What can therapy offer you?
- Safety to explore traumatic memories
- New skills to foster confidence in your own abilities
- Tools to problem solve current worries
- Help in accepting reality and moving on from events that cannot be changed
- Understanding and compassion of your experiences and emotions
- Encouragement while making changes to relationships and lifestyle
- Improved relationships
- A new perspective on life
- Improved mental health
The initial counselling appointment is about getting to know you and hearing about your hopes for therapy. We complete an intake to understand your history, and learn about the life events and relationships that are important to you. From there, I bring in a variety of evidence-based therapeutic modalities (see below) to support you in working towards your goals.
Whatever brings you to counselling, be it supporting unmet needs or healing unresolved traumas, know that you have the capacity to heal. While counselling can sometimes be a difficult journey, it is a process wherein you learn about your inner resources and become the individual you wish to be.
Learn more about the therapy models used in sessions:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
- Internal Family Systems Therapy
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Eye Movement Densitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that is highly effective in treating PTSD and traumatic memories. From car accidents to sexual assault to childhood trauma, EMDR helps individuals to no longer feel overwhelmed by these disturbing events. EMDR is different from your conventional talk therapy (which may feel like a relief for those who have tried traditional therapies and felt stuck!).
How does EMDR work?
When traumatic events happen, we are not able to process them because they are so jarring to our system. Therefore, they are not properly stored in our long-term memory. During EMDR, a therapist guides a client to think about a traumatic memory in a specific pattern of brief doses while also focusing on an external object (e.g. eye movements, tapping) at the same time. When you process a memory in this manner, your brain will jump around to various memories, thoughts, and emotions. It will find connections between the original traumatic event and its later impacts on your life (e.g. how that event has affected your beliefs later in life). EMDR considers a memory to be fully “cleared” when an individual no longer feels emotionally distressed by the traumatic event, and the beliefs about him/her/themselves is shifted to a more positive stance.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
DBT is a type of psychotherapy that was initially created to help individuals with borderline personality disorder. It has supported individuals who have struggled with multiple suicide attempts and ongoing relational and emotional crises. This counselling model recognises that some individuals are more emotionally vulnerable: they are more sensitive when conflict/stress happens, and they have a harder time calming down once triggered.
How does it work?
DBT helps individuals by teaching them how to build numerous coping skills, such as:
– Becoming mindful of our present life (as opposed to feeling anxious about the future, or staying enraged about past events)
– Learning strategies to tolerate crises
– Becoming less susceptible to mood swings
– Improving our relationships (e.g. learning how to be assertive or set boundaries)
Internal Family Systems Therapy
IFS is an exciting model of psychotherapy that acknowledges how our human mind is made up of various sub-personalities. These parts of us have different goals and motivations and can often conflict with one another. Each part works to help support your system in the way that it feels is best for you. For example, there may be a part of you that worries about gaining weight while another part seeks to eat for emotional comfort. There may be a part of you that works endless hours in fears that it will make a mistake, and another part that gives up and drinks to erase the stress.
How does it work?
The therapist supports a client in first becoming aware of these various parts, and then starting the work of unblending. This means learning to separate from the overriding parts of us that are acting out. When the unblending occurs, the therapist can then guide the individual to create a trusting relationship between these parts and his/her/their true Self.
CBT is an evidence-based short-term therapy model. It focuses on present-day struggles, and supports an individual in creating a plan to problem solve these concerns. CBT recognises the strong connection between our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and how all three components influence one another. By changing unhelpful thought patterns and through behaviour modification, our feelings start to improve.
How it works:
The therapist supports a client in reviewing negative thought patterns, and helps the individual in learning to assess the truth and fairness in these thought patterns. The therapist and client then collaborate to establish a plan of treatment that shifts their behaviours (e.g. gradual exposure, relaxation exercises).