Counselling Approach

How I Work To Help You Achieve The Psychological
Well Being You Deserve

 

My Style:  My approach is emotionally focused and integrates effective counselling and psychotherapy methods to help you rebound from psychological distress and deal constructively with relationship problems.  Though I am primarily a ‘non-directive’ therapist – supporting clients to build inner strength – I also use directive skill building approaches, where appropriate.

Team Work:  I work best with people who are attracted to team work to create the results that will make their lives as positive and fulfilling as possible.  To that end, I generally won’t give you advice or tell you what to do, but will support you to develop the confidence to take whatever action is needed to feel more in charge of  your life.

Strength Based:   I provide a supportive atmosphere in which you can express your thoughts and emotions freely while coming to more deeply understand yourself, your needs and any emotional road blocks you need to move past. Together we will help you build your strengths from the inside out, so you can feel happier and more fulfilled, have the healthy relationships you want, and manage life – and its challenges – more effectively.

Focused Sessions:   During your first session we will discuss the challenges you are facing, what you want your life to look like, and set goals to help you achieve the positive results you are seeking. Your goals guide the therapy, serve as benchmarks and link one session to the next.  In the early stages of counselling I typically meet with people a minimum of once per week to facilitate the progress you wish to make towards meeting your goals. You will be invited to reserve a regular weekly appointment for this purpose.

Results Oriented Counselling:   As I have a long term results oriented approach, I don’t work with people session by session, but rather until you have achieved your goals. This will vary between individuals, and depend on the depth of difficulty you are dealing with and how long these challenges have been going on. Many people can achieve their counselling goals within a few months of weekly sessions. Once you start to feel you are making solid progress towards achieving your goals, you may choose to meet bi-weekly, monthly, or as needed, to help you maintain your gains.

Here’s how we’ll work together to get your life moving in the direction you want:

  • First, we will identify and clarify the personal, emotional or relationship challenges you are currently facing
  • Second, we will figure out what you want your life to look like, so you can feel more satisfied and at peace
  • Third, we will determine your counselling goals – the results you want to see happen to help you achieve the psychological well being you are seeking
  • Finally, we will work together regularly – usually weekly – until you achieve your goals

Ongoing Sessions:   Sessions focus on deepening self understanding, managing emotions effectively and problem solving – all in the service of feeling happier and more in control of your life.  Counselling is a process where gains occur over time, and strengths are built from the inside out.

You may feel uncomfortable at times in therapy as you are supported to stretch and grow to meet your needs.  A helpful way to think about this is that therapy, like life, is more of a marathon than a sprint.  As you build your psychological ‘muscles’, you may feel ‘sore’ at times.   This is a sign that emotional growth is occurring.  The discomfort will resolve as you begin to trust what you are learning about yourself – and your needs – more, and take positive action that links your growing insights to your daily life.

You will benefit most if you take a proactive approach to therapy by thinking ahead about what goals to focus on in each session, and how one session connects to the next.  To that end, I may recommend ‘homework’ activities to strengthen your gains and help you move forward faster.

Services available in Person in Vancouver Canada or by Video World Wide

Research consistently shows that the most effective counselling experience is based on a positive relationship between counsellor and client, and effective techniques. My counselling approach has been described as collaborative, friendly and down to earth.  I draw from a variety of evidence based therapeutic methods to help you feel your best in the shortest time possible. I approach counselling holistically, meaning that a healthy mind is supported by a healthy body and lifestyle habits. So physical health care strategies are sometimes incorporated into the counselling.

The key features of my counselling approach include:

Customized Counselling:  As every person or situation is unique, I take a ‘tailor made’ approach to each individual client or couple, based on particular concerns, problems, needs, and personality.

Integrative Counselling Style:   One size definitely doesn’t fit all. My work has its roots in the following evidence based methods:

  • Schema Therapy:  Integrates cognitive, emotional processing, psychodynamic, relationship building and behavior change.  Very effective for life long challenges such as anxiety, trauma, low self worth, depression and relationship difficulties.
  • Cognitive-Behavioural: supports the development of rational thinking and reality-based belief systems that can help you overcome chronic grief, anxiety, depression, trauma and addictive thinking.
  • Solution-Focused: will help you identify and build on your strengths, and develop a ‘vision’ for your life to help you create the fulfilling recovery you desire.
  • Experiential Dynamic Therapy: focuses on gaining insight into the influence of past events on present emotions and behavior, and experiencing repressed feelings in the present, so you can overcome stress and make more beneficial, conscious choices in dealing with problems. Helpful in resolving repetitive patterns of emotional distress, negative thoughts and behaviors, and difficult relationships.
  • Narrative: helps you define and assume ownership of your recovery, so you can begin a new ‘chapter’ in life
  • Family Systems: looks at family relationships and roles so you can better understand family interactions and make healthier choices relating to your immediate relatives, partner, children or extended family members.
  • Developmental Model and Attachment Theory of Healthy Relationships: assists individuals and couples to understand and navigate adult developmental stages, and foster healthy attachment styles.
  • Hypnosis: a relaxing and powerful technique that will help you tap into the power of your subconscious to achieve the positive results you seek, such as anxiety reduction, increased self confidence, and pain management. You are in charge the whole time.
  • Body Centered: helps calm the central nervous system, which is integral in reducing anxiety, symptoms of trauma and addiction recovery. Guided relaxation and abdominal breathing are some of the approaches I use to facilitate this process.
  • Coaching: Where appropriate, I use a more directive approach, and will guide you to make action plans and take concrete steps in putting these plans into place.

Results-Oriented: Whether you are new to counselling or have undergone counselling before, most people can recover and feel more whole, optimistic and resilient about life. You should start to feel better soon after you begin counselling – usually within about 2 months of weekly sessions.  Although every individual is unique, many people report positive results during or immediately after the first session!