Welcome! I’m delighted you’ve decided to learn a bit about me and my approach to therapy. Feeling like you’ve found the right person is important.
One of the ideas that drives how I work (and live) is that we are biologically programmed to be connected to each other. We can engage in those connections with ease if we are able to access the safety and freedom to feel into our deepest nature. Most of us, however, need some help with that, due to old wounds that still have impact. As well, societal and systemic forces are powerful and insidious. They can make us believe that we need to remain small and apart.
Our early and current relationships, as well as the relationship you and I build between us, can be important sources of awareness regarding how we operate in our lives, what prevents us from bringing our whole selves to our lives, and what empowers us to do so. Our relationships can be a source of vitality and nourishment or depletion and chronic stress.
Let’s be curious together about these relationships. What’s making them hard? What’s it like to have them be hard, and still reach for truth?
Perhaps you are dealing with relationship ruptures. Perhaps you hold core beliefs that do not serve you but are difficult to shake. Maybe you have been othered or marginalized. Perhaps you are experiencing pain, anxiety, anger, frustration, grief, sadness, guilt, shame, shutdown, depression, loneliness, longing, confusion, fear, or regret. Can we notice our feelings without judgement? Yes. Can we come to appreciate the wisdom of our survival strategies – that once served us but no longer do? Yes. Can we set clear and self-nurturing boundaries? Yes. Can we learn ways to resource ourselves? Yes. If there is a history of trauma, can we explore this together gently, with self-compassion, without re-traumatization, and create together a place of growth and healing? Yes.
I am a witness, a listener, a mirror, a support, and a compassionate, safe place of non-judgemental acceptance. I may push a little when the time seems right and you can feel free to push back. You decide where we go and you can change your mind about what you’re ready to explore. I notice your strengths, tenacity, resilience, courage, and generosity, as well as the places you get stuck.
I may ask you to notice what’s going on in your body – or even tell you what’s going on in mine. I may use the breath and other grounding techniques to bring us both into the present within ourselves and with each other. In the spirit of co-creation and inquiry, we wander together through the tough and tender parts of your life. We invite the tendrils of self-criticism to loosen their grip. It’s okay to be human, we remember. It’s okay to be a work in progress. And there is no rush. The only place you are going is back to yourself.
I will not try to fix you or solve your problems. I want to know what it’s like being you. Please come as you are, with all the complexity, uniqueness, and quirkiness that is you. Whoever you are, whoever you love, whatever body you inhabit, whatever your background, whatever your life situation, bring it all. It is my honour to walk with you as you learn, experiment, risk, and heal. I very much look forward to working together.
Here’s a bit about my background: I am an R.N. (non-conforming to the medical model and currently not practicing), was trained as a nurse practitioner, and was a nursing professor for 18 years. I was a group facilitator for five years for an organization that focuses on emotion regulation and suicide prevention. For 8 years, I led groups for parents with troubled teens. I was a childbirth educator for 15 years and understand the challenges/transitions of pregnancy, birth, the post-partum period, new parenting, the pain of pregnancy loss, and infertility. I have practiced yoga for most of my life and am a certified yoga instructor. I am also a breast cancer survivor/thriver and know the mental discipline and mindfulness required to move through that journey with strength and calm. I am heterosexual, cis-gender, and have lived the deep work involved in sustaining a healthy, vibrant, intimate, honest relationship. I have three adult children. And a dog with baggage 🙂
One of my areas of passion is holistic, integrative approaches to health and well-being. I created a course in this area for health care professionals — it was the first of its kind in Ontario and possibly in Canada.
NEW!! Walking/outdoor therapy may be available in North York or Thornhill!! Ask me!