Welcome! I’m delighted you’ve decided to learn a bit about me and my therapy practice. If you decide to work with me, we’ll be “working with the power of relationship” (TIRP website – Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy, where I received my training). 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 – what works, what doesn’t, what’s easy, and what’s hard.
Perhaps you are dealing with relationship ruptures. Perhaps you hold core beliefs that do not serve you but are difficult to shake. Let’s wonder together about why that is. Maybe you have been “othered” or marginalized. Perhaps you are experiencing pain, anxiety, anger, frustration, grief, guilt, shame, unworthiness, shutdown, depression, loneliness, overwhelm, longing, confusion, fear, sadness, or regret. Can we notice our feelings without judgement? Yes. Can we come to appreciate our moments of dysregulation as our nervous system doing its best to protect us? Yes. Can we become more emotionally available? Yes. Can we set clearer boundaries that nourish us? Yes. Can we honour our different parts and learn to integrate them? Yes. If you have a history of trauma, can we explore how this is held and its impact without experiencing re-traumitization 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, and courage, as well as the places you get stuck. 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 – even for “the dark side” 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 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, 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 am an R.N. (non-conforming to the medical model), was trained as a nurse practitioner, and was a nursing professor for 18 years. 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). I was a childbirth educator for a number of years and understand the challenges/transitions of pregnancy, birth, the post-partum period, new parenting, and 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, have been married for many years, and have lived the deep work involved in sustaining a healthy, vibrant, relationship. I have three children. (And a dog with baggage!)
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.