Who I Work With

The clients I work with are ready to stop doing what does not work. They have reached a point where they are open to outside perspectives and support to better manage their stresses, struggles and decisions. The issues and problems my clients face range from too much (or too often) stress and anxiety to full blown crisis where things have spiraled out of control and they are overwhelmed and immobilized.

The types of problems my clients experience are endless and have no boundaries. They range from a little stress at work to a home life that is pressure-filled and drives them crazy. Note: crazy is not bad in small doses and short time periods. And let’s not forget that problems and issues don’t exist in a vacuum. They often overlap and can spread in a ripple effect to other areas of life that previously seemed “okay”. Personal issues will affect work and vice versa – there is little chance to keep them totally separate.

Just like the list of possible problems, the variety of people who attend therapy has no limits. No gender, generation, culture or business sector goes unscathed or unaffected by stress, challenges and problems. Since problems and issues rarely exist in isolation, counselling attendance and participation may include the individual, spouse/partner, family, team and in some cases the entire workplace.

Although potential stresses and problems are endless and what (or who) causes them is limitless, a common thread with my clients is a readiness to receive professional clinical help with a counsellor that lends support and contributes a psychological perspective. This openness is usually preceded by the realization: “I don’t have to find all the answers” and “I don’t have to do this on my own”.

Do any of these problems, challenges or issues sound familiar?

I discovered my spouse was having an affair for the last 6 months. I don’t know what to do. I want to forgive her but I can’t seem to forget it. My first reaction is to leave but I don’t believe in divorce and deep down I still love her.

I own a business which is seasonal and depends on referrals to bring in customers. Right now the economy is tough, word of mouth has slowed and customers are sparse. How do I manage the stress when it feels out of my control?  Should I just close the business and take my losses?

Our teenager used to be a good kid – tell us where he was, when he would be home and who he was with. Lately he sneaks out, comes home after curfew and smells of alcohol. I grounded him and took away his phone but nothing has changed. It’s getting worse.

I’m a high level executive and love my job. My wife says I am never home, I don’t help with parenting and I can’t leave work at work. She says she feels like hired help, taken for granted and a single parent. I am smart, educated and successful and give her everything money can buy, but don’t know what to change or where to start.

I am tired of putting on a brave face and telling everyone I am fine. I slug through work and family stuff and can make it look like I am okay. It should be rewarding and enjoyable but inside there is no passion or feeling. I think I am just going through the motions until…

I work hard and am dedicated to the company. My list of tasks and responsibilities get longer but I never get more pay or additional hours. I don’t sleep well, have panic attacks and feel quite hopeless. I don’t like having these thoughts or feeling this way. I am fed up.

It is not easy being an employee, manager, executive or business owner. It is even harder being a spouse, parent, step-parent or grandparent. Add to this the expectation that highly functioning people are supposed to juggle everything thrown their way in an efficient and effective manner. Sound like too much for anyone to handle…absolutely?!  My clients fall into three categories:

1. Individual

These clients want to attend counselling on their own to assess the problem, look at options, develop better coping skills and make choices for change. There is the option to invite others to attend sessions if appropriate and beneficial.

2. Couples

These clients have relationship difficulties and the reason can be about conflict or distance. Each person can attend individually before coming in as a couple. It is essential to clarify the problems, understand the difficulties and explore where change is possible in order to create an action plan and steps.

3. Corporate Executives

These clients might have individual, relationship, family or work difficulties but their commonality is being in high-level, executive positions. They are usually workaholics and don’t make (or take) the time to address personal issues. They believe either they can solve their own problems or they can’t let others know they are not perfect or in control. And sometimes they just might be oblivious to how bad the problems really are.

Therapists have different types of education, various levels of training and unique specialties. Consequently, there are limitations on what clients Counsellors should see, the issues they should address and the skills or models they should use to support clients.

As a result, I don’t work with everyone or take on every client. I can only be successful with clients who are willing to take responsibility and be accountable working toward change. These conditions ensure there is a good fit and clients will experience success.

Clients are likely to be successful working with me if:

  • They are in a readiness-bound state. Specifically, they must be ready to look at problems, identify strengths and challenges while being prepared to create change. In its easiest form – clients must be ready to stop doing what does not work.
  • The motivation for change is their own. The desire to attend therapy, put problems and issues on the table and seek solutions must be of their own choice. It cannot be part of a threat or ultimatum from someone else. Self-directedness is key.
  • The level of honesty is 100%. It can be difficult to say, feel and experience what might be true, honest and not pretty. If you want to take the easy way out or a shortcut, I am not the therapist for you. If you want to engage in therapy at the highest level, I can help you succeed.

Now that you know the kind of clients I work with, the issues I help them resolve and what my clients need to do to ensure their success, click on this link to learn more about How I Work.  Also, while I am located in Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley and meet with many clients in person, I also regularly work with people from far away remotely.