My goal is to create a safe place in which my clients can be honest and open about the challenges they are facing. I focus on building trust and connection in my relationship with each person, as I believe that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is the most important component of therapy being a success.
“Empathy is … creating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone’”.
- Brene Brown
When it comes to supporting families, I believe strongly in the healing power of the parent-child relationship. Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), which includes “emotion coaching”, is central to my approach. As a therapist, I support and empower parents so they can in turn use new therapeutic skills to help their child cope with emotions and change behaviour patterns.
Often, children and adolescents also benefit from individual therapy, to learn new coping strategies and have a safe place to explore their emotions. My approach with youth integrates Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, and Self-Compassion.
I support adults in individual therapy with anxiety, stress, and other struggles by first guiding them to understand and to be compassionate towards themselves, regarding their intense emotions. We then develop new skills to manage anxiety and increase emotional resilience. This often includes learning to be vulnerable about emotions with others, in order to deepen connections in relationships.
I have many families who reach out to me for support with grief. Whether they have experienced the death of a spouse, parent, or child, I welcome children and adults to share their grief journey with me. There is no “fixing” grief, but my goal is to walk alongside those who are suffering and to learn together to cope with loss, as part of their life story, and move towards finding meaning in life again.
My educational background includes a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from Queen’s University. I am registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. My professional background includes nine years at CHEO working on the inpatient mental health unit and in Palliative Care. At CHEO, I was also part of the team at Roger Neilson House, a pediatric hospice. I provided individual and group therapy to bereaved parents, including couples who experienced perinatal loss.
I have been in private practice since 2009. I have also been a part-time instructor in the Faculty of Social Work at Carleton University. I frequently present workshops in the community around topics related to parenting, mindfulness, and grief.