I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor (Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association), with 13 years professional counselling experience. I have a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and extensive post-graduate training in trauma therapy and the impact of abuse. My approach to counselling is guided by the unique needs of each client: I believe that each individual is the expert of his or her own experience. Accordingly, I strive to work collaboratively with individuals, assisting them in identifying and working towards their own goals for counselling. I respect the values, strengths, and resources of each individual. I believe each one of us has capacity for resiliency, self-determination, and self-growth.
Many individuals who have experienced trauma do not have a healthy balance of emotional coping skills. Therefore, the first stage of therapy often involves teaching individuals ways to recognize, observe, modulate, and cope with strong emotions such as grief, anxiety, fear, and guilt. This is called creating emotional regulation. The focus is on reducing traumatic stress: individuals learn to bring emotional pain down to a manageable level.
While working to create emotion regulation, we can also begin working through trauma experiences and mourning the losses. The best learning and the best work in therapy is achieved when individuals do not exceed their ability to handle those strong emotions.
Helping families, individuals and children through difficult experiences has been my career's focus for over 25 years. I utilize child-centered play/art therapy, sand tray work, emotional regulation, cognitive behavioural therapy and rational emotive behavioural therapy. These strategies allow children and adults to reveal their anger, fears sadness or frustrations in order to better understand and express themselves. My holistic and creative approach allows clients to feel comfortable, heal, overcome obstacles and embrace positive changes that can ultimately create a more satisfying quality of life.
Difficult thoughts and emotions can create persistent and overwhelming feelings such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. Together we strategize to learn helpful and creative techniques, reduce stress and minimize painful emotions in practical and healthy ways. This can play a significant role in achieving a constructive outcome.
My goal is to transform mental and emotional pain into sources of strength and self-knowledge. I believe that people can make great changes in their life and that when clients begin to trust the innate wisdom of the mind and body they move closer toward wholeness and healing.