What I Offer

“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 “ordinary” people who would like support with the issues and experiences that arise in everyday life, such as: self-esteem, depression, relationship questions, self-care, roles, spirituality, life purpose, stress management, time management, parenting, work, vocation, anxiety and panic, phobias, transetioning and gender matters–including non-binary, gender fluid, sexuality, chronic illness, ageing, sexual abuse, trauma and the residue of early childhood experiences. If you don’t see your concerns or your focus here, please feel free to contact me to find out if it’s something I work with.

How I work  

My central focus is always the client. The therapeutic approach must always be one that will work for the individual. We begin with establishing a clearly-based, respectful relationship in order to foster exploration and healing, and for me to best assess how I can help you.

My counselling practice is based on psychological theory, over three decades of experience, specific training in bioenergetic analysis, in mindfulness practice and other professional trainings I undertake. My work is based in a synthesis of cognitive therapy, somatic therapy and focusing.

The human psyche expresses itself through action, thought, feeling, belief and through the body. In my counselling sessions I encourage my clients to  offer themselves gentle attention to the cues of mind, body and emotions.

Some principles that are important to my counselling practice

In counselling, we build trust and explore past and present experiences with care, compassion and respect for the resources each person has. We foster a safe space for the client to learn and to practice new or different skills for a healthy relationship with self and others.

People often think they have to change. Changing behaviours may be helpful or even necessary. However, sometimes the desire to change is based in 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 gentle and respectful of their journey. Compassionate self-acceptance is, perhaps paradoxically, essential for real or lasting change to take place.

I view the psyche or core self in each person as basically good, and capable of healing and integration. Just as our bones start the business of healing within hours of a break, so our psyche will naturally heal if we are willing. 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 our lives fully in the present, without the past oppressing or insinuating itself into our present.

Sometimes teaching is a part of counselling. By teaching elements of mindfulness practice and self-compassion and offering practical tools for thinking about the self, clients improve their relationship to their thoughts and emotions. Compassionate awareness leads to making better choices in relationships and many aspects of daily life.

A flexible, client-centred approach

The counselling I offer is flexible and centred on the intrinsic 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 live a fulfilling life.