Areas of practice
- Abuse - Emotional, Physical, Sexual
- Cross Cultural Issues
- Divorce and/or Separation
- Family Issues
- Gender Identity Issues
- LGBTQ Issues
- Marriage and/or Relationship Issues
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Professional Burnout
- Sexual Assault
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Cross Cultural Therapy
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
- Expressive Arts Therapies
- Feminist Psychotherapy
- Sex Therapy
Counselling practice website:www.amberlouie.com
To assist you in reaching your goals, I support you to focus on developing your strengths. As an anti-oppression psychotherapist, I value your experiences based on culture, race, indigeneity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexuality, age, (dis)ability, and spirituality. I often work with people who are of mixed ancestry, racialized, people of colour, migrant, queer, trans, Two-Spirit, non-binary, and intersex. With over two decades of experience in group facilitation, peer support, and community organizing, I am passionate about creating safer spaces for people of all communities, bodies, and backgrounds.
I work primarily with people who seek empowering ways to find relief from relationship issues, depression, anxiety, stress, and grief/loss. I bring special expertise in recognizing intersecting client issues in areas such as intergenerational trauma, resisting burnout, interracial relationships, racialized intimacy, reclaiming desire, and identity development. Many individuals and couples have come to see me for support around navigating power dynamics, work, family, sex, and creativity.
I work from an integrated anti-oppression approach, drawing from my training in techniques such as trauma-focused CBT, DBT, EMDR, somatics, and emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples.
Life struggles can take our relationships off track, sometimes to the point of feeling stuck or fearful of conflict. Ruptures will happen in all relationships. Conflict is necessary to have real intimacy. But most of us were not shown by our parents how to do the repair and resolution needed for a relationship to grow and thrive. For people who have inherited intergenerational trauma, intimacy can be like extreme sports — requiring new skills, emotional first aid, and a solid support team. To feel more alive and connected in your relationship, no matter how long it has been, there are ways to reunite as a team and to experience more love, intimacy, and pleasure. There are ways to restore the chemistry that attracted you in the beginning. It is possible to reconcile the tension between domesticity and passion.
I collaborate with couples to rebuild trust, limit negative patterns, understand relationship desires, and explore new ways of interacting, verbally and non-verbally. In my work with couples and relationships, I combine my intersectional understanding of intergenerational trauma with Emotionally Focused Therapy, which has shown high rates of recovery from relationship distress. I also draw from the Gottmans’ research on the antidotes to common patterns (e.g., defensiveness, withdrawal, criticism, and disrespect), and on what sustains connectedness in the long term.
How I Work
To get us started, I begin with separate individual sessions to get to know each person before meeting with a couple or family. I find it crucial to first establish trust and understanding with each person to get to the roots of what is happening. We can discuss issues that feel the most urgent as we do the individual sessions and get started. I find that with this initial preparation, our joint sessions gain traction more rapidly and make more lasting improvement.
- Moving from blame to understanding, and from defensiveness to responsibility
- Reconnecting through emotional withdrawal and conflict avoidance
- Rekindling, exploring and expressing desires
- Creating shared dreams, traditions and goals
- Honoring family, community, cultural values and practices
- Negotiating support needs, boundaries, and power dynamics
- Interracial, intercultural, migrant and racialized relationships
- Traditional and non-traditional families and relationships
- Navigating parenthood, infertility, adoption, and fostering
- Understanding intergenerational trauma and oppression
- Clarifying commitments and agreements
What if my partner is not interested in couples counseling?
You are welcome to work with me individually to discuss how to develop a more secure and loving relationship. I have been able to improve relationships by working with one partner to understand their situation and communicate more effectively.
Client fee individuals:$175
Client fee couples/families:$195