About Out of the Box

Our Organization

Out of the Box supports members of the 2SLGBTQAI+ and neurodivergent communities with priority given to Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, Black, Indigenous, and racialized people. We offer counselling, Spelling To Communicate (S2C) services, workshops about neurodiversity and consulting services. Counselling services are available to anyone over the age of 12 and S2C services are available for anyone over the age of 4. If you have felt that your brain works a little differently or have struggled to feel like you fit in, you are welcome here.

Our approach is guided by evidence-based frameworks rooted in liberation, social justice, trans rights, anti-racism, critical disability and queer theory. Out of the Box is looking to work with brave people who want to do things differently. Honouring your autonomy to live your best life, our work connects the personal to the political to advocate for positive change on a wider scale.

Learn more about each of our team members below or reach out to discuss our services. 

About Krystal

My name is Krystal Hilchey Muise and I am originally from Mi’kmaki territory (Nova Scotia). I am on my own learning journey to reconnect with my Mi’kmaq and French/Acadian ancestry as a way to begin walking through this world in a way that honours Indigenous sovereignty, including justice and environmental stewardship.

I am a proudly gender non-conforming, neurodivergent, queer individual who provides trauma counselling to other queer neurodivergent folks. I am a trauma survivor of gender-based violence and have lived experience that has taken me in many directions over the years. 

I have supported people who have/who have previously experienced, gender based violence, domestic violence, addiction challenges, gender/sexual diversity exploration, childhood trauma, mental health challenges, and strong emotions. I now provide formal trauma informed counselling services for other neuroqueers who are looking to heal, disrupt the status quo, and celebrate the unique skills and gifts that each of us have to live a more authentic life.

*Queer: The term queer has historically been a slur-type word that has recently begun to be reclaimed by people who do not feel that other labels reflect their true identity and/or for people who see their own identity as intertwined with the wider political rights/needs of their community.

About Monica

Hi there, I’m Monica van Schaik (they/them). I support members of the neurodivergent and 2SLGBTQAI+ community to live with greater self-acceptance, empowerment and well-being. 

I come from Belgian and Dutch ancestry and spent my childhood as a guest on Algonqquin and Anishnaabe territory in the so-called Ottawa Valley. I currently live along the Haldimand Tract in so-called Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. I have been a disability justice and Indigenous solidarity activist for the past 20 years, believing deeply that systemic change is essential to our collective healing and individual well-being. 

I have grown to understand myself as a dyslexic, non-binary, queer, polyamorous, gender-based trauma survivor. I have found healing and understanding through counselling, activism, art and community. Celebrating neurodiversity has been an integral part of my life growing up in L’Arche communities, being the sibling to my brother with Down Syndrome and later through discovering my own dyslexia. I love supporting neurodivergent people to find healing, accessibility and self-celebration.

In my clinical therapy practice, I value collaboration and taking a therapeutic approach that resonates with your healing journey. I use a trauma-informed approach that integrates narrative and mindfulness therapies and draws on skills rooted in DBT, ACT, and attachment. I am a Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) certified consultant, an approach that centers healthy relationships as the foundation for learning. When we work together, I will meet you with curiosity and care. My approach is warm, relational and explorative. 

I currently offer individual therapy to people 12+, therapy or RDI consultation to parents/caregivers/educators looking to support a child/teen that is neurodivergent and/or queer, and S2C services. Please learn more about Spelling to Communicate (S2C) on our services page. 

If you feel we may be a good fit, please email me to set up a free introductory phone call at monica@outoftheboxcounselling.ca.

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