There are not many instances in our day to day life when we can really reflect and share our experiences (past and present), the issues we struggle with, and the future changes we would like to see happen and work towards in our life. Therapy is a unique opportunity for us to do just that…reflect, gain understanding, and make meaningful and lasting change.
In my practice, I intentionally tailor therapy according to your unique needs and the issues you bring to counselling. I work from a holistic orientation, focused on attending to your thoughts, feelings, and actions. To provide you with the most effective counselling services, I integrate a number of therapeutic approaches including: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Narrative Therapy, and Hope Focused Therapy.
While these therapeutic approaches contribute to the effectiveness of counselling, decades of research show that a safe, trusting, and caring relationship between the therapist and client is also a significant factor in the change process. As such, I strive to facilitate a positive working relationship with the people I work with. My hope for you, the client(s), is to feel supported, empowered, connected, and able to deal with life’s challenges.
Often, couples come to therapy at a point in their relationship in where they feel stuck and disconnected from their partner, whom they care for deeply, but somehow can’t reach. Issues that couples present as concerns include communication difficulties, mistrust after a betrayal, lack of intimacy and closeness, financial stressors, parenting differences, trauma experiences, constant conflict and fighting… just to name a few. When there is conflict and disconnection in our intimate relationships, this can be extremely stressful and impact how we feel about ourselves and our partners, how we function in our daily lives, and overall, how we walk around in the world.
In my work with couples, I aim to support them in creating stronger emotional bonds and deeper connections with one another. It is from this more secure and deeper connection that we are then able to tackle the many challenges couples go through in their relationships. Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples is the primary research-based approach I use in my practice with couples.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples or EFT is anchored in decades of clinical work and research pioneered by Dr. Sue Johnson. EFT has been found to move 75% of couples from distress to recovery and approximately 90% showed significant improvements. The main goals in EFT are: 1) to create awareness and alter the negative pattern and interactions couples find themselves fixed and stuck in, and; 2) to nurture and strengthen the creation of a secure and connection emotional bond. In EFT, we explore and access the emotions underlying the negative interactions so that the couple can begin to more openly be present in the relationship and work together to create a meaningful and lasting connection.
I have had intensive training in the EFT approach and continue to engage in ongoing consultation, supervision, and advanced training. I’m working towards becoming one of the few Edmonton based psychologists certified by the International Centre For Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT). I’m also currently a member on the Edmonton EFT Community (EEFTC) board, and feel committed in joining other dedicated therapists in further learning about the EFT model.
Much of my practice to date has focused on working in the area of trauma and more specifically childhood sexual abuse. While I utilize many approaches to support clients in addressing their experiences of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I have found Prolonged Exposure (PE) to be very effective. Prolonged Exposure, developed by Dr. Edna Foa, is an extensively researched form of behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy designed to treat the symptoms associated with PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that can occur following the experiencing or witnessing of a life-threatening event. People who suffer from PTSD often experience repeated and intrusive memories, thoughts, or images of the trauma. In addition, many also experience heightened physical anxiety reactions when confronted with the trauma memory. Nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty concentrating, and avoidance of activities or situations and memories of the traumatic event are also common for those who suffer with PTSD.