My perspective on Therapy

At one point in time in your life, you received the message that it wasn’t ok to be yourself. This could have been done directly, indirectly, or a combination of the two. We all have had these moments—moments of doubt, shame, inadequacy—which are felt as traumatic and painful. What leads to suffering and symptomatically is when these experiences become so wounding that we must disconnect from these unwanted parts in ourselves in order to survive.

That is why safety and acceptance are such critical components that I strive to provide in therapy sessions, because I understand how challenging it can be to be vulnerable; to express oneself authentically and allow to be truly seen by others when we have been conditioned to think and behave otherwise. Therapy thus becomes a joint commitment in recovering those lost elements, where trust and security are developed over time. The goal of therapy is not to simply be different, because that implies a reactive stance on life that is ultimately self-defeating. The goal of therapy is to dare to be you, and live it wholeheartedly.

What I Bring Into the Session

I recognize and value the uniqueness that is each individual. Your particular history, personality, and way of viewing the world makes you the expert on your life. I am here to help you help yourself, and will adapt my assistance to your needs. The framework for this collaborative approach is eclectic, including experiential, relational, client-centered, emotion-focused, and mindfulness-based psychodynamic therapies. My approach incorporates trauma-informed therapies such as Gestalt therapy, somatic experiencing, expressive writing, and intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy (ISTDP). Past events, present concerns, and future possibilities are explored in a holistic manner that can shed light and understanding to facilitate a more connected sense of self.

My Background and Interests

Before pursuing counselling as a career, I was completing a Masters of Urban Studies program at SFU, fascinated by how thoughtfully planned infrastructure can facilitate healthier lifestyles. Halfway through the program, my interests became more personal, as I recognized the importance of attending to one’s inner life as paramount for establishing a more connected society. An opportunity to put my studies on hold and volunteer at a wellness center in Costa Rica came up, and I jumped at it. That year turned into a staff position as a full-time group and one-on-one facilitator, leading to two more years abroad before coming back to Vancouver. While deeply grateful for the experiences, I began to appreciate the necessity for multiple approaches to work with each client. Being a firm believer in continual personal work and self-inquiry, I am continually looking for more ways to promote deeper connections that inspire an integrated life. Currently completing my Masters in Counselling at CityU, my passion for this profession is expanding daily with my desire to grow as a therapist and fellow citizen, knowing that our interests are shared and mutually reinforcing."

* Clinical areas of interest include: trauma, dissociation; chronic pain and mind/body connection; men’s issues; identity issues; couples work; anxiety; depression; life transitions"

Dave is available on Tuesday and Saturday.  He can work with individuals and couples.