Let's start with what I DONT DO. I don't give you advice because you are the expert of your own experiences. I also don't believe you need fixing because you are not broken.
I believe our therapeutic connection contributes to your strengthened resilience and change. Developing a respectful and collaborative relationship can enhance your openness to guidance, encouragement and support from me so you are empowered through the counselling process.
My style is supportive, encouraging and accepting. I take more of a direct yet empathetic approach. I am a strategic and present listener. I use humour and lightness and keep sessions more casual rather than clinical to create trust, openness and safety. I allow space for curiousity, in-depth emotional exploration and processing, yet also space to be practical and have action-oriented solutions.
My role is to ask the right questions, provide different perspectives, validate, guide and challenge you, offer feedback on unhealthy thought and behaviour patterns and help you see and do things in new ways.
Creativity is experiential and can be used to make sense of your experiences. It does not limit you to verbal or intellectual tools for self-expression. Tapping into it facilitates your self-healing, in a holistic way. It can enhance emotional understanding in a non-intimidating way and can promote presence and awareness. In sessions, it may take different forms: visual arts, writing, working with sand or play doh, music, using photographs. I also use Internal Family Systems (IFS), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), self-compassionate, mindfulness body-oriented methods such as the Hakomi method, Qigong and body movement to help you tap into what's going on in your body.
I emphasize practicality throughout the counselling process. What does this look like? I help you spot real change and bring it to your awareness. I encourage you to take your learning from sessions and apply it in your life as you see fit. I support your learning of relevant tools and help you get clarity in how you might use these new skills in your real world. You might want to start making better life choices to support your well-being. You might want to gain techniques to manage your anxiety or depression. You might want to use healthier communication skills in your relationships. Whatever your needs and goals are, keeping counselling practical allows you to bring real change into your life.
Talk therapy is insightful and reflective and helps you dig deep and focus on the long term. It gives you the chance to explore your thoughts, feelings and the effect they have on your mood and behavior. Emotional exploration and awareness can help you shift painful feelings, self-destructive patterns and learn realistic coping skills. I draw from such evidence-based talk therapies as: Person-centred, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Existential therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). I tend to draw from talk therapies that are grounded in human potential, self-expression and mind-body wellness.