Welcome! I’m delighted you’ve decided to learn a bit about me and my therapy practice.
I am a second-year student at the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy (TIRP). If you decide to engage in therapy with me, we’ll be “working with the power of relationship” (TIRP website). We are biologically programmed to be connected to each other. 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.
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, hurt, anxiety, frustration, irritation, grief, guilt, shame, unworthiness, paralysis, depression, loneliness (especially these days), hopelessness, overwhelm, longing, confusion, fear, sadness, or regret. Our feelings do not define us but they can be limiting if they are maladaptive. Can we notice our feelings without judgement? Yes. Can we feel safe expressing even our most hidden feelings? Yes. Can we become clearer about what we need? Yes. Can we become more emotionally available? Yes.
I am a witness, a listener, a mirror, a support, and a compassionate, safe place of non-judgemental acceptance. I notice your strengths, tenacity, resilience, and courage, as well as the places you get stuck. I stay experience-near. I may ask you to notice what’s going on in your body. 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 work together to help you experience more self-compassion and a shift in how you hold and move through the challenges in your life. And there is no rush.
I will not try to fix you or solve your problems. I will 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, whatever your age, bring it all. It is my honour to walk with you as you learn, grow, heal, experiment, risk, and deepen your relationship with yourself and others. I look very much forward to working together.
Here’s a bit about my background:
I was a nursing professor for 18 years and recently left that role to focus on my psychotherapy studies. Before that transition, I taught virtually during COVID for several months and saw first-hand the stresses that students are facing during these unusual times. I have been a facilitator for Sashbear/Family Connections – an organization that focuses on emotion regulation and suicide prevention. I have also led parenting groups for HOPE (Helping Other Parents Everywhere), and was a childbirth educator for a number of years – I understand the challenges/transitions of pregnancy, birth, the post-partum period, and new parenting.
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 cis-gender, have been in a married for many years, and understand the deep work involved in sustaining a healthy, vibrant, relationship. One of my areas of passion is 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 Canada.