My counselling practice fulfils my passion for encouraging clients to heal and grow while building and strengthening the important relationships in their lives. I believe that we can achieve our full potential when we feel connected to and in harmony with ourselves and our family, friends and community.
My overall approach to counselling is informed by the acronym “PACE” which stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. Coined by Dr. Daniel Hughes through his work with foster and adopted children and families, this approach promotes a sense of safety in the counselling session when exploring difficult thoughts, feelings, memories and experiences. Even though PACE was developed to help parents better understand and more effectively respond to their children's behaviours, I have found that this approach enables adults to more compassionately face and work with their own thoughts, memories and emotions.
Whether you are seeking individual counselling for anxiety, depression or grief or you are dealing with overwhelming life changes, I have found that having a curious, compassionate dialogue can bring insights and solutions that may have been missed. With children, couples and families, receiving guidance to increase your understanding and empathy for each other can build and repair your relationships.
With children and parents touched by adoption, foster and kin care I work from the model called Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy which was developed by Dr. Daniel Hughes. This model equips and supports parents to help their children heal from the trauma and losses they may have experienced on their journey to your family. If you would like to learn more about this model as well as developing the attitude of PACE with your children, please click on the button below.
With over 30 years of social work practice, I bring experience from working in counselling agencies and children’s mental health settings as well as child welfare, specifically in the area of adoption and adoption reunion.
I obtained my Bachelor of Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1985 and worked at the Children's Aid Society of Toronto for the next 25 years. For the first 12 years I provided supportive services to young women and their partners expecting a baby. These pregnancies were usually unplanned and the goal was to help the young parents build resources if they were planning to parent or support them if they were making an adoption plan for their expected child.
In 1998 I began working in the Adoption Department, providing reunion counselling to adult adoptees and birth family members who were in the process of reuniting. I also co-facilitated a group for people in reunion from 1999 to 2011. In 2002 I began working with adoptive parents providing training, conducting homestudies and supporting the new family after a child was placed.
In 2010 I obtained my MSW from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener-Waterloo. I then began working in counselling centres and children's mental health centres which enabled me to broaden my experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families facing a wide variety of challenges including anxiety, depression, parent-child stresses, relationship stresses and intimate partner violence.
Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Training with Dr. Daniel Hughes
Specialization: Individuals, Families and Groups