About My Practice
In therapy, I work with adults, who are suffering from common issues such as: depressed mood, anxiety, relationship issues, life transition issues, self-criticism, perfectionism, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, divorce, separation, and parenting issues. In our work together, we will explore ways for you to feel more confident in your choices, connected to yourself, as well as who and what is important to you. The therapeutic approaches I use in our work together are those that make sense to me and that I have been trained to use. Often, because I organize my own experience in a similar way, I was drawn to learn more about a specific approach. Other times I have been drawn to a specific approach because there has been a lot of research suggesting an approach is helpful for working with certain issues. In either of these cases, the approaches I use in therapy connect with how I process experience and think about change.
At the foundation of working with any client is my strong commitment to the therapeutic relationship, which is often recognized as the source of positive change in therapy. To invest in this connection, it’s important to me that I am able to offer you my presence in session. This means that when I am with you I strive to have self-awareness in session. I use this awareness to inform and provide direction for our sessions. I feel confident making this whole-hearted assurance, as it has grown out of my deep and long-standing commitment to personally engage in regular present-moment awareness practices (yoga, mindfulness, journaling). I strive to join you where you are in processing your experience and to adjust the pace of sessions accordingly. While I will always try hard, I won’t always get it right. I may misread an emotion I am sensing or steer us in a direction that doesn’t feel quite right for you, right now. All of this I see as okay, as it informs our work together and helps us to gain a better sense of where you are. To honour my commitment to achieving a solid therapeutic relationship, I will check in with you regularly to make sure the pace and/or the way we are exploring the issue(s) bringing you to therapy makes sense for you.
Beyond the therapeutic relationship, my counselling style is heavily influenced by cognitive and behaviour change strategies, acceptance and mindfulness strategies, and attachment theory. In therapy, the approaches I use most frequently include: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Self-Compassion Therapy. If you would like to learn more about any of the therapeutic approaches I use see Resources.
Training & Qualifications
My academic training includes an MEd in Counselling Psychology and an honours BA in Psychology. I have a Registered Psychotherapist (qualifying) designation with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) designation from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. It’s important to me that my work be guided by approaches that have worked for other people, so my practice is continuously inspired by professional development activities. I pursue on-going professional development through training, clinical supervision, and consultation with colleagues. My practice is under the supervision of Dr. David Smith, PhD, CPsych.
Some additional training course and workshops I have participated in include:
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
Working with Mindfulness (Mirabai Bush)
Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Advanced Clinical Strategies (Dr. Steven Hayes)
Mindfulness Self Compassion (MSC), 8-week course (Dr. Kim Sogge)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) (Mark Vegh, MC, RCC)
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) (Dr. Zindel Segal)
Building Advocacy Skills for an Ethical Counselling Practice (University of Ottawa)
Ottawa High Conflict Forum Symposium (OHCF, FSO, and King's University College)
Extending the Psychological to the Spiritual (Francesca Dattilo, MSW)
Managing Complex Cases (Kathy Al-Zand, B.Sc.N, MSW, RSW)