As someone who also struggles and triumphs with a number of the “life things” that lead people to seek counseling, I find my work personally rewarding on many levels. I am passionate about my role as an empathic listener, an inquisitive collaborator and a sturdy witness.
I support individuals, couples, families and groups experiencing simple and complex issues around mental and physical health, substance use, gender and sexual identity, abilities and disabilities, racial and cultural identity, class and income barriers, relationships (romantic, familial, professional), and a vast array of other lived realities and social positionings.
I approach each and every individual whom I counsel with an openness and a desire to learn about your unique story and desired therapy outcomes.
I believe that a large part of counseling and psychotherapy is honouring. We honour your innate capacities, talents and creative means of coping, surviving, managing, adapting and thriving. We seek to practice new tools and strategies while putting your own resources to use in addressing the difficulties you are encountering in your life.
I base my work in the understanding that our relationships with other individuals, groups, societal structures and systems have profound impacts on our psyches, spirits and bodies. These, in turn, deeply affect our relationships with and experiences of ourselves, our friends and family, our lovers and partners, our workplaces and classrooms, and the world at large.
I anchor my personal and professional practice in the following frameworks and principles. Below they are simply listed; if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to discuss how I can make you feel safe and comfortable in our therapy sessions.
- Anti-colonialism; Pro-Indigeneity
- Feminism; Anti-Racism; Anti-Classism
- Honouring Different Abilities; Anti-Ableism
- Honouring the Wisdom derived from different Life Eras; Anti-Ageism
- LGBTQQIP2SAA-positive; Affirming of the Gender & Sexuality Spectra
- Sex-, Kink-, Polyamory- and Sex Work-Positive
- Harm Reduction, re: Coping and Risky Behaviours
- Pro-Empowerment, -Self Determination, -Agency
I draw tools, methods and insights from the following therapeutic modalities outlined below. More important to know is that my goal for our session is to nurture a collaborative and exploratory dialogue between us. Sessions often take the form of inquisitive, creative and open-ended conversations in which we journey through your history, present, and visions of the future using...
Mindfulness - Honing your ability to notice thoughts, emotions and physical feelings in your body; increasing your capacity to hold them with curiosity and compassion. Practicing simple techniques that will help you become more attuned to your body’s messages and it's underlying emotional and psychic needs, without becoming overwhelmed or consumed by them.
Narrative Therapy - Giving voice to your story while listening for the quieter sub-stories that characterize and inform your journey. Remembering or discovering, in this way, the various interwoven truths, knowledges and wisdoms you possess within. Standing apart from your struggles, barriers, bullies and problematic inner voices to dialogue with them from the stance of your Wisest Self, to offer compassion and kindness, come to know their needs and patterns, and learn how to manage their presence in your life.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) - Getting to know the distinct inner parts of your unique personality, and how each of them serve and hinder your psychic survival. Learning how to dialogue and observe these parts from the vantage point of your Core Self, and also, how to encourage dialogue between the parts themselves. (See above: Narrative Therapy; there is quite a bit of overlap between these modalities regarding "parts of self").
Somatic Experiencing - Tapping into your deepest truths and needs held within the body. Through guided meditation, we drop out of the mind and into your physical self, where we listen for the sensation-messages stored within, move through waves of emotion, revisit memories, explore visions, process trauma, install healing elements, and practice holding and caring for your inner world. Using the breath and your conscious awareness, we develop your ability to notice, tolerate and eventually, welcome it all. Expanding your bodily insight, appreciation and attunement, your ability to stay present, and your skills to ground and soothe yourself.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy - Some overlap with somatic therapy: Experimenting with gentle, non-contact, physical motions and postural adjustments as a means of reaching somatic closure from traumatic memories, releasing physical tension, lifting your outlook on life, and improving your sense of self and safety in the world.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - Identifying recurring or intrusive thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and other cognitive patterns that may be hindering your self esteem, confidence, daily functioning, or ability to relate freely and authentically to others. Challenging these unhelpful cognitions with simple perspective-testing exercises, and by experimenting with alternative ideas. Resetting your cognitive defaults, allowing you more mental freedom, nuance and possibility.
I approach my practice with a commitment to keep my practitioner-self in constant conversation with my learner-self. My intention is not only to be a better person and therapist, but a keen, curious and perpetual student.
As lived realities are ever-evolving, therefore so must my knowledge base and practice be. I centre my continued education on those changing realities and the psychological, emotional, spiritual and material impacts they have on those who experience them.
I receive supervision and consultation from a senior therapist with extensive experience and similar social, political and therapeutic commitments as myself.
Whatever is shared between us is kept strictly confidential, in accordance with the ethical parameters and codes of conduct that our college of professional practice holds us to.
Together, we share perspectives, discuss therapeutic approaches, and strategize around how I can better support you.
My supervisor also supports me in noticing, understanding and managing my own biases and triggers, as I strive towards bettering my ally-ship and professional integrity.
Somatic Experiencing; the Body-Oriented Approach to Trauma & Stress
Online course guided by Peter Levine
Narrative Therapy & Trauma
Hosted by the Narrative Therapy Centre, Toronto
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy & Trauma
Online course guided by Janina Fisher
Masters in Social Work (MSW), specializing in Social Justice and Diversity
University of Toronto, Ontario
Registered Social Worker (RSW) and Psychotherapist
Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Registration Number 821109
BA.Hon. International Development, (Minor : Spanish Language)
University of Guelph, Ontario