1668 Ave. Lincoln,
4226 Boul. St-Jean N
My goal as a therapist is to help individuals and couples find relief from their distress. The distress might take the form of anxiety, depression, or relationship difficulties. It might be based in a current situation, or it might be based inan old traumatic situation that “just won’t stop hurting”. Whateve the cause, my role is to help patients find hope for the future when things seem hopeless, find and use new tools to have a more successful life, or find comfort in their grief.
I consider myself fortunate in practicing psychology in this era. The growth of proven therapies has allowed me to stand on the shoulders of giants. If I think of who has influenced me, the list would include Michael Spevack, David Burns, Les Greenberg, Jeffrey Young, Alice Miller, John Bowlby, and Victor Yalom, among others. Most recently, and most powerfully, the couples work of Sue Johnson (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) has brought me to a new understanding of the importance of safety in relationaships, and how to help couples in distress learn to turn safely towards each other, to rely on one another for comfort and support.
Often current situations can be “triggers” that activate old uncomfortable feelings from childhood that we thought we had safely locked away, or didn’t even know we had locked away. Often people will tell me “it happened 20 (30, 40) years ago - it shouldn’t bother me any more.”
While this is understandable, if it were really true, we would just tell people in crisis or in emotional pain to go home, because “time will heal it”. We know this is simply not true. We need the time to do the necessary work of healing. Time alone heals nothing. Untreated trauma has a way of being “left in storage”, and when it re-emerges, often because of a present situation that in some way vaguely relates to the past, it emerges as fresh as the day it was locked away. My role is to create a safe environment in which patients can grieve what befell them, learn to step back and examine if their old ways of coping with their hurt still fit or not, and if not, find the courage to explore new ways of living.
I am always in awe of the courage my patients show in the face of their difficulties, and I feel honoured that they share their lives and their stories with me.