Registered Clinical Counsellor
Heart-to-heart conversations can change lives. Most societies have had some form of counsellors; seeking out those kinds of conversations is a normal part of being human and an admirable action to take in times of need.
I provide counselling services in Victoria, BC and remotely by phone and video on a secure and user-friendly Telehealth platform. I offer short- and long-term approaches for individuals and couples. Helping others feel whole, connected, and purposeful is central to my work. I believe shared humor and a sense of relating are crucial for effective therapy. Here, you can read a bit about me and my services. If you sense that working with me might help, please reach out to schedule an initial phone consultation (see Contact page for details). I’d be happy to talk with you about what you're experiencing and how counselling can help.
My background with diverse therapies, clinical contexts, and as a scholar of psychotherapy helps me to take a pragmatic approach. Together, we'll find the combination of therapeutic tools that works best for you.
I focus on who you are as an individual and how you have been shaped by your life. Counselling is a space where you can explore your self, preferences, conflicts, and action plans in order to create a life where your individuality can flourish. I am committed to helping you overcome adversities, heal old wounds, and resolve outdated patterns so that you can grow into yourself with greater skill, choice, and intention. More importantly, I am here to help you get where you want to go.
I recognize that seeking a counsellor can be a stressor at what may already be a vulnerable time in your life. Reaching out, talking about yourself, and even thinking about addressing certain problems can be an intimidating experience. If you have any questions about the process, please don't hesitate to reach out. Not knowing exactly what to say or ask is normal; wherever you’re at is the best place to start.
Integrative Counselling for Complex Problems of Living:
What is integrative counselling?
Counselling with a broader knowledge base and set of interventions that can better adapt to your personality, presenting problems, relationships, and context. An approach that can match particular counselling strategies to each stage of your healing journey. This ensures that you experience progress rather than feeling like you’re going in circles, hitting dead ends, or practicing something you’ve tried or heard before.
What are complex problems of living?
Most psychological issues are far from straightforward, and no terminology or diagnostic categorization is exact. Usually, psychological issues are messy, with multiple ways to define and understand them, multiple ways to resolve and address them, multiple causes and irritants, and are a part of nonlinear cycles and sequences—feedback loops and vicious circles. Addressing them requires putting them in the rich context of your life, mind, and history; learning more about yourself and how everything is uniquely connected for you.
"Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Types of Therapy:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT focuses on the connections between thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and emotions. CBT emphasizes learning practical information, strategies, and skills to make step by step improvements in your current life situation. For example, CBT can help transform core beliefs and cognitive distortions that cause emotional dis-ease and lead to unwanted behavior.
Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes the underlying workings of your mind: your unconscious. This includes all the mental processes outside of your conscious awareness, such as implicit and procedural memory. These influence your thoughts, behaviors, emotions, sense of self, and general experience. Psychodynamic therapy pays particular attention to your psychological and neurobiological development. It can lead to profound personal transformation as well as resolution of chronic issues.
Somatic (Body-based) Therapy:
Somatic therapy focuses on how the body factors into your psychology. Somatic interventions can involve movement and embodied expression, focusing on and processing of body sensations, developing embodied awareness, and learning tools to balance and regulate your nervous system. Somatic therapy is like working with your mind from the bottom up—sometimes small shifts in the foundation can lead to the biggest changes and insights.
Emotion Focused Therapy:
Emotion focused therapy primarily uses experiential techniques to harness adaptive emotions and resolve maladaptive or reactive emotions. Emotion focused therapy specializes in the subtle functions of emotions and affect—think of affect as all the small changes in your moods and feeling states that have not quite blossomed into emotions yet. Through emotion focused therapy you can connect with the underlying purpose of your emotions so that they empower, instead of sabotage, you.
Systemic therapy looks at how systems of relationships (families, couples, groups, friends, colleagues) can catalyze and perpetuate psychological symptoms. Systemic therapy focuses on shifting patterns within a system and changing roles individuals are compelled to take within them. Sometimes ongoing dysfunctional patterns in a system are counterintuitive—attempts to make the problem better make it worse. This can require an outside perspective and experimentation to address.
The human mind and organism are inherently social and develop through interpersonal interactions. Relational therapy focuses on how you relate with others. In particular, it focuses on your closest relationships and the underlying dynamics of the client-therapist relationship. All relationships entail connection and separation and there are a myriad of ways these can work for or against us. The counselling relationship is an ideal place to dive into these dynamics and experiment. As relationships shift and you feel more comfortable, confident, whole, and authentic, other parts of your life and mind fall into place.
Existential and narrative approaches focus on how you make meaning in your life, especially of elements that feel meaningless or pointless. By examining the biggest and most relevant questions to your situation, we can ignite your personal perspective to find freedom within confinement, meaning in meaninglessness, as well as determination and passion. By experimenting with new ways of telling your story, you are able to harness your autonomy and power as the writer of your own life story. You can learn to transform narratives that are no longer serving you in order to turn your story into one that you helps you to feel enlivened and inspired.
In Jungian psychology, life is considered a journey towards individuation—growing into a more authentic version of yourself by balancing and integrating aspects of your conscious and unconscious minds; particularly by bringing unconscious parts of yourself to consciousness. Each individual comes into the world with a personal mythos—a cast of inner characters and storylines—and by paying careful attention to your present situation and conscious attitudes as well as dreams and the symbolic language of your unconscious mind and imagination, we learn to collaborate with these characters and stories in order to help you reach your full potential.
Transpersonal therapy focuses on human potential and the furthest reaches of human nature. In part, it specializes in extraordinary experiences, such as, peak experiences, spiritual experiences, altered states of consciousness, psychedelic experiences, mystical experiences, and exceptional human experiences. Transpersonal psychology has a long history of looking beyond psychopathology and mainstream western psychology to other cultural paradigms and models of mental health and wellbeing. Overarching convictions are that humans are more than their personal identities and that profound healing can result from connecting with aspects of oneself beyond ego, having extraordinary experiences, and committing to one's own unique psychospiritual development.