I am a Registered Clinical Social Worker having completed my Masters of Social Work degree at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 1994. I worked in community mental health for 25 years providing individual therapy and counselling, while serving as supervisor and manager of various clinical teams and programs. Over the years I’ve worked with various populations including those with special needs, the mentally ill, the elderly, and the dying. Throughout this time, I maintained a private practice providing individual, couple and family therapy, more recently on a full-time basis. I have taught at the School of Social Work at the University of the Fraser Valley.
I am a member in good standing of the BC College of Social Workers (BCCSW - #09395) and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA - #4972).
About My Approach
I believe, as research supports, that the most important factor in a successful therapeutic experience is the relationship between therapist and client. Recognizing each client is unique, I tailor my approach in order to provide the most effective method that allows the client to feel heard, understood and safe in order to begin the process of personal transformation, wisdom and well being.
After studying various treatment approaches, I have adopted a theoretical framework which is relational, experiential, and emotionally focused. As a Certified AEDP therapist, my practice draws largely from Accelerative Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). As well, I apply Integrative Psychotherapy, EMDR, and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT). I strive to keep abreast of current, evidence based approaches in order to provide effective, up-to-date counselling and psychotherapy to my clients.
WHAT IS AEDP?
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy focuses on bringing about healing by exploring difficult experiences that have had a profound relational or emotional effect on a client’s life experience. It incorporates experiential interventions and psychodynamic theory, while also integrating theory, models and research on human development and attachment theory, advances in emotion and interpersonal neuroscience, body-focused approaches, and transformational studies. The goal of AEDP is to help individuals tap into inner resources for healing and confront and deal with emotional traumas, instead of resorting to defensive tactics. It allows individuals to see their own internal coping skills that were previously hidden, and to awaken those inner strengths as a natural response to life's circumstances. By processing emotions, healing and transformation begins, leading to better coping mechanisms and feelings of relief, hope and empowerment. As an AEDP therapist, I seek to develop a genuine, affirmative, supportive relationship while accompanying you to freely experience your emotions and regain your sense of true self. You can learn more about AEDP by clicking here: www.aedpinstitute.org
What is EFT?
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy has been shown to be highly successful, as backed by empirical studies. It provides a clear framework and map for repairing relationships. It is based on the understanding that we are not meant to be solitary beings, that we thrive through attachment and connection. When we can no longer turn to our partner for nurturing, soothing, and support, we often experience high levels of distress leading us to either escalate, demand, become anxious, act out, or, alternatively, withdraw and shut down from our partner. These behaviours lead couples into further distress and potential relationship breakdown. Through EFT, the couple learns to resolve hurt and pain, develop deeper mutual understanding, have emotional interactions that serve to correct the bonding experience, and break the repetitive patterns blocking intimacy and a safe, secure connection.
What is INTEGRATIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Integrative Psychotherapy focuses on the inherent value of each individual. It takes into consideration the interdependence between the person’s physical, psychological, emotional, behavioural, social and spiritual aspects that shape the person. The therapist attunes to the person’s developmental and relationship needs and develops an understanding of the defences that were formed in childhood and through one's development in an attempt to cope with unmet needs. Integrative Psychotherapy also refers to the process of integrating the personality, bringing together those parts of ourselves that we may be unaware of, ashamed of, or we have pushed away, and brings them together to make us whole again. Through integration, it becomes possible for us to remove these defences, become spontaneous, flexible, engaging and reconnect with the world and to those important to us. In the process, we become free to face each moment openly, without fear of self-judgment or criticism. Integrative Psychotherapy also means the bringing together of different therapeutic approaches so that the therapist has a variety of resources to develop a deeper understanding of one's thinking, feeling and behaviour. Some of these include other therapy approaches (link to psychcentral.com) include psychodynamic, client-centered, cognitive, and systemic therapies. I also include mindfulness and acceptance techniques and guided relaxation. To learn more about Integrative Psychotherapy, click here: www.integrativetherapy.com