Every therapy relationship is different, but in general my style as a therapist is warm, open and nonjudgmental. My clients have told me that they feel safe with me, and understood. The focus of our sessions is on you - but I will be an active participant in our conversations, too.
I try to strike a balance between listening and guiding. With all clients, a cornerstone of my approach is to recognize the strength and adaptiveness in people and how they have responded to their circumstances, rather than looking for what is broken.
My approach as a counsellor is "body-centered", which means that during our sessions I will most likely ask you to reflect on what you notice in your body. This may feel strange at first, and may take some practice, but my experience is that the body is a rich source of information, and also the place where our deepest healing happens. The body can take us past our stories, into direct experience, and into the present moment. See "What is somatic psychotherapy?" I will work with you to build your own sense of connection to your body, and your experience of it as a resource and a source of insight, rather than something to be feared or avoided. This includes teaching skills like grounding and breathing, and the simple but profound work of learning to be with yourself in the present moment.
However, the body isn't everything. Together, we will also pay attention to your emotions, your thoughts, your beliefs (about yourself, others, and the world), and the bigger context of your life. I bring my experience and my training to our sessions, but I also respect your wisdom about what you need in a counselling session.
The way I work is strongly influenced by my ongoing training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). AEDP is a powerful model for change, growth and healing, that starts with the creation of a strong and trusting relationship between therapist and client. It is a very "present moment" oriented approach to psychotherapy, rooted in attachment theory and current neuroscience, and often brings about transformation in a way that many "talk therapy" approaches cannot. AEDP is healing oriented, rather than based in ideas about psychopathology. There is a wonderful and more complete explanation on the AEDP Institute website.
I have experience and training in a wide variety of other approaches to counselling and psychotherapy, too, including transpersonal approaches, Hakomi, psychodynamic psychotherapy, relational psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural, and various models of working with trauma, including the Comprehensive Resource Model. I have a lot of experience working with the LGBTQ population, and with "sexual outsider" populations as well.
Being a therapist is sacred work to me. It is an honour and a privilege to earn the trust of my clients and to help them experience change in their lives, sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small.
I recognize that choosing a therapist is a big decision, and that there are many styles of therapy available to you. Research has demonstrated that what matters most is the sense of a "good fit" between client and counsellor. To help you get a feel for my style, I offer new clients a free 30-minute consultation. Please give me a call, or send me an email -- I look forward to hearing from you.