Hello, I'm Dr. Sandra Palef.

I practice Psychoanalysis,
because your problems
deserve lasting solutions.

Let's talk

When you think of Psychoanalysis, do you picture Freud?

It is a common association. But as a trained psychologist and psychoanalyst, I can tell you that while psychoanalysis has it’s roots in Freud, it is now a modernized, leading-edge, and powerful treatment approach. It is proven to be particularly effective for people with longstanding difficulties like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and loss of meaning and purpose in life. This is true for psychoanalytic therapy (once or twice a week sessions) as well as the more intensive psychoanalysis.

What is particularly remarkable about psychoanalytic treatment is that the benefits last long after therapy is over, and even increase over time. This is not a small claim, and not one any other therapeutic modality has made. There is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting this finding.

The premise on which psychoanalytic treatment can offer such long-term change is that the focus is not only on managing the symptoms of your problem, but also on exploring the root causes of your thoughts and feelings. This leads to a restructuring of your personality. By doing this, psychoanalytic therapy can help you create and hold onto permanent change, which results in a more satisfying and meaningful life.

Private Practice

I am a Registered Psychologist and Psychoanalyst and have been in private practice in downtown Toronto since 1980. I work with adults, adolescents and couples and offer psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and marriage counselling.

I was Awarded the

Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

I Received my

Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto

I was Registered as a

Clinical Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario

I Graduated as a

Psychoanalyst from the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis


I was a professor of Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto from 1972 to 1993. At first I taught courses in cognitive psychology and did research on perception, memory and literacy. Later, I developed and taught courses in psychoanalysis. My articles are published in internationally recognized books and journals.

I am currently on the faculty at two psychoanalytic training institutes in Toronto:

  • Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis
  • Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Professional Associations

  • Toronto Psychoanalytic Society
  • Canadian Psychoanalytic Society
  • International Psychoanalytic Association
  • The Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis
  • International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology
  • International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
  • Ontario Psychological Association
  • Canadian Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association

Are you ready to make an appointment?

I’ll get back to you by the end of my workday, if not before.