Counselling and Therapy Services
I work collaboratively with clients to assess the presenting issues, create a treatment plan, facilitate the work, and evaluate progress. One of my primary goals is to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with clients, since research consistently shows that the quality of the relationship is a significant predictor of positive counselling outcomes. Warmth, respect, positive regard, and a strong ethic of care are important qualities that I bring to my work. Additionally, I offer expertise in creating individualized therapy to best meet the needs of clients by selecting the best approach or combination of approaches for the particular issues, client preferences, and commitment level.
Individual counselling is often thought of as shorter-term support where the focus is on developing tools, building skills, and creating more effective strategies. For example, clients might learn mindfulness or cognitive skills to address social anxiety, or learn interventions to better deal with their reactions to a difficult family member. We practice in session, so that the new skills can be learned and used effectively outside of sessions. Depending on the goals, some of the skills and strategies might include tools from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), or Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).
Psychotherapy is often considered a depth-oriented approach, where current negative patterns of interpersonal relationships are related to experiences in childhood and adolescence. For example, individuals who have a pattern of caretaking and not being able to say no, despite the negative impact on self, or those who find themselves having the same type of difficulties in relationships often benefit from psychotherapy. The approach that I use, an Interpersonal Approach, focuses on resolving the roots of the current symptoms and changing patterns.
Trauma therapy focuses on addressing and resolving the negative impact of trauma, which may include flashbacks, nightmares, distrust, anxiety, depression, emotional numbing, difficulty regulating emotions, addictions, anger, suicidality, and self-harming behaviours . There are a range of experiences that may create a traumatic reaction including:
Current or historical relational trauma: illness or disability in the family, death of a family member, separation or divorce, childhood abuse, childhood neglect or abandonment, parental alienation, abusive romantic relationship, domestic violence, addictions
Single traumatic events: sexual assault, suicide of a loved one, health issue, car accident
Multiple traumatic incidents over time: overseas military deployments, peace-keeping missions, sexual harassment, sexual assaults, medical interventions, witnessing violence
I use a three-phase model of trauma therapy to facilitate client healing: (1) safety and stabilization, (2) trauma treatment, and (3) integration and reconnection
EMDR is an evidence-based therapy that was originally developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to treat trauma, but is now used for many other psychological issues. EMDR is used with military personnel, veterans, and first-responders to deal with workplace and relational trauma. EMDR is also commonly used for past or current sexual assaults, childhood abuse or neglect, and anxiety and depression. EMDR is highly effective for phobias. Read more about EMDR or on the EMDRIA website.
Men and women in the military, RCMP, or those who have transitioned to civilian life as veterans, can struggle with complex psychological challenges, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, suicidal thinking, and relational problems. Military members often need the opportunity to process tragedies that they have witnessed or been involved in. At the same time, women may have the additional burden of experiencing sexual harassment or sexual assault in their workplace. These relational transgressions, often from trusted others, can be destabilizing and traumatizing, and are often endured in silence, isolation, and shame. Therapy can help to process multiple, complex psychological issues, and facilitate healing and growth. I work extensively with military members and veterans on a wide range of psychological issues, including military transition, combat and service-related PTSD, workplace sexual assault and violence, anxiety issues, depression and suicidality, childhood trauma, intimate partner violence, eating and body issues, and perfectionism.