Hello. I have a BA from the University of Victoria and a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary. I am a registered psychologist in the province of Alberta.
I came to Mount Royal in August of 2009 and provide personal counselling for individuals and couples. I also do academic and career counselling and respond to crises as needed. I enjoy meeting with students in groups, where conversations are alive with new ideas, affirmations, questions, and many different kinds of knowledge (from personal to scientific). I help Jack Dobbs run a group for students with ADHD, I offer workshops on procrastination, and present on healthy relationships. If students see a need for a group or information session, I welcome their requests.
I became a counsellor because I was struck by family stories that spoke to me of resilience, perseverance, and healing, in the face of great challenges and painful experiences. I wanted to facilitate this story telling and personal growth with others. I did so initially as a youth worker and returned to school to be able to work more intensively as a counsellor. I feel very privileged to have this job, which is satisfying in so many different ways.
As a counsellor, I try to listen carefully to students’ stories for the strengths they have drawn on in managing their challenges so far. I listen for the stories that they don’t tell, but perhaps could, that offer new perspectives and possibilities. I might invite them to consider how family and cultural meanings get in the way, and what beliefs are more helpful to them. I support students to identify their goals and work out a plan for how, step-by-step, they could reach these goals. This might include noticing and changing the conversations they have with themselves, working differently with their feelings, tweaking how they interact with others, or learning about the biology of stress and practical strategies for managing this. To use professional language, I largely draw on narrative, solution focused, emotion-focused, and cognitive behavioural therapy.
I know I have been living well when I sleep through the night, have time for breakfast, take things in stride, and notice the pleasures of the day. These positive signs have a lot to do with whether I am exercising regularly, eating the stuff my body likes to digest and turn into energy, and if I make time to read and spend time with family and friends.
I’m kind of cautious about quotes. What I really like to hear is how a particular quote is meaningful to a particular person. Then I really appreciate and honour their power to inspire. Got any good ones?