Registered Clinical Counsellor
I help people break through the obstacles that seem to be holding them back in life. As your counsellor, I will create a confidential space for you to share your story so we can work collaboratively towards your goals. I believe you are unique and have the wisdom, creativity, strength and ability to grow in your life.
I am a client-centered counsellor with experience in issues related to stress, anxiety, depression, grief/loss and trauma. I have an eclectic approach to counselling, which means depending on your needs and desire, I will use the following therapies: narrative, solution focused, cognitive behavioural, mindfulness, existential and trauma informed techniques like EMDR.
As a registered yoga teacher and reiki practioner I also offer yoga and/or reiki as part of the therapeutic process. If this is something that interests you, I am open to incorporating one or both during our time together.
Reiki Master & Yoga Teacher
Discovering Peace of Mind
The human body is extremely responsive to environmental stimuli. Stress is a bodily response to external pressures or to a threat. The autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are the two main bodily systems that help humans respond to stress. When you experience stress, the HPA axis is responsible for the release of cortisol. This is important because cortisol influences many areas of your body. The sympathetic nervous system may also be activated by stress. This system can lead to what psychologists refer to as the "fight or flight response".
Stress is a survival mechanism yet chronic stress can affect your brain size, structure and/or function. It can also affect your mood leading you to feel irritable, restless, overwhelmed, forgetful or isolated. It has been found that the most effective ways to decrease stress are exercise and meditation. These activities involved deep breathing, being aware and focused.
If you are low of energy, experiencing headaches, aches, pains, rapid heartbeat, disrupted sleep, frequent colds, upset stomach, are easily agitated, overwhelmed, avoiding others or feeling "blue", depressed or lonely, you may be experiencing stress. As your therapist I can support you by helping you identify your stressors and coming up with healthier ways for you to manage and cope with your stress.
ANXIETY & DEPRESSION
Alter, Adapt & Accept
Most people will feel anxious or depressed at times. These feelings are normal responses to life stressors. However, for some people these feelings may affect everyday functioning. Anxiety and Depression can negatively affect the way you think, feel and behave.
Anxiety and Depression are experienced differently and are not the same but it is common for those who experience Anxiety to experience Depression and vice versa.
You may be experiencing Anxiety if you are excessively worrying and are unable to control the worrying, feel restless, are easily fatigued, find it difficult to concentrate, are irritable, have muscle tension and are experiencing sleep disturbance. It is important to note that Anxiety can also lead to abrupt episodes of panic. Panic can last 10-30 minutes.
You may be experiencing Depression if you feel sad and hopeless, have lost interest in activities you previously enjoyed, have gained or lost significant weight, are unable to concentrate, are fatigued, are unable to sleep or are sleeping more than usual and have thoughts of suicide.
Anxiety and Depression are two of the most common reasons people seek counselling. If you are experiencing Anxiety and/or Depression and would like to see a Registered Clinical Counsellor, please get in touch. I would very much like to help you.
GRIEF & LOSS
Expression and Acceptance
Grief is a natural response that will occur when you lose someone or something that is important to you. Grief and Loss can be experienced when a loved one dies, you separate from your spouse, you lose your job, there is a change in your finances, you or someone important to you is injured or ill, you change careers, are planning a wedding, are recently married, are pregnant, a new parent or retiring.
You may be experiencing Grief if you have feelings of depression or guilt, refuse to accept the loss, are experiencing fear, anxiety or confusion, are crying, withdrawing socially and increasing the use of substances.
The task based model of Grief outlines 4 tasks of mourning. Task 1 is to acknowledge the reality of the loss, task 2 is to process the pain of grief, task 3 is to adjust to your new world and task 4 is to find an enduring connection in the midst of embarking on a new life.
Grief has a unique way of being expressed and processed in each of us. If you would like the support of a counsellor as part of the healing process, I would be grateful to meet with you.
Safety and Integration
Trauma is experienced in response to a distressing event. Examples of a traumatic event include: witnessing death, child abuse/neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, domestic violence, war, terrorism, natural disasters and incarceration.
You may be experiencing Trauma if you have been exposed to a distressing event and feel angry, depressed, anxious and/or irritable. You may also experience flashbacks, fear that the traumatic event will happen again and/or are withdrawing socially from others. Physical symptoms like headaches, body pain and nausea may also be present.
There are 3 stages to trauma recovery. Stage 1 is establishing safety and emotional stability, stage 2 is coming to terms with the traumatic memories and stage 3 is integrating traumatic memories into your current world and moving forward.
As your counsellor I will support you through the 3 stages of trauma recovery by utilizing Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, also known as EMDR. EMDR is a non traditional and relatively new therapeutic technique used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders and addiction. It is my hope that you will discover positive changes in yourself as a result of experiencing a traumatic event.
WHAT IS THE COST AND HOW CAN I PAY?
A 60 minute/1 hour session is $140 (including tax). You can pay with cash, personal cheque, e-transfer, Visa or Mastercard.
CAN I GET REIMBURSED THROUGH EXTENDED MEDICAL COVERAGE?
Many employers will provide extended health benefits to their employees. If you have extended health coverage through your employer you may be eligible for reimbursement to see a Registered Clinical Counsellor. If you are unsure whether you are covered and/or for how much, please confirm with your employer or insurance provider.
I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. I will be provide a receipt that indicates my Registered Clinical Counsellor member number.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
I am available to meet you at my office in Gastown. The address is 516-402 W Pender Street. The building is located on the corner of Homer and Pender. It is a short walk from Granville and Waterfront skytrain station. If you are on foot, it is walking distance from Vancouver's business district and Yaletown.
516-402 W Pender Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1T6