I am a registered social worker with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Toronto. For the past ten years, I have worked in the areas of addiction, family services, community services, and mental health.
I value the agency of each individual person and have long been interested in promoting human welfare for both individuals and society. Being a social worker and therapist is more than just a job for me, it is integral to who I am as a person. From a young age, I had a deep curiosity and desire to understand individuals, society/culture, and the larger world that we all live in.
My approach with clients begins with an understanding that we, as individuals, each experience the world differently and each have our own unique stories to tell. In my early adulthood, I overcame several challenges, one of which included substance addiction. Engaging in therapy for myself and working through my own difficulties has improved my overall well-being.
I believe that a good therapist has a strong theoretical orientation and is able to communicate it openly and transparently to their clients. Theoretical frameworks help therapists understand their client’s needs and help guide interventions that are accountable, logical, and informed.
While I believe many theories and approaches can be effective in explaining our human experiences and in guiding interventions, I have never found just one to be adequate on its own. I, therefore, consider myself a “theoretical integrationist”. I draw upon humanistic, attachment, psychodynamic, existential, and neuroscientific theories.
A modality in which I am currently specializing is Mindfulness Integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MiCBT). I have chosen to complete advanced training in this therapeutic approach due to the evidence supporting it and the profound efficacy it has been found to have on alleviating psychological suffering for clients in therapy (and long after therapy).
Working within the field of mental health means working with subjective experiences that cannot be objectively confirmed. Unlike physical diseases, psychological problems are usually not defined by distinguishing physical causes or a universally accepted explanatory framework. Even the popular Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), for example, is still an atheoretical method of categorization. Its classification system does not claim to be supported by any particular theory of psychopathology, by scientific research, or by psychobiological evidence of any kind.
For these reasons, the work I do with clients is guided by a definition of mental health which is less concerned with pathology and more concerned with the ability to think, act, and feel in ways that are both open and flexible. I work towards helping clients become more adaptive, think more creatively, and feel with greater depth and intensity. I believe working towards these goals, through our sessions, will allow individuals to open up new possibilities for living.