My practice is guided by the following principles:
I utilize a collaborative, strengths-based approach. My theoretical orientation is integrative; I seek to purposefully select a therapy, or therapies, which best suit you, your situation and your beliefs about personal change.
I am also passionate about the role of context: understanding you as a person and the world that you live in is critical in charting a meaningful course in therapy.
I believe fundamentally in the value of a good therapeutic fit; counselling clients and counsellors are diverse – there is no ‘one size fits all’ here. A brief conversation with you, before starting counselling, is an important first step in helping to ensure that we are the right match.
Further, I employ a bio-psychosocial-spiritual lens to my practice; I believe that people function best when there is harmony between body, mind, social situation and spiritual life.
If my approach resonates with you, please call or email me to set free 15-minute initial consultation. I look forward to hearing from you!
Sometimes known as humanistic therapy, this approach was pioneered by the late Carl Rogers, who placed the highest regard on the importance of therapist authenticity, acceptance, empathy and the motivation to help clients realize their own innate potential. This approach is at the heart of my practice.
I have been meditating since I was a child and given my childhood background, has been literally life-saving for me. I don’t necessarily expect my clients to be interested in mindfulness or meditation, but it would be a lie not to disclose that it infuses how I think and approach life. I am happy to work with interested clients on mindfulness strategies or give meditation instruction, as asked.
A theory that originally comes from biology, this was adapted to help family therapists understand family systems, particularly their structure, rules and tendencies. This is a valuable framework for understanding family constellations and how introducing change might affect the client’s family situation. Later, and drawing on the principles of family systems theory, psychologist Richard Shwartz developed Internal Family Systems therapy for helping clients understand and care for their own “internal families,” after recognizing that the external families can also be found within, in the form of “parts,” with their own distinct characteristics, experiences and needs.
This is a research-based therapy, commonly used to help with symptoms of depression and anxiety, but is not limited to these conditions. The main target of this therapy is understanding and changing the interplay between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It’s practical, often involving in-between session assignments, if you so choose. I prefer to work with CBT in a flexible, non-regimented way, to stay consistent with my values as a person-centred therapist.
A child of CBT, dialectical behaviour therapy was originally developed for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, but has since evolved to help with a range of problems. This is a practical therapy which places high accountability on the individual to engage in session and do homework in-between sessions. Target areas are skill development in mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. As a private practitioner, I utilize a modified DBT approach, where our work is less structured and contained within the 1:1 session itself, as traditional DBT involves both group and individual therapy as well as additional contact with the therapist, in between sessions. Clients that are keen to pursue this therapy are recommended to find an outside DBT group, or use free online resources.
This therapy is just as it sounds—a counselling approach that seeks solutions and asks “what’s right” with a client, rather than focusing on “what’s wrong.” Difficulties are not ignored, however heavy emphasis is placed on understanding a client’s strengths and competencies and using these skills to help with whatever is causing difficulty. If used solely, SFT is typically short-term and present-focused. Like any therapuetic method, this approach is a great fit for some clients and not for others.
For many, therapy feels incomplete when the focus of sessions is purely on issues going on in the here and now. Many clients have the experience of wanting their therapist to understand them in depth, and part of this journey typically involves learning more about the client’s background and family history. Clients vary in terms of the importance they place on this and this focus and this may not be part of your counselling experience. My observation is that past events often have a direct bearing on what is happening in the present time and it is this intersection of past and present which can be a flashpoint for insight and behaviour change. The principles of psychodynamic psychotherapy can help guide us to this point.
Long used as a therapy to help with addictions, this can be helpful in assisting with a wide range of areas where individuals are seeking behavioural change. The therapist takes a supportive, non-judgemental stance to promote client openness and allow for an in-depth exploration of the problem, including pros and cons and ambivalence about change.
A research-based approach to couples counselling based on the work of psychologists John and Julie Gottman, who have been studying couples at the University of Washington for the past 40 years. I have written a detailed summary about how I use the Gottman method in my work with couples.