Registered Provisional Psychologist
Why counselling is important
We are built to be adaptive and flexible, but sometimes we encounter times in our lives when the problems facing us mismatch the particular set of adaptations that have worked well enough for us until then. Psychotherapy is particularly effective exploring alternate ways to make sense of and adapt to our circumstances. Beyond that, it is effective at helping transform the very core of our self towards more flexible and authentic ways of being, to help us with future and present crises.
Every person is distinct and every problem requires individualized approaches unique to the soul of who each of us are. My approach to therapy emphasizes an interweaving of listening to your experience of what you are facing and growth towards a more adaptive and authentic you. This will empower you to face whatever life throws at you with courage and conviction, and with an empathetic heart to accompany you when it gets overwhelming.
My method of therapy
Psychotherapy is foundationally set in the relationship between you and your therapist. This is because we are a relational, social species, and because the function of emotions is embedded in relationship as a means of guiding us towards healthier, more congruent ways of being. My worldview is that everyone is intrinsically valuable, and that everyone’s value is absolute.
I utilize two broad approaches to therapy that come from different schools of thought, and so compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses. My grounding approach is psychodynamic, a view of the human experience that is embedded in the context of how early experiences shape life-long patterns that shape present experience. Interventions focus on unravelling the limited set of lifelong patterns that were “good enough” to adapt to the experiences of childhood but which are maladaptive to current problems. The outcome of psychodynamic therapy includes not only working through the problem that you come into therapy with, but also facilitating wider and deeper changes that are life-long in outcome.
In balance with this approach, I utilize feedback-informed treatment, an approach that highlights and maximizes those elements of therapy most empirically known to produce short-term changes. This approach includes keeping track of changes each session and monitoring the progress of not only the goals you want to work on, but your well-being and its more rapid, short-term rise to a higher quality of life.
The types of counselling I provide
I enjoy working with all age groups, with individuals, couples, and families.
Trauma is what happens when life throws at us an experience that is outside our range of experience, and which challenges our very understanding of not only the world, but of who we are as well. It is a profound experience that most people go through at some point in their lives, and which, unchecked, can lead to maladaptive responses to life that set us up for present and future struggles and unhappiness.
Trauma is also one of the most researched areas of psychotherapy and the type of problem that research shows people can have the most hope of therapy alleviating. There are a small number of approaches to encountering the symptoms of unprocessed trauma that can help you work through it to the other side, and these approaches have success rates that are among the highest in psychotherapy. I am trained in and emphasize a number of these approaches, putting particular emphasis in my practice on trauma-focused therapy.
Play is a remarkable part of humanity. Unique to mammals, it is inherently biologically tied into relationship, emotion, and adaptation—the cornerstone of what makes us human. It even has its own unique and selected biological circuitry in the brain. There is little in human experience that is more innate and natural than play.
Play is also the language of children. Whereas adults benefit from “talk therapy”, the “talk” of children is play itself, and so the best approach to working with children is through a specialized approach in which the therapist and your child “talk” about the struggles your child is going through. Through this more natural and spontaneous language that is closer to the problem—and the solution—in your child’s mind than “mere words” are, play therapy facilitates foundational changes in children. This is very important to engage in prior to adolescence when maladaptive ways of being can bring greater hurts and become a set pattern of interacting with others.
I am continually amazed by the outcomes of play therapy in helping children work through trauma, changes, and challenges that are new or have been there since the beginning.
Everything we can face in life, no matter how awful can be worked through in ways that make us stronger, more authentic people who reach their potential. The journey is sometimes difficult but done together in a relationship with a psychotherapist can be meaningful and transformative. Therapy is not the only way to overcome human suffering, but it has at is centre, the chief ingredient of human change and relief from suffering: relationship with a caring other who is there to accompany you on the path through to the other side. My areas of focus in individual therapy are listed below.
We know a surprising amount about the science of love and relationship. 69% of relationship arguments are perpetual—meaning they are about topics that will never be solved. This shocking statistic points us towards one of the most foundational rules that makes couples therapy so effective: it’s not about what you’re fighting about, but about how you “fight” about it, that determines the health of a relationship. The interventions and models that help couples through relationship crises and difficulties that are based on this fundamental truth are most successful. I work with couples to help craft a specialized means of communication that alleviates the sore points in the relationship, but also embeds the relationship in a new life of shared meaning and experience that is enriching and encouraging of an always changing love.
Education & Further Training
Master of Counselling (City University of Seattle) Bachelor of Arts with Distinction – Psychology Major (University of Alberta) I have received additional training in:
-Registered Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator
-Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Basic Training
-Motivational Interviewing (MI) Level 2
-Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 2
Areas of Interest
-Childhood Grief and Loss
-Abuse (Verbal, Sexual, Physical)
-Parenting Divorce and Separation