Counselling Philosophy

I have faith in peoples’ ability for change and wholeness.

My practice is centered on the belief that individuals are the experts of their own lives, and as such have a natural tendency to evolve and grow.

Witnessing and experiencing healthy relating is a pathway to change.

Good relationships challenge and propel us to grow. When we experience positive relationships we’re better able to identify what’s good for us and what’s not. We’re better able to identify unhealthy behaviours and dynamics and work towards changing these. The counselling relationship can be a great model for healthy relationships.

Having a good guide can make all the difference.

A client recently told me “you can’t make it to Everest without a good sherpa”. I strive to help individuals gain greater access to the inner strengths and resources so that they’re able to better cope with challenges, and lead more balanced and fulfilling lives.

What to expect

Counselling is not a one-time fix. It’s a process.

While you may feel good immediately after a first session long-standing change takes time and effort.
Unlike with most medical models, you will not walk away from our first session with a prescription for your psychological pain. Instead, you’ll get better understanding of how you’re stuck, a more optimistic outlook of what’s possible, and a feeling of being deeply heard and understood. We will also address the things you want to work on by coming up with goals and solutions that are catered to your needs.

You’re the expert.

During our time together, I’ll check-in with you at the beginning of every session to see if something’s come up that you want to discuss, or if there’s a particular area you’d like to focus on. If you’re unsure of what to focus on I’ll provide direction by suggesting what the best use of our time together might be.

Once the groundwork for therapy has been laid, we’ll be able to dig deeper on certain areas. I’ll listen for patterns and communicate themes and insights to you. I’ll help shed light on the challenges you’re experiencing by highlighting possible blindspots. I will be gentle but direct as I encourage you to move away from your usual thinking and behaviours into a place of growth.

With couples counselling, I’ll facilitate conversations that get to the heart of the issue so that you’re able to understand yourself and your partner better (read New to Couples Counselling? for more). I’ll also provide tools and constructive feedback on your interactions.

After a while, you’ll feel better and notice that you’re implementing the changes you set out to. If new things come up we can look at these. I’ll be working with you to make sure you’re maintaining the changes you’ve made until you’re able to do this on a consistent basis and are fully satisfied with your progress.

I care about your well-being.

I hold a lot of positive regard for all of my clients and am invested in their success. I want you to be satisfied with your experience in therapy. I’ll do my best to understand your specific needs and hopes for therapy so that you feel good about our time together.

My goal is to give you a positive counselling experience that makes you feel deeply cared for and understood. Together, we can explore what’s possible so that you can have a rich and meaningful life that’s truly your own.

My Story

The question that got me into this work was not “why” but “how”. “How do we know we’re doing the right thing?” “How do we take risks but remain safe?” And once we’ve got something good “how do we keep it going?”

I’ve been studying the way humans think and behave for close to a decade! Having had one too many encounters with heartbreak, loss, anxiety, depression –you name it, I was determined to know how to have a more fulfilling life and relationships.

Along the way, I learnt a lot about unhealthy relationships, trauma, anxiety, depression, and other blocks to fulfillment and growth. Through counselling and personal learning, I was able to work through old baggage, get a handle on my anxiety, and have healthy relationships with myself and others.

My experience as a counsellor and as a person has shown me firsthand that you can change your life for the better. I’m excited to work alongside you to help you create a life that fulfills you.

Counselling Methods

I work holistically and adapt methods to fit your needs.

I use researched methods to help you get the best results. These include Person-Centered, CBT, EMDR, Bader-Pearson Developmental Model and the Gottman Method.

Individual

Person-Centered: You’re in the driver’s seat -that means that I’ll be working alongside you instead of directing you on what to do. My role will be to help you get to your own answers and solutions by accessing your inner strengths and knowledge.

Solution Focused: We will identify and work through any roadblocks that may be getting in the way of you living the way you want to be. Together we will set goals and come up with practical solutions that you can achieve.

CBT: This involves challenging beliefs, thoughts and behaviours that are no longer working in your favour. Together we will come up with new beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours that lead to more self-compassion and positive outcomes.

EMDR: EMDR is a highly powerful approach to treating trauma, anxiety and depression. It involves targeting distressing memories through a series of eye movements. It is proven to significantly reduce negative feelings and beliefs connected to past events.

Couples

Bader-Pearson Developmental Model: Views couples’ struggles as part of the struggle for psychological growth and wholeness. Helps couples see where they’re stuck so they can learn to lean on each other while standing on their own two feet.

Emotion-Focused Therapy: EFT focuses on creating safety and connection between partners. It does so by identifying negative patterns of interaction and by addressing the unmet wants and desires that often underlie them.

Gottman-Method: The Gottman-Method uses researched interventions to help couples have happy and healthy marriages. It’s goals include increasing closeness, addressing conflict and creating shared meaning.

Training & Experience

I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of British Columbia, and my Master’s of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Adler University.

I specialize in treating relationship issues, stress and anxiety, depression, trauma, and low self-esteem. I also work with anger management, grief and loss, and life transitions.

Before transitioning to private practice, I worked for a non-profit organization providing individual and couples counselling to diverse adults, where I facilitated groups for couples and parents.

I’ve also done extensive work with women dealing with domestic violence from my days at Battered Women’s Support Services.

My graduate research focused on the experience and benefits of attending couples counselling prior to marriage.