I work with teens and adults as well as parents and loved ones. I specialize in working with neurodiverse clients such as mild autism (formerly Asperger’s), ADHD, learning disabilities, as well as comorbidities such as anxiety, depression, and mental health issues. I also work with clients with traumatic experiences, and various mental health concerns or life stressors.
I use an eclectic approach based on my client’s unique needs. The foundation of my work is Person-Centred Therapy, which is based on unconditional acceptance and positive regard and encourages the client to develop their own solutions. I am trained in various evidence-based and other modalities listed below, which I use as appropriate.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems. CBT leads to significant improvement in quality of life. CBT is an approach for which there is ample scientific evidence that the methods that have been developed actually produce change. In CBT, problems are based, in part, on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking, learned patterns of unhelpful behavior, and people suffering from problems can learn better ways of coping with them, thereby relieving their symptoms and becoming more effective in their lives.
Behaviour therapies are based on the theory of classical conditioning. The foundation is that behaviour is learned; faulty learning (i.e. conditioning) is the cause of aberrant behaviour. As such, the individual has to learn the acceptable behaviour. An important feature of behaviour therapy is its focus on current problems and behaviour, and on attempts to remove behaviour the person finds troublesome. Examples of behaviour therapy techniques include systematic desensitization/fear ladder for kids.
Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where we are, and what we are doing, and avoid being reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. Often, we become worried about the passed, or stressed about the future, and neglect the present moment. Mindfulness in psychotherapy is used in a purposeful manner, that helps the person become more present in the moment, in a non-judgemental way.
Narrative Therapy is a client-centred approach that puts people as the experts in their own lives. It separates the person from the problem and frames the problem in a larger sociocultural context. It teaches the client to develop and re-write a new story for their purpose separate from their problems. It helps the client identify their values and skills, and develop knowledge to effectively cope with future problems.
Solution - Focused Therapy
Solution-Focused Therapy is different in many ways from traditional approaches to counselling. It minimizes emphasis on past problems, and instead focuses on the person’s strengths and previous successes. There is a focus on working from the person’s understandings of her/his concern/situation and what the person might want different. It is based on solution-building rather than problem-solving. The therapeutic focus is on the person’s desired future rather than on past problems or current conflicts. Clients are encouraged to increase the frequency of current useful behaviours.
Motivational interviewing (MI) is a psychotherapy method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings to find the internal motivation they need to change their behaviour. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes. Collaborative, person-centred and goal-oriented, MI aims to strengthen the client’s motivation toward healthy behaviour change.
Traumatic Incident Reduction
Traumatic Incident Reduction is a procedure that allows a person to desensitize painful experiences and reduce or eliminate the negative impact of traumatic, overwhelming events. TIR is a one-on-one therapeutic technique performed by trained professionals, called “facilitators,” in a highly structured manner. Sessions are typically 60-90 minutes in length and generally offered weekly. The number of needed sessions is determined by each individual and their specific needs and progress.