Who I Help
It's important to me in my work and way of seeing the world to be welcoming and accepting to people of diverse ethnic, racial and cultural identities and backgrounds, as well as diverse gender and sexual identities, religions, political affiliations, abilities, ages and other ways in which people differ from each other. You can expect that I will be accepting, non-judgmental and affirming of who you are and what's important to you in your identity in the world.
(Unfortunately the stairs in my office building may present accessibility challenges for some people.)
Children & Teens
I worked with young people for many years as a summer camp counsellor and camp director, coach of many youth sports, and as a youth care worker before becoming a therapist. Those years left me with an ability to connect easily and quickly with kids of all ages, and to see the problems they bring to therapy through their eyes. Many young people (and their parents!) tell me they appreciate me seeing what’s wonderful and remarkable about them, and taking their concerns seriously, and using all of that to help them turn down the volume on problems so they can be more in charge of their lives. With younger children this often involves the use of toys, games and stuffed animals as we approach their concerns from their point of view.
Couples & Families
Most of us are very passionate about our connections to the people we love. Challenges or disagreements are often more difficult precisely because we care so much – it matters more when we mean so much to each other. When our sense of connectedness feels buried or negated by the weight of difficulties that feel big and overwhelming, when hurt and negativity threaten relationships, or when people have tried and tried and can’t quite work out their issues together, it’s my job to help couples and families to focus on those elusive points of connection and feel empowered to work collaboratively on getting through challenges together and getting back to enjoying their lives together. My many years of experience working with couples as well as families in therapy, mediation and community settings gives me a unique perspective on walking alongside people and carrying some maps for them to consult on where they want to go together.
The problems that come into our lives can feel like they’ve stolen our perspective and our ability to influence how we want our lives to be. My job is to help you put problems in their place, which is in the back seat, and put you in the driver’s seat of your life where you belong, and help you start driving back to the life you’ve always wanted. That can be easier said than done, but people I’ve worked with have told me they appreciate my patience and willingness to roll up my sleeves and meet them where they’re at, and my ability to listen and help them discover (or rediscover) the paths they want to follow.
I have a lot of respect for the many life experiences older people have been through. When they may need to talk to someone objective and trustworthy about a concern, I’m honoured by their willingness to share their stories and work together with me. Many have told me they appreciate my gentle, patient way of listening and guiding the conversation around what’s important to them and the changes they’d like to see in their lives.
Therapy for Therapists
Therapists have problems in their lives sometimes too. If you're a therapist coming to see me, my intention is to respect your professionalism while also helping you step back and take a look at your life. Is it a challenge to let someone else step into the helping role when that's your job? Or maybe it's easy and a welcome relief? Bring it on - either way is okay with me. I want you meet you where you're at, and work together with the best of your knowledge and insights as well as mine. As with anyone I work with, I still make you the expert on your own life and experiences. My hope is that I can help you make the best use of your personal as well as professional expertise to address whatever problems you may bring.