Philosophy of Counselling
Relationship is key
My roots as a Psychologist stem from the work of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Wellesley Centers for Women. It emphasizes the importance of women’s growth in, through, and toward relationship and the significant impact of culture on relationship.
Disconnection is at the core of the pain
Disconnection might be experienced as a loss, death, betrayal, or abuse, to name a few.
The process of healing your pain or changing the patterns in your life are through relationship, whether a relationship with your therapist, your family, friends, or others, and yourself.
Healing the pain
Therapy is a journey of reclaiming your authentic self. It is healthy to want to experience a special relationship with someone where you feel understood, cared for, and nurtured.
Without this feeling of being cared for and caring for someone else you may turn to destructive ways of getting your needs met. For example, binge eating, shopping, alcohol, depression, or anxiety.
It is important that you know how to ask for what you want and be sure that you are getting what you need. You need to experience a sense of trust. You need to know that the special person in your life really understands you or at least tries to understand you.
Importance of relationship in therapy
Research supports that the most important factor in predicting success in therapy is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and client. It suggests that this relationship is more important than how long the therapist practiced or what kind of training they had.
I will listen to you. I will not judge you. I will give you an objective perspective.
My Approach to Counselling
Creating a sense of safety
I create a safe space for you to feel comfortable to express your feelings and thoughts. I do this by being non-judgmental and actively listening to you.
There is a view of a natural preserve right outside of the window in my office. It is so calming.
Trust and Respect
Trust and respect are key to any relationship and the relationship between therapist and client is no different. Clearly this is a process and depending on your level of trust it may take a few sessions to experience this.
I will work collaboratively with you. We work as a team. I see each client as unique and together we will decide what the most effective way to work will be for you.
Mindfulness is about being in the present. You may find that you live too much in the past or too much in the future. This is what often causes so much pain.
You might find yourself often stuck in the past or consumed by a feeling of anxiety. By being mindful you can begin to link your present experiences with your past.
I will give you strategies that help you stay in the present.
I am authentic, genuine, and honest. You will experience me as relational, client centered and collaborative.
What to Expect in The Therapy Process
Initial Free Phone Consultation
It is important that you choose a therapist that you are comfortable with. A 15-minute free phone consultation may provide you with the information that you need to feel comfortable to start counselling with me.
During the initial session, I will get to know you by asking you questions regarding the main issue(s) you have come to therapy with. I will take notes so that I don’t forget anything. Sometimes there is family history I need to get or a history of events in your life.
By the end of the first session we will have identified your goals for counselling and the options of how we might work together.
During the next sessions, we will move in and out of the core issues, depending on what you bring to the sessions. My job will be to bring you back to the goals that you identified in the initial session.
We will figure out together what strategies or therapy approaches will work best for you. This is a collaborative relationship and my role is as a guide. I bring my knowledge and expertise to our work but you are directing the counselling process.
We may use different therapy approaches that I have certification in to help you move through the blocks that are keeping you stuck. Sometimes it will be important for you to talk about your experiences and I will help you make links from the present to the past.
The number of sessions that you will want to attend will depend on many factors. For example, the issue that you are struggling with, how long you have had the problem, or how stuck you feel.
Typically, I suggest coming in once per week for a few weeks so that we can build the trust that you will need to move forward.
You are done therapy … what now?
You need to celebrate yourself. You have had the courage to work on your issues at a deep level.
Your final session is important. It is an opportunity to look over the time that you have been in counselling. Where were you when you first called me? What hurdles have you overcome? Where are you now?
It will be important to talk about a plan going forward and remember, you can come back anytime. That is common. New issues arise or you just need a tune-up.
At this point you can feel the benefits of our work. You feel more joy. You have tools to manage your challenges. You have relationships in your life that are working.
I incorporate research proven therapy approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping).
These approaches are some of the most effective therapy approaches that can sometimes turn your life around in less time than you think.
Clients tell me that they have helped them tremendously and continue to use them to manage their anxieties long after leaving therapy.
I utilize a multidisciplinary approach in my work with clients and consult with other professionals, will encourage you to do the same and will provide referrals to other providers or community resources to gain optimal benefit from your counselling experience.
These decisions are very individual and made collaboratively between you and me.
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is recalled.
You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping)
According to the National Emotional Freedoms Training Institute, EFT Tapping techniques use the fingers to tap on acupuncture points, and when this is done in conjunction with tuning into the traumatic or difficult or painful experience that is laced with emotion, the tapping process detaches the emotional charge from that thought or memory.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is based on the premise that our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are all linked. When we feel anxiety, we are likely to have anxious thoughts, “They won’t like me” or “I’m a failure.” This will lead to anxious behavior such as isolating. In therapy you track your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and then challenge them to develop new and positive thoughts to change the patterns that don’t work for you.
Benefits of Therapy with Me
By working with me you will get to the root of your problem. We will find strategies that work best for you.
- You will break free from the obsessive thoughts and constant worry.
- You will sleep more peacefully knowing that your life is going well.
- You will overcome the blocks that are preventing you from having the life that you want to live.
- You will find healthy ways of coping without using food or harming your body.
- You will have HOPE.
Sessions Offered in Person or Online via Video Conference
You can book appointments in my Discovery Ridge office in Calgary, or you can book online video appointments.
Video sessions have many advantages. They save time and make it easy to attend from your home or office or while traveling.