With more than 9 years experience as a counsellor and therapist, and as a graduate of the University of Calgary and Covenant Seminary specializing in Psychology, I am currently serving as private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. Among my areas of expertise are strengthening connections and relationships, self-esteem, eating disorders, body image, spirituality, and sexual addiction (Task Based recovery model of leading specialist Dr. Patrick Carnes).
In addition to being a prominent relationship and individual therapist, I've sat on panels for advocacy events and spoken to general audiences on the topics of addictions, mental health and wellness.
I practice an empathic integrated approach using Interpersonal (Psychodynamic), Client-Centered and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. My therapeutic approach is to provide support, strategies and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. I integrate complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding and the pursuit of excellence, I work with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.
More About Me
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. I trained in the areas of mental health and psychology as well as spiritual concerns. Working with individuals, couples and groups my interpersonal approach to therapy creates a safe environment of acceptance and healing. I incorporate the use of many therapies, emphasizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Systems techniques to build compassion and increase my client’s understanding of themselves and others. From this you, my client, can heal from possible early relational wounds and know the freedom to more confidently move forward within life and relationships. I’ll work carefully with you to establish the outcomes you desire and sensitively journey with you to see that they are achieved.
With 3 years spent working with at-risk young women for behavioral, educational and relational difficulties, my work improved the lives of youth and families through incorporating an empathetic, personalized approach to Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Through the use of behavior management techniques and experiential learning approaches, my clients experienced great change and gained confidence with their identities as beautiful, amazing young women. They valued the caring, supportive space I provided for them to take risks and make change.
No stranger to the twists and turns that life leads in pursuit of a career, I’m also an experienced Junior and Senior High school teacher. Teaching in Southern California allowed me to simultaneously explore my passion for counselling techniques and practices by taking courses in nouthetic counselling (a Christian counselling approach) as well as delve into a variety of perspectives within faith-based approaches and treatments. I bring the fruit of my training, extensive study and reflection to my work with clients struggling for meaning and self-identity, helping them examine their beliefs and schemas about life as it impacts their issues and freeing them up to know greater flourishing in life and living.
Working in marketing and development at a local non-profit school upon returning to Calgary, I navigated complex relationships between students, teachers, school and outside business communities. I bring this sensitivity to my work with clients, introducing new perspectives that clients find expands their thinking and, in turn, their living and being. As a passionate resource for learning, counselling and immigrant / multicultural issues, I blend this passion with compassion, acceptance and an engaging listening ear to help clients feel understood, safe and comfortable.
My counselling practice includes working with individuals who are faced with a variety of issues, including:
· Disordered Eating
· Grief / Loss / Trauma
· Anger and emotion regulation
· Career counselling
· Relationship issues
· Body image
I am experienced treating adults, adolescents and children, and enjoy incorporating art therapy and experiential learning assignments into my work. This helps clients access and develop less integrated areas of self: body, soul, and mind.
In the area of Couples Counselling, I’m trained in both Gottman and Emotion Focused Therapy (Sue Johnson). I flexibly incorporate both approaches as suits couple’s needs. During my 16 month practicum at the Calgary Counselling Centre I assisted numerous couples in strengthening their connection, improving their communication and raising their satisfaction with both their relationship and their partner. My compassionate and discerning listening approach creates a space of trust from which clients can practice new ways of relating and feel their partner is ‘on their side.’
Sexual addiction is a complex addiction but there is hope! As a trained Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), I use the Task Based Recovery Model developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes http://www.sexhelp.com/
Learn more about treatment for sex addiction http://www.recoveryzone.com/ including an initial (free) sexual addiction screening assessment http://www.recoveryzone.com/ >, please visit http://www.iitap.com/ . If you are a partner affected by your loved ones addiction, take the Partner Sexuality Survey http://www.sexhelp.com/
My current interests include attachment theory and its role in development, cross-cultural worldviews and multi-cultural issues in counselling, narrative approaches and the integration of Christianity and psychology in practice, both for counsellors and clients.
A native Calgarian, I enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities, the beauty of the mountains and the cuisines and cultural life of the city. I also enjoy soccer, play it badly, and play anyway. I currently provide services to clients in the greater Calgary area and outlying areas of Okotoks, Chestermere, Airdrie and Cochrane. For those too far from Calgary to attend face-to-face sessions regularly, I use Skype and e-counselling depending on the issue. Contact me soon to discuss your needs and how my experience and training can assist you in moving beyond these issues to greater resolution and healing.
License, Certifications & Awards
I am registered psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) with IITAP .
Professional Activities and Memberships
I am member of several associations; Psychologists' Association of Alberta, the College of Alberta Psychologists, the American Psychological Association, and the International Institute of Trauma & Addiction Professionals.