Areas of practice
- Abuse - Emotional, Physical, Sexual
- Adolescent Issues
- Bullying - School
- Child Stress and Trauma
- Marriage and/or Relationship Issues
- Parent/Teen Conflict
- Self-Esteem Issues
- Adolescent Therapy
- Body Centred Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Communication Skills Training
- Cross Cultural Therapy
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy
- Marriage & Couples Counselling
- Mindfulness approaches
Counselling practice website:www.anelegantmind.com
Are you an emerging adult that's looking to be more grounded in him or herself? Perhaps a recent relationship breakdown has caused you to feel very dysregulated and alone in the world. Working with me can help you achieve a sense of relief as you let go of bottled up, and stuffed down emotions.
I have a special interest in working in with cultural minorities gain clarity in the generational trauma that they have acquired through their family of origin. The majority of my clients are of Asian heritage. Generational trauma can present as symptoms as anxiety, obsessions/compulsions, depression, career difficulties and issues with intimate relationships.
I am also sought after to provide teen and pre-teen counselling for issues around school, bullying, depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD and abuse.
If you are a couple that's in relationship distress, I also help couples walk through difficulties in their relationship. Sometimes you need a third person to help you look outside of yourselves and see the changes that each of you need to make in order to achieve greater relationship satisfaction.
My work is grounded in neuroscience and psychological research, and uses the person of the therapist to create a safe container to tap into and process dormant thoughts and feelings. I work from an attachment-based perspective to help individuals and couples understand their basic human needs, encounter a corrective attachment experience, understand the origins of anxiety, shame, relationship conflict and other life difficulties.
My primary modality for individual counselling is Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), a proven method of addressing complex traumas, dissociation, and childhood neglect and abuse. For couples work, I primarily use Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Gottman Method to help couples meet each other at their core selves.
I work with adolescents (14+), adults and couples in the following areas:
- Childhood trauma
- Intergenerational trauma
- Complex trauma
- Adjustment issues/life transitions
- Parent-child conflicts
- Relationship distress
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills/boundaries
- Psychedelic integration
Through our relationship, I empower my clients to find the answers from their highest selves. I am not here to advise, fix or preach — although I can offer strategies to manage feelings and education to empower.
I'm here to be human with you. I'm here to look at all the thoughts and feelings you aren't proud of and the ones that you are. The more of yourself that you bring into the counselling room, the more you get out. It might take you months to decide that you're ready for counselling, perhaps even years. But when your intuition tells you it's time, make sure you listen.
Book a free 25-minute consultation and start the journey of reconnecting with your creativity, alignment and freedom.
Email email@example.com or call 604-800-9285 to speak to reception.
Visit my website at www.anelegantmind.com for more information about me and my practice.
What I Work With
A trauma is an incident in one’s life (such as participating in combat, witnessing or being in an accident that caused death or injury, emotional, sexual, physical or financial abuse) that causes the body and brain to live in fight/flight mode. ‘Fight or fight‘ is an evolutionary defense mechanism, it protected us when there were real dangers, such as a hungry tiger. The fight/flight mode is the opposite of the ‘rest and digest’ mode, where we are feeling calm, safe and regulated. When we experience trauma and fail to acknowledge and address the impact it had on us, our bodies can perpetually be ramped up in fight or flight mode, leaving us dysfunctional and panicky in our day to day lives. When there have been repeated traumas throughout our lives, it manifests in personality changes and unconscious, self-sabotaging habits.
There are many terms out there to describe the various presentations of trauma, some of which are diagnoses, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD. Other terms are used to describe the origins of Complex PTSD, such as intergenerational trauma, childhood trauma, developmental Trauma and relational trauma.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
PTSD is a diagnosis that was developed for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM-V). The definition of PTSD in the DSM requires that one had direct exposure or was a witness to a traumatic event (including natural disasters) which involved the death, threatened death, actual or threatened injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence. The incident can be something that was observed in a friend, colleague, comrade or relative or even someone who you were in the care of or had a professional obligation towards (e.g.: nurses, physicians, police, fire, ambulance)
The result of observing or witnessing such as event may cause intrusive and unwanted re-experiencing of the trauma via memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and emotional or physical reactions (e.g.: panic attacks).
It may also cause avoidance of places, things and people that remind one of the incident or an avoidance of addressing the thoughts and feelings associated with the event.
There may be an inability to recall key features of the event, a strong blaming of self or others for the incident, isolation, loss of interest in favourite activities, low mood and difficulty with experiencing joy and happiness.
All of this may have led you to become irritable, aggressive, self-destructive (drug and alcohol use and other risky behaviours), hypervigilant, a sensitive startle reaction, difficulty concentrating and difficulty sleeping.
Nearly everyone will experience symptoms immediately following a difficult event for some period of time. It’s what makes us human. But if you have been suffering from these issues for a month or longer, it’s time to seek help regarding a possible PTSD issue.
The International Classification of Disease (ICD) is written by the World Health Organization and is recognized as an international standard for all medical diagnoses, including mental health. The 11th and latest version of the ICD had proposed that complex PTSD receive its own diagnostic category from its sister disorder PTSD.
Complex PTSD is also called ‘Developmental PTSD‘. It was first conceptaulized in the 1990’s, around the time of the third edition of the DSM.
Complex PTSD occurs when repeated and prolonged exposure to traumatic events of an interpersonal nature, happened to an individual, often from an early developmental age (including adolescence) from which it was difficult or impossible to escape. (e.g.: torture, rape, sexual abuse, captivity).
With this newly proposed category, for prolonged interpersonal traumas PTSD is now commonly regarded to describe a more discrete, isolated set of events or singular event causing distress and dysfunction, such as an accident or a natural disaster.
Complex PTSD contains all the core symptoms of PTSD (reexperiencing, avoidance, and hypervigilance), plus another cluster of symptoms around issues with self-concept, difficulties with relationships and emotional dysregulation.
- Negative beliefs about one’s overall worthlessness
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Persistent difficulties in sustaining relationships
- Difficulty feeling close to others and may avoid or have little interest in relationships and social connection, or
- Experience close or intense relationships but tend to have difficulty maintaining emotional engagement
- Heightened emotional reactivity,
- Violent outbursts,
- Reckless or self-destructive behavior,
- Tendency toward dissociative states,
- Emotional numbing,
- Limited pleasure or positive emotions
Intergenerational trauma is a term that is used to describe the transmission of shame, guilt, and anxiety from generation to generation. These feelings are transmitted through actions or lack of action the previous generation endows onto the offspring. Often, these actions are unconscious and are done with the best intentions. Sometimes, it is war, genocide or natural disaster which impeded optimal child-rearing circumstances or parenting behaviour.
Trauma that is transmitted can be as seemingly trivial as the unspoken cues or micro facial expressions. Sometimes, anxiety or trauma is transmitted through story-telling. There is often one child in the family is chosen to carry the majority of the grief of the predecessors.
Unraveling oneself from what has been transmitted onto us is a precarious process. It feels unbearable at times but when properly addressed, becomes a gift to the future generation.
This treatment approach is for those who have undergone or is planning to undergo psychedelic journeying and is seeking a professional to help them integrate the insights that will or have emerged.
Recent research has suggested that some psychoactive substances such as ayahuasca, 5meo-DMT, ibogaine, psilocybin, LSD, and peyote have the ability to induce profound psychological healing and spiritual growth. Some people choose to ingest these substances recreationally and some choose to ingest these substances in a controlled group healing environment (a ceremony).
For those who choose to ingest these substances, in whatever setting they opt for, may elect to speak to a counselling professional to become clear on their intentions with the medicine, what they hope to achieve with the experience, and what they hope to get from the experience. This is called “pre-ceremony work”
“Post ceremony work” involves the discussion of the thoughts and feelings which emerged during the experience or journey, the processing of any traumatic experiences that arose from such journeying, including any emotions or somatic sensations. We might also discuss any dreams that were had before and after ingestion. And finally, we will attempt to assimilate any insights gained into any applicable real world situations.
A psychedelic journey can be experienced with or without substances. Sound meditations, breathwork, shamanic healing ceremonies, lucid dreaming, ajna light therapy, energy healing and reiki can all induce profound emotional reactions, visions and experiences that can be challenging to navigate alone.
*** I do no provide psychedelic substances in therapy and I do not offer information on where to access, buy or sell controlled substances. ***
Does it feel like your relationship is not what it used to be? Maybe it feels like there’s a break down in communication. Sometimes it feels like you’re operating at different frequencies. Or perhaps you have deeper feelings inside and you don’t know how to begin telling your partner. Maybe you and your other half are having the same fights over and over. Worst of all, you’re feeling alone in the dyad, with no felt sense of “someone there”.
Before you give up on the relationship, I earnestly suggest you give couples counselling a try. You might be able to experience your partner and/or yourself in a new way.
Couples counselling is intended to be brief and solution-focused. Most couples have sustainable results after 10 to 20 sessions.
I use two research-validated approaches to couples work, Emotionally Focused Therapy, developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and the Gottman Method, developed by John and Julie Gottman.
What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?
Quoted from the International Centre for Excellent in Emotionally Focused Therapy:
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples therapy formulated in the 1980’s and has developed alongside the science on adult attachment and bonding to expand our understanding about what is happening in couple relationships and to guide therapists. In the last fifteen years, Dr. Johnson and her colleagues have further developed and refined the model and completed numerous studies. EFT is also used with families and individuals. A substantial body of research outlining the effectiveness of EFT now exists. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements. The major contraindication for EFT is on-going abuse in the relationship. EFT is being used with many different kinds of couples [... ] [from] many different cultural groups throughout the world. These distressed couples include partners suffering from disorders such as depression, post traumatic stress disorders and chronic illness.
What is the Gottman Method?
The Gottmans have conducted experiments, clinically observed and systematically assimilated research studies describing factors which predict relationship success. They boast a 94% accuracy in being able to predict divorce in couples from the factors they have isolated through quantitative analyses. As a result, they have developed a robust guide for behavioural changes needed for relationship success. A large proponent of the Gottman Method is the comprehensive assessment which details the strengths and areas of improvement in each couple. Equipped with such information, a clinician can make sound suggestions for aspects of The Sound Relationship House theory which require attention.
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1 (October 2018)
- I have extended supervision and training in Accelerated Experiential Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), a body-based, emotion-focused and process-oriented approach to counselling.
- Psychedelics for Clinicians 101/102 by Dr. Ingmar Gorman and Dr. Elizabeth Neilson (November 2019 – McGill University)
- Intensive Sex Therapy Training Program with Dr. Markie Twist (November 2019 – University of Guelph)
- Hello Again: A Fresh Start for Parents and Their Adult-Children by Dr. Gabor Mate and Daniel Mate (November 2018)
Client fee individuals:150+tax
Client fee couples/families:150+tax