For a large part of my life, I struggled with undiagnosed ADHD and depression, which wreaked havoc on my school performance. There were some very dark years in my adolescence and although I didn't know it at the time, my experience (both personally and otherwise) was preparing me for a career in the helping profession. Many times I have drawn on my own experiences in attempting to relate to my clients and to communicate a sense of compassion and even companionship in suffering as well as the hope of healing.
During my time in the field, I have worked with a wide variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds, diverse ethnic identities, diverse socioeconomic situations, diverse mental health struggles, diverse spiritual leanings, and diverse sexual orientations. My wide variety of experiences has allowed me to have an individualist perspective, underscored by the importance of feeling loved and cared for, despite any differences in background or experiences.
My Master of Science degree in psychology focused on the neurophysiology of anger and anxiety and this has become my main focus on treatment, although using attachment theory as a foundation leads to visiting virtually every corner of the mental health spectrum.
Away from my field, I am also an avid songwriter, struggling artist, and have a diverse athletic background (although this is becoming more historic as time goes on).
So, that's a little bit about me. I hope you experience me as a fairly open book and if you can relate to any of the information that you have read, please give me a call or send an email and we can begin the journey of self-understanding together.
I knew early on in life that I wanted to help people as I was often moved by other people’s stories of hardship and suffering. By the end of high school it became clear that this would be as a counsellor. It would be several more years before this dream came true as I met and married my husband and we had three children with whom I had the privilege of staying at home with until our youngest started kindergarten. At that point it seemed like an opportune time to pursue my MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trinity Western University.
It is my belief that the process of change and transformation happens in the context of relationships. We are shaped by relationships from our earliest days just as we shape others when in relationship with them. Humans are hardwired for relationship and thrive in the context of relationships that are characterized by love, trust, caring, and acceptance. I believe this is true in counselling as well. I remember my own experience in counselling of being deeply understood and heard and how powerful that moment was in stepping toward hope and healing. It is my hope that you will also feel valued, accepted, heard, and understood. For it is in this context that we may find the courage to look at the parts of our lives and ourselves that are often ignored or cut off; the darker places that we distract from or would rather not look at and sometimes are not aware are even there. It is often these places that get in the way of healing and wholeness. For this reason, counselling can be a vulnerable experience as we explore together the stuck places in one’s life and I want to honor the courage it takes to just walk through the door and show up. I count it a privilege and honor to journey alongside my clients who so courageously commit to living more authentic lives in relationship with others and themselves.
My approach to counselling is informed by the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s relational developmental theory, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Satir Systemic Transformational Therapy, and Internal Family Systems. I also work from a systemic and attachment framework which is foundational to my understanding of people, relationships, and the counselling process itself. I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families facing a variety of issues including but not limited to depression, anxiety, aggression, parenting, and relational conflict. As much as possible I try to make counselling an experiential process not just a talking process. When not counselling I enjoy reading, writing and being in nature.