Michelle Carchrae RCC
Tuesday - Friday.
The decision to start therapy often comes from a moment of longing for growth and healing. Maybe you’re struggling in your day-to-day life more than you are able to manage on your own, or a video on social media or an article about childhood trauma resonated deeply with you, or someone important in your life has suggested therapy and you’re willing to give it a try. Taking the first steps of looking for a therapist is courageous and hopeful, a first move towards a life that feels better.
I am here to help you take the next steps if you choose. Together we will get clear on what you want your life to look and feel like, and what will help you move towards that. All living beings have a natural drive towards growth and thriving, as well as protective strategies to keep us safe from harm. Learning how to recognize our protective strategies and why they were necessary in the past is often an important part of beginning to feel better now.
Therapy is a partnership, and I work together with clients to promote positive change by helping people have new, healthy experiences. These new experiences may happen inside yourself at first as you relate to your thoughts, feelings, memories, or behaviours in a new way. They might also happen within the relationship between us as client and therapist, as you have new experiences of feeling heard and understood. These kinds of new experiences are possible when we begin to feel safe, and whether or not we feel safe often depends on our social identities and the experiences we’ve had of safety or harm in the past. When we bring curiosity, care, and presence to the ways we try to protect ourselves from harm and the places that hurt, transformation is possible.
My style is gentle, warm, and direct. I aim to work collaboratively and always with respect for your autonomy and agency. I tailor my approach to each client, taking into account your preferences, needs, and experiences so far. We want to have enough of a sense of challenge in our work to help you stretch and grow, while also experiencing competence and safety.
Issues and Areas of Specialty
- Depression and anxiety
- Life transitions, including retirement
- Grief and loss
- Trauma and abuse in childhood and adulthood, including cPTSD and PTSD
- Spiritual trauma and issues related to religious upbringing
- Chronic pain and chronic health conditions
- Nightmare treatment and difficulty sleeping
- Relationship issues
- Parenting challenges
- Self-esteem and a harsh inner critic
- Addictions and self-harm
- Emotional overwhelm or emotional numbness
- Anger management
Training & Modalities
I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and certified Focusing Oriented Therapist. I completed a two-year supervised program in order to earn my Focusing certification. Focusing is a somatic-oriented approach to trauma therapy, which supports people in connecting with their felt sense of the present moment. I also have training in Internal Family Systems, Embodied Experiential Dreamwork, Relational Life Therapy, and AEDP. These are all experiential and relational modalities for working with trauma and attachment injuries.
Currently, I am offering therapy by video only. Doing therapy by video has been shown to be just as effective as in-person, even for somatic, experiential, relational, and deep trauma healing. Video therapy also allows me to offer my services to people across BC and in provinces where counselling is currently not regulated, eliminating commuting times and difficulties that some people may have with navigating transportation or being present in person.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alberta and a Master of Counselling degree from the City University of Seattle’s Vancouver campus. Prior to going back to school to become a therapist, I spent many years as an at-home and homeschooling parent, with active involvement in attachment parenting and alternative education communities. Today I live on Nex̱wlélex̱wm/Bowen Island, on the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh nation, and continue to do my own work as a client while parenting two teens.