Areas of practice
- Abuse - Emotional, Physical, Sexual
- Anxiety and/or Panic
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dissociative Disorders
- Grief and Loss - General
- Marriage and/or Relationship Issues
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Self-Esteem Issues
- Trauma Counselling
- Women's Issues
- Emotionally Focused Therapy - Individuals
- Feminist Psychotherapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Internal Family Systems
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Marriage & Couples Counselling
- Process Work
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Somatic Transformation
Counselling practice website:www.counselling-vancouver.com
To be understood, to be seen, and to feel the comfort of another’s presence is the heart of therapy.
My perspective on Therapy
A transformative experience results from the interaction between you and a therapist. Transformation doesn't happen by trying to be someone else, but by noticing changes as you accept yourself. The goal is not to ‘cure’, but rather, to integrate your experience in therapy that increases your capacity to encounter life on your terms, and become whole. Together we find what matters to you, to find your energy for life and connection to your true self.
We work together to increase your strength and resilience so that life’s uncertainty, frustrations, and disappointments don't cause you to crumple, but despite being painful, you know you can get through it and thrive.
My job is to be with you, attend to you, and create a safe space to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. As your therapist, I seek to involve, invite and follow your participation and experience. I work to support and cultivate your strengths and resources as we work to integrate new experiences. It seems that everywhere you look, there's a new technique or approach that promises fast, effective results. Experience has shown me that techniques are tools within an ongoing process where human connection and understanding are the conditions for change.
I am not someone who is going to give you a to do list. As much as you may wish for someone to come up with a solution to your difficulties, I'm here to empower you to live life on your terms and realize that you are the only one who knows what’s best for you. I will help you to slow down, sense into, and reflect on your experience. When you do this, you can create the space to let go of past and take in new experiences.
My Training and Experience
I have over 30 years experience in counselling and have been in private practice since the mid 90's. I have training including Gestalt, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic, and Somatic Transformation. I have been greatly influenced by neurobiology, trauma, and developmental research that informs a somatic based relational approach to therapy.
I have trained in the Developmental Approach to Couples By Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson. This approach emphasizes how couples go through stages that challenge relationships. In working with you, I seek to assist you in completing those challenges and learning the skills to develop a secure, joyful and loving relationship.
Many of my clients have struggled with trauma, family issues, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and loss.
I am registered to take on clients with Crime Victims Assistance and RHAP (Residential Historical Abuse Program).
At Turning Point Therapy we have Interns that are completing their training and as such, counselling fees are substantially reduced ($45 per session ).
You can book an appointment using our online booking system with me or one of my Interns, through my website.
What to expect from the counselling process
Embodied - working with the body and being centered in the body. Helping clients integrate experience through connecting with the wisdom of the body.
Holistic - includes all aspects of a person, mind, body, spirit. All approaches have something to offer. Intergration of experience involves thoughts, sensation, emotion, movement, and meaning in the here and now.
Experiential - facilitates awareness through the experience of the client. We can only truly know what is meaningful to us through experiencing rather than through someone else's beliefs and opinions.
Collaborative - seeks to involve, invite and follow the client’s participation.
Curious - see you as a unique indovidual with an open tmind to new and creative ways to facilitate healing.
Non-pathologizing - seeks to support and cultivate life-giving processes within the client. Focus on strengths, client's resources and building new skills.
Theories and approaches inform our practice as therapists. These days there are hundreds of approaches and methods that all have their own piece of wisdom and style. I continually train in methods and interventions that speak to me within my counselling approach and style that has developed over the past 30yrs.
This approach increasingly includes the following components of the therapeutic process; working within the present moment and experience, directing a clients focus of attention to notice sensation, emotion/energy, thoughts and desires as they arise in the moment, process experiences to strengthen positive and new experiences of the self and others, release emotions that are tolerable, develop self-regulation (ability to be calm and grounded), use of imagination/art/dreams/movement in processing experiences, use of brain-body research to inform interventions that create new neural pathways, use of therapeutic relationship to develop secure attachment experience and repair insecure attachment disruptions.
Additional thoughts about the Process
Typically, the first session addresses why you have come in for counselling, some of your background and what you hope to achieve. People often experience a sense of relief in talking to an empathic listener about their lives. It can be useful to think about what you want to learn/understand/change in order to live a more fulfilling life before you come in for the first session. Here are some important aspects of therapy:
Psychotherapy is about relationship
Attachment theory informs my practice. What this means is that many of us have had early and ongoing disruptions to the ability to form secure and safe connections. This results in developing insecure connections. For some they have learned to avoid and deny their need for connection and feel anxious when they experience closeness. For others they have learned that sometimes it can be loving and supportive but then it keeps getting taken away. Unpredictable. This results in wanting to hold on to any connection and feel insecure about loosing it.
The good news is that we all have the ability within us to move towards secure attachments. This is where we can feel at ease and trust people's goodwill towards us and when we are let down we can recover easily. We have a sense that we can come and go from the secure base of our close relationships. The relationship with a therapist provides you with a way of exploring and healing these attachment experiences to move towards developing experiences of secure attachments. The relationship with your therapist allows you to become conscious of your experience through the reflection and attention that is given to you. There is relief in feeling supported and safe in expressing oneself and often awareness of the discomfort and fears that arise as you work through this in the relationship.
Therapy is a process of inward focusing
Over time you will feel more comfortable with your feelings, thoughts and sensations. We become more self aware by focusing inward and sharing that with sensitive others. As therapy proceeds you will relax into your experience further. Emotional and mental health can be seen as the ability to integrate what we experience in the world around us with our internal reality.
Therapy increases self-awareness
Through therapy the illusions we may have constructed to deal with pain and disappointment begin to fall away. This happens slowly so that we can absorb new information about ourselves. Therapy is full of these transformative moments. Integral to this is what happens between you and your therapist. How we experience each other is important therapeutic material: it is used to bring your defenses and experience into awareness. A skilled therapist will be able to gauge the rhythm and pace of the client’s needs.
Therapy is self-examination of internal processes that prevent you from living the way you wish.
We naturally want to avoid painful feelings, but the avoidance often creates more suffering. An important task of therapy is to tolerate all of our feelings, positive and negative.
So, as you connect more fully with who you are, you can begin to have a different relationship with yourself.
Therapy is also about encouragement
Only you can change things in your life. Therapy provides a place to rehearse and prepare for the changes you want to make. As you practice relating differently in the safety of the counselling relationship you will gain confidence in translating that practice to your communications with other people in your life.
How long should counselling take?
In this society taking time goes against the general ethos. We want things fixed easily and at 'high speed'. This puts pressure on all of us to come up with a quick fix for the difficulty at hand. There is nothing wrong with solutions but becoming more deeply conscious may not seem like a solution in a quick fix world.
Client fee individuals:$130 + GST
Client fee couples/families:$145 + GST