These brains of ours don't come with instruction manuals - figuring out how to navigate life is tough enough, but can sometimes seem impossible when we experience mental health difficulties. That's where therapy comes in.
Therapy can look like a lot of different things. My approach involves a blend of teaching and understanding how our minds and emotions work, specific interventions to help us cope and learn to respond instead of react, practical techniques to calm our nervous systems down, a focus on making changes in our lives that are in line with what we really want, and, if clients want, an opportunity to dive deeply into our consciousness to explore, with curiosity and compassion, what’s really going on with all these feelings and thoughts that keep swirling about in these strange brains that didn’t come with an instruction manual. I’ve been in the mental health field for 10 years - I’ve worked in mental health counselling, learning disabilities and autism, crisis intervention, addictions, and wilderness therapy, with kids, youth, and adults. I’ve worked with people with major depression, severe anxiety, OCD, personality disorders, and suicidal thoughts. I combine a variety of techniques, but I focus on cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, and strength-based approaches.
Experiences in therapy can be transformative – insights can arise, perception can shift, we can encounter new parts of our being – but therapy is usually an hour a week. For deep patterns to change, time must be spent during the days between therapy as well. This can look like daily breathing practices, cognitive and emotional work sheets, reading an article or two, specific goals for new things to do or ways to act, or simply the intention to bring attention to certain aspects of our day to day experiences. It takes some work, but it’s worth it!
We work together to figure out what it is you want to work on, what your strengths are, what your goals are, and then see how we can get you there in a reasonable period length of time. We identify the core issues, build insight and understanding, and then learn new ways to interact with these strange brains we have. Therapy is expensive, and there’s lots of living to do! This means regular check-in’s on how we are doing to make sure we’re on track, and if we aren’t, figuring out together how we can get back on. In the process of creating new stories and ways to live, there tends to be a lot of falling down, getting back up, and trying again. Its a therapist’s job to be there along side you, help you reduce symptoms, understand yourself, and start feeling better. If this sounds in line with what you’re looking for, I look forward to getting to hearing from you.
A sliding scale for those unemployed/underwaged is available.
Ryan Salter ReachesCourtenay BC