Short Intro Video
My Focus in Therapy
I am passionate about supporting people living with persistent pain and trauma. For over a decade, I have been working to help people living with chronic pain, and through this work, I came to understand how common it is for people living with pain to have a history of trauma. A perception of being unsafe is foundational to both pain and trauma. Feeling safe in a relational context is foundational to healing—and counselling can be a wonderful place to find this foundation. Both trauma and persistent pain often bring other challenges like anxiety anger, depression, grief, and loneliness. Because chronic pain is considered a physical health issue, while trauma is considered a mental health issue, it can be difficult to find practitioners who aim to help with both pain and trauma. That’s what I do. My own lived experience with pain and trauma led me to this work, and I am passionate about a whole-person approach to health. I believe that when we break away from the artificial division of health (physical/mental), we greatly expand our capacity to heal.
Experience and Interest
- Chronic pain
- Life-limiting/chronic illness
- Chronic fatigue
- Relationship struggles
- Life transitions
- Family of origin relationships
My Approach to Therapy
As a counsellor, I help connect you with your own inborn strength and resiliency. My approach is rooted in compassion and in a deep faith in the healing that happens when we feel seen, validated, and accepted. Years of yoga and mindfulness practice influence my approach to counselling, and I try to make counselling an embodied experience because I believe change happens when we are fully present in our experience. In working with me, you will find that I focus on fostering the capacity to be emotionally regulated and present with experience. I see counselling as a context where we can learn to have faith in our capacity to handle what arises within our lives and within ourselves. As we practice meeting each moment with our whole human selves, we learn more about what matters to us, and it can become easier to move forward in ways that align with what we truly value.
Theories Influencing My Approach
I am particularly influenced by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which balances letting go of resistance to the difficult experiences of our lives with taking action to bring about the changes we desire in our lives. I also pull on the theory of Internal Family Systems (IFS), which beautifully holds space for the complexity of being human. I have done training in Relational Life Therapy (RLT), which emphasizes developing relational skills to build meaningful connections, and I also work with ideas from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which focuses on developing strong emotional bonds. Broadly, I am influenced by Attachment Theory, which explores how our early relationships with caregivers impact on the unfolding of our lives, and generally take an embodied and relational approach. And on a related note, my master’s thesis focuses on understanding the lived experience of chronic pain recovery from a relational lens and aims to challenge more common individualistic perspectives on recovery.
A Bit About Me Outside of Therapy
I live in a cooperative housing community with my partner of 18 years and our 8-year-old daughter. I love learning, and I am particularly fascinated by human beings (the more I learn about us, the more magical I think we are). Whether reading books, listening to podcasts, or talking with others, I spend a lot of time learning about what supports human health and well-being. I love spending time with family and friends doing relatively simple things—bike rides, playing charades, camping, beach days, or having a cup of tea. My guilty pleasure is coming-of-age movies and shows.
A Final Note
The relationship between a counsellor and a client is a well-established factor in counselling outcomes; people see better results when they have a better relationship with their therapist. And choosing a new counsellor can be stressful because there are so many to choose from. My suggestion is to trust your instincts. Pay less attention to the specific details about the counsellor and more about how you feel as you learn about them. Notice what makes you feel open or calm. If my work and approach bring up this kind of curiosity and openness in you, I would be honoured to meet you—all of you—in the counselling space.