People come to counseling for all kinds of reasons. Here are a few that I see regularly…
Issues in Intimate Relationships
When a couple find that they are having a lot of conflict, are having trouble communicating, are facing a life change, have experienced infidelity, or have slowly moved apart and want to get closer again, it might be time to see a counsellor. Issues with sexual pleasure and intimacy are also great reasons to talk to a counsellor. In counselling, you will get coaching on different ways to interact, resolve differences and grow closer together. In my practice, I utilize Attachment Theory, interpersonal communication skills, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and aspects of conflict mediation, as appropriate.
Parents come to counselling when they are concerned about their child and are unsure if they should look into therapy for their child. They also come to talk about parenting strategies and to talk about their own history and issues, which may be impacting their parenting. I provide parent consultation to help determine if further intervention might be warranted and to examine current behaviors and parenting from an Attachment perspective. I also talk about the pros and cons of the Behavioural Modification strategies that are currently the status quo of parenting.
Many people suffer from various types of anxiety. Often this is due to life stressors combined with self perception. Sometimes it is inherited. Social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder are two common experiences of anxiety. Intense anxiety can result in panic attacks or other disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, immune system sensitivities, or obsessive compulsive disorders. I utilize therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness strategies to help reduce anxiety and its effects. I also use Narrative therapy to help uncover origins and influences of anxiety. Looking at healthy living practices is another way to reduce stress, in general, and as a result, reduce anxious symptoms.
Depression has become known as ‘the common cold’ of mental health. Everyone’s experience of depression is different. While the symptoms of depression are common: low or irritable mood, sleep and appetite disruption (increased or decreased), lack of motivation, and reduced experiences of pleasure, the causes and solutions may be very different. The story of depression in your life can be explored through Narrative Therapy to discern between situational depression, unresolved issues of grief, and inherited propensity for depression, while Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can shift thought patterns which are contributing to depression. Exploring and adding healthy living activities can support changes in hormones that influence depression. Suicidal thoughts are sometimes part of peoples’ experience of depression. Aside from safety planning, talking about those thoughts and looking at where they come from can help to provide the hope that is needed to challenge these thoughts.
Another area of mental health that people come to counselling for is addictions. There are many approaches to treating addiction, which may be relevant, depending on the person’s history, behaviors, goals and current situation. A few that I use in my practice include motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and abstinence approaches, such as 12 step programs. Often these are used in conjunction with other resources, programs, or supports.
Throughout our lives, we face many unanticipated challenges. Loss of a job, raising a child with disabilities, encountering illness, and the death of a loved one are just some of the things that can throw us off course. Experiences of bullying, racism, or being the target of homophobia can also have a profound effect on our mental health. Each of these things can be overwhelming and disorienting. Finding meaning in these experiences, looking for what has been gained, and focusing on what is and is not in your control, are just some of the ways I coach people through their life challenges.
I do not provide diagnosis or prescribe medication. If you have been diagnosed formally, or are just feeling generally overwhelmed by your experiences, my focus will be on what is working for you and what is not. I will utilize tools that provide the best results for you based on your own experience and goals. Where appropriate I will refer you to various resources, medical professionals, or specialists.
If you are looking for in-person, individual or intimate partner counselling, you can make an appointment with me by clicking here OR you can contact me directly for more information by clicking here.
Check out my post Advice About Going to Therapy for more info.