My Approach to Helping
I have a fairly relaxed and open interpersonal style that conveys a blend of compassion, confidence, and humour.
I see the counselling relationship as a relationship between two equals and this is reflected in my relaxed and open interpersonal style. We all have our own unique beliefs and values and patterns of strengths and vulnerabilities. I am comfortable showing and disclosing mine when doing so can foster a stronger counselling relationship, provide a means for new learning, or normalize and validate others' experiences.
My role as your counsellor is to understand you and to help you, not to judge you. I will approach you and your struggles with an attitude of curiosity and feelings of compassion, not with judgments of right and wrong, good or bad.
When things get tough, it is my ability to laugh at myself and see the irony in a difficult situation that keeps me going. Our struggles can feel extremely heavy and burdensome, and sometimes the ability to step back a bit and see the humour can provide a moment of relief, a chance to breathe.
Across a wide range of contexts, others have reported that they perceive me as both competent and confident. I am grateful that there are at least some positive perks to offset the memory lapses and crow's feet that go with age! Fifty-plus years of life experience, which includes 30 years of study in psychology and a wide range of personal and professional experiences, have provided me with a strong foundation to develop certain competencies and to feel confident about my ability to apply these competencies to the benefit of myself and others.
More Info About My Practice
Through my private practice, Mindsights, I provide telephone and video psychological counselling services to those residing in the province of Alberta. My services are targeted at adults seeking direction and support in improving their psychological health and well-being, including those struggling with depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, chronic pain, procrastination, and family, work, and financial stressors.
Sometimes, particularly at the start of therapy, our focus will be on you having the opportunity to talk about what you are struggling with and how it fits in with your life story. At these times, my role is that of the listener and my primary goal is to gain an understanding of who you are, what you are struggling with, and to see your struggles through your eyes as best I can. When both you and I feel that I have a good understanding of what you are struggling with, we can start to identify what changes you might need to make and how I can help you make those changes. Planning is a highly collaborative process. Together, we will be striving to identify important values, set goals, and develop action plans.
I believe that real, lasting change comes from the doing. My counselling approach is highly skills-based and will focus on helping you learn and practice skills and strategies you can use, not just to get through this particular struggle at this point in time, but to effectively manage future difficulties as well.
The ability to observe our thoughts, feelings, and sensations without being driven by them can free us from patterns of behavior that are getting in the way of our living our lives to the fullest. For this reason, I may ask you if you would be willing to incorporate mindfulness-based skills and strategies into our counselling work.
Our experiences are multi-modal, consisting of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviours. Often, subtle shifts in any one of these aspects of experience can cascade through the others and generate meaningful positive change in our lives. Our counselling work may emphasize one or more of these aspects of experience but will likely touch on all of them in some way.
It is important to me you feel safe, understood, respected, and accepted. It is also important that you feel that we are focusing our attention on what is important to you and that our work together is helping you. I will encourage regular open and honest discussion about how you are feeling about the counselling relationship; counselling goals, methods, and activities; and your progress. I will then adapt my therapeutic style and preferred therapeutic approaches to fit with your personality style, values, beliefs, needs, and preferences.
Best Care Driven
I am strongly committed to you receiving the best possible care. In the event that you or I believe that you may benefit from someone with a different style, different approach, or specific knowledge or experience outside of my areas of expertise, I will make every effort to refer you to someone who will be a better fit for your preferences and needs.