How I Work

When clients work with me there is a guarantee that change will occur. This change does not have to be drastic or grand. It can come from a new or revised perspective, different level of awareness, change in reaction time or with a slight adjustment to feelings and thoughts behind the challenge.

I focus on balancing the right model, the correct therapy and the appropriate strategies for each client. Because every client is different, the therapy and services provided should be as unique as the person(s) sitting across from me.

I adhere to one philosophy with every client: if your comfort level is high, then you will do great work in therapy. This means the counselling process is driven by the client. Clients are welcome to avoid certain topics, ask questions and not worry about providing “right” responses or telling stories in a “perfect” way.

My training is diverse but some of the processes are standardized. I will make sure that each client experiences:

  1. Intake and assessment
    This sounds technical but really it is exploring: what is going on, how long has it been a problem, the motivation for help and the historical pieces that might have an impact.
  1. Goal setting and clarification
    This piece is key to ensure that both the therapist and client are on the same page. Not everyone should have the same goals nor want to attend therapy for the same reason. When clients determine what they want to achieve, then the strategies in therapy are purposeful.
  1. Regular appointments
    This is not regimented but instead prescribes some regularity and consistency for momentum. I don’t have rules around how often or when clients should attend counselling sessions. I suggest personalized intervals and frequency so clients don’t experience an additional roller-coaster of start, stop, pause and start again while going through an already difficult time.
  1. Wrap up and follow up
    It is essential that both the client and counsellor agree when the work is done and sessions should cease. No one should be in therapy for lengthy periods of time like years or for life. It is essential for clients to learn the skills and tools and then go off to use and hone them in their situations and future circumstances. I follow up after the sessions have ended to check in and inquire about further coping, questions or issues.

My clients report they enjoy and appreciate this way of therapy. It is not invasive but rather is client driven and flexible enough to accommodate most people, situations and schedules. Clients like the fact there are no rules and appreciate the predictable and consistent pieces.

My guiding beliefs in therapy are short and simple:

  1. Clients can do great work if they are comfortable with their counsellor.
  2. Therapists do not fix nor give advice but help clients consider options and make good decisions.
  3. Therapists should take on different roles and tasks to help clients look at options, weigh choices and gain confidence in decision making.
  4. There is no right or wrong way to work with clients – just a “good fit”.

It is not appropriate to criticize other therapists or their services. Each and every therapist is different in personality, approach, methodology and training. There is no clear answer to prescribe the best counsellor, theory or model . . . that is why comfort level should be the guiding factor in finding a good fit.

When you work with me you can expect to see desirable and sustainable change in different circumstances.

Relationships are work and couples can get through difficult times if there is two way communication, understanding (not the same as agreement) and tools to create change. This does not exclude the option to end the relationship but making sure it is done for the right reasons, in a respectful manner and without regrets.

Entrepreneurship is a whole different beast that poses unique challenges. I help owners learn to take back control of their lives, establish boundaries for time and tasks as well as set limits to manage their stress levels. It is also not a bad idea to think about succession plans when they chose to wind things down or move on.

Children pose challenges to parents and caregivers, regardless of age or development level. I work with families to help them communicate better, establish parameters, set ground rules and clarify expectations. Role-modelling is more frequent and powerful than most people think.

The higher the position, the higher the demands, pressure and expectations. My work with executives helps them re-align their values with their careers, define “balance”, manage the juggling act and explore the super man or super women cape they wear. Hopefully the work is done before they face the harsh reality when “something has to give”.

Stress seems to be a way of life. I work with people and groups so they can be assertive, deal with difficult people, manage their time and tasks and achieve a feeling of value and self-worth. Clarity, self-care and balance are essential to juggle work, family, friends and home.

Guiding Beliefs or Values

My work is based on the following beliefs:

Everyone has limits and lessons they have learned in life. Each person has a unique history, level of tolerance, skills and abilities as well as philosophy or perspective. I work within these parameters rather than try to transform people or make them adhere to our beliefs.

Everyone has the capacity for change. The past is a great teacher if people know how to incorporate this learning into creating change in the future. The key is knowing change is needed and I help them with the how, when or where to start.

People think, feel and behave in different ways. Given this diversity, therapy should be about the person rather than some psychological agenda. A focus on how clients function best allows for greater personalization of services and success.

Success in change is proportional to motivation. People have different “tipping points” and moments when they reach it. This uniqueness impacts the urgency and degree of motivation to create change. It is critical to acknowledge differences and let clients get to change at their own pace.

People are people – age, gender, culture or beliefs do not serve as precursors to categorize or distinguish. Stereotypes and assumptions are common in society, communities and workplaces. They do not exist in my therapy room because individuality and uniqueness are explored, challenged and created differently for each person.

My Approach

My approach is flexible because I don’t make therapy about following rules. In any counselling session, the client’s needs come first and the process comes second. When the problems and issues are clear and goals are set, then the path to achievement can be flexible. Guiding factors such as stress, availability, energy and motivation play a part in how change is created and its pace.

The bottom line – Regardless of client, problem or circumstance I help clients make good decisions. I don’t tell them what to do, give answers or suggest best options. Decisions need to be theirs. My efforts, words and questions focus on helping clients make decisions that are thought out, educated and informed.

Flexibility is key – Different clients have different needs so one size or process does not fit all. There are many tools and methods available to tackle problems, issues and projects. The process is varied but the enthusiasm and dedication to assist are unwavering.

Customer service is guaranteed – Nothing is more frustrating than working with a professional who doesn’t answer the phone, return calls or respond to emails/texts. My mom always said “treat others the way you want to be treated”. The guarantee of quick responses is taken seriously and upheld to the best of my ability.

Moments of lightnessAlthough therapy is serious and the work can be intense, it is necessary to lighten moments up with humour. Jobs, life, family and relationships are heavy topics so light moments and the odd laugh help to create a good atmosphere and comfort.

My Uniqueness

What makes me different from other therapists is my ability to establish rapport and create a comfortable setting for clients. I don’t make it about therapy models and theories, but about the people across from me, what is important to them and our connection.

What makes my qualifications different is the assurance and credibility of education, certification and insurance. The ability to reassure clients of the service and their safety is foremost. I ensure that my education is ongoing, my national certification is up to date and my insurance is accurate. I encourage clients to interview counsellors about qualifications and expertise without fear of offending them.

What makes my experience different is the wide variety of clients, companies and settings. My fourteen years of experience has provided me the opportunity to work with youth, women, victims, First Nations and the elderly. I have experience to address issues such as careers, abuse, unemployment, crime, aging and relationships. I don’t just work with one type of client or problem.

What makes me stand out is the experience I am able to provide to my clients. I believe that regard, respect and honesty are important and each client receives these the moment they walk in the door. The compliments and thanks that I often receive speak to my genuine nature. I am passionate about caring, sharing and supporting people as they strive to make good decisions and create positive change in their lives.

Call to Action

Now that you have a better idea about my approach, my philosophy and the results you can expect when working with me, go to My Services to learn more.