My Approach to Therapy

How Counselling Facilitates Change

I have had the honor to witness firsthand the miraculously resilient, adaptable and self-healing capacity of my therapy clients. As humans, we truly are amazing beings. We encounter various experiences throughout our life that challenge us, and at times may even rob us of our beliefs about ourselves, our dignity and the world we live in.

When we are unhappy or in pain, it can be a struggle to maintain our authenticity, access our abilities and remember our strengths.Often, we can get stuck in our pain and our way of thinking about it. When this happens, counselling can help.

Making change can be even more difficult when we get stuck in one perspective or viewpoint of the problem. When we discuss problems with friends or family, even though well intended, they may simply agree with us or tell us what they think we want to hear which only reinforces our ‘stuckness’ and often leaves us feeling misunderstood..  It can be easy to lose our focus or to lose our way. At our core we each have the most incredible capacity to endure, overcome and even thrive beyond the impossible.

During our counselling sessions I will encourage you to explore your challenge or problem from various perspectives to help you expand your perception of the choices available to you. As your therapist, I will offer you objective, non-judgemental encouragement and feedback and invite you to explore your own implicit feelings and needs about the situation. We will continue this process of exploration and reflection until you have found the solution that is a ‘true fit for you’. New awareness can create clarity about how to move forward to achieve the changes you desire.

No matter what your reason for wanting to change and improve your life, I can help you move beyond the blocks that prevent you from having the life you want.

I feel extremely honored by the courage and willingness of my client’s to share their confusion, their darkest fears or pain and also to celebrate their joy and excitement as they rediscover themselves. Often times, my clients are able to create the life that perhaps they had only been able to dream about before attending therapy.

Who I Work With

I provide individual counselling for the following adults:

Those Healing from Traumatic Events:

Individuals who have experienced sexual, physical or emotional abuse; neglect or abandonment, serious accident or illness, tragic loss of a loved one, or witness to violence or serious accident.

And/Or

Those in Active Recovery From Addiction:

I have a wealth of successful experience guiding those who have had addictions to mood altering substances, prescriptions, eating related issues, gambling or shopping.

People who have experienced traumatic events are at greater risk of developing addiction issues. Those in active addiction are at increased risk of being re-traumatized or finding themselves in situations that place them at higher risk for traumatic experiences. Counselling will help you to reduce your risk for being re-traumatized and increase your feelings of safety, empowerment and your ability to make healthier choices.

Your First Counselling Session

In the first therapy session we will explore your problem and how it is impacting your life. I’m also interested in what changes you want to achieve. I also find it helpful to hear about what you have tried that didn’t work for you and what you consider to be the challenges that prevent you from reaching your goals. We then develop a counselling treatment plan identifying the best way for you to move forward to accomplish your desired changes.

An important component of therapy for my clients is the ability to feel safe, respected and understood by me as the therapist. Your first counselling session provides us with the opportunity to confirm that my approach is a ‘fit’ for you.

My Counselling Treatment Approach

I primarily follow a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach which means I explore your presenting problem from a holistic perspective and take into account what influences the various life areas have on the issue. For example, some health issues may cause depression making it difficult for you to find the energy to make changes. Or, I have worked with a number of clients who knew ‘cognitively’ what they needed to do yet discovered through counselling they had not integrated that knowledge on a ‘feeling or behavioural level’.

My therapy clients have various ways of learning and processing their experiences so I take into consideration your particular learning style and adapt the counselling sessions to provide the best opportunity for you to achieve your desired goals. For that reason I use a combination of counselling modalities. However, I primarily tend to draw from the following:

  • Focusing-Oriented Therapy invites you to access your ‘felt sense’ or overall experience of an issue, as opposed to just your thoughts or feelings about it. This provides a different way of relating to or being with the problem, which in turn can help you more easily find the path to solving your problems.
  • Family Systems Therapy explores the roles and relationships in our family of origin and how we can unconsciously re-enact those roles even when not in the presence of our family members. Ultimately, family systems therapy helps you move on from past family experiences that no longer serve you.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches you how changing your relationship to your thoughts can change your feelings and actions.
  • Motivational Interviewing assists you in strengthening your own motivation to clarify and strengthen your ability to change.
  • Solution Focused Therapy, also referred to as Brief Therapy, recognizes the present and the future with the focus on achieving your current goals.

I am in awe of the resiliency of the human spirit and am humbled by the opportunity to have my clients share their most personal fears, struggles and challenges with me.

My approach can be summed up by a quote by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky in her book, Trauma Stewardship (2009). She speaks of the need to “…always remember the privilege and sacredness of being called to help. It means maintaining our highest ethics, integrity, and responsibility every step of the way”.

I consider it a privilege, and a sacred honor to share in your journey of healing.

Contact Me Now for a Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation.

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