my approach to treatment

My Approach to Treatment

My approach to treatment and understanding a person’s concerns and inner experience is integrative, holistic, and client-centered in nature. From a theoretical perspective, I rely on principles that stem from Self Psychology and Positive Psychology and I utilize interventions from Emotion-Focused Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Compassionate Mind Therapy. I also engage in stress management training and Hypnosis with many clients. For those who seek life coaching, I help clients acquire practical, solution-focused skills and work with them on attaining their identified goals.

Many of the clinical techniques and strategies I employ in psychotherapy are evidence-based practices; that is, they have been shown through rigorous research investigations to be associated with symptom reduction and clients’ increased levels of satisfaction with the outcome of therapy (Frank & Gunderson, 1990; Luborsky et al, 1988; Orlinsky & Howard, 1986).

I view therapy as a collaborative process shaped by a client’s strengths, personal goals, and inner wisdom. However, I aim also to offer guidance and feedback about where I sense a client is at and how things are progressing, based on the needs and goals we’ve identified.

Some clients seek brief treatment primarily to alleviate their present emotional distress and coping difficulties. In this case, therapy may concentrate on increasing self-awareness and the building of inner resources and symptom management skills. Other clients may look for practical strategies to deal with problem issues (e.g., a relationship, work/career, or dealing with a life event or transition).

For those individuals who wish to gain deeper levels of self-understanding and psychological change, we may focus on the nature and quality of their relationship with their ‘selves’ and how this impacts the degree to which they enjoy satisfying relationships with others, experience fulfillment in their life roles and pursuits, and, more globally, their overall levels of happiness.

For me, it is essential to understand every client as a whole person. We work on identifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that cause emotional distress and disrupt your life. At times, we may explore your past to understand better how your previous experiences and relationships may influence your present life. In learning more about yourself, the overall aim is for you to have the opportunity to gain greater self-acceptance and experience personal growth, both in the here-and-now and the future.


Self Psychology

Self Psychology is based on the idea that each person functions within a uniquely experienced relational world. Our early experiences with other people nurture and powerfully impact our sense of self, our self-esteem, and the quality of relationship we develop with our inner selves. From this perspective, behavioral and emotional problems can be understood as disturbances of (inner) self relationships and self-other relationships. Some of these disturbances can occur and persist outside of conscious awareness and can interfere with mental health and well-being and our relationships with others. Self Psychologists focus on helping us to heal our relationships with our selves, so that we can diminish our emotional distress and improve our relationships with others. (Top)

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology is a realm of psychology focused on the study of the abilities and qualities that promote thriving in individuals and communities. On an individual level, these abilities and qualities include things like courage, compassion, resilience, creativity, curiosity, integrity, self-knowledge, moderation, self-control, and wisdom. Positive Psychology is based on the central belief that all beings strive naturally to lead meaningful and happy lives, to cultivate the best within themselves, and to optimize their experiences of love, work and play. Research stemming from this movement has shown that by fostering of these abilities and qualities, it is possible to be happier (that is, to feel less depressed and more optimistic),  be more engaged with life, find more satisfaction and meaning, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of life circumstances. (Top)

Emotion-Focused Therapy

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a psychotherapy based on the central belief that emotions can be healing. EFT seeks to resolve unpleasant emotions by working with them, instead of suppressing or containing them. Emotions, in particular painful or uncomfortable ones, are viewed as sources of useful information. Clients, in the context of EFT, learn to identify, experience, and move through painful feelings. By doing so, an opportunity presents to process through the underlying unresolved, and perhaps previously unacknowledged, aspects of the experience or circumstances that gave rise to the emotional distress. (Top)

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of short-term psychotherapy that revolves around teaching clients to identify their specific thoughts and patterns of thinking and to understand the effects that thinking has on their emotions and behaviour. This therapy focuses on training clients to change how they think, feel and act. As result of these changes, most individuals experience a decrease in their psychological distress symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, and function better in their daily lives. (Top)

Compassionate Mind Therapy

Individuals who are highly self-critical and who experience high levels of internal shame often struggle to feel soothed, reassured or safe. Compassionate Mind Therapy seeks to help self-critical individuals, and those who tend to feel a lot of guilt and shame, develop the capacity to experience compassion, and especially self-compassion. When we are able to have greater compassion for ourselves, we tend to experience a deeper sense of inner warmth, comfort, and safety, which can profoundly ease our distress and transform our relationships with ourselves and how we experience the world. (Top)


As utilized in therapy, Hypnosis is a powerful technique that promotes a state of heightened suggestibility in an individual through a process of trance induction (i.e., promoting an altered state of consciousness). In this state, suggestions offered by the therapist and/or insights uncovered from one’s own unconscious self may be more easily received and responded to. The aim is for ‘old’, problematic beliefs, perceptions, emotions, sensations, habits, and/or behaviors to be transformed through suggestions for change. People can also learn self-hypnosis, which is the act of administering hypnotic procedures on one’s own in order to create a transformative trance state. (Top)