Theory, Practice and Values
Welcome. I invite you to read a bit more about how I approach life and my work. I am first and foremost curious about what is going on within you. Not just your mind, but your body and how you experience your world. I take a holisitic perspective to counselling so we can co-create a life that is healthy for you. We look at your patterns of sleep, your patterns of nourishment as well as movement because you are more than just your mind.
I believe that change happens in relationship, and therefore it is important that we develop a strong rapport. I will not be offended if we do not ‘jive’ because it is important to me that you feel safe and trusting as we co-create a healing journey, and I am happy to refer you to someone who could be a better fit for your needs.
I strive to create an environment that is warm and accepting, as well as nourishing and stimulating- a place where you can find a home within yourself.
I believe that self-awareness and the ability to be self-reflexive is key in working through what life hands us. This means not only being mindful but also being compassionate. When we can make space for our own suffering with loving kindness, we are able bring a level of contentment to our life that can open the door to healing and strengthening personal agency. I strongly believe that life is not all about finding happiness but about finding joy and acceptance in what is. I enjoy working with individuals, couples and groups who want to engage in a deeper exploration of their life journey. This may mean processing traumas, working through roadblocks, strengthening communication, not only with self, but with others, and building a strong emotional core.
I believe that we are emotional creatures and that our emotions are what give us strength as people. With the awareness that our emotions are messages, we can build upon methods to keep ourselves grounded and focused and not be swept away into a place ripe with suffering. I believe that we are creatures of community and are therefore wired for connection. Harnessing the power of our emotions, as well as improving our communication, are drivers in the therapeutic process I provide.
I believe that lasting change can occur in a short period of time, however, I know that some journeys can take time to fully sift through, understand and accept.
I believe that we are also creatures of comfort, and facilitating tools to help you find comfort within yourself and your relationships is part of my goal as counsellor. Like the quote above states, we need to be able to let go and float in the water and it is my goal to offer you tools to find buoyancy in times of distress.
I am formally trained in mindfulness based stress reduction where the focus is on how we can be in the now. We are, if fact, human beings not human doings, and mindfulness has the power to bring us back to being. My approach is to provide a space where we can shift out of autopilot and live life on purpose.
I recognize that we all have a story that is uniquely our own. A story of culture, of family, of trauma, of life in general and I hope to respectfully honor this diversity through my work. These stories do not need to define who we are- we get to define who we are. Because we are all unique, I individually tailor my approach within my scope of practice, ethical bounds and training so we may co-create a healing path specific to your goals.
My approach to counselling is a combination of well researched and empirically supported approaches as follows: attachment therapy as a foundation and then I draw on gestalt, person centered therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and emotionally focused therapy. All of these approaches fall within the humanistic realm. Each approach holds awareness, emotions and the value of relationship in high esteem. Working from a foundational approach and incorporating other models is known as assimilative integration. I believe people are multifaceted and so my approach should be too.
So you’ve made it this far and you are probably thinking, “What does a session look like?” Well, in the first session you get to meet me and my dog (Loo, pictured above). You will be offered tea or water and you will also receive an intake package that gives me more information about your life, your distress and your goals, as well as a confidentiality contract. Don’t worry if you miss anything, we will go over the intake together. After intake we will discuss how you would like your sessions to go, for example, would you like a more directive approach or do you want to be more in the lead? Often it is a mix of approaches that I find work best for clients. And what if you don’t want to be stuck in an office with funky chairs and eclectic styling? That is fine, I am open and eager to go out for a walk around town or in nature. I believe that movement and nature are healing and so invite the opportunity to experience both.
Sessions don’t end when the 50 minutes is up. I invite clients to reach out to me via email to share times when they are stuck or to share a win they have experienced, or even just to check in. Expect that in session I will write and draw on one of my multiple whiteboards, use music, introduce mindful breathing techniques or just to sit and listen to hear you out. One on one sessions are 50 minutes and couples sessions are 90 min. You have the option to tailor your one on one time as well which is subject to a shift in fees (for example, you can request a 30 min or 90 min one on one).
All of your information is kept confidential and secure. You are also able to have access to any information I have on you and I am happy to provide letters of support for court matters.
I look forward to connecting with you. You can reach me through this website.