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), I will work with you to create treatment approaches that are tailored to your specific and unique goals, strengths, and therapeutic needs. Together we will explore any aspects of life you may be having challenges with and uncover unhelpful patterns and habits that may be standing in your way. I will also help you explore and discover your innate strengths and inner healing wisdom. Therapy can be tough work at times, my commitment is to be there to work right alongside you to provide new insights and information to help you achieve your goals for wellness. I will also work with you to cultivate and nurture new skills, knowledge, and ways of being that support your journey in life long after therapy ends.

Aided by my personal experience and regular mindfulness practices, I recognize that there are many possibilities and opportunities available to each of us at any moment and will collaborate with you to create experiences and choices for fostering skillful mindfulness practice. As a key component of DBT, clients can expect that mindfulness is also integral to my approach in therapy.

I consider it a privilege to be part of your therapy experience and I honour this privilege by creating a warm and non-judgmental atmosphere. It is paramount that you feel safe, supported, and comfortable with me to really get to the core transformative elements in therapy. For this reason, our early sessions together will also help us begin to form a strong therapeutic relationship based on radical honesty and commitment to growth.



Tracy MacIntyre

M.A. Counselling Psychology, R. P. (Qualifying)

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Individual Therapist

Tracy is a graduate of Yorkville University with a Masters in Counselling Psychology. She works with adults and families with a range of challenges. She listens without judgement and honours each client’s
experiences, strengths, and goals.

Tracy’s mission is to help people find their voice. This might be the literal voice of a young person who is misunderstood by the adults around them or an inner voice that has been silenced for so many years that it has become unrecognizable because it is buried underneath any combination of anger, avoidance, and “should”s.

Tracy will aim to understand where you have been and where you want to be, then discuss a course of
action that makes sense based on the thoughts and emotions that may be holding you back from a life
that you would value. She often uses a cognitive-behavioural approach to understand the way your
thoughts can influence your emotions and behaviour but recognizes that relationship patterns in your
life are an important aspect of well-being, so she will identify recurring themes to explore with you.

  • Tracy works with clients on issues such as
  • ADHD
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • body image
  • depression
  • emotion dysregulation
  • interpersonal relationships
  • addictions
  • LGBTQ questions and concerns
  • self-harm
  • suicidality

Tracy has worked as a counsellor and as a psychometrist at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships
and is a member of the Family Engagement Committee of Lumenus, a provider of mental health services
to adults and youth in Toronto.

Considering therapy is a bold, empowering, and insightful choice. It is an important act of self-
compassion that can make a wonderful difference in your life, so congratulations on this choice.