As an experienced trauma and eating disorders specialist, I have seen recovery and thriving.
My approach is humanist, experiential and strengths based, and collaboratively we start where you are in this moment.
Over the past 15 years, I have specialized in treating those who have experienced various types of trauma, those diagnosed with eating disorders and those struggling with depression, anxiety and addictions.
I have also worked with active duty and retired Canadian Armed Forces personnel, police and paramedic first responders for the past 10 years. My trauma informed focus in session includes the use of CBT, MI, EMDR and CPT.
I am always honoured when people invite me on their therapeutic journey and truely believe that the journey is yours. The most important part of the therapy process is you and as a part of your team, I see us working together to discover what you are ready to explore.
For me, the therapeutic relationship is paramount and the variety or different modes of counselling (like CBT, DBT, Gestalt, solution focussed, humanist, feminist, strengths based, experiential, etc) are tools to use along the way. With training in motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, solution focussed, hakomi, gestalt, internal family systems, guided imagery, mindfulness, humanist and feminist therapy, we can arrive at the best type of tool for your tool box.
Specialties & Issues:
- Eating Disorders
- Relationship Issues
- Sexual Abuse
- Suicidal Ideation
- Trauma and PTSD
I offer a free 30-minute consultation (either on the phone or in my office), so you can get a sense of whether we have a good match.
This will be discussed during the initial appointment, the average cost of a session is $180 and a session is approximately 50 minutes.
Please call your insurance provider to determine your coverage. My accepted insurance plans are Blue Cross and Great West Life.
You will not be billed for a missed appointment if 24 hours notice is given. If notice is not given, you will be billed for the hour.
E-transfer, Cash, Check, Mastercard, Paypal, Visa accepted for payment at the time of service.
What to expect from therapy?
You are expected to talk about what is most important to you. You will be doing most of the talking and you may talk about whatever is concerning you.
You are expected to be an active and committed partner in the counselling process. This includes attending sessions and completing any assigned therapy “homework”.
Your counsellor will listen in an objective way to help you examine your concerns, to understand yourself better and explore ways to fulfill your goals and resolve your own issues. Your therapist is not your friend.
Your counsellor will not give you advice or tell you what to do. She supports the development of your sense of responsibility for your own decisions and life. She will help you to help yourself, through helping you to clarify what you think, feel, and value, and to generate alternate ways of thinking about yourself and dealing with your concerns.
Your counsellor will not be able to “see through” you, or “read your mind.” The more open and honest you are, the more helpful counselling can be. However, you will not be forced to talk about anything about which you do not feel ready. When you do choose to talk about something that is difficult for you, your counselor will listen in a non-judgmental manner.
Your meetings with the counsellor, as well as what you discuss in sessions, will be kept strictly confidential. Your therapist will break confidentiality if you state homicidal or suicidal thoughts, and the counsellor reasonably believes that you may act on that threat. She is legally required to disclose information to family members or others who can help to provide for your safety. Ordinarily, your therapist will arrange for you to be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist in a hospital setting. Your counsellor will also break confidentiality if harm to a child is disclosed or if court ordered (subpoenaed) to release information contained in records.
Phoenix Counselling Services primarily provides short-term counseling. During your first session, discuss what type of treatment plan works best for you.
When a person first begins to talk about concerns, she may have some painful feelings that emerge initially as a result. If you do experience such feelings, talk them over with your counselor.
As with all relationships, you may occasionally have a misunderstanding with your counsellor. It’s important to tell your therapist about any negative or uncomfortable feelings you have about the counsellor or the counselling process. These discussions can become an important part of the counselling itself.
Seeking counselling does not mean you are “weak.” Deciding to examine and to work on your issues and concerns is an active and courageous first step in the process of changing your life for the better.
How should one consider medication vs. psychotherapy?
While medication has been proven to help with many different disorders, it has also been proven that time and time again, it simply isn’t enough. Medication often treats the symptoms of a problem, without getting to the root of solving it, which is where therapy comes in. The decision to take psychotropic medications or not, is a highly personal one, and your personal wishes will be honored. If in the course of treatment, you decided you might benefit from medications, I will refer you out to an appropriate provider.
People are turning more and more to holistic and natural alternatives to modern medicine to treat mental, physical and spiritual issues. I fully support alternative options as such essential oils, chiropractic and massage care, yoga, diet/exercise and nutrition options, and other means you might explore to improve your well being. I can refer you to professional holistic providers in the area for further consultation.
How does insurance factor into therapy?
Insurance companies are different – some offer mental health coverage, while others do not. The easiest way to find out if mental health care is covered by your provider is to contact them, to make sure you understand their options. If you’re looking for a good place to start in asking them questions, you could consider asking what their coverage amounts are for therapy sessions, what an out-of-network provider might cost, or if prior approval will be needed from your primary care physician. Don’t be afraid to ask enough questions so you feel confident in knowing how your insurance responds to mental health care.
Do the topics in each therapy session remain private?
There is practically nothing more important in therapy than confidentiality. As with any doctor/patient agreement, your privacy is of the utmost importance. A good therapist understands the vulnerability and openness that must come from each patient in order to really get through, so therapy itself can take a lot of trust, and that needs to be developed over time. Make sure your therapist offers a confidentiality agreement before you begin your sessions, typically called ‘informed consent.’ It is your choice if you’d like to have your therapist share anything significant with your other healthcare providers, but this can only be done with your written consent. Nothing you share in your sessions is to be told to anyone else, with the rare exceptions of suspected abuse of any kind (including child protection), or if the therapist has any reason to believe their patient may hurt themselves, or others. These situations are a matter of ethical procedures, and sometimes, even the law.
The following links are listed to provide you with additional online mental health information and counseling resources. Nothing here is meant to replace professional care.
Associations & Institutes:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
Veterans Affairs Canada
American Mental Health Counselors Association
National Mental Health Association
National Alliance on Mental Illness