I provide individual counselling for young adults and adults who are dealing with the following issues.
Stress & Burnout. After being an intern at Student Counselling Services (SCS) at the University of Alberta, this an area of expertise. SCS provided a thorough education re. how to help individuals handle/recover from extraordinary cumulative stress and burnout.
First Nation / Inuit / Métis Issues. I have extensive experience with helping First Nation, Inuit and Métis people with overcoming and/or healing from the many issues that stem from their experience of systematic racism and genocide (e.g., the Indian Residential Schools). In full agreement with the National Truth and Reconciliation's 'Calls to Action,' I use culturally safe counselling approaches and prioritize traditional First Nation, Inuit and Métis beliefs, spirituality, healing practices, and coping practices. Towards this end, I am extremely comfortable with discussing (a) the power of traditional healing practices as well as (b) spiritual experiences (and abilities).
Depression that involves longstanding feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness and/or a loss of interest or pleasure in most or all activities (especially ones that you're normally find enjoyable).
High Anxiety (e.g., Generalized Anxiety Disorder) that involves persistent and excessive worry that is difficult to control and that may coincide with feeling exhausted as well as difficulties with sleep.
Relationship Problems that may involve emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, frequent conflict, arguments or problems that don't get resolved, communication issues, distance or growing apart, persistent resentment, meddling by parents, partnership agreement (e.g., surrounding money or home maintenance), needs being met (see: love languages), breakdowns in trust, and/or subjects that are off-limits or that you're afraid to talk about.
Significant Loss, Grief, or Bereavement. This may involve intense yearning and emotional pain related to the death, emotional numbness, feeling that life is meaningless, intense loneliness, and/or difficulties with engaging with friends, pursuing interests, and planning for the future.
Coping with Serious Illness and Chronic Health Conditions. This may involve the process of moving towards acceptance, establishing self-care and stress-management, grieving a previous lifestyle, enlisting support, establishing communication and assertiveness with loved-ones/supports, dealing with worry, self-advocating while navigating through the medical system, expressing or coping with negative emotions (.e.g, feeling defeated, scared, or hopeless), learning how to respond to your body/symptoms, and occasionally, pushing your limits (to see what you can take back). List not exhaustive.
Family - Of - Origin Issues. These issues may include having/recovering from family experiences that involve alcoholism, drug addiction, workaholism, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.
Self - Esteem, Self-Worth, and/or Self - Acceptance: Getting to that place of "liking yourself."
Abuse or Traumatic Experience - In terms of abuse or traumatic experience, I always remember what Dolan (a foremost expert) says at the start: "Tell me what you think is important for me to know." If people give her a 3-sentence answer, she then says, "Alright...let's get started." I do not corner people. That said, my first order of business is always trying to understand how the abuse or trauma may be affecting things. Some common trauma symptoms include (a) depression, (b) anxiety, (c) nightmares, (d) persistent negative beliefs (e.g., "I'm broken" or "Nobody can be trusted"), (e) flashbacks, (f) irritable or intense angry outbursts, (g) memory loss, (h) a pattern of unstable or intense interpersonal relationships, and (i) recurrent, involuntary, and distressing memories [list not exhaustive]. In addition to increasing awareness about how the trauma is active, I also have the early goal of having people leave with HOPE. The experts now know that we heal-up from trauma symptoms over time (even without counselling) and that it is possible to be SYMPTOM-FREE with the right kinds of treatment.
"That which we are not aware of ... we pass on to our children."
~ Dr. Gabor Mate.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. “
~ John Lennon.
"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."
~ Dr. Abraham Maslow.
"I have not failed ... I have just found 10,000 things that do not work."
~ Thomas Edison.
"People are running about following their little tracks. I am one of them. But we've all gotta stop ... just stop following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything. This is something that I'm beginning to learn."
~ Joe Strummer, The Clash.
"Everything can be taken from [you] but the last of human freedoms ... the freedom to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances."
~ Dr. Viktor Frankl.
"Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something."
~ Neil Gaiman
"I think that this person is suffering from memories."
~ Dr. Sigmund Freud (c.1895)
"When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic."
~ Dr. Carl Rogers
List to be continued.....
Please click here if you would like more information on whether or not you should consider therapy, what to consider when making the choice, questions to ask, and credentials to look for (as provided by the Psychologists' Association of Alberta).
Psychology is the ORIGINAL life-coaching.
I monitor progress with hopes of seeing significant improvement within 12 sessions. Outcome research shows that significant counselling gains usually occur within 8-12 sessions.
If none of the issues to the left are a match, no worries! A major aspect of effective counselling is "issue-clarification." As such, I'm extremely comfortable with folks who come in saying little more than "things are off," "I just want another set of eyes on the situation," or "I'm just not happy...and I'm really not sure why." That's a start! Then I can get into the sleuth-work to shed some light on what's going on....
If you have any questions about whether or not I can help with the issue at hand, phone consultation is free of charge! [780-940-4059]
I sometimes forget to say this: It is always a good idea to get a medical examination before you come in (or soon afterwards). Health issues can produce many of the symptoms noted on the left. It's always helpful to rule them out.