About Fadi Abou-Rihan

what moves you?

What gives you meaning? What of all that lies ahead is genuinely freeing and what is just the sequel to a painful past or a limiting present? What have you been carrying around for so long it’s become the uniform that wears you down every day you show up for life? And what about the days when you can’t or don’t want to show up at all? Where do you feel you belong the most and how much strength or agility do you need to get there? Or might you belong most anywhere you already are?

These questions are familiar to those who, in spite of great difficulties, still seek meaning in their lives. They go hand in hand with the basic question that meets anyone starting therapy: what ails you? The answers are all connected and require patience, compassion and curiosity.

You want to tackle these questions. You try the confidences with friends but there is only so much you’re comfortable sharing; self-help hasn’t delivered on its grandiose promises and cognitive therapy has the shelf life of an opened can of pop.

You may have even tried to medicate yourself with all sorts of substances, legal or not. Numbing and distraction aside, there’s little more than chemistry here and, for all its worth, chemistry gives you as much meaning as a dictionary gives you poetry.

What got you to your present are feelings and events, relationships and memories—faint or strong, good or bad, no matter. While you’re not the sole author of what’s led you here, you carry it with you, know it best and you are the most qualified to sort it out. And it’s by sorting out what got you here in the first place that you might begin to move forward.

When you begin to not only speak your experiences but also listen to them, you hear them differently or perhaps even for the first time. You become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses as you begin to make the connections between what you feel and what you know.

and so, the journey begins...

my services



You have a life and a history that are unique. As unique is the challenge or difficulty you’re now facing: a persistent sense of emptiness or anxiety, a painful loss, a tough transition. Psychotherapy helps you make more sense of the difficulty, or make sense of it in a different way; its context and causes become clearer and, in the process, it becomes less draining, more manageable. Eventually, you may find that you have space for new experiences, feelings, relationships.



From our yongest and most impressionable to our adult and self-reliant, our characters are affected in ways that are often elusive and difficult to explore. Psychoanalysis is a process of self-observation that leads to understanding and transformation. It is built on a relationship of trust, confidentiality, and non-judgement. Its aim is to take stock of strengths and weaknesses, talents and limitations, to live with the knowledge of who one is and what one can and wants to do.


clinical consultation

For psychotherapists, I offer clinical consultation—both practice and case specific. My approach is exploratory and pragmatic. While Freud, Winnicott and Lacan have been my major inspirations, I subscribe to the principle that no one theory can reign supreme over the psyche and no single psyche should account for an entire clinical repertoire. This is why as a supervisor I am less interested in pushing a doctrine than I am in helping answer a question, introduce a possibility, trace a link or loosen an impasse.

about me

I have been in private practice in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in Toronto since the late 1990s.

I am a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, a graduate of the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and hold a PhD from the University of Toronto.

Beside my clinical work, I maintain an active research record: I’m currently writing a book on Winnicott, following an earlier one on Deleuze and Guattari; I’ve published a number of scholarly articles and reviews and have given many conference papers in Canada, the US and Europe.

fadi abou-rihan

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