I am a counsellor, psychotherapist and couples therapist who has been working with "people problems" for over 30 years. In addition to seeing clients face-to-face at my office I also offer telephone counselling, Canada-wide and across the globe. People come to me for therapy with goals they want to achieve or difficulties they want to overcome or decisions they want to make. I provide counselling to individuals and as well as relationship and marriage counselling for couples.
When we first meet, my job is help you clarify, and understand what it is you want to achieve through therapy. We might discuss options for achieving what you want: what methods, tools, explorations, skills, feeling expression, or techniques would be useful? I might teach you some new techniques or skills. As your counsellor, I may be the sounding board for new ideas. I may be the coach for interpersonal exchanges. I may be the guide for inner exploration. If we decide to work together I will be engaged and committed.
My journey as a helping professional has been a long evolutionary process that began with a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1975. Since that time I have been a clinical member of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia. Thus I was first exposed to a medical-psychiatric model of working with human psychological suffering. This was essentially a combination of using medications along with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy methods. Where I could see these counselling modalities had their usefulness they also clearly had their limitations.
I was beginning to see that problems-in-living were not always so simply addressed. This led me to seek out further studies and in 1983 I obtained a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. Here I developed new skills in Family Systems Theory and honed my skills further. Wanting to continue to deepen my understanding of the complexity of human psychological suffering, I began studies in Gestalt Therapy under Dr. Les Greenberg PhD. and Dolores Bates M.A. in Vancouver, British Columbia. I continued with my own therapy and self-study in Existential, Jungian, and experiential approaches such as Dr. Stanislav Grof's Holotrophic Breath Work. Up to 1993 I worked as a therapist in a variety of mental health settings that provided me with a unique set of skills and abilities.
In 1993 I opened my private psychotherapy practice in Nelson, British Columbia. I did this in combination with the commencement of further studies; this time in Modern Analytic Psychotherapy under Dr. Ellen Wright PhD. I have not looked back since.
I continue to this day in what has become an on-going training in this therapy approach. With an understanding of how to work progressively with the reality of the unconscious mind, which tends to protect as well as undermine us, I began to see real benefits in my own life as well as my clients'. It's not so much that the Modern Analytic counselling model replaced what I had learned thus far; It's that it provided an overarching way to integrate the many therapeutic modalities I had already learned. Thus a way was provided to see the bigger picture of the nuances of each person's unique life context rather than an oversimplified application of technique.
Working under Dr. Wright with a group of seasoned therapists has been a genuine inspiration. It has equipped me to embark on some serious and enriching journeys with those clients who have come to realize that there is often no quick fix and that a longer-term therapeutic relationship can be both an anchor in times of trouble as well as a source of ongoing real enrichment.