My Therapeutic Approach
I firmly believe that one size does not fit all when it comes to making meaningful, lasting changes in your life. As we work together, we will develop a tailored plan and style that is authentic to you and aligns with your personal goals. Just like putting together a puzzle, this requires making a connection and finding the right fit for you or your child. This is what we call a Person-Centered approach in the therapy world. You are the most important person in this process and I value a safe, genuine, and empathic therapeutic relationship that is absolutely non-judgmental. Here are a few other things we might try together:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often incorporated into my counselling process. CBT involves examining the underlying thoughts we have that may be contributing to feeling stuck in anxiety, depression, or addiction. Together we can work to understand how our mind is connected to our emotions and influences our behaviours. Clients are able to create new thought processes and challenge old beliefs, as well as generate positive self-talk and behaviour change. CBT is effective for all ages, due to its practical and hands-on nature. Adolescents respond particularly well to this type of therapy, as they often feel like they are building a toolbox of resources and strategies they can use daily during this very stressful time of life.
Family Systems is a type of therapy that guides my work with families who are facing challenges. This method helps us understand what the communication patterns in the family are, and look for ways we can change how the system itself is functioning. It is not about blaming one member, or isolating another. Family therapy is tremendously helpful for families who are feeling locked in a state of constant tension, conflict, and distance. It can really make a difference for families who are going through big transitions, such as a death, moving, or a divorce. I can help your family get back on track and get reconnected.
When working with children, I typically use Expressive Play Therapy techniques to allow children to express their emotions in a safe and engaging way. Children typically do not have the capacity to put all those "big feelings" into words the way adults do. Instead, they use play as their language. The inner self will guide them in expressing and resolving issues such as trauma, anxiety, and anger, as I guide them through this process. I use specific toys and activities, which facilitate this kind of expression and allow me to see underlying themes and messages in their play. All children have a story to tell if we can just find the way to read it.
Mindfulness is a way of learning to pay attention to our feelings without judgment and reactivity. Through guided breathing and mindful meditations, clients are able to live more freely in the present moment and develop a heightened sense of clarity, seeing things as they "really are." Mindfulness can also help us in breaking negative patterns of behaviour, through the gift of teaching us how to slow down and achieve a greater sense of peace and balance in our lives. Mindfulness is easily adaptable and beneficial for all ages and intellectual abilities. For more information on Mindfulness, have a look at this video by Mindfulness founder, Jon Kabat-Zinn: