Tools that I use

The different therapy approaches that therapists use are often called modalities or models of therapy. Below is some information about the main models of therapy that I use with my clients.

Narrative Therapy

The person isn’t the problem- the problem is the problem

Narrative Therapy is an approach that externalizes problems as being separate from us as opposed to inside or a part of us. It focuses on the wisdom, knowledge and skills that people bring to the therapy room, and supports people as they build on these resources toward decreasing the influence that problems have on their life.

Narrative Therapy often uses creative and metaphorical ways of talking about and working through problems. It is a great approach with children, families, and those who like the idea of changing their relationship with the problems that they face in creative ways.

I have trained under one of the co-founders of Narrative Therapy, David Epston. Here is some information co-written by him about this type of therapy.

Attachment-Focused Therapy

Building strong relationships and understanding your emotional needs

Attachment-focused therapy is based on attachment theory, which looks at the ways that our earliest relationship experiences create a blueprint for relationships in our lives. Sometimes these blueprints create safety and strength, but they can also sometimes create difficulties or problematic patterns in our lives.

I use this approach with individuals and families. It helps them to understand their core emotional needs underlying many of the difficulties and emotional pain they experience in their lives. They learn to understand how the problems in their lives (e.g., relationship difficulties, problematic behaviours, and behavioural difficulties in children) often reflect attempts to communicate about their emotional needs in ways that are not effective. Attachment-focused therapy provides a base for us to better identify, articulate and regulate emotions. It provides a way to look deeper into relationship issues to get at the heart of the issue and provide lasting meaningful solutions to difficulties whether individual or within a family.

I have completed Level 1 and 2 training in the attachment-focused family therapy approach called Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, with Dan Hughes who developed the approach. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)/ Trauma Therapy

Unlock your body’s own healing abilities

I provide trauma counselling to children, youth and adults. My approach to working with trauma is to start with a focus on regaining a sense of safety and stability. Sometimes trauma therapy includes processing the actual event/events so that they do not hold you back from your daily life. The goal is not to forget, but rather to reach the place: “that was bad but I survived and now I am okay”. Trauma therapy can also focus solely on present-day functioning and improving aspects of your current life without going into much detail about the past.

EMDR is one approach that I use to address and process trauma. It is quite different from talk therapy. It involves a number of phases of therapy which include taking a history of your life to determine what events in your past may be linked to difficulties that you currently experience, developing some strategies to cope with any difficult emotions or reactions that may come up in the present, then using a technique called “bilateral stimulation” to process traumatic or disturbing events so that these events no longer cause emotional disturbance in your present-day life. This technique does not involve talking in detail about past events but rather allows your brain to go where it needs to while guided by the therapist, in order to facilitate healing from the past.

I have completed basic training in EMDR and am currently working towards certification.  The clinic where I completed my basic training has more detailed information about EMDR:

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Build a Life Worth Living – use skills to calm the emotional storm

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) is an approach to working with adolescents and adults who experience emotions intensely and have difficulties regulating them, leading to impulsive or problem behaviours (such as self-harm; high-risk sex; problematic substance use; stealing; suicidal threats, gestures or attempts; etc.), and difficulties making and sustaining relationships. DBT helps individuals to develop the skills they need to address behavioural and relationship difficulties, to experience their emotions safely, and to build a life worth living. 

Please note that while I provide individual DBT-informed therapy, I do not offer the skills group and thus do not offer the full comprehensive DBT model. For more information on DBT, check out some resources from the Institute where I completed my core DBT skills training: