There are so many counsellors and therapists practicing in so many modalities that it's easy to become overwhelmed when trying to find the right match for you. Research consistently shows, though, that regardless of modality or technique, what's important for a positive outcome in therapy is a good, safe-enough relationship between you and the therapist, so it's important to listen to your gut.
At the same time, trusting a stranger with your problems and feelings isn't always easy. Many people struggle to relate to a therapist who adopts a “blank screen” persona; I bring to my clients a commitment to being a real, responsive and collaborative human being.
I’m an integrative relational therapist. In practice, integrative means that I draw on multiple models and techniques to tailor our work sensitively to you, your personality and your needs. It also means therapy will focus on you as a whole person — not just your past but your present experience; not just your problems but your hopes and desires; not just your thinking mind but your bodily experience, emotions, imagination and dreams; not just your everyday self but the parts of you that might not have had much chance to be heard.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” — CG Jung
Relational means that my work is founded on the understanding that human beings are not designed to go it alone — we have evolved with deep needs for connection and belonging in order to survive and flourish. (Did you know that holding a partner’s hand can literally ease pain, or that friendship can make a hill seem less hard to climb?) Our experiences in relationship, especially our earliest relationships, shape and influence everything from how safe we feel in the world, to how we feel in our bodies and deal with stress, to how we relate to others, make meaning of what happens to us and feel about our options for the future. Our work will likely consider important relationships in your past and present and how they shape your inner and outer experience.
Psychology is only one lens through which to view the human experience. My training included a solid grounding in the major theoretical approaches to modern therapy; my particular approach is informed by relational psychoanalysis and psychodynamics, attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology and embodiment theory. However, I’ve found healing in activities as diverse as reading poetry, singing with others, long-distance walking, improv theatre, silent retreats, dream work and writing. There are innumerable paths to meaning and transformation — yours might lie through books, music, relationships, creative pursuits, physical movement, spiritual practices, new experiences or something else entirely. Our work together will evolve out of our conversations together and be responsive to what resonates with you.
It’s never too late for change and growth. Relational therapy offers a safe, supportive, boundaried relationship where we can explore what’s troubling you, how it fits into the story of your life and where change is possible in your here and now.