Michelle Carchrae RCC
Tuesday - Friday.
Change is Possible
When you’re struggling, it can be hard to know what to do to improve the way your life feels. I
know that change is possible, and I’m here to help. Together we can reduce the overwhelm,
work to understand the way you currently approach life, and take steps to move towards a life
that feels better.
We’re all doing our best to make our way in a world that can be challenging, even oppressive,
abusive, and traumatic. In therapy, I spend time getting to know about you and the ways you’ve
been working hard to deal with whatever life has dealt you so that together we can help you
connect with who you are underneath everything that has happened.
It’s common for people who have been dealing with really difficult things or working hard to put
their past behind them to feel worn down and exhausted or very wound up and tense. You might
also feel like you either have no emotions or overwhelming emotions, ways of coping that you’re
not happy about, or a history of unsatisfying relationships. We can work with whatever you’re
bringing - all of you is welcome here.
Through therapy, we can help you find a way to relate to yourself and the challenges life has
brought in a new way, one which takes into account all of the strengths, resources, and choices
that you have today, even if those are hard to see right now. This can bring more of a feeling of
space and ease in your life, more ability to change your habits or ways of working, and can also
ripple out to having better relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.
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
How can we achieve all that? My approach to therapy sees the relationship between therapist
and client as the most important part of what makes therapy successful. This begins with a good
fit between your therapist and yourself and continues to build over time as we work together. I
always welcome your feedback on how things are going in therapy.
My approach is also collaborative and focused on working with what emerges in the present
moment while inviting you to have new experiences and perspectives. I draw on my training in
various therapeutic modalities to help clients build awareness, gain insight, practice new skills, and have a new experience. I am a certified Focusing Oriented Therapist and also have training
in Internal Family Systems (IFS), Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP),
Relational Life Therapy (RLT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
I also have experience working with dreams and completed a yearlong certification program on
Embodied Experiential Dreamwork. Working with dreams can be particularly supportive if you’re
suffering from nightmares, including PTSD-type flashback dreams.
Working with Couples
Intimate relationships can be some of the most challenging relationships we find ourselves in. Not only are we told that they should be “happily ever after” and completely fulfilling, but we often don’t know how to navigate conflict in a healthy way when it does appear. Add in the stress of raising children, balancing work/life issues, sexuality, cultural oppression, and any baggage we might have picked up from our family of origin, and it’s no wonder that we find ourselves fighting constantly or pushing each other away.
Michelle works with couples to support them in learning how to identify where they are getting stuck, where they want to go, and what tools are needed to get there. Her work focuses initially on compassionately understanding and naming the pattern between partners, then facilitating focused change that will bring the relationship to a place that is healthy, resilient, heart-centered, and skillful. This work can address deep places and can also be practical and useful right away.
Michelle is trained in Non-Violent Communication and Relational Life Therapy and brings these skills to her work with couples in all types of intimate relationships, including consensual non-monogamy, and polyamory.
Training and Background
I have a Masters degree from City University of Seattle (Vancouver Campus) and a Bachelors
Degree from the University of Alberta. I am an RCC and am also registered as a service provider
with ICBC and CVAP.
Before becoming a counsellor I was an active volunteer in the homeschooling and attachment
parenting community, worked as a freelance writer, and have also worked in corporate training.
I’ve done my work as a client and have deep respect for the courage it takes to show up
and look inside. I currently live on Bowen Island and see clients by video Tuesdays - Fridays.