Description of Services
I offer to form a partnership with you. Together we can work toward new solutions to get you where you want to go. I have been trained in and use a variety of approaches to look at your concerns. I may invite you to try a fresh perspective on an old issue.
Generally, I try to look underneath the issue and explore some of the factors that originally created the difficulties. Is it time to become more of who you really are?
Trauma & Abuse
I have used the symbol of the Evening Primrose flower to represent trauma work. This beautiful wildflower blooms in the dark, just as you too can bloom — even though right now, this night may seem to be the darkest.
I use the traditional three-stage standard protocol. Calming and grounding techniques are an important beginning to the work. We also explore how past beliefs and historic coping mechanisms might be negatively influencing the present.
It’s understandable that many who have experienced trauma and abuse are reluctant to approach that pain. Our culture encourages people to “just get over it," and to "suck it up buttercup.” Trite sayings such as these do nothing to acknowledge the suffering inflicted by historical trauma and abuse. As well, men and women experience trauma differently. I have a speciality in working with men who have experienced trauma.
There is a lot of exciting work being done in this area by Daniel Goleman, Daniel Siegel, Gabor Mate, Allan Schore and many others. Read more about their work in trauma.
Goal-setting is the hallmark of this approach, and the therapist is more active in sessions than is typically the case in traditional psychotherapy. Most often when Short-Term Therapy is used, a cognitive, behavioural, or cognitive-behavioural approach to treatment is taken. Goals must be realistic, concrete and measurable. Learn more from the Institute for Solution-Focused Therapy.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. It can be combined with other forms of counselling and often decreases the length of the therapy. Learn more about EMDR from its creator Francine Shapiro.
Couples Therapy – using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
This form of therapy was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson. The main goal is to create a secure bond between romantic partners and to expand important emotional responses. It strengthens the relationship by working to improve communication, respect and harmony between the partners.
EFT is a practical therapy that has been used successfully in relationships and marriages for many years. It generally only lasts between six to twenty sessions and has been shown to be effective in 90% of relationships. Read more about this exciting new approach from Dr. Sue Johnson.
Grief and Loss
We each experience loss and bereavement at some point in our life. Indeed, it is a right of passage that is inescapable if we are to live a truly human life. Loss can mean many things: the death of a loved one, the passing of a pet or the loss of a job. In fact, any life transition involves the loss of something so we can move on to something new.
A lot has been written about the stages of bereavement that Kubler-Ross described. However, there are more holistic ways of perceiving and newer methods of working with this all too common life experience. I see it as a process of adaptation. This honours the agency, the strengths and the wisdom that are already present in the person, which can be used to help them through the grieving process. Read about William Worden's four tasks of mourning.
Dreams speak to us from our Self, our Soul, and our Unconscious. Using dreams to inform our conscious life is not about using a one-size-fits-all handbook to interpret the dream symbols. It involves a journey into the person's lived experience and their unique meaning of the dream symbols. Dream therapy can be very powerful and a very useful approach to augment other types of therapy. Learn more from Jungian psychologist Marion Woodman.