I began my professional career as a teacher. As a child, my favourite novel was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery and wanted to emulate the protagonist, Anne Shirley. I was inspired by her to become a teacher. However, during my time as a teacher I found that so many students encounter personal and societal challenges which prevent them from being able to succeed academically. I decided to switch careers and become a counselor because I found that supporting students individually was what I truly enjoyed about working in the field of education.
My counseling and teaching philosophy is everyone has a life story. I'm inspired by the work of Victor Frankl who writes in his book, Man's Search for Meaning, that people are ultimately seeking to live a meaningful life. I believe that when people encounter challenges, it is usually because they have not been able to fit certain life events in a meaningful way into their life stories. It may be that certain experiences may be so difficult that we can't even begin to put them into words. If that's the case, I work with you to first establish a sense of safety so you can connect your mind and body to safely experience those emotions, and find ways of minimizing the difficulties so that the words can eventually come for you to speak your truth.
Speaking of connecting the mind and body, I strive to work with a trauma-informed lens. I believe that is imperative to recognize the effects that stress and adverse life events can have not only on the mind but also on the body. In practice, this means that my methods may include gestalt therapies where you participate in experiential techniques such as role play, movement exercises, guided imagery meditation, or somatic experiencing to help increase your awareness of your internal state. The goal is to provide you with a safe space to bring your feelings in and explore them without any fear of judgment. This can then lead to a place where healing can begin.
My 4 C's of My Core Counselling Values:
"Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'." - Victor E. Frankl
As a resident of the city of Vancouver, I humbly and respectfully acknowledge that I live onthe traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.