My Approach to Helping
In these difficult times effective, compassionate support from an experienced professional is especially important. With 36 years of clinical practice, I\'ve worked in teaching hospitals, the community & private practice. I honour and support my client\'s healing journeys with deep caring and because I know it can be difficult to take that first step into therapy & I will support you as you begin to navigate your own journey to optimal emotional, physical & spiritual health. I\'m committed to melding compassion with therapeutic excellence. Originally from Scotland, my life is now shared between Ontario & Tofino. I\'m warm, straightforward, and down-to-earth, and I invite you to meet me for a free on-line consultation - it\'s an opportunity to talk, ask questions, and really get a sense of if you think we\'d be a fit to work together.
More Info About My Practice
When a baby is born, she cries out with the full expectation that she will be held and cherished with food, love, warmth and protection. Unfortunately, for many people, by the time they reach adulthood, life has hurt them emotionally and sometimes physically and sexually, too. In turn this can lead to anxiety, depression and self sabotage and behaviours that don\'t nourish the body, mind, soul and spirit. Therapy is, at a foundational level, about our relationship with ourselves. Learning self care & self love IS possible, with patience and support. This inner work radiates and ripples out into the world, improving our relationships and bringing a deeper sense of connection and peace.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
As humans we all experience joy and we all experience pain. We love sharing our joys with our family and friends, but, when we are in pain - emotional or physical - sometimes we want more than their advice and opinions: we need extra support. With relational psychotherapy, support means "meeting you where you're at" - being with you in your pain and sadness and confusion. For me, supporting someone in their darkest moments and helping them find the light to show them their own path through their pain, is a gift that each client bestows on me when they trust me to be their companion on their journey. As a woman in her 50s, I have celebrated the soaring joys of birth and the heart-wrenching pain of loss and the range of feelings and emotions that life graces me with every day. Each joy and each loss adds to my life experiences and, as a mother, an artist and a lover of nature, I love and truly appreciate that psychotherapy allows me to bring every aspect of my experiences into the therapy space.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
People sit on the proverbial fence for many reasons. Often it's something as simple embarrassment that they may cry in front of me: but, I see crying as a good thing - if tears are there, it's healthy for your emotions and your heart, to let them out and address the issues that fuel them. Sometimes a person believes that their issues are so "bad" that I will be shocked, but, I know & have worked with, the very serious issues people bring to me, such as abuse (physical, sexual, emotional); mental health issues, including suicidality; eating disorders; addictions; palliative care issues etc. On the other hand, sometimes people down play their issues and think "they aren't bad enough for therapy", but the truth is even mild sadness, dissatisfaction & irritation are all factors that can weigh us down, reducing our ability to feel happy and at peace. Many of my clients tell me that they were on the fence and, after taking the leap of faith, they are so happy they did.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
As a regulated health care profession I have to abide by the strict code of ethics and practice and take pride in the high standards set by my governing body. A negative experience in therapy can feel traumatizing and if you've gone through this, I understand how reluctant you might feel about trying again. I'd suggest, reading various therapist's profiles and, once you narrow your search down to a few, request consultations to "interview" them and to get a sense if you think they'll be a good fit for you. Ask all the questions you like and "trust your gut". Once you meet someone, it can help to think of the first couple of sessions as getting-to-know-you sessions, before you commit to working with them. I would hope that you feel able to bring up ANY issues with your therapist, including things about the therapist themselves. Don't ever feel obliged to stay with a therapist you aren't entirely comfortable with. I have clients I work with who tried out a few other therapists before they found a comfortable fit with me.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
I absolutely believe that going to therapy means you are strong. We all have flaws and we all have weaknesses and I actually feel tender towards anyone who says otherwise - it usually means that their pain is too much for them to look at. Acknowledging pain and seeking support for it is healthy - it wouldn't make sense to allow a nasty infection in a wound on your arm to go untreated and I believe that emotional wounds deserve to be treated too!