I tend to think of therapy as something unique – it is a time and place for people to reflect upon things with someone who is really listening. Of course psychotherapy is more than just listening. A good therapist is at times a listener, a guide, a support, a mirror, someone who can help to hold and contain the sadness or frustration we feel while working to find a different way.
Therapy is about change.
We know from the research in counselling psychology that change can happen in many different ways. My approach to therapy is to meet people where they are at and work on the goals that they establish to be important for themselves. This means that what happens in therapy with me is different for each person I work with.
Of course there are some things that you can expect when working with me. I follow a humanistic orientation to counseling – I see all of my clients as human beings who are in the process of growing and learning. Somewhere along that process things happen to every one of us that cause us to get stuck. Maybe even stuck for a long time. We find ourselves trying to keep going on in the same way we usually do, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t seem to work. We feel sad, angry, hopeless, frustrated, ashamed, or afraid. And it can be so hard to reach out for help. I find that when my clients call me, they’ve already taken the first steps toward change. My job is to acknowledge where they are, what they are feeling, how they might feel stuck, and work with them to find another story, another way to keep growing and learning.
In my practice, I use a holistic approach – focusing on thoughts, feelings, actions, and the human spirit. I often use techniques from Existential-Humanistic Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Positive Psychology, and mindfulness-based therapies.