Registered Clinical Counsellor
Specialties: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders/schizophrenia, Adult Mental Health and Addictions
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology, University of Manitoba
Master of Counselling (MCP), Adler University
Professional Registrations & Certification:
Registered as a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors(BCACC). Registration #15456
I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba and went to a small school in Winnipeg’s south end where I was raised by my mother, who worked as a psychiatrist. Through discussions about her work, she taught me self-reflection skills and instilled an appreciation for the complexity of people while fostering my interest in helping others.
As I became older I continued learning about myself and others, learning how to intuit others’ needs and how to support those who needed help. I worked in acute mental health in downtown Winnipeg for a few years before moving to Vancouver and becoming a Registered Clinical Counsellor.
I have focused my training on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and addictions, and enjoy working with groups as well as individuals. Regulating emotions and navigating experiences of shame and guilt are often areas that I like to concentrate on during therapy. I also incorporate acceptance and commitment therapy into my practice, where discussions about values and creativity are had in the context of improving one’s life.
Outside of work I like to go to comedy shows and concerts and am secretly a huge hockey fan. I consider myself a social-justice advocate and am always ready to learn and have fun.
When and why did you join Alongside You?
I joined AY in December of 2017 and have been feeling very grateful to be a part of such a welcoming and understanding group. Alongside You attracted me because of Andrew’s perspective on affordable mental health services, and his flexibility and initiatives (like the Step Forward program) make me feel good about my work and the reach we can have as service providers.
What is your day-to-day role at Alongside You?
I work at Alongside You as a counsellor, in a limited capacity. I am available on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Vancouver and during Saturdays I work in Ladner. In the past I have helped run the adolescent DBT group and will likely do some adult DBT group in the future. In my one-on-one counselling sessions I focus on a variety of things – but emotion regulation is at the crux of my work.
What skills do you need for your role at Alongside You?
The skills I need for my role at Alongside You are compassion, effective and attentive listening, and curiosity.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is getting to meet new people and to hear their stories, while interacting with them in a meaningful way. Feeling in any way that I’ve been helpful to people’s struggles or challenges makes me feel humbled and is the ultimate reward.
What do you love the most about Alongside You?
I love how connected Andrew and Meg are to their community in Delta. I think that’s the sign of true “good work”, when people aren’t working for themselves but are working for their community, which I feel Andrew and Meg are doing. I love all the different types of services and groups Alongside You offers their community and I think that shows how invested the practice is to helping and healing all parts of their community.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is waking up in the morning! Just like everyone else.
What would you be doing if you did not pursue the career path you have right now?
If I weren’t pursuing the career I currently am I think I would be training to be a comedy writer. I don’t know what that training looks like exactly, but I’ve read books about shows like The Simpsons (my all-time favourite) and Saturday Night Live and working in those writing rooms just sounds like the greatest job of all time.
How do you relax when you are outside of work?
I relax by going to the movies! I love going to the movies by myself so I don’t have to share my popcorn or compromise on where to sit. Call me anti-social but the movies are where I go to truly relax.
What do you consider the most important value?
Hm. This is a hard one because I think there are many values that guide the way I live my life. One of my values that I take pride in is that of creativity – perhaps a bit of a different response than expected but let me briefly explain. I think doing things and thinking in ways that are creative shows and allows for true caring, and requires attunement and an ‘in the moment’ mindset. Not to mention it often results in personal enjoyment of the task at hand and creates a sense of empowerment. Ask me sometime about how I’ve been guided by my value of ‘creativity’ lately, I’d love to have a conversation about it and about what creativity might look like in your life.
What kind of organizations/networks/communities are you connected/associated with?
Currently I also work for Vancouver Coastal Health and am frequently attending workshops and gatherings on a range of topics, from learning how to be an effective male ally and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and its usefulness, to opioid crisis interventions and strategies. I also play on a hockey team and do improv comedy! Or at least I try…