Background & Education

Photo credit: Valerie Williams

My approach to therapy offers you a safe and nurturing space to explore and heal challenging patterns and stuck places in your life.

You can expect your sessions to be attuned to your needs, honouring of your strengths, as well as, empowering you to greater depths of awareness, authenticity, and connection with self and others.

I bring 20+ years of experience in the fields of counselling, teaching, leadership, and contemplative, creative and somatic practices. I am devoted to creating an inclusive experience for all clients. I welcome clients who are LGBTQ+, and clients of all ethnicities, cultural heritages and faith backgrounds. I also welcome clients who are neurodivergent.

I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and a member in good standing of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

Background

I have worked as a counsellor for women who have survived abuse and trauma and in youth mental health promotion and suicide prevention. Most recently, I have worked in the Family Counselling program at Mental Health Recovery Partners here in Victoria, where I provided counselling for caregivers and family members of those with a mental illness. I also have extensive experience in facilitating groups of all kinds for youth and adults.

I taught for 13 years at the university level and worked with close to a thousand students while teaching courses in human development, inclusive education, and educational leadership. I still teach courses on an occasional basis for the University of British Columbia. Much of my work involved integrating arts-based and poetic practices into how we understand human learning and development. I have published and presented internationally on this topic.

Eventually, working within universities systems began to make less sense to me and my academic path ran its course. Also, I missed working deeply with individuals one-on-one. And so, the call to return to my roots was undeniable, and I came full circle back to my authentic calling as a therapist. I am grateful for all I learned about myself and working with others during these years as I am confident in knowing how I can best serve others.

Over the past 20 years, I have engaged in contemplative practices that include a devoted meditation practice and somatic and arts-based modalities, including a longtime yoga practice and many years of conscious dance and poetic inquiry. These psycho-spiritual methods have taught me about how we can work with our minds, how we hold and process emotional energy, and about the wisdom available to us in the essence of our being. I have pursued in-depth training in Contemplative Psychotherapy, which brings together wisdom from both Eastern & Western psychological traditions.

Education

I completed my Masters and PhD in Education with a focus on human development, diversity and creative practice. Through this work, I came to appreciate what processes underlie our growth towards becoming whole and authentic adults, and how our minds, hearts, bodies and spirits develop in a complex dance with our individual circumstances.

I have also completed Karuna Training (Basic Level), which is a two-year program in applied Contemplative Psychology based in Tibetan Buddhism. I am currently enrolled in the Graduate level of Karuna Training.

Additional Education & In-Depth Training

Satir Transformational Systems Therapy– Individual, couple and family therapy

Karuna Training North America– Contemplative Psychology, mindfulness & compassion in helping relationships

Dr. Gabor Mate: Compassionate Inquiry- Roots of trauma and addictions

Dr. Gordon Neufeld – Youth, attachment and parenting

The Way of Shambhala – Meditation practice & wisdom teachings

Clare Blanchflower – Spiritual development and presence

A designation of BC Association of Clinical Counsellors