My Approach to Helping
I take a "client-centered approach" in which the therapeutic process and pace is guided by the individual's values, beliefs, and comfort level. I offer a range of therapeutic approaches to match specific needs. I provide counselling services to individuals, couples, children, families, and groups. Many of my clients focus on self-understanding as a means to improving relationships. Treating past abuse or trauma is central to the healing process. I specialize in infant and child mental health.
I provide counselling services to children and adults who have special needs. I also offer counselling sessions through video conferencing or on the phone for your convenience and privacy. Each fall and winter we offer group sessions. For more information on these and up coming workshops, please visit my website.
More Info About My Practice
To ensure that my services are a good fit for you, I offer a 30 minute free consultation. We also offer a limited number of people a reduced rate based on what they can afford. Please let us know before our first session if this is an insurance claim or if you have been approve for counselling services through First Nations Health, ICBC, CVAP or other government programs.
Theoretical Influences that Guide My Work
The Dynamic Maturation Model of Attachment and Adaptation created by Dr. Pat Crittenden has been a major influence in my work. Research on attachment has lead to a better understanding as to why we act in ways that may seem puzzling, negative or destructive. By understanding early attachment styles and strategies that developed based on early needs for safety and security, we are better equipped to understand our attachment needs, change behavioural patterns that no longer serve us, and create more positive and beneficial ways of responding to situations that can improve relationships with ourselves and others.
The Internal Family Systems approach has been another major influence on how I work with clients. It acknowledges how our reactions (anger, anxiety, fixing, etc) are there to keep us safe and protected. They are linked to a time when we felt hurt, scared, abandoned, overwhelmed or betrayed. Getting to appreciate how these protective function and resolving past issues can reduce our emotional reactivity.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
I usually meet weekly with a new client for the first month to get a good sense of what the problems are, how the client wishes to proceed and to set therapeutic goals. Some problems can be addressed successfully within a 4 to 6 week period. Deeper issues will take more time. After the first few weeks, the client decides on whether they wish to continue with weekly sessions or to meet less often. I often give "homework" to clients to help raise awareness or practice new skills. Most clients are ready to end their sessions after 10-12 weeks. However, if a client is dealing with more profound issues such as trauma, abuse, or childhood neglect, the frequency and duration of the therapy may be increased.
Sometimes a person will come for counselling for a specific problem and then realize after the sessions are over, that another issue has surfaced. This is very common. Often people need time to process what they have discovered about themselves or their relationships before they can go further or deeper. Taking this time is encouraged. Returning clients are always given priority and never put on a wait list for services.