Registered Psychotherapist, R/TRO
Often the clients I work with have difficulty knowing what is meaningful to them; they do what they think they should without ever considering what they really want. They may have difficulty coping with their feelings – certainly the negative ones, but maybe positive ones too. They may feel chronically “not good enough” and sometimes can feel their lives don’t matter that much. They may be so focused on productivity that they become constantly busy and have difficulty tolerating down time or making time for leisure and pleasure. Or when they do take time for something that should be fun, the experience feels empty. As a result of these thoughts and feelings, they might struggle to take care of themselves, be socially isolated and have unhealthy coping strategies that are costly to themselves and their relationships. My private practise focuses on helping these folks find meaning, joy and balance in their lives.
Some of my clients may have a history of anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders but others have no diagnosis at all – just an awareness that they could be experiencing a much more joyful and meaningful life than they are currently.
Our sessions offer a safe context to explore difficulties and challenges in creating and maintaining healthy structure and balance. They are a space to explore meaningful engagement – or the lack of it! – in life and relationships. In sessions we can work on learning and practising specific skills and techniques to help manage uncomfortable feelings and to increase self-esteem and resilience. There is attention given to learning to feel safe and more relaxed in daily activities as well as increasing the felt experience of positive emotions, while lessening the intensity of negative emotions.
Through self-reflective practice – which is a fancy name for really thinking about what you do and why you do it – I work to help clients recognize patterns that keep them from living a balanced, healthy, connected life. Sometimes we’ll do this through talk therapy, but at other times, if clients are willing, we may engage in experiential activities right in the therapy office that will identify habitual and problematic attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that get in the way of meaningful, enjoyable experiences in their life.
Outside the office, homework and practise are encouraged in between sessions to strengthen new and healthier patterns and behaviours to reinforce desired changes. Over time, these healthy new patterns and choices can help folks to see themselves in a positive way, both in their own eyes and in relation to others. This, in turn, positively influences self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth, which are essential to living a meaningful, joyful life, and this is what my work with client’s aims to achieve!
I have worked in the field of mental health for the past 20 years, specializing in treating survivors of psychological trauma and people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), helping them to find healthy coping strategies, build a sense of safety and develop resilience. I have worked with many people who may have experienced childhood physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect; work place accidents; police and military trauma and critical incidents as first responders. I have published articles and share my professional work experience and passion for self-reflective practise through professional conference presentations, nationally and internationally, at professional development workshops and as a regular speaker at the University of Waterloo. And now I’m excited to be expanding my work to help those who are ready for self-reflection, healthy balance and more joyful day to day life on an outpatient basis!
Appointments and Referrals:
Referrals from health care professionals are not required, but welcomed, as are self-referrals.
Appointments are available in the evenings. My fees are $80.00/session, with a sliding scale for those who are unable to afford the full fee. The fee is payable by cash or check. Many benefit plans reimburse employees for counselling services in whole or in part. It is recommended that clients contact their service provider to confirm the amount of coverage available prior to beginning counselling.
Professional Memberships and Credentials:
- A member in good standing with the College of Registered Psychotherapists (CRPO)
- Affiliate member of Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP).
- Registered member of Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO)
- Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Therapy, University of Waterloo
“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson