When I first saw the quote “Life is a mountain, not a beach”, I was exhilarated that someone finally understood the complexities of the healing journey that many, including myself, have undertaken. On the other hand I was a bit saddened as I mused on how healing it can be to sit at a beach, feeling the warmth of the sun beating down and relaxing to the rhythmic sound of waves lapping on the shore. As I continued to ponder these two analogies, I came to see that the restfulness of the beach can and must be found even during a steep climb. One only need know where to look.
I have had the privilege of accompanying many courageous women and men on their ‘pilgrimage of hope’. Through these experiences, I clearly understand that there are many different kinds of resting places and that each traveler benefits from finding rest areas that are suited to their personal needs. Part of the joy of healing is the discovery of what brings comfort and soothing for one’s soul. For some, comfort is denoted by a grassy plateau with a still lake; while for another, it is a waterfall crashing from a ragged cliff. Wherever your journey takes you and whatever resting places you find, I would be honoured to accompany you on your pilgrimage. I often tell my clients at the beginning of our journey together that even though I may not have passed through the exact territory that we will cover, over the years I have learned a little about maps and a lot about perseverance.
If you invite me, I would be honoured to become your trusted companion. This ‘pilgrimage’ will always belong to you, the client. I will never usurp your authority, for truly you are the expert on your own life. I will challenge you, but I will never force you. This is your journey and you will be allowed to set your own pace. I will not lag behind, but neither will I run ahead of you. I have faith in your intuitive ability to know where you need to go and when you need to rest. Together we will search for safe places to rest as well as safe ways to continue the climb.
There will be times that you need specific direction and expertise and I will offer you all that I have learned and work to learn that which I do not yet know. In our work together, we are both teacher and student simultaneously. As a therapist, I have studied the signs of both safety and danger and I will help you understand how to read these signs for your self.
As you grow in confidence, I will step back to allow you to move freely on your own. I will not abandon you but I neither will I crowd you. There will be times that you want to experience the freedom of choosing a completely different direction than the one you had originally decided on. This is a wonderful part of becoming. Your future is not yet fully understood but I am confident that as you re-view life from the mountain top, you will be exhilarated and free.
I can’t wait to begin our journey. Please call.
PERSONAL and PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
I have worked in the “helping professions” all of my life. I became a Registered Nurse and immediately following school I opened my 1st Group Home. After I was married my husband and I ran many different kinds of Group Homes and fostered over 40 children and teens. I counseled as a lay counsellor in my church for years but it was not until my youngest child attended school full time that I had the opportunity to pursue professional counselling.
I have worked as a therapist in private practice for over 20 years and my focus has been mainly on healing from trauma. I specialize in working with clients diagnosed with PTSD and Complex PTSD. I counsel individuals, couples and families who wish to move forward in their lives.
I work with families impacted by domestic violence. I assist women who are fleeing their homes due to violence and help them to rebuild their lives for themselves and their children. Part of my work with women involves advocating for them with the Ministry of Housing and Social Development, the Ministry of Child and Family Development, the RCMP and the legal/court system when custody/access issues arise. In addition to working with women both in groups & individually, I co-facilitate a group for men who ‘misuse power’. This voluntary group HOME IMPROVEMENT:men in Relationship runs twice a year (September & February). Each course runs for 15 weeks and is facilitated by myself ( a therapist) and James Loewen ( a negotiation specialist and mediator).
I have worked extensively within the Urban First Nation community (specifically related to Residential School Abuse and its impact on families). I support and advocate for victims of crime – help prepare Victim Impact Statements, attend court as a support person and assist these warriors through the legal red tape, etc.
I advocate for persons with disabilities and their families by assisting them to access necessary funding. I encourage all of my clients to utilize local community resources and refer them to the resources that will assist them in gaining the long term support that will be most helpful for their needs.
I am also one of the counsellors at Polo Health + Longevity Centre in New Westminster. In this clinic, there are 4 naturopaths, 4 counsellors as well as other health care professionals. Being part of a holistic team is amazing as we can collaborate for the overall health of our patients/clients.
I love to teach and this demonstrates itself in my overall approach to counselling as well my advocacy work. I began teaching when I homeschooled 5 children over a period of 5 years. I moved on to teaching at Career Gate Community College in both Surrey & Abbotsford. I was the primary instructor for a 1 year Counselling Course. I also filled in as an instructor for several other programs that were offered at the college – Community Service Worker, Resident Care Aide, and Teachers Assistant.
Currently I supervise for the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association, which allows me to become part of the interns’ personal transformation from a student to a therapist. I also meet on a regualr basis with other counsellors to provide peer supervision, accountability AND a safe place to process.
As you can see, I have a wide range of interests and experiences. The common thread that joins all the things I do is a passion for helping people become the person they want to be.