Social Worker & Psychotherapist

My approach to psychotherapy is grounded in science, humanistic developmental theory, and extensive experience supporting and counselling people from diverse cultural backgrounds.  The foundation of my approach to helping rests on 20 years of social work and counselling experience. By focusing on helping clients to develop internal resources and skills and to re-engage with their social supports clients may effectively gain control of their lives. I use this information, this knowledge, and my experience working in mental health and addictions with my clients to empower them in their journey to recovery and to assist them in developing effective coping strategies. I help those with mental health gain the necessary internal resources to cope and help foster social support to maintain their mental health and wellness and achieve optimal health. Mental health recovery and healing of addictions is achievable by collaborating with a skilled professional and accessing necessary support.

 

Sometimes there is a biological basis for mental illness. In these cases, it is often necessary to partner with a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or other health professional to collaborate on supporting you with a more comprehensive plan of care. Genetic, pathology may also be the basis of mental health diagnosis. The knowledgeable social work/psychotherapy support I offer may assist you with your plan of care and help you navigate support. As well, the services I offer will also provide you with the necessary evidence-based psychotherapeutic skills-based support to assist you in developing much-needed skills and guidance necessary to help reduce the severity of acute symptoms, manage ongoing mild symptoms, and sometimes even lead to full remission of symptoms. 

 

 Sometimes, traumas that come from the environment in which a person was raised are very impacting. The skills we acquire and learn through our early life often determine how effective we may be at dealing with stress later in life. As well, one's ability to move through the stresses others may find easier to manage is also learned during these earlier experiences. These learned adaptational patterns of survival and attachment often may carry us through difficult times earlier in one's life. However, as we outgrow their utility we may also find ourselves in new relationships and on new paths where these behaviors are less effective.  One may then learn new ways and internal resources and skills to connect with their new environment and to foster new healthier ways of relating to the people around them and coping with stress, and new lifestyles.

 

Sometimes problems may be more complex with intergenerational trauma or where injury has occurred at the hands of family members or loved ones throughout one's early life and throughout stages of development. The resulting Complex Post Traumatic Stress is a normal response to such traumatic attachments and can set one up for patterns of painful relationships. Dissociative patterns of managing stress may begin to emerge in personality. When working with a skilled therapist these patterns may become responsive to counselling and therapeutic support. 

Often when working with an addiction,  we discover that individual and family dysfunction is rooted in disordered attachment and childhood traumas which are sometimes inter-generational. The early attachments with significant others-parents and/or caregivers lay the foundation for one's ability to regulate emotion, and deal with life's challenges. These tools and skills help us to move through stressful life events. When the original template for emotional connection is impacted this may affect our abilities to cope and connect with relational-family and social supports that are vital for healthy functioning. The social work/psychotherapist may assist you in addressing these hurts, healing them, and assist you in reconnecting to your social supports.

 

If you come from another culture, environmental impacts such as the collective experience of your cultural group and its current experience may also influence your outlook and how well you cope with stress.  Any discrimination experienced based on race, class or gender is also a type of trauma that can deeply impact one's personal well-being.

I will assist you in your journey toward recovery as well assist you to manage anxiety, depression, and other acute symptoms of mental health. Through therapy, you can heal and learn new ways to regulate emotions, have more balanced thinking and lead a more productive and happier lifestyle. Feel free to contact me to assist you in your journey of healing, recovery, and self-discovery. With support tailored to your individual needs, you may live a cherished and more fulfilled, healthy lifestyle and relationships.