My practice is centred around the belief that each of us carries intuitive knowing, intrinsic belonging, and unique purpose. The relationship we have with ourSelves is the template for all other relationships. With that in mind, I help people enter into meaningful and compassionate dialogue with the many facets of their own being, so they can show up better for each other. By collaborating with individuals to integrate their early life experiences, identify limiting stories, and re-write the narratives that guide their lives, I empower people to live more authentically and self-expressed.
My first degree is in the health sciences, and I worked as a Registered Nurse for 7 years before coming to counselling. I also utilize spiritual and existential approaches when appropriate, and believe that science and spirituality are cooperative and necessary processes.
I see myself not as an expert or someone with all the answers, but as a collaborative guide with deep respect for my clients and the wisdom they already have within.
Using a holistic and integrative lens, I help clients cultivate more compassion for themselves, more capacity to feel the hard stuff, and more understanding about how to manage the impacts of our history, our environment, and our daily lives. I also work with parents to decode family dynamics, and reconcile their own childhoods so they can emotionally attune to their kids and raise confident, self-regulated little people.
Why I became a Therapist
What Therapy With Me Looks Like
What to Expect
Your first appointment is to give me a foundational understanding of your journey, and introduce you to my particular approach and style. Early sessions are full of storytelling and question-asking, and this is the time to decide whether I am the person you would like to walk beside you through the journey that brings you in to counselling.
Counselling can be both short-term (5 sessions or less) or long-term (20 sessions or more) depending on each client, relationship, or family's goals for therapy. I typically recommend meeting weekly in the initial stages to establish a strong therapeutic relationship, as our connection will be the container for all the work we do together.
Here are a few things I believe:
1. Every human has experienced emotional trauma.
From a neurobiology perspective, trauma is anything that overwhelms our capacity to cope in a moment. We were all raised by imperfect parents (doing their best!) and we live in an imperfect world (full of human error), so pain is part of the package.
Being a trauma-informed practitioner means a definition of trauma that includes intergenerational, developmental, pre-verbal and attachment trauma. No one escapes childhood unscathed, and childhood is only the beginning. Your wounds are not your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.
2. Pain is the gateway to healing.
"And still, I am not tragic." —Indigenous author Lee Maracle
The inevitability of trauma isn't a tragedy, because our personal evolution happens in the healing. Each rupture offers the possibility for repair. Holding and integrating our pain is a practice that gives meaning, depth, fullness and purpose to our lives.
"If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door." —Clarissa Pinkola Éstes
"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen
Anything you have been avoiding, resisting, or wishing away? The wound is the door. We can use it.
3. We rise together.
As humans, we were never meant to walk this road alone. We are deeply relational creatures, and even the most introverted, internal-processors among us have what evolutionary psychologists call the Social Engagement System. This refers to the part of the nervous system that stores shame and fear of isolation, because we are wired for belonging.
As Ram Dass says, we are all just walking each other home. You do not have to walk alone.
Therapy was not part of my own journey until graduate school. My self-development until that point unfolded in books, lecture halls and in the practical arena of relationships. I traced my intrigue about the human condition through literature, consuming novels and poetry and studying linguistics as the science of meaning-making. Though juggling as much heartbreak, confusion, and self-sabotage as the next person, I was deeply committed to my own process and thought of myself as a self-healer.
It took me being a master's student studying counselling psychology to scrape together the courage to go to therapy myself. It's not easy baring your soul to a stranger...my clients are my heroes.
I remember the first time I walked into a therapy office. It was a tiny room with a stiff leather couch. I perched awkwardly on the edge of my seat, trying to keep an open mind and soothe quiet skepticism. Scanning the room I took in the plants, sipped herbal tea, and noted an abstract painting on the wall. I remember thinking maybe my mind looked like that painting, like multicolour resin dripping and frozen in time. I walked out of the session intrigued. A little by the counsellor, a little by the process, and a lot by mySelf...by the layers of my own experience that I sensed, but didn't have language for yet.
Today I believe so deeply in the counselling process and the therapeutic relationship that I sit on couches regularly. Sometimes I even relax into them instead of teetering on the edge. Other times the heavy-lifting is uncomfortable, and I embody that old ready-to-run, perched posture, which is ok too. Therapy is for me a container for healing and becoming. I enter as a client committed to continually doing my own work, and as a professional seeking clinical supervision from my colleagues and mentors.
I still identify as a self-healer, and believe all people have the intrinsic capacity to heal themselves with support, knowledge, tools, and by accessing their own intuition and insight. I also fully believe that being heard, seen, and witnessed nonjudgmentally by another human is one of the most transformative experiences we can have – it certainly has been (and continues to be) for me. We heal individually, together.
Our work together will be full of compassion, emotional attunement, curiosity, and empathy. My goal is to walk with you through your process, at your pace. I’ll ask a lot of questions and sometimes hold space for silence. We’ll laugh, we might cry, we’ll feel uncomfortable at times and we’ll lean into it. I’ll honour wherever you are in the moment, and gently encourage you to grow into where you want to go.
Approach: My therapeutic perspective is an integrative mix of interpersonal neurobiology, developmental psychology, attachment theory, somatic psychotherapy, mindfulness-based approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Narrative Therapy and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). I infuse cultural awareness and humility into my work, and have experience with First Nations clients, as well as LGBTQ2+ clients.
Areas of Focus: parenting, marriage and relationship, family systems, intergenerational trauma, developmental trauma, ancestral healing, grief and loss, mother-daughter relationship, anxiety and stress, difficult life transitions, dream analysis, relationship to Food and Body (including disordered eating and self-harm)
Who I Work With: parents, families, couples, mother/daughter dyads, new moms, teenagers (ages 12+)
Certifications and Trainings
Narrative Practices, Dulwich Centre, June 2018
Online Counselling Fundamentals, eTherapy Essentials, July 2018
Childhood Anxiety: Helping Children Heal, Institute of Child Psychology, June 2019
Conscious Parenting Certification, Dr. Shafali Tsabary (author of The Awakened Family and The Conscious Parent), July 2019
Positive Parenting Conference 2019 (16 masterclasses) May 11-14, 2019
Identifying and Working Through Problematic Parenting Patterns, Mental Health Foundations, Dr. Adele Lafrance (co-developer of EFFT), February 2019
Treating Trauma Master Series, National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioural Medicine (NICABM), May 2018
Resilience in Children: Understanding Attachment, Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute (CRTI), June 2018
An Introduction to Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, April 2018
Bachelor of Nursing (minor in psych), University of Calgary
Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, Yorkville University
Registered Clinical Counsellor, BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC membership number 16031)
Professional Membership, Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA membership number 10001407)