Most people struggle when it comes to communicating honestly and lovingly with their significant others and themselves. Growing up and living in today’s society means very likely you weren’t taught to master assertiveness or the art of listening, instead you learned to argue and moreover, winning an argument was paramount! Quite possibly you often find this deeply frustrating.
I help clients become better communicators.
Great communication is about listening, not arguing. It’s about knowing yourself – knowing the truth of your reality, being confident in that reality and being willing and able to hear your significant other’s truth, and the truth of many of those around you, without judgment. Non-judgment is a critical element of effective communication, because judgment frequently gets in the way of clear understanding. My clients consult me for a wide variety of reasons, but I have found that learning to better communicate is nearly always a part of their recovery path.
I help clients understand themselves more fully.
Coming to terms with something like a serious illness, an addiction, the loss of a loved one or the struggle of staying productive on the job in the face of adversity takes courage and support. My counselling practice has taught me that human beings are deeply courageous, intelligent and full of life even if they believe the opposite about themselves, which unfortunately many do. I help them see themselves in a different, more positive light.
I help clients develop greater means to cope
Acquiring healthy coping skills is in large measure what EAP is about. Skills such as habitually cultivating a relaxed mind and body, assertiveness, ‘fair fighting rules’ and more, enable you to 'trust the process’ of working towards positive outcomes.
The counselling experience is a journey towards greater trust
The counselling experience is a journey my client and I embark on together. There are theories that inform my process as a counsellor, but the journey itself is unique to each client. I usually follow the methodologies of self-psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) according to each client's individual needs. Trust is critical in the therapeutic relationship. You the client need to feel comfortable with the pace of therapy, and of course there has to be a good match of personalities – my counselling style must be agreeable to you otherwise it is better to consult a different counsellor (if that is the case that is perfectly OK!). That means I need to fully hear what you have to say, to understand the significance of your thought processes and proceed at your pace.
If you are facing an important life issue that deep down you know you need help coping with, then quite possibly I can help. Benefitting from counselling relies in large measure on your willingness to do the work of getting well. I don’t direct or advise, that is not a counsellor’s role. I do my best to reflect useful insights regarding what you are dealing with, which in turn can help you discern and implement your way forward.
I help clients who are coping with any of the following:
Conflict in intimate relationships,
Social anxiety disorder
My clients do the work of feeling better, which usually involves ‘homework’ such as journaling about events and thoughts that provoke anxious, angry or depressive symptoms and reactions. Deconstructing problematic patterns of thinking can be very helpful when preparing to make changes in life. Deciding to approach a problem differently is often an important key to success. We may not have any ability to influence the economy for example, but we can exercise agency over our reaction to a layoff, which often ushers in exciting new opportunities.
Earlier in life I struggled with anxiety, so I have some first hand experience with recovering from its affects. I have an affinity for counselling psychology, I understand the process both academically and intuitively and I enjoy counselling. Second, I know how to successfully cultivate a therapeutic alliance that benefits the client. That is, I can develop a relationship of mutual trust if it is a good match of therapist and client, then I am able to help you maximize the effectiveness of your recovery efforts.
My life outside my practice
For relaxation during the summer months I like to drive an antique 1967 Impala SS convertible whenever I can. An ‘old skool’ Chevy with the top down makes for one of the best driving experiences possible, in my opinion! Researching and collecting parts for the car is a pleasant pastime as well. Aside from cars I like to travel internationally, but spending time with my two granddaughters is at the top of my list!