Information here is provided to help you become informed about my counselling services and to help you feel more comfortable with forming your expectations of counselling. You can also share any unanswered questions by contacting me directly.
While the counselling process for every individual is unique, my work with clients is rooted in my view that the journey of self-exploration and the development of emotional awareness are necessary processes for us to cultivate well-being and vitality, and connection with ourselves and others. I assist a wide range of clients with varying challenges such as stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, life transitions, relationship rupture, and trauma. I value ongoing learning and research in evidence-based approaches to treatment of mental health challenges, but especially so in non-pathologizing perspectives of mental health that emphasize a biopsychosocial lens of well-being and the importance of individual lived experience.
My interests in working with clients are multifaceted but include development of skills in emotional awareness and regulation, self-compassion and mindfulness, empathy and emotional validation, intra- and interpersonal conflict resolution, and healing or strengthening sense of self and agency within personal relationships and the broader social cultural context. I work through the lens of attachment science and polyvagal theory (nervous system regulation), while drawing on strengths-based and trauma-informed practices. My work with clients is a process-based and integrative approach of modalities that include but are not limited to emotion-focused therapy, mindfulness-based therapy and mindful self-compassion, dialectical behavioural therapy that emphasizes both acceptance and change, and existential therapeutic approaches.
Regardless of my theoretical orientation as a counsellor, the quality of my relationship with each client is my greatest priority. As you experience working with me, through ongoing consent, you are empowered to decide if you are feeling a great enough sense of safety and trust to embark in meaningful work together. Research finds what we can already intuit: the relationship between client and therapist is the single most important predictor of successful outcomes in therapy. Therefore, my sessions with clients work from the vantage point of ‘here-and-now’ so that the change you work toward can be lasting, built on the foundation of a strong therapeutic relationship.
Challenges & Rewards
Embarking on a counselling journey is a courageous undertaking with both challenges and rewards. Therapy can help people gain a greater sense of awareness in their lives, support shifts toward more healthful patterns of living, provide avenues toward resolving emotional difficulties, and more. The process of opening up new levels of awareness, however, can be challenging, as the process of change often evokes discomfort. It is important to remember that you can work through personal change in counselling at a self-determined pace to create meaningful results and benefits in your life. You always have the right to opt out of counselling if you feel that it is no longer suiting your needs. Clients who are open to the process of change, are consistent with attending sessions, and are willing to work on goals both within and between sessions tend to experience far-reaching rewards and enduring benefits from their counselling experience.
Length of Service
Counselling sessions are 60 minutes, unless special circumstances have been discussed for an alternative session length or it is a free initial consultation, which are 15 minutes. Given the nature of counselling, it is difficult to predict exact timelines required for each client to reach their personal goals and therapeutic outcomes. The frequency and duration of counselling differs widely among clients, depending on varying individual needs and preferences. Regardless of your personalized timeline, it is strongly encouraged that we have a final session together once your goals of therapy have been met so that we can work together to prepare you for a successful conclusion to your counselling experience.
Our work together in counselling is bound by strict confidentiality with only specific exceptions that would require me to share information. These exceptions are reviewed and discussed during the informed consent process of your first counselling session, but are also included here for your reference:
- You give written permission for me to disclose information to someone else, such as another health professional, insurance company, or family member.
- I have reason to believe that you are of imminent danger to yourself or to others.
- You disclose information that leads me to believe a child, minor, person with disability, or elderly person is being abused, neglected, or maltreated.
- A client’s involvement in a custody or criminal dispute may lead to a client file being subpoenaed. I can advocate to limit admissible information, but may be ordered by a court to disclose client records.