Approach

I integrate the following therapeutic modalities into my work, depending on my client's presenting concerns and goals:

Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy 

* the following has been drawn from the ISTDP California website

Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is a unique form of psychodynamic treatment that facilitates the rapid resolution of a broad spectrum of emotional disorders. It is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is strongly supported by current clinical research studies. ISTDP interventions are specifically designed to resolve anxiety, depression, somatization and personality disorders, as well as alleviate a variety of self-defeating behaviours, many of which derive from unstable or troubled early life attachments.

I am actively pursuing intensive training and certification in ISTDP. I am currently doing a three year Core Training program with ongoing regular supervision. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

*the following has been drawn from the Parnell Institute website

I am a certified EMDR Therapist and have been practicing and training in EMDR since 2019.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful and effective therapy for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy incorporates eye movements or other bilateral stimulation into a comprehensive approach that processes and releases information trapped in the mind and body, freeing people from disturbing images and body sensations, debilitating emotions, and restrictive beliefs. This therapy has helped clients of all ages recover from traumas such as war, accidents, assaults, disasters, and childhood abuse. EMDR has been extensively researched as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is considered to be an evidence-based therapy.

In addition to the treatment of PTSD, EMDR is also used to treat the psychological effects of other traumas that manifest in symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, low self-esteem, creativity blocks, and relationship difficulties. Not only does healing occur much more rapidly than in traditional talk therapy, but as a result of EMDR’s clearing of emotional and physical blockages, many people also experience a sense of joy, openness, and deep connection with others. 

 

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy

* the following has been drawn from the AEDP Cascadia website

I am a Level 2 Practitioner in AEDP

Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) explicitly draws on the therapeutic relationship to create conditions of safety that nurture clients’ innate potential for resilience, growth, and healing. From the get-go, AEDP aims to help clients access this wired-in, human capacity. Together, from this secure healthy base, we explore and tend to the places that need healing.  In this way we undo aloneness and restore optimal development.

AEDP therapists recognize that change often involves letting go of strategies that people initially developed to protect themselves. Giving up familiar patterns and habits (even those which are no longer helpful or adaptive) can be scary. AEDP therapists skillfully help clients regulate anxiety in the face of change.  We support clients to tune into the wisdom of their core, adaptive feelings. When experienced fully, these healthy emotions provide important information about basic needs and guide people to act in ways that better fulfill these needs. This empowers our clients to live more fully and freely, with greater satisfaction.

Ecotherapy and Ecopsychology

Since childhood, I have had a deep fascination with wild spaces. From exploratory play to gardening - my love for the earth came full circle after harvesting my first yield of hard neck garlic. For those who haven't witnessed the life cycle of this incredible medicine, it is planted in the fall, remains underground through the winter and it shoots out of the earth in the springtime, growing both upwards and at the bulb until harvest in the summer. This life cycle has many parallels to that of deep healing. Much like a farmer tending to her soil, we must create safety and nourishment to support the growth of roots to Self, Other, and the Earth. Once these resources are growing and accessible, we can safely come face-to-face with the dark, while knowing that growth is unfolding (even if it's not always easy to see). My nature-based therapy services are experiential and grounded in attachment theory, mindfulness, herbalism, Jungian psychology, ecopsychology, Bill Plotkin's Nature-based Map of the Human Psyche, and Joanna Macey's Work that Reconnects. I consider the Earth to be co-healer, and draw from teachings (and practices) of mutual respect, consent and reciprocity to ensure that the wild ones we encounter are also honoured and acknowledged through our presence.

Professional & Academic Training

I have a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Psychology and First Nations Studies from Vancouver Island University, and a Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. 

 

I love to learn and am strongly committed to ongoing professional and personal development. Some of my clinical training includes:

  • Ongoing individual and group supervision;

  • ISTDP 3 Year Core Training (252 hours of training with Lisa Bendzsa R.Psych, 2022 - 2025; in progress)

  • Certificate in Complex Trauma and Dissociation (72 hours of training, 2020; ISSTD Centre for Advanced Studies in Trauma and Dissociation); 

  • Advanced Certificate in Complex Trauma and Dissociation (100 hours of training, 2021; ISSTD Centre for Advanced Studies in Trauma and Dissociation); 

  • Transforming Resistance: Specialized Core Training Group for the Treatment of Trauma using ISTDP and AEDP (150 hour - 2 year training with Dr. Steve Shapiro 2020 - 2022);

  • Transforming Trauma with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - Levels 1, 2 & 3 (trained by Dr. Laurel Parnell and Sean Frankino);

  • Trauma, the body and the brain: Restoring the capacity for Rhythm and Play (trained by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk at Hollyhock Retreat Centre);

  • Using Movement to Co-Create Unlikely Transformative Outcomes with Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP; trained by David Mars);

  • AEDP Immersion Course (trained by Dr. Diana Fosha);

  • AEDP Essential Skills (trained by Dale Trimble and Dr. Karen Kranz);

  • AEDP Core Skills (trained by Dr. Karen Kranz);

  • The Attachment Puzzle (trained by Dr. Gordon Neufeld);

  • Building Bridges by Understanding the Village (trained by Kathi Camilleri​);

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety (trained by CBT Connections);

  • Community-Based Social Marketing: Fostering Environmentally Beneficial Behaviour Change  (trained by Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr);

  • Connect Parent Group Facilitators Training (trained by the Maples);

  • Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (trained by Dr. Sue Johnson)

  • Fulfillment and Meaning in Life: Existential Analysis Training (trained by Käri-Ann Thor and Rochelle Chapman);

  • Mindful Self Compassion Core Skills Training (trained by Victoria Pawlowski);

  • Motivational Interviewing Levels 1 & 2 (trained by Cristine Urquhart);

  • Pathways to Healing with Herbs - 6 month online course and ongoing mentorship (trained by Don Ollsin, Master Herbalist of Grassroots Herbalism);

  • Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk (trained by MCFD);

  • San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training​ (trained by the Provincial Health Services Authority);

  • Two-Spirit People: Then and Now (trained by Harlan Pruden and TransCare BC).

Awards and Distinctions

  • President's Award of Distinction, International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation, 2020

  • SSHRC Storyteller Award, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2015

  • Faculty of Education Research Grant, University of British Columbia, 2014

  • Edna Nash Graduate Scholarship in Family Education and Family Counselling, University of British Columbia, 2014

  • Joseph Armand Bombardier Master's Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2014

  • BC Student Led Research Grant, Vancouver Island University, 2010

  • National Millennium Excellence Scholarship, 2006

  • RCMP Community Citizenship Award, 2006