I start with close listening to what is going on for you. My approach will vary depending on what is happening in your life. There is no one-size-fits-all technique for counselling. Some lucky people have a clear sense of their problem and are in a position to take steps to solve it. Many problems are much less clear, and the path forward seems hard and stressful. I am here to help you define that path and tolerate your experience while you take steps forward. Sometimes I offer strategies and techniques; sometimes I help clients sit with and identify their feelings, to evolve a plan forward.
I draw on a number of theories, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, grief therapy, narrative therapy, family systems theory, mindfulness based approaches, acceptance and commitment therapy, motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, and response-based therapy. I also use the Gottman approach and emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples work. I also use my life experience.
Whatever the problem, I am trained to pick out the patterns in your behaviour, which provide clues to helping you feel better. It can be hard to see these patterns on your own. Everyone’s story is unique. I have treated people who are rehashing a major life crisis over and over, others who are trying to change an addictive behaviour or unhelpful thought pattern, and others who are trying to figure out a big decision. Many people want to set boundaries in their relationships. Sometimes after a death in the family there is family turmoil or intense grief – I help people through their grieving and some of the life choices they may need to make. I also see people about their sexual health – processing baby or pregnancy feelings, addressing miscarriage grief, or finding a way through endometriosis feelings.
I am very interested in how people recover from shaming experiences. Shame is a universal human feeling, and everyday shame can be uncomfortable but manageable – it passes like embarrassment. Sometimes, though, shame creeps up on us and continues to undermine us – perhaps we were victimized, or we acted in a way that we deeply regret. Perhaps we cannot easily shake the feeling, or we personalize what happened to us. Perhaps no one stood up for us at some point. Troubling shame tends to stick around, and plays a part in keeping people stuck. It doesn’t have to stay that way – I can help you with this.