I strongly believe that human beings already have the necessary tools and resources to tackle what life presents, and it is only in the absence of a therapeutic relationship that these resources are kept from awareness. I offer a non-judgmental and open heart to my clients, so that they may feel comfortable to fully investigate these resources and their potential.
I also feel that there are as many unique paths to healing as there are individual persons on this planet. Because of this, I assume that openness and creativity in the therapeutic process are paramount to success. Whether you are passing through a life transition, facing depression or anxiety, struggling in relationships, or simply feeling stuck, I am excited to walk alongside you on your journey towards healing.
The heart of my practice centers around the relationship with the self. Through experience, I have found that underneath many of the issues my clients present with (depression, anxiety, stress etc.), there is often a contemptuous relationship with self. In other words, self-criticism begets suffering. Logically, I feel most satisfied in my work when my clients learn to love and accept themselves just as they are.
My goal is to provide three things for you. The first is specific tools and coping strategies that can help you feel better, right now. Second, I will give you that open heart so that you can be vulnerable and feel safe. And third, I will help you to dig deep so that the root cause of your current issues can be found and processed.
I hold a Master of Counselling Psychology from Adler University in Vancouver, and I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (#16632). I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional with the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Prior to pursuing a career in mental health, I attended the University of Victoria where I completed a Master of Music (2013).
It takes real courage to face the challenges of life head-on. Contacting a mental health practitioner is worthy of admiration. Whether it is the person-centered approach, cognitive-behavioural therapy, or some other technique that fits best, together I believe we can find new ways of being that work for you. I look forward to watching you grow.
I celebrate and embrace human diversity. All people are welcome in my practice, regardless of faith, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ability, age, or any other preference or personal characteristic, condition or status.
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Inner Child Therapy
My graduate-level education involved extensive training in Inner Child Therapy (ICT). ICT is a "deep work" modality that examines what your childhood needs were (e.g., unconditional love, safety etc.) - and how to meet those needs in adulthood to foster well-being. For example, if your caregiver(s) was unable to provide structure in your life as a child, ICT can help identify this unmet need, and help you find ways to meet it for yourself as an adult. I have seen this approach do wonderful things.
ICT can be helpful with:
Relationship Issues (e.g., "codependency")
“Focusing” is a therapeutic technique first developed by Eugene Gendlin in the 1960’s and 70’s, in response to extensive research on therapy and its effectiveness. In practice, focusing accesses the body’s “felt sense”. This is a vague physical sensation - not a particular emotion - of your experience. Through extensive research, Gendlin found that clients who naturally turn inwards - towards this felt sense - are most likely to progress in therapy. Somehow, the body knows what to do.
Luckily, focusing can be taught. In therapy, I will show you how to access your own felt sense. People usually experience a “shift” through this process - that is, a release or letting go of the difficult feelings they are having. It’s a wonderful technique for helping people get “unstuck”.
Focusing can be used any time, anywhere.
Self-compassion usually follows ICT and is central to “re-parenting” the inner child. Simply put, self-compassion means being kind to yourself. However, it’s important to distinguish self-compassion from self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to the degree in which we evaluate ourselves in a positive light. Self-compassion, on the other hand, says, “I am human and therefore worthy of love, and that includes my ﬂaws.”
To practice self-compassion, begin by identifying your feelings. Name them as best you can. Then, offer those feelings some kind words - words that validate your experience. Notice how you feel when you give yourself some much-needed love. This technique is found in Dr. Kristen Neff’s book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. Her work has inspired a large portion of my counselling practice.
Motivational Interviewing is about constructing conversations so that individuals can identify their own motivation for change. It is a collaborative style, meaning that the therapist and client "walk together" to discover the client's core values. When our motivation for change comes from within, change follows.
MI can be helpful with
Ambivalence about any possible change