THE COUNSELLING PROCESS

To get the most out of counselling, one begins a process of exploration and growth to uncover different, often complex layers of ourselves and work towards being our best self. I strive to provide a safe space in which those entering this process can feel secure in allowing me to witness that journey, and to share my perspective and insight. I can offer guidance and provide tools, but at the end of the day it is you doing the work and deciding what will be helpful to implement or incorporate into your life. I aspire to be worthy of participating in the process by providing a space that is respectful, honest, compassionate, free of judgement, and where you can allow yourself to be vulnerable.         

AREAS OF EXPERTISE/FOCUS

I work with adults as individuals and couples. 

My primary areas of focus are often interconnected: relationships and couples therapy; grief and loss; trauma; and women's health.

Relationships

Relationship work can include caregiving of a child(ren) or other adult (including an ailing parent or partner, or an adult child). Relationship work also includes relationship with self. This could be doing work related to one's family of origin, breaking the cycle of intergenerational patterns, inner/vulnerable child exploration, or personal growth such as exploring attachment wounds and schemas, boundary setting, self-worth, self-trust, self-compassion, and mindfulness practice.

I am passionate about working with couples to deepen their understanding and connection to one another. Couples work often focuses on impacts of major life events, deepening connection, and working through relationship conflict. Family work includes family relationships and conflicts (both present and historical), impacts of major life events, blended families, and caregiving of children and/or parents, relationship discernment, and separation or divorce (including co-parenting).

Grief and Loss

Grief and loss work can extend beyond death of a loved one. Grief and loss includes preparatory or anticipatory grief, ambiguous loss (such as miscarriage or caring for someone with dementia), attachment grief (such as loss of a child), or the end of a relationship (such as divorce or severing of a relationship with family of origin).

I also work with individuals and families who are going through the process of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) or Palliative Care. Support can include preparatory or anticipatory grief for both the individual and/or family, life review and legacy, final wishes, unfinished business, caregiver stress, and bereavement.

 

Trauma

I work with individuals who have experienced both 'big T' and 'little t' traumas. Little t trauma is described as a distressing event that does not threaten life or bodily integrity, and big T trauma is described as an event that threatens life or bodily integrity. I also work with people who have experienced historical trauma (such as witnessing violence, or the loss of a caregiver as a child), intergenerational trauma (a family system impacted by change or loss of culture due to colonization, or unhealthy family cycles and patterns), and people impacted by systemic oppression (navigating systems of oppression, such as the healthcare system).

I care deeply about working with people who have experienced suffering due to colonial trauma, such as residential school survivors and those impacted by intergenerational trauma due to the effects of colonization.

Women's Health

I work with women who are experiencing physical and emotional challenges related to but not limited to fertility, pregnancy, and child birth.

THERAPEUTIC APPROACH

I practice from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual lens centred around healing centred engagement, also referred to as trauma informed practice. I draw from family systems, attachment theories, schema therapy, emotion focused therapy, lifespan development, compassionate inquiry, collaborative helping, response-based practice, and mindfulness practice. In couples work I draw from the lens of Emotion Focused Therapy, and have completed Levels 1 & 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. I also have additional training in treatment of trauma, Motivational Interviewing, Feedback Informed Treatment, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

I have been privileged to work extensively with Indigenous communities over the past eighteen years, and believe my varied roots enhance my ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds. My practice is centered on mutual respect and relationship, which I believe helps establish a safe space for personal exploration, growth, and healing.

I have found it useful to be creative in the work, and I am open to provide various approaches to therapy. This may involve art-based exploration, incorporating the outdoors, or holding space for ceremony and ritual when available and appropriate, including story telling, healing circles, and consultation with Elders.

I am a strong believer in living life present and mindfully and am happy to offer meditation practice before or at the end of counselling sessions.  I have composed many guided visual meditations myself, and also pull from the work of John Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Dr. Cheryl Fraser, and Dr. Tara Brach.

I am associated with Cedar Counselling, which is  a collective of professional counsellors with diverse, advanced skills who are engaged in trauma-informed, person-centered practice and support each other through peer supervision.  https://cedarcounsellingcom.wordpress.com/