I have been a registered psychologist in the province of Alberta since 2002. I have completed both my masters and doctoral degrees in the area of counselling psychology, through the accredited program at the University of Alberta. My area of research was sibling relationships, which was influenced by my interests in child development and family functioning. More specifically, I explored sibling relationships where conflict had escalated to the point of being destructive and damaging, almost as another form of physical or emotional abuse. Results from my two qualitative studies had many implications for both parenting and counselling.
For over 17 years, I have had extensive experience in both counselling and assessment. I have worked with many different client issues in multiple settings, including hospitals, clinics, counselling agencies, and the university.This has included work with adults, adolescents, and children, as well as couples, families, and groups; this would also include working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. I have also worked in the area of assessment, particularly with children who have learning difficulties, emotional or behavioral issues, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
My beliefs about counselling affect the way that I work with my clients. As I believe that a strong therapeutic relationship is the foundation for a productive relationship, I think it is important for me to be empathetic, caring, and trustworthy, while also appropriately challenging my clients by bringing up new ideas, thoughts, or ways of being. I also believe strongly in using a combination of one's thoughts, behaviors, and emotions to create change or resolve past issues. In order to do this, I use a variety of techniques and counselling orientations, drawing on those that I believe fit with the client's personality and the presenting concern. Some of these orientations would include: solution focused, narrative, cognitive-behavioral, emotionally focused, and art or sand tray therapy. When working with children, and some adolescents, I use play therapy, using a variety of techniques, such as sand tray, art, and role play using dolls or puppets. I also use other therapeutic tools, such as books and board games which have been specifically designed for therapeutic use with children.