Throughout my career, I have had the honour of working with a wide range of individuals navigating many experiences, but if I were to simplify my general counselling approach, I would say I specialize in helping people who feel emotionally or mentally disconnected from themselves, their loved ones, and/or their lives. Throughout our work together, the therapeutic relationship is of utmost importance to me, and I am passionate about approaching treatment in ways that suit your subjective experience. This means I adapt to your capacity, your values, and the lens through which you see the world. A vital part of healing and self-development is being able to define yourself by your own standards, and to hold those definitions with agency. I work with you to hold this space in our sessions together while grounding in your own values and sense of meaning - it is not my place to project my values or worldviews onto you, and it is my privilege to walk alongside you as you hold and strengthen your own.
I believe the power to heal ourselves and find the answers to our dilemmas already lies within us, no matter what struggle we are facing. The thing is, when we are overwhelmed by stress, trauma, grief, misaligned societal or otherwise outside expectations, or do not currently have the physical or emotional space to truly hear ourselves and process our pain, our inner voice can become quiet and hidden within our inner world. When we are not acting in alignment with this voice, internal disconnections can happen, resulting in conflict and turmoil that can be confusing and leave us feeling lost. My approach to navigating this internal conflict with you is rooted in profound compassion and non-judgment, even when responses to these conflicts can feel uncomfortable or frightening. Central to my work is the belief that our minds and bodies are doing the best they can to process through whatever difficulties we are facing, and that process deserves our recognition, honour, and respect. When there are parts of our experience that we would like to change, it is my belief, my learned experience, and my observations, that such change cannot happen until we are able to hold the uncomfortable parts of ourselves with genuine compassion and caring - even when our instinct is to hide or shame them away. After this, realignment and reconnection can begin.
This philosophy behind my work has developed over time, and is rooted in various therapeutic approaches I have been trained/mentored in, researched, and have received personal therapy and illuminations from: Existential Therapy, Ego State Therapy and parts work, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dreamwork, Somatic work, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical-Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Emotion-Focussed-Family-Therapy (EFFT), and Play Therapy.
Contributing to the (sparse) resources available to those struggling with DPDR was the catalyst to my becoming a therapist, and I have gradually compiled research and attended trainings to support those experiencing this unique and visceral form of detachment. Find more information in my blog post and video.
Anxiety and Panic
I use a combination of containment techniques to help clients manage the symptoms of anxiety and foster a sense of safety in their body, while simultaneously exploring and processing the roots underlying these symptoms.
Trauma and Dissociative Responses
I work with clients who are experiencing the effects of past traumas in their present lives, and guide them to process these traumas at a pace that feels safe. When dissociation is part of this experience, I help clients strengthen internal communication between fragmented parts of self that formed as a protection from their trauma. This approach is informed by the theory of structural dissociation, which also includes what is sometimes called Borderline Personality Disorder.
Guilt and Shame
I walk alongside clients struggling with self-blame in response to their struggles or past, and support them to gradually meet themselves with compassion. If appropriate, personal accountability and transformation is part of this process so they can feel strong enough to step into a new future with integrity.
Substance Use and Numbing
I work with clients who recognize they have an unhealthy relationship with substances or other numbing behaviours, and are seeking to find other ways of coping and addressing the pain underlying their use.
Life Transitions and Identity Exploration
I support clients who are struggling to find their anchor and sense of self in the midst of life transitions. This involves helping you grieve the loss of previous stages while taking lessons you received with you, and reconciling identity shifts that occur in the process of transition.
Existential and Spiritual Questioning
I walk alongside clients struggling with questions around meaning and purpose, and support them to strengthen their relationship to their intuition and external callings. Spirituality is only part of this conversation if it is fitting for you.
Relational Disconnection - Family Therapy
I work with families who are struggling to center the connections that brought them together or are looking for ways of building a stronger foundation.