Adults, Adolescents, Seniors
Individual session; Intensive, Groups
All genders & orientations Respected and Welcome
Included on this page:
-Overview of services
-How long will therapy take?
-Why look at the past?
-Same problem for years?
-Figuring out what you want from counselling?
-Can I afford counselling?
-What is an intensive?
-What is EMDR Therapy?
-What is Hakomi Body Psychotherapy?
Overview of Services
I offer a healing environment of wholistic therapy acknowledging mind, body, spirit, heart, and emotion. You will find safety, non judgment, and your goals and dreams honored. My experience and those of clients who have found healing, say that self discovery is key. We will explore your inner truth so that your organization of self will direct us to clarity, balance, growth, increased coping skills, happiness, healing, and wholeness. Counselling is an opportunity for furthering your self development.
Counselling is offered for furthering personal development, past & recent trauma (e.g. abuse), grief, depression, stress, anxiety, life transitions, painful life struggles, etc.
How long will therapy take?
This is an excellent question... shows your motivation. The short answer is that it depends on what you want. The long answer is that it depends on how difficult your life has been, what you need, want, and what personal development you have already done and want to do.
Some clients want to focus on one challenge while others want to clean out the whole backpack of past disturbing memories.
Why look at the past?
Historical incidents can intertwine and interfere with current difficulties. They are like the roots of a weed. They feed the upper branches and keep them vibrant and alive. You can chop off the top of the weed, but it grows back if you don't get the root.
When you chop off the top of the weed psychologically it is called state change, for e.g. eating chocolate/drinking/... or talk about your problems with friends, etc. It helps temporarily.
Addressing the root is called trait change. That's where we go back in time to find out what all is impacting us today to clear it out. Ever have the sense that your reaction is much bigger than the current issue calls for? We will address the root permanently... it doesn't have to be every root in the garden. One at a time works.
Metaphor.. it works like a spiders web... cut the main string and it begins to fall apart even without working on every part of it.
Example 1: Someone is hit by a drunk driver and the car accident is no fault of their own. Yet they feel at fault. They know intellectually it isn't their fault, but can't stop the thoughts running on and on. We find out that it is related to feeling at fault at 5yrs old for an incident in which they had no control. When we cleared the negative belief and disturbance at age 5 then the feeling of fault with the current accident cleared quickly.
Example 2: A woman is raped and feels she is a bad person. Intellectually she understands she isn't and her family and friends tell her she is a good person, loving, and kind. We float back in time to age 4yrs old when she was punished for something she didn't do. We clear that up and the current belief "I'm bad" for the rape clears in processing.
Example 3: A man comes for therapy because he is struggling in his marriage. He feels angry a lot and finds him self withdrawing from his partner. We float back to find out that as a young boy his mother stopped talking to him for days when he made a mistake. Same as above.. we cleared the early and the later clears faster and easier.
Example 4: A family member dies and although not preventable he feels he should have been able to do something. He is stuck feeling overwhelmed and guilty. We find out it is connected to a time when he was 3 yrs old and his grandmother died whom he was close to. Nobody explained what happened, she just never came to see him again. We cleared the early memory (root) and a memory that felt even worse (he sees his pet run over at 10yrs old) and the current clears faster and easier.
Same problem for years?
You tried talk therapy and it felt like you learned important coping skills, but you can't get past the negative beliefs about self, the sleeplessness, the anxiety, the anger, the unhealthy habits, ... This is a case of roots not being cleared and it doesn't matter if it was 5, 20, or 40 yrs ago the root can still be cleared. This is the brilliance of the human psyche!
These are some of the reasons for counselling where heart, mind, body, and spirit are addressed so that what is emotionally disturbing can become fact and free you to be more of who you really are.
Figuring out what you want from counselling?
It is important to take time to decide what it is that you want from counselling. I can help you figure this out if this feels too difficult. It may also change as your therapy progresses.
Some ways to play with figuring out what you want:
1) Reframe the question. Another way to put this is to think about how you will know counselling is over? e.g. you are sleeping better, your anxiety or fears have resolved, past memories aren't disturbing anymore, you are able to be in relationship the way you want, you feel more joyous, hopeful, and free, etc.
THEN write down what you have if you don't have the difficulty anymore. For example, if you aren't anxious, etc. what will you have instead? What will you be feeling instead of anxiety?
2) What brings you joy and peace? That can help you figure out what you want e.g. I feel peaceful when I walk in nature. Or I love playing with my kids.. or I take pride in doing my work well... or...
Then what is the statement that describes what you want?
It could translate to "I want more time in my life to enjoy nature to be more balanced in the time I work and time I play"
What is your statement?
Can I afford counselling? personal development? Great question. Consider these costs... (costs based on 1 person unless otherwise stated)
Average cost of eating out for lunch every day $1800/yr.
Avg cost of eating out for supper no alcohol 1x/wk for a couple $2000/yr.
Avg cost of 1 Tim Hortons coffee every day $540/yr.
Avg cost of your own self care/counselling $ ______ fill in the blank.
You are worth the time and money to take care of your mental health
What is an Intensive?
- a full day of counselling using EMDR, Hakomi, Mindfulness, Ego State work, DBT, ... whatever is needed to address your needs.
- a natural unfolding of the system (mind, body, spirit, emotion)
- a gentle, respectful, and non violent counselling process
- preparation for trauma work and/or reprocessing trauma
- installing and enhancing your adaptive resources and networks
- restructuring neural networks caused by wounds and long standing patterns/habits
- re-organizing incidents from disturbing to factual
- an update and growth of the system "software" to 2012.. a defrag you might say.
"I continue to be amazed at the effect of intensive EMDR on my life. The distressing physiological and emotional responses I used to have around certain people or situations have literally disappeared. The sense now is that of a memory for having felt a certain way but no longer experiencing it. Now, I feel calmly distant in the presence of people with whom I was intensely anxious around previously. Intensive EMDR with Sue allowed me to travel through and effectively integrate past traumatizing emotional, physical and psychological experiences in a relatively short period of time. The entire journey is aptly described by it's title - intense! Throughout, I was profoundly grateful to Sue who knew how to guide me through this safely. I felt challenged, encouraged, and always supported through this tumultuous and, ultimately, peaceful process."
"Attending an EMDR intensive with Sue was one of the best investments in my future well being. I have ever made. With Sue's gentle guidance in a comfortable, supportive environment with no time constraints, I was able to process nagging issues of the past and the current triggers that created ongoing discomfort in my life. Yes, it was intense, but well worth it; and it was completed within a day! I now have a first-hand experiential understanding of trait change vs. state change, as past difficult experiences have become distant memories and the emotional and physiological distress has disappeared. I no longer experience distress with people or situations that once would have evoked powerful and often distressing emotions and behaviors and I have a stronger self worth. I am a happier person."
- "It's intensive yet gentle
- It takes time yet without the sense of time pressure
- It's powerful and effective
- It's empowering with a sense of full closure/reprocessing
The intensive allowed me to process material in a way that was never done before.
The intensive allows one to heal in the most effective and pleasant way acquiring one's inner peace and core stability.
Through my own experience I highly recommend the Intensive to anyone who needs/wants to:
- "tidy up closets"
- heal from any unprocessed material
- establish their inner peace and core stability in the most effective pleasant way."
Please note that intensives aren't for everyone. Sometimes slower is faster. We must respect your system (heart, mind, body, and spirit). The goal is to follow the natural healing process that creates transformation.
What is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro (2001) suggests that EMDR facilitates the accessing and processing of traumtic memories to bring these to a healthy resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced. During EMDR the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external bilateral stimulation, e.g. lateral eye movements, hand-tapping, and audio stimulation (Shapiro, 1991).
Shapior (195) hypothesizes that EMDR facilitates the accessing of the traumatic memory network, desensitzes current distress, internal and external triggers, and then allows more adaptive information to integrate. These new associations are thought to result in new learning, elimination of emotional distress, development of cognitive insights, and new experiences in the world.
EMDR was given the highest level of recommendation (category for robust empirical support and demonstrated effectiveness) in the treatment of trauma." _ see EMDRIA
World Health Organization (in press) Guidelines for the Management of conditions that are specifically related to stress, Geneva, WHO.
Trauma-focused CBT and EMDR therapy are recommended for children, adolescents and adults with PTSD. "Like CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR therapy aims to reduce subjective distress and strengthen adaptive cognitions related to the traumatic event. Unlike CBT with a trauma focus, EMDR does not involve (a) detailed descriptions of the event, (b) direct challenging of beliefs, (c) extended exposure, or (d) homework."
The current treatment guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies designate EMDR as a highest-level treatment for post traumatic stress, as have the VA, Pentagon, UK Department of Health, Israeli National Council of Mental Health, and many other international health and governmental agencies.
The American Psychological Association chose Francine Shapiro (EMDR founder) as the Division's 2009 recipient of the "Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology".
See all the articles on EMDR at the Francine Shapiro Library
What is Hakomi Body Psychotherapy
Hakomi is a powerful and effective "body-centered' psychotherapy that integrates cutting edge psychological methods and neuropsychological theories with the safety, curiosity, mindful observation, and respect found in many spiritual transitions. The following 5 principles are honored: Non violence, Mindfulness, Wholeness, Unity, and Organicity.
In Hakomi, the body is viewed as a door that can be opened to reveal the character and belief system of the individual. Through the body and present experience, we can access the deeply held, unconscious, habitual beliefs that shape our lives. This 'core material' is a combination of our experience, beliefs, neural patterns, and emotions and effects how we perceive, respond, and experience the world and relationships. Hakomi uses safe and supportive techniques to facilitate the emergence of these hidden patterns into consciousness where they can be directly experienced, re-evaluated and transformed.
We will observe with a gentle and curious attitude how you have organized your life experiences. You will discover how your self-organize and your natural impulses towards growth and change. We will discover your inner knowledge and wisdom. We will observe and explore together at your pace.
Change occurs within relationships and thus, as a therapist, I respect how we impact each other and hold healthly boundaries. The mind, body, and spirit are constantly affecting each other, and we will learn together what information your systems offering you for your journey towards wholeness. I will offer challenging yet gentle experiments and the opportunity for skill building so that you can reach your goals and dreams.
"Hakomi presents some astounding methods for getting to core material. It is well grounded in theory and revolutionary in its results." Association of Humanistic Psychology Newsletter
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