My Counselling Practice

“Gentle attention to the cues of mind, body and emotions”

What I offer 

I offer both short-term counselling and long-term depth psychotherapy, on Salt Spring Island, for individuals or couples, whether partners, parents and children or other kinds of relationship.

Who I work with

I see people from all walks of life who would like support with the issues and experiences that arise in everyday life.

What issues do I work with?

Human beings are multi-faceted. Any single issue that a person presents is almost always related to others. So, I don’t limit the areas of my work.

I work with depression, anxiety, relationships, self-care, spirituality, life purpose, stress, parenting, work, vocation, sexual orientation, transitioning, gender questioning, chronic illness, ageing, sexual abuse, trauma and the residue of early childhood experiences. If you don’t see your concern here, please feel free to contact me to find out if it’s something I work with.

How I work 

The counselling I offer is flexible and centres on the naturally self-revealing healing path of the client. My job is to bring the resources and skills I have, as a trained therapist and as a fellow human being, to help you with the challenges in your life, so that you can find your way through the challenges that are confronting you.

The therapeutic approach I employ must be one that will work for the individual. We begin with establishing a clearly-based, respectful relationship in order to foster exploration and build a safe container for the work we are embarking on, and for me to best assess how I can help you.

My practice is based on psychological theory, close to four decades of experience, specific training in Bioenergetic Analysis, in mindfulness practice and other professional trainings I undertake. My work is based on a synthesis of cognitive therapy, somatic therapy and focusing therapy.

The human psyche expresses itself through mind, body, emotions and spirit. In my counselling sessions I encourage my clients to offer themselves gentle attention to their present-moment experience, as well as to talk through life experiences with the confidentiality and support of the counselling framework.

Building the counselling relationship:

I work to build trust and safety so that my clients can explore past and present experiences. As well as understanding an individual’s problems I seek to discover a client’s strengths and resources. The counselling office is a place where the client can learn to practice new or different skills for a healthy relationship with self and others.

Change or acceptance?

People often think they have to change. Changing behaviours may be helpful and sometimes necessary. However, sometimes the desire to change is based on a hyper-critical or judgmental attitude toward the self. I support my clients to practice self-discovery and self-awareness with kindness, to accept who they are, and then seek to change in a way that is respectful of their capacities and starting point. Compassionate self-acceptance is, perhaps paradoxically, essential for real or lasting change to take place.

What is meant by The Psyche?

I view the psyche or basic self in each person as fundamentally capable of healing and integration. The psyche, in my view, (which is not a traditional view) is the whole of any person: mind, body, emotions and spirit; it is the present expression of everything you have ever experienced and all the ways you have “digested” your life experiences, whether you can recall them or not.

Just as our bones start the business of healing within hours of a break, so our psyche will naturally heal if we are willing.

What is the role of emotions in therapy?

Pain and other difficult emotions are not to be driven out. Our emotions, all of them, whether “negative” or enjoyable are potentially a source of self-knowledge and grounded decision-making. When we face what we feel with open interest and self-care (without letting emotions rule us), we become free to live without the past dominating the present.

The counsellor as a teacher

Sometimes teaching is a part of counselling. By teaching elements of mindfulness practice and offering practical tools, clients improve their relationship to their thoughts and emotions. There are many simple conceptual models I use in my work that help my clients see their experience through different lenses, which in turn help to free you to move ahead in your life.

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