Anxiety, trauma and relationship
counselling for people of all ages.
Individual Adult Counselling
Individuals frequently come in to see me to address anxiety, sexual abuse/ assault, family of origin issues, trauma and loss. I encourage the use of mindfulness and values-based cognitive and behavioural strategies found in psychotherapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion-Focused Therapies (CFT) and others since there is mounting evidence that these interventions support long term improvements for people facing a variety of difficulties. I have had a lot of positive feedback from people who have experienced beneficial results when they apply more accepting and compassionate strategies when facing emotional and interpersonal struggle.
As a play therapist, I encourage adults to try working through challenges in the sandtray since there is increasing neuroscientific evidence that support its use to work through emotional content that can be difficult to access using talk therapies alone. I frequently offer brief trauma methods that offer good results like Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), The Flash Technique and Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) to process losses, traumatic events or wounding relationships.
"Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain."~ Carl Jung
Child & Adolescent Counselling
As a Registered Play Therapist with significant training and experience in child and adolescent psychology and developmentally appropriate therapies, and this can help in finding the right strategy for the age, stage and identified problem. Play Therapists complete extensive training in child development, attachment (bonding), and in the use of play, creative and expressive interventions to understand and explore the feelings, thoughts and behaviours. I do use some traditional talk therapy to successfully support change for older kids and teens. My preferred tool is sand tray since it can be an effective and approachable counselling intervention for all ages and has strong support in neurobiology. I borrow from a variety of models to explore sand tray themes.
Our first session involves meeting with parents or caregivers to carefully collect information about the child and family’s history and challenges. Then together, we set out a goal. Within the first few sessions, once I have completed my assessment, we can discuss a counselling plan. Depending on the identified problem and treatment goals, the parent or caregiver may or may not be involved in future sessions.
I specialize in working with young people experiencing anxiety, a traumatic history or traumatic event(s), or breaks in their significant attachments. I have worked extensively with kids who are struggling with separation/ divorce, alienation and coparenting issues.
“I wonder if our right hemisphere believes there is such a thing as pathology or if our symptoms might all be seen as truth-telling and adaptive.”~ Bonnie Badenoch
Parenting, Coparenting and Family Counselling
I have post graduate-level coursework in Couple and Family Therapy, as well as Gottman Couples Method, family systems and family attachment models from Attachment-Focused Family Therapy to foster healthy and meaningful relationships. The therapeutic methods I use support improved connection with others while also increasing personal and interpersonal insights that promote understanding and compassion for others and ourselves. Family counselling can be beneficial for separation or divorce issues, blended families, eldercare issues or general communication challenges within a family unit.
Parenting can be difficult for many reasons – some of these can be related to your child’s behaviour and some of these can be related to your parenting response patterns. Attachment and bonding can be interrupted and damaged by difficulties within the relationship, leaving parents feeling frustrated and hurt by the distance between them and their child.
Neuroscientific (brain) research is offering us greater insights into these patterns and how applying specific strategies that promote reconnection can solve them. As an attachment-oriented therapist, who has worked with many parents over the years, I have collected parenting tools, strategies and techniques for a variety of difficulties parents may be experiencing. Frequently parents suggest to me that simply focusing on reconnecting with their child has resulted in significant behaviour improvements at home.