Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
– Viktor Frankl
I received a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Adler University, Vancouver campus. Since that time, I have worked extensively with high risk youth and families while providing individual, group and family counselling in addition to parenting support. I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. I work with people from a holistic perspective and I believe that everyone has the inner wisdom and strength to change and find their most authentic self. Self-acceptance is an ongoing journey.
I believe that our behaviours serve a purpose though, at times, those behaviours only provide short-term relief from whatever may be going on in life. I look at the whole person – the ways in which life affects our behaviour, thoughts and emotions and the ways in which we can learn to control these aspects of our daily life. There is no “one size fits all” solution to our perceived problems since each person is unique and diverse. I am here to witness the journey and work alongside you toward your version of wellness.
Since graduating with my Masters degree, I have worked at a series of non-profit and government-funded agencies. I worked at PLEA as a youth and family outreach counsellor as well as a counsellor for an alternative school program. I then worked at Richmond Addiction Services where I again worked with youth and families on an outreach basis while also facilitating teaching a school-based program to work with teens who have been suspended for drug and alcohol use. I formatted a curriculum for a school-based recovery program and I also provided supervision to Masters-level counselling students. From there, I worked at Covenant House Vancouver and provided counselling support to homeless youth and provided training workshops to front-line staff to support their work with youth in the shelters or on the street. All of these experiences, provided me with the gratification of seeing the resilience of youth and families in their desire for a healthy life. I am consistently humbled by the bravery and vulnerability of the people that have walked through my door in the first step to healing.
As an ongoing portion of my addictions work, I also support individuals in finding ways to navigate the internet and social media in a healthy way. Please check out www.healthyinternetuse.ca for more information.
I have always said that I have been fascinated by human behaviour for as long as I can remember. I was the “shoulder” that many friends would turn to and actually started this process of becoming a counsellor when I volunteered as a Sexual Assault Crisis Counsellor for a suicide crisis line in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I not only talked to people on the phone but would also be available to them at the hospital after the fact and would be present with them for whatever course of action they decided to make at that time. Empowerment of the client is foremost in my methods of working with people and it began at this time. I was shown that people are resilient and are able to draw from their own strengths as they move on the path to healing.
I have also had to deal with my own physical health issues over the past few years and recognize the toll that this can take on mental health in addition to the physical concerns. As such, I endeavor to practice what I preach and have engaged in a regular mindfulness practice, become more conscious of my nutrition choices, listen to music, read books, go for walks, go the gym, snuggle with my cat and get lots of restful sleep. This is also a large part of the work I do with clients from a holistic perspective.
I believe that we could all use support from others at various times in our life and there is no shame in acknowledging that.
You helped me through the toughest time of my life. I can’t tell you how much your kindness meant to me… I’m so grateful to be healthy and where I am today. You gave me the tools to become confident again and to feel like I deserved to be loved… I just wanted you to know you were one of the stepping stones to me getting my live back together.
– S. (a previous client in their early 20s)
For more information on how my experience can be used with you, contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.