TRAUMA AND ABUSE

Trauma is damage to the mind and body that occurs as a result of an event (or series of events) that is so stressful that it exceeds one’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. While it is widely recognized that dramatic events like war, severe accidents, or sexual assault can lead to trauma, many are unaware that less dramatic events may also lead to trauma if they are experienced as threatening to survival. Some examples may include rejection, humiliation, or abandonment.

Through my work with the Stopping The Violence program at agencies throughout British Columbia, I have worked with many individuals who have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and childhood sexual abuse. I have focused on sexual violence and gender-based violence, as well as the long-term impacts of trauma on relationships, sense of self, and sexuality. Whether immediately after the event or years later, support and connection are essential for healing from overwhelmingly stressful and distressing events. I understand the importance of creating a safe and secure relationship with you, which is the foundation for trauma recovery. For some individuals, I incorporate Somatic Experiencing, a mind-body approach to trauma recovery that fosters nervous system healing and body awareness.

HEARTBREAK & SEPARATION

Breakups are painful. After a relationship separation, people often feel sad, lost, empty, alone, and angry. Expecting yourself to just “bounce back” after heartbreak is unrealistic.

Recovering from the loss will take time and support. Seeing a counsellor is an effective way to learn to cope with the stressors associated with the loss.

Rainbow | Non-Standard Sexuality Icon

NON-STANDARD SEXUALITY

I am experienced in working with sexual minorities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community, and people practicing non-monogamy and BDSM.

I have seen many clients who have faced judgment for their sexual orientation or sexual practices in mainstream mental health services. For this reason, it is important to find non-judgmental professional support.

The journey of sexual self-discovery is not an easy or straightforward one. In some cases, clients can find it helpful to have a professional validate that their sexuality is not unhealthy and support them on this journey. In other cases, clients with non-standard sexualities seek counselling for issues that are not directly related to their sexual orientation and behaviour, however they find it helpful to have a non-judgmental and informed counsellor so that when they are discussing whatever issues they want to work on, they do not have to censor themselves or be judged on this part of their life.

intersectionality

SEX THERAPY

Sex therapy is specialized talk therapy which focuses on addressing sexual concerns, either as an individual or as a couple.

Concerns about an aspect of your sexuality or sex life can often be difficult to understand and resolve because of the culture of shame and silence that surrounds sex and sexuality in our society. This shame is often internalized by us as individuals, making it difficult to find opportunities to work through a sexual issue.

I offer a safe, comfortable, non-judgemental space to discuss any sexual concerns, including:

• sexual anxiety
• low sexual desire or unequal interest in sex between partners
• sexual arousal and performance issues
• inability or difficulty with orgasm
• healing from sexual abuse or sexual assault
• unwanted impulses and compulsions
• body image issues
• sexual pain disorders

Sexuality is one of the most wonderful, complicated, scary, challenging and fun parts of being human. I can help you to find meaning in your sexuality and harmony in your sex life.

I was trained in sex therapy at the University of Guelph’s Intensive Sex Therapy Training program. This program is the most widely recognized sex therapy training program in Canada, and is run by leaders in the field of sex therapy.

RELATIONSHIPS

I am trained in in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) which views emotions as important indicators of the normal and healthy needs that people experience in relationships. Although these emotions can sometimes feel overwhelming, I believe that it is the act of honouring them, not overcoming them, that can help people to achieve relationships that are peaceful, caring, and passionate. I am experienced in working on relationship concerns with individuals and couples, and both monogamous and non-monogamous relationships.