My Approach to Therapy

My approach is to psychological treatment is evidence-based, holistic and client-centered. I focus on an individual’s strengths to help them develop skills and find resources for tackling whatever they are struggling with. We will work as collaborators in helping to improve your mental health and quality of life.  

In working with clients, I draw from a number of therapeutic models, including, but not limited to, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), interpersonal psychotherapy, and mindfulness. I have advanced training in the treatment of trauma and post-traumatic stress, including Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

Trauma & PTSD 

Psychological trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event or situation that breaks your sense of security. Traumatic experiences often involve a direct threat to life or safety, but anything that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or isolated can result in trauma. While it is not uncommon for people to deal with fear and anxiety during and immediately after a traumatic event, everyone’s emotional response is unique. Some people will naturally recover with time, while others may continue to experience trauma and stress-related symptoms that can include fear, guilt, shame, avoidance, anger, racing thoughts, sleep disturbance, somatic/physical symptoms, and panic. But there are effective therapies that can help. You are not alone. 

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Image by Jeremy Wong

Depression & Anxiety 

Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning, you may be depressed. Symptoms of depression can include feeling sad or anxious often or all the time; not enjoying activities that used to be fun; feeling irritable‚ easily frustrated‚ or restless; feeling guilty, worthless or helpless; and having trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions. Physical symptom can include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, energy level, sex drive, and experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment.

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, if you frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations and the anxiety and panic interfere with your daily activities or are difficult to control, it might be time to reach out for help.

 

You are not alone. There are very effective therapies available for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Grief & Loss 

While many people associate grief with the death loss of a loved one, a person can experience grief in many different situations. In fact, many people are experiencing grief as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grief is a normal response to loss during or after a disaster or other traumatic event. But grief can also occur in response to changes to daily routines and ways of life that usually bring us comfort and a feeling of security and stability.  Since the pandemic started, many people have been experiencing losses of, or changes in, their social lives, employment, financial security, holiday rituals, and access to family and support services. Funerals have gone online, weddings and graduations have been cancelled, vacation plans have been scrapped. Too much togetherness during quarantine, yet feelings of isolation, are becoming commonplace. These losses can happen at the same time, which can complicate or prolong grief and delay a person’s ability to adapt, heal, and recover. But there is help available. 

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Image by Simran Sood

Coping with Stress

Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Everyone experiences it to some degree; it is the body's response to anything that requires attention or action.

 

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But excess stress may actually be the cause.

 

The way you respond to stress, makes a big difference to your overall well-being. Sometimes, the best way to manage your stress involves changing your situation. At other times, the best strategy involves changing the way you respond to the situation. Whatever the cause, there are effective stress management techniques that you can learn to better handle what’s going on in your life.

Insomnia 

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can drain not only your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance and quality of life.

 

Cognitive-behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) is safe and effective treatment for insomnia, that is actually recommended by the Canadian Medical Association as a first-line treatment, that should be trialed before sleep mediations are prescribed.