In private practice, I offer Coaching and Counselling sessions to adults and adolescents in both French and English – in person as well as online via video conferencing.
My approach is Integrative in style specifically using a combination of Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems.
Both are couched in the Humanistic/Person-centered and Transpersonal traditions which values each person’s uniqueness and belief in our innate healing capacity. My role is more of a facilitator for the individual to find solutions that work best for them. As facilitator I’m supportive and provide a safe, confidential, holding environment for the person to explore and experience new skills and ways of being. At times I can be more directive, but always mindful and respectful of what works best for you. Your experience, your truth is most important. With attention on the present, the here-and-now experience, it is not always necessary to delve into past history in order to realise a change. However, I do not lose sight of the fact that at times the past is present in our here and now if certain issues/events remain unresolved.
With a holistic and integrative perspective, all spheres of the person’s experience are considered and valued: cognitive, behavioural, emotional, physical, and spiritual. The focus on any of these spheres will vary depending on the person. But probably one the biggest differences you will find with me versus most other therapists is that I have been trained to include an attention to what is happening with the body. What is the body saying with its physical sensations, posture and movement? By including the intelligence of the body, I have found the therapeutic process to be more effective and efficient. This approach can be especially helpful if you find you have talked and talked about an issue with no long-lasting change happening.
I also want to acknowledge here that sometimes focusing on the body and sensations can feel scary and unpleasant. At these times it is very important to go at a pace that is comfortable and perhaps with a trained practitioner as support. Taking things slowly and gently is a far quicker path to healing.
I have completed Post-graduate certifications in Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems. Both methods have been found effective in treating trauma, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, transitions and many others. Both consider the body as an important part of the therapeutic process.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) mindfully and non-judgmentally looks at the inter-relationships of the different parts of ourselves which may be in conflict, affecting how we are functioning and possibly sabotaging our stated goals. Compassionately accepting and including all parts of ourselves facilitates the gentle resolution of challenges and patterns from the past, so that all of our parts – our internal family or inner team of parts – work together in a coherent manner. IFS includes attention to parts which may only or perhaps initially express themselves as bodily sensations or as chronic pain.
IFS is listed on NREPP – National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices in the U.S. I have completed the most advanced Level 3 and have been a Program Assistant on a Level 1 training with the founder Dr. Richard Schwartz.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) a body-oriented approach incorporating research of neurobiology, works with the physiological aspects of trauma and body memory, stress, anxiety and/or depression, placing attention on physical sensations and movements for the healing of trauma and to restore a person’s natural resiliency to stress.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) method was developed by Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger and In an Unspoken Voice. More information on this method can be found at traumahealing.org. An excerpt from their website follows:
What is Somatic Experiencing® (SE)?
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-awareness approach to trauma being taught throughout the world. It is the result of over forty years of observation, research, and hands-on development by Dr. Levine. Based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma, Somatic Experiencing has touched the lives of many thousands. SE® restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away.
“Somatic Experiencing®” (SE) is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in ”immunity” to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly ”charged” life-threatening experiences.
Although humans are born with virtually the same regulatory mechanisms as animals, the function of these instinctive systems is often overridden or inhibited by, among other things, the ”rational” portion of our brains. This restraint prevents the complete discharge of survival energies, and does not allow the nervous system to regain its equilibrium. The undischarged “survival energy” remains “stuck” in the body and the nervous system. The various symptoms of trauma result from the body’s attempt to ”manage” and contain this unused energy.
SE employs the awareness of body sensation to help people ”renegotiate” and heal their traumas rather than relive them. With appropriate guidance with the body’s instinctive ”felt sense,” individuals are able to access their own built-in immunity to trauma, allowing the highly aroused survival energies to be safely and gradually discharged. When these energies are discharged, people frequently experience a dramatic reduction in or disappearance of their traumatic symptoms.