about me: Ricardo martins, Bsc, MSc, GITDip

I am a Registered Psychotherapist

My journey in the realm of mental health has been shaped by extensive training and a profound commitment to fostering healing and transformation in the lives of my clients. With a foundation rooted in relational Gestalt psychotherapy, my practice is marked by a person-centered approach that seeks to integrate various therapeutic perspectives. I have undergone rigorous training at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto, which has not only enriched my understanding of the human psyche but also instilled in me the principles of relationship-based healing. As an integrative therapist, I go beyond the boundaries of any one school of thought, seamlessly blending somatic perspectives to address trauma or adverse situations. My goal is to offer a compassionate and tailored therapeutic experience that empowers individuals on their unique journeys towards self-discovery and growth.

Born in Brazil and having lived in Colombia, I am happy to provide therapy in both Portuguese and Spanish. These experiences, combined with over a decade as an immigrant in Canada, have sensitized me to the many challenges faced by other immigrants that transcend language barriers. This journey has taught me that culture encompasses more than just words; it shapes our values, affects, and deeply influence our expectations in the ways of relating, to others and ourselves. Immigration per se can be an arduous and challenging experience, often leaving individuals feeling out of place and disconnected, and for many of us, intensified by adverse situations or traumas we carry from before. Therapy provides a safe space to delve into these intricacies, to explore and to be heard. It’s a testament to the essence of being human – our innate need to feel safe and belonging.

Why “Safe and Belonging” ?

Central to my practice is the creation of an environment where gentleness, empathy, and care intertwine, forming a nurturing space for growth and self-discovery. The name “Safe and Belonging” was intentionally chosen to encapsulate the foundational principles and values that define my therapeutic approach.


“Safe” represents the important experience I strive to offer my clients. Throughout our journey together, safety serves as a reliable marker, providing a stable foundation for the unfolding process. Recognizing that many of us may have grown up in environments where this experience was absent or not consistently present, therapy becomes the space for the opportunity to rebuild this sensation anew in life. It’s a space where clients can feel secure, understood, and supported as they embark on their path towards healing and self-discovery. This commitment is reflected in the environment I create, one where clients can explore their vulnerabilities and traumas with trust and confidence.


“Belonging” speaks to the profound human needs for connection and being accepted for who we are, how we look or our sexual orientation. Many of us have experienced moments when we felt like outsiders, even within our own families or countries of origin. These experiences can leave us feeling left out and always yearning for a chance to connect and rediscover that sense of belonging and being accepted. Within my practice, “belonging” represents an inclusive, non-judgmental, and empathetic stance that I purposefully cultivate. It’s a sanctuary where clients are invited to explore their identities, narratives, and past experiences without fear of judgment. It’s an opportunity to rewrite our stories, rebuild our connections, and ultimately, reclaim the profound sense of belonging that is intrinsic to our human experience.

The combination of “Safe and Belonging” conveys a message of hope and empowerment. Throughout our journey together, my aspiration is for those working with me to be able to say, “I feel safe, and I have a sense of belonging.” This name encapsulates the very essence of my therapeutic mission, extending an invitation for clients to embark on a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and personal growth within a nurturing and inclusive environment.

guides & Resources

how does Therapy work?

The field of psychotherapy is rich and diverse, encompassing a multitude of perspectives on how it works and what factors contribute to its effectiveness. These varying viewpoints are often associated with different schools of thought in psychology, each offering unique insights and techniques for promoting mental health and well-being.

Relational Psychotherapy
DifFeRent perspectives

How will we work together ?

As an integrative psychotherapist working from a relational and somatic perspective, our therapeutic journey will be a collaborative and holistic exploration of your inner world and relational dynamics. Together, we will create a safe and empathetic space where your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations are welcomed and can be explored and understood without judgment.

Additionally, drawing from interpersonal self-psychology, we’ll delve into the complexities of your interpersonal relationships and how they shape your sense of self. Our work will incorporate somatic awareness to help you connect with your bodily experiences, as the body often holds valuable insights.

This integrative approach aims to enhance self-awareness, foster healthier relationships, and promote overall well-being.

what matters after all

How do I know if it´s working?

Knowing if therapy is working can be a common concern, especially for those new to the process. The journey of therapy often involves subtle shifts and gradual changes that may not be immediately apparent. One sign that therapy is working is a growing sense of self-awareness – a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior.

It may also manifest in improved coping strategies and a greater capacity to manage life’s stressful situations. Progress can sometimes be seen in your relationships, as you begin to communicate more effectively and establish healthier boundaries. It’s important to keep in mind that therapy is a dynamic and evolving process, and changes can take time.

Discover the benefits of working with a trauma oriented psychotherapist!