Approaches & Philosophy

White Eagle Counselling - Open Floor

Somatic Therapy

I am Canada’s first Open Floor International Movement Therapist. This is a somatic practice that allows us to access the wisdom of the body and move and include all parts of ourselves. Using movement (sometimes very subtle, sometimes larger) to soften tight spots and release holding patterns, we can learn to increase our ability to be present to ourselves and others, find true joy and long-lasting healing. I can also guide you to look at repetitive thoughts and behaviours to uncover what is stagnant and invite in what is new and refreshing.

I am personally committed to movement therapy and conscious dance as a personal practice that brings tremendous joy, healing and heartfelt connection in my own life.

For more information on my Open Floor practice, please visit my Facebook page.

EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

The mind can often heal itself naturally, in the same way as the body does. Much of this natural coping mechanism occurs during sleep, particularly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Francine Shapiro developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in 1987, utilizing this natural process in order to successfully treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). Since then, EMDR has been used to effectively treat a wide range of mental health problems such as:

  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • depression
  • stress
  • phobias
  • sleep problems
  • complicated grief
  • addictions
  • pain relief, phantom limb pain
  • self-esteem and performance anxiety

Although EMDR is very effective, it is not for everyone. I employ this therapy only after building a relationship with clients. If you are interested in EMDR, I request that we meet for a couple of regular counselling sessions first, so as to determine if EMDR is a fit for you.

I am trained in the following EMDR protocols:

Basic Level 1, Basic Level 2, Flash, Recent Events, Darfur Addictions Protocol

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy is a holistic and experiential approach that acknowledges that people strive for growth and balance. In practicing this, I come from a place of empathy, understanding and unconditional acceptance of the client.

By focusing on emotions, sensations, thoughts and experiences in the present, we can explore why current memories and feelings have arisen and how they are connected to the past. Role-playing, lived dialogue and externalizing issues helps clients explore unmet needs, allowing for release and resolution.

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

A vital part of therapy is to bring awareness to our beliefs and negative thought patterns and the behaviour they inspire. When we encounter certain life events, they generate an emotional response whether positive, negative or neutral. By changing our response to the event, we can glean new understanding and adopt new belief systems.

In using this approach, I help clients recognize that our life events are less important than the feelings, perceptions and understanding that we attribute to our experiences.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a collaborative and non-pathologizing approach that honours people for being the expert of their own lives. This approach respects the dimensions of diversity including class, gender, sexual identity, race and ability. It maintains the client’s dignity and is inherently non-blaming.

In using this approach, I allow the client to tell their story and gently help them see how their own narrative shapes them, helps them and hinders them. In so doing, I come from a place of genuine curiosity and respect.

SocioDynamic Counselling

SocioDynamic Counselling focuses on meaning making and the responsibility of clients to construct their own life, based on an exploration of their strengths, values and assumptions.

Using life-space mapping, metaphor and mindfulness, clients explore their own meanings and choose how to best direct their life, taking into consideration their unique emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual and career aspirations.

I have been personally trained and coached by the creator, Dr. Vance Peavy, and use his unique life-space mapping as a visual tool to uncover what is meaningful and ultimately healing for the client.

Solution-Focused and Brief Therapy

Our vision and goals are important and are often overlooked in therapy. By focusing on what we already know, what we long for, what skills we have and our own resiliency, we can create a future that is aligned and positive.

In using this approach, I acknowledge that clients have internal wisdom and have benefited from many past successes that can inform the future. By looking at what has worked in the past and what resources the client already has, I help clients build a future that is connected to their own values, desires and goals.

Family Systems

We are not mere individuals; rather, each of us belongs to a larger, open system or family, whether we are in contact with them or not. We learn a great deal from our families of origin, especially about intimacy, power and meaning.  We bring this into our relationships in our adult worlds, so understanding our patterns and shedding light on learned behaviour can help to shift what no longer works for us.

Yoga Asanas as a path to personal awareness

Yoga is a life path with many spiritual and therapeutic benefits. By practicing certain postures, yoga can calm the mind and provide practitioners with a sense of grounding, connection and self-awareness.

I have been a yoga teacher for more than 20 years and when appropriate, I integrate some yoga asanas into a counselling sessions. The immediate results are increased self-awareness, stress reduction and improved physical health. Longer term, you can expect a lasting sense of control in your life, personal growth and wisdom.

Writing as Therapy

Writing is a powerful, intimate source of knowledge and healing. By putting words on the page, you can free your mind, tap into your creativity and expand possibilities.

As a professional writer and creative writing Instructor, I can integrate writing into the therapeutic process. Writing can be autobiographic, imaginary, liberating, explorational, releasing and satisfying.

Through the process of writing, creativity gives life to new ideas, hidden dreams, past harms and deep desires. It is an exceptional tool to explore yourself, to let go of past personal narratives, and to create a new story in which you can realise your full potential.

Have Questions? Contact Me

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