Starts with kindness, compassion and unbiased guidance
At this inner city counselling therapy practice, I work with everyone and this ranges from small groups, one-on-one counselling, brief family counselling, workshops, to individual solutions-focused sessions on re-framing career/relationship/addictions problems and solutions. I work primarily with clients 12 and older.
It has been taught in Indigenous oral traditions that healing medicine is already within the pain and suffering- thus the cure and the dis-ease are connected. Healing therefore is like the story of Wizard of Oz where you think you are lost but the journey eventually leads you home to your own power that you had all along and one that you can use for the rest of your life. These obstacles where you end up feeling lost are often understood pathologically and by diagnosis in our society. But what if your suffering is a doorway to self-discovery, deeper self-acceptance and a more meaningful existence?
I believe healing is when all aspects of being (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) are accepted and integrated on an ongoing basis. Holistic healing expands not only awareness of our individual stress response but also our response options. I am here to help you build your awareness to expand your choices. I am not a healer, I am a helper for you to find your own way to self-healing. I use my training in psychology, movement (dance and somatic therapies), mental health research, my personal experience, intuition, and healing wisdom from my family and community of mentors and Elders. While my approach is informed by some spiritual teachings, I respectfully orient my approach to the spiritual beliefs of each client.
I integrate multiple methods depending on the goals of the client.
Aimed to restore the nervous system (fight, flight and freeze response). This bottom up approach improves awareness and safety of the felt-sense (internal bodily sensations that often coincide with emotions and thoughts). I integrate scents, textures, movement and visuals in this approach.
Working with emotions is essential to support healthy adaptation to stress. Addictions of all kinds develop often as a perceived SOLUTION to deal with pain and stress. The invitation for addicts (most of us) is to learn to understand one's emotional pain. E (energy) motions (movement) are vehicles to explore a new reality and I work to advance your identification and response to a wide array of emotions.
INTERGENERATIONAL APPROACH TO TRAUMA
Support healthy family attachments and promote intergenerational healing. This approach also affirms that individual cultural belonging can become more whole through community healing. 'Culture as treatment' can be carefully integrated into therapy to address clients' need for spiritual healing. Many cultures have valuable healing traditions which are important to clients' vision of healing. I can also be a liaison to further cultural supports (sweats, talking circles etc).
TRADITIONAL HEALING AND SPIRITUAL APPROACHES
Often our struggles are "soul wounds" as Duran (1999) wrote of, where our spirits have been shocked, crushed, defeated, deflated. Spiritual health, including connection to spirit of self, God/Creator, nature/Mother Earth and other beings, is central to healing. I will help you identify and balance these spiritual relationships important to your healing.
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)
While I have been working with eye movements in therapy for many years, I've recently been integrating EMDR into my practice. EMDR is a well-established and extensively researched therapy that is effective in improving post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, grief, phobias, addiction, anxiety, stress reduction, pain disorders, past abuse, as well as other issues. It is a holistic (mind, body, emotion) therapy and works on how one approaches their past, present and future simultaneously. I have certification by EMDRIA to offer EMDR in my sessions.
MY EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
2006 - 2009
BA ED MASTERS OF TEACHING PROGRAM
From 2009 until 2018, I worked as a teacher and guidance counsellor in CBE in grades 6-12. I worked in diverse settings and with all types of learners.
2000 - 2004
BA HONOURS, POLITICAL SCIENCE
Mixed Methods Research in Social Attitudes, Beliefs and Ideologies. I gained insight into how groups of people think and behave.
2014 - 2016
MASTER OF ARTS IN COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGY (MACP)
My internship practicum was at Calgary Counselling Center. I also worked with AHS, Renfrew CBE and other school districts in mental health capacity building.
I was trained in graduate level mixed methods health research. Research areas were Indigenous methodologies, plant medicines, holistic and spiritual measurements of health and wellness.