my approach

Counselling Services in Waterloo Region

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
— Alan Watts

I truly care about the people I get to work with and feel lucky to have a job in which I can witness what phenomenal strengths people possess and what incredible changes they are capable of making in their lives. And since counselling goals have to do with your happiness and life fulfillment, I take this role very seriously. My approach is to work collaboratively with you to come up with a treatment plan that will be the most effective in creating change. 

I partially do this by using a tri-phasic approach. While it was originally developed by Judith Herman as a model for trauma therapy, I believe it to be an appropriate strategy no matter what you might hope to address.


the tri-phasic approach

Safety and Stabilization
In order for someone to do their best work, they have to be in a position of safety, whether that be physical or emotional. This stage might involve putting safety plans in place or developing coping strategies. Basically, let's figure out how you can manage day-to-day stressors before we start processing deeper work.

For example, let's say that you come to counselling hoping to work on your anxiety. During this stage, we would look at ways to reduce the symptoms of anxiety so that you can get through your day or stressful moments.

At this stage we look more deeply at presenting issues in order to understand their root causes. (Using our earlier example, we would explore what incidents in your life led to the start of your anxiety). This part of the process can be painful as we bring up thoughts, beliefs, emotions and memories that you may have actively tried to avoid. This could entail traditional talk therapy or even EMDR therapy.

As we begin to put the past into context and resolve your intense feelings about them, your thoughts, feelings, and even beliefs can change. Using the earlier example, perhaps the anxiety you came to address is no longer present and allows you to connect with people on a deeper level. This part can look different for each individual, but ultimately it is about learning to live a life where you no longer carry the burdens from your past.