I have focused my practice on the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults struggling with a broad range of mental health concerns for nearly a decade. My experiences include inpatient and outpatient treatment psychological assessment and psychotherapy for individuals across the developmental spectrum. The range of presenting concerns I work with include:

  • feeling emotionally overwhelmed
  • trauma and complex trauma related disorders,
  • anxiety and phobias (i.e separation anxiety, school phobia etc.),
  • mood disorders and depression in all ages
  • addiction and compulsive behaviors (i.e gambling, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders) including treating the
    struggling individual as well as their partners and loved ones using CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training),
  • intimacy and relationship issues
  • life transitions and adjustment difficulties with a particular focus on marriage and parenting/ parent guidance
  • Child and adolescent adjustment issues (i.e moving, bullying, school and friend related problems)

I have a special interest in the developing attachment bond between parent and child. In this area, I believe in the importance of working with the parent and child together in order to help build or restore a secure attachment relationship, improve developmental outcomes and reduce the burden of suffering.

All sexual orientations welcome.

Treatment Styles:

1aa72a7Psychodynamic psychotherapy  helps to improve one’s understanding of the psychological and at times unconscious roots to emotional difficulties and inner conflicts. Relationships are of primary focus.  Through the the therapist and patient relationship it’s possible to explore the present and past relationships one has with oneself and with others.  The safe space created in therapy is used to help one to feel known and understood and provide opportunities to explore possibilities for change .
2013-10-17-MindfulMeditationDialectical Behavior therapy combines cognitive behavior therapy with tenets from psychodynamic therapy and Zen Buddhism. The therapy was initialy created by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help patients struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder and the frequent challenges that arise with this disorder. Recently DBT has been used for an array of problems which share the hallmark of BPD- difficulties with emotion regulation and interpersonal relationships.

The main tenet of DBT is to balance validation of the individual’s experience with a focus on change, and helping to bring about compassion and acceptance in areas where change is not possible. To bring about change, DBT uses a number of skills that are rooted in mindfulness – a present moment orientation which allows for effective decision making. The Skills training are in the following areas:

  • Distress Tolerance Skills focus on helping the person to accept, understand, cope with, and tolerate distressing emotions.
  • Emotion Regulation- Skills help the individual come to understand the world of positive and negative emotions, identify feelings, trace roots to emotion and emotion patterns, and come to feel more in control and compassionate towards their feeling states.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness- Skills help with identifying areas of insecurity in relationships and areas of strength; help the individual develop effective tools for interpersonal communication, and help with the balance of empathy for the other with self respect.
  • Mindfulness- Skills help the individual be in the present moment without judgment.

DBT skills will often be used in the context of individual therapy when these specific skills are considered appropriate.

changeThe focus of treatment is on here-and-now difficulties and belief systems which result in problematic behavioral patterns. Thought patterns and feelings are explored in how they relate to self-destructive behaviors. Effective coping skills are identified and tailored to the individual and their particular maladaptive patterns.

playtimeDuring childhood, children primarily express themselves symbolically through play and so play therapy is the primary treatment of choice ages 2-12. The play space allows a child to safely express his or her feelings and experiences instead of needing to rely on using words. At this developmental stage verbal communication is more challenging. The goal is that play therapy can help the child work through and gain relief from whatever they are struggling with by playing it out they can gain control and an understanding of their experiences and reducing intensity of  the feeling and/or experience.

imagesRelationally based therapy to help parent and child feel more positively about the relationship. The therapy techniques used come to help the parent better reflect on their child’s and their own mind- their inner thoughts, feelings, needs, intentions, and desires. This self and other reflection is used to  strengthen parent-child bonds. The treatment goal is to help the parent and child each come to feel felt and known.
images Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) teaches family and friends effective ways of communicating and assisting their loved one(s) struggling with substance use or other compulsive behaviours. CRAFT can work by helping families encourage loved ones toward treatment; can help reduce the loved ones use even without the loved one engaging in his or her own treatment and perhaps most importantly helps improve the lives of the concerned loved ones through teaching self care and mindfulness among other things.