My primary areas of expertise are grief and loss, trauma, illness and health, sexual identity and orientation, anxiety, depression and life span development. I offer a practical approach and focused strategies to help clients: individuals; couples, families and organizations in times of crisis, transition and growth.
I have a long commitment to community and have served on various Non-Profit Boards:Chair of the Positive Women’s Network; Chair of the Women and AIDS Project and Chair of Pacific AIDS Resource Centre and Vice President of the Great Vancouver Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre. I have been volunteering since 1981, and my experience as a Crisis line phone volunteer, AIDS hot line trainer, advocate and educator for women living with HIV/AIDS led me to return to Graduate school to attain my credentials as a clinical counsellor. From those years, I bring a commitment to connection and relationship to my professional work as a clinical counsellor. It is also out of my experience of working with marginalized and stigmatized individuals that I learned to value diversity and I continue to work to support the strengths of those who come to see me.
Understanding our relationships, to ourselves, to others and to the world can be a complex process. One important component of my work is in investigating the ways that people make meaning of life events, positive or negative. I believe people’s efforts to make meaning are life affirming. To make a shift in one’s belief system can be a powerful agent of change and growth. As an example, in my work with couples one of my efforts is to reduce poor communication and increase understanding of values, mutual support and a sense of collaboration. Focusing on how a couple does decision making, problem solving and conflict resolution can provide concrete insight and strategies to implement productive changes.
Counselling is an invitation to explore challenges and to affect change and growth, as an individual, couple, family or organization. Whether the challenge lies in our past, is present or is anticipated in our future, or in all of those dimensions, you do not have to face it alone. I believe in our power and ability to change, in the face of adversity, in the face of fear, in the face of pain and uncertainty, with curiosity. I have been part of the team since 1995 when I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Antioch University. My background has been in history, computer consulting, volunteering, competitive sports and coaching.