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Elena Melo, MSc, CCLS

Certified Child Life Specialist

Child and Youth Therapist


Child/Adult and Youth Counsellor and Therapist

Elena Gatto, Child Life Specialist

Hello, my name is Elena (she/her) and I am a Certified Child Life Specialist who provides therapeutic interventions to children and youth at Valley Connections Counselling in Burlington. Child Life Specialists utilize evidence-based approaches to provide developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions to help infants, children, and adolescents cope with psychosocial issues including physical and mental illness, grief, trauma, disability, injury, and distress. I obtained my master’s degree at McMaster University in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care and completed two clinical internships at McMaster Children’s Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


As a Child Life Specialist, I provide interventions through therapeutic play, art, and other creative expressive forums. My goal with children and youth is to build emotional literacy, provide opportunities for emotional expression, teach effective coping skills, and overall to build resilience and happiness. I believe in creating a safe and welcoming environment where children and youth feel heard, supported, and can freely express difficult emotions. Building a trusting therapeutic relationship is of the utmost importance to me, which is why developing a strong rapport is a priority in all of my interactions and interventions.


While I specialize in child and youth development, I am a firm believer in family-centered-care, which means I am an advocate for the entire family’s needs, including parents and siblings. When one person of the family is in distress, it impacts the unit as a whole, which is why I ensure support and guidance is available to all members.

My therapeutic approach is holistic, compassionate, and fun! I would love to work with you or your child if you think I am the right fit for you! 


If you would like to work with me, I offer a complimentary consultation to determine if I am the right fit for you. I would be honoured to support you along your journey. 


Elena's fees may be eligible for insurance coverage under extended health benefit plans.  Please note: It is your responsibility to find out from your employer and/or insurance company about the type of mental health coverage you have. Valley Connections Counselling and our therapists are not responsible for determining whether or not your insurance company will reimburse you for our services. Please find out the details of your benefits package before booking and attending your therapy sessions. Should you attend sessions and later learn that your insurance company will not cover your therapy sessions, you are responsible for paying for the fees of all attended sessions as well as any future sessions you choose to attend.




Individual Therapy

Play Therapy

Special Areas of Focus

Physical Illnesses/Diagnoses 

 Disabilities - Physical, Learning, Mental health Divorce 

Grief, Loss, and Bereavement 

 Supporting siblings of children/teens with chronic illness 

 Supporting children/teens of parents with cancer or chronic illness 

 Supporting children/teens who are palliative Funeral preparation and support for children/teens 

 Disordered eating, Body Image, Self-Esteem 


Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) 

Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD, ADHD) 

Anxiety and Stress  

Social Anxiety 

Providing support during medical procedures

Therapeutic Approaches



 Therapeutic play 

Therapeutic art 

Normative play 

Normative art 

 Developmentally supportive play 


 Promoting emotional literacy and expression Trauma-informed   

Elena offers her services virtually or at our Burlington location.


You can also email us at or call 905-966-4309

For Counselling Clients



30 minutes

Meet your therapist


Child/Youth Intake


50 minutes

Your first counselling appointment

Child/Youth Counselling


50 minutes

Subsequent counselling sessions

Parenting Support


50 minutes

Subsequent counselling sessions for parents

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