The approach I use to therapy is collaborative and person centered. This means that we will work together to gain an understanding of your current challenges and that your viewpoint will be valued and respected.
I draw from feminist, narrative and humanistic traditions. This means that:
- I seek to understand your situation from your perspective
- I listen well and with genuine interest
- I am aware of my own biases and strive to be non-judgmental
- I offer reflections to help you see things differently
- I use symbol, metaphor, humor and practical life examples to help you explore your experience more deeply
- I welcome questions about the spiritual or transcendent aspects of your life
- I encourage feedback and make adjustments as needed to help realize your therapeutic goals.
I am trained in and use a variety of therapeutic modalities including:
As a seasoned psychologist, I have developed expertise in providing psychotherapy to adults with a variety of concerns including:
- Stress management
- Developmental trauma
- Complex trauma
- Grief and Loss
- Workplace bullying
- Relationship concerns
- Challenges related to communication
- Emotion regulation
- Conflict resolution
- Disability related concerns
- Adjustment to illness or a diagnosis
- Understanding stigma
- Alternative communication methods
- Adjustment to acquired hearing loss
- Awareness of Deaf Culture
- Ability to communicate using ASL
- Use of interpreters when needed
EMDR Therapy is an approach to therapy developed by Francine Shapiro. It is used to help a person process and resolve the effects of trauma and psychological stress. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing because these are the elements involved in its application.
Through use of a therapeutic protocol that includes identification of a target memory and its associated thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, a person is helped to process information that surfaces while receiving the application of bilateral eye movements or tapping. Gradual desensitization to previously disturbing content occurs and the reprocessing of information is promoted through creation of new neural pathways. The traumatic experience can then be understood and integrated into the individual’s life story and sense of self in healthy way.
When a person has experienced multiple traumas or emotional injuries in early childhood, the approach to EMDR therapy includes an initial period of stabilization and skill building.
EMDR Therapy has been utilized to successfully resolve the effects of adverse childhood experiences, life threatening events, military combat, motor vehicle accidents and interpersonal violence.
I am trained in Levels 1 and 2 of EMDR Therapy and have received advanced training in the use of EMDR Therapy for the treatment of dissociative symptoms. Additional information about EMDR Therapy can be found on the following websites:
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a holistic mind-body approach to therapy developed by Pat Ogden.
SP is founded on the practice of mindfulness within the context of the therapeutic relationship.
SP encompasses elements of body work, sensory processing, attachment and neuroscience. It promotes psychological health through engagement of the body and senses in balancing the nervous system. It allows clients to resolve the deeper aspects of their experiences that are not accessible through words, cognition or emotion.
In session, the therapist guides the client through experiential exercises to help process previously unconscious bodily sensations and movements associated with memory content. Actions are identified and facilitated to build resilience and to release stored tension or blockages in the body. SP invites the client to engage in therapy as a learning opportunity where experiments with action and movement that are fun and safe can lead to new insights and shift previously stuck memories, perceptions or behaviours. SP helps integrate both verbal and non-verbal contents of past trauma into a healthy and embodied sense of self in the present.
Additional information about Sensorimotor Psychotherapy can be found at: https://sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org
Mindfulness and Yoga
Mindfulness is an ancient practice that has been incorporated into modern psychotherapy as a method for managing and reducing stress.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment differently and with intention. It involves approaching day to day life with more awareness, acceptance, compassion and gratitude.
Mindfulness can help a person gain psychological distance from distraction and distress. This in turn creates a sense of stability and clarity in the here and now.
Mindfulness is integral to my daily life and to my practice in psychology. I incorporate simple exercises into my sessions with clients and I encourage practice between sessions.
More information about mindfulness can be found at: https://www.ementalhealth.ca/Canada/Mindfulness-101-The-Basics/index.php?m=article&ID=55385
Yoga is an ancient philosophy and practice that includes physical poses, breath work, and meditation aimed at honing a person’s awareness of the body and mind in the present, and deepening their experience of living over time.
Yoga can be described as “mindfulness in action”.
Gentle yoga can easily be incorporated into therapy through use of simple seated or standing poses. Postural adjustments can help release emotions and produce new insights.
This guided practice within a safe, supportive environment can promote self-acceptance, concentration, confidence, stability and balance.
I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years and am certified as a yoga teacher at the Introductory II Level with the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada (IYAC). I also have training on how to integrate yoga into teaching and clinical practice from a trauma-sensitive perspective.
For more information on the approach and benefits of Iyengar yoga specifically, please visit: https://iyengaryogacanada.com/benefits-of-iyengar-yoga