Why did I Choose to be a Counsellor?
I believe we all have a story; no one is exempt from feeling pain in this life. I struggled most of my life being defined by that story, and it is the story that eventually empowered me and filled me with a deep passion to make a difference in this world; to help others struggling in their story. As a teen and young adult I longed for acceptance, for help, for someone to truly listen for once, to be free of judgment from others, to be treated fairly, to be validated, affirmed, to feel safe and protected from harm, to not be afraid, to be treated with compassion and experience unconditional care and concern. I longed to feel worth and purpose in my life. It is this experience and these longings that developed a passion greater than I have ever experienced in my life to help others. I want to be a seed on the journey of your story, to be somebody who truly listens, does not judge you, and wants to help make that difference in your life. I want to help others embrace and make meaning of their story, and to move forward with greater purpose and freedom. We are all WORTH it!
What can you Expect Coming to my Office?
The first thing you will notice is that I have a dog named Maggie who is small in size and 7 years old. She has been a great therapeutic addition to my work with clients. She is so excited when a client arrives, barking sniffing and prancing around, but once the hello is finished she is quiet as a mouse and will stay with us throughout the therapy session either at your feet or mine. She loves to be pampered with rubs and this has been a soothing tool for some of my clients. For anyone who has a fear of or allergy to dogs, I am able to crate her or put her outside so that she does not interfere in our work. Just inform me before you come.
My office is in Elora, in my home, on a quiet street. I have created a cozy space that will leave you feeling very different than other therapeutic settings. I have taken great care in designing a space that will feel safe, warm through the choice of colours, soft and inviting through the ambiance of lighting and through textures of material. I want you to feel as comfortable as possible, because I know it can take a great deal of courage to walk through the door. I have a sign I place on my front door that says appointment in progress, to hold the confidentiality of what you are actually here for because I want you to feel as safe and protected as possible.
What do Sessions Look Like?
I offer a FREE 30 Minute consultation allowing you an opportunity to gain a perspective as to how our working relationship might look moving forward.
Typically our first session involves intake of information. This is also the time to share your goals for therapy and we work together to formulate a plan for reaching your goals. Depending on the complexity of your goal, I have been able to assist clients in reaching their goal through 1 session; this scenario can be rare, but not impossible.
It is difficult to give any client a cookie cutter example of what therapy will look like as it is a field I believe built through science and intuition. Often I am required to get creative with the theory that informs my work. One thing I can tell you about myself that may be very different to other therapists out there, is that I am very hands on through your therapy. I do care how my clients are doing between sessions and from time to time I will reach out so that you know I am thinking about you. I have also scheduled outings with my clients for the purpose of their treatment, doing things such as driving 2 hours north to visit the gravestone of my clients loved one, walking on hiking trails because a client has expressed the spiritual significance of nature, and so on. I will try to do things differently than you expect in order to see you have the greatest success possible from our time together. I will never ask you to do something without your permission, but I encourage my clients to step out of their comfort zones. I have been known to play catch in my office with teenage boys, to spontaneously read through a meditation script that applies to something my client has risen, to colour, draw, and play anything creative that applies to the age of my client and the goals they have set in therapy.
My theoretical style is very eclectic because there are so many excellent tools and techniques out there; I am not closed in theory and always wanting to grow and learn in that regard. Here is a list of some of the styles I have used over the years, but not limited to:
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
Compassion Focused Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy
Family of Origin & Family Systems Therapy
Mindfulness & Guided Imagery
Art & Play Therapy
Encouragement for You
I want my clients to know, I want YOU to know, and believe that, without question, that there is someone who genuinely cares about you, your struggles, your successes, who says, “I got you, I’m here, and WE can do this together!”…… I want to be that person for you. You are WORTH it to me!