I work with a diverse group of clients, ranging from late teens to seniors, one-on-one, in couples or families. We cover every theme imaginable, including issues related to school, work, relationships, family, sexuality, finances, major life transitions, depression, and anxiety, to name a few.
I deal in reality—not wishful thinking, fantasies, willful ignorance or blind faith. I try to help clients realize that life is actually easier when you find the insight, strength and courage to see reality for what it really is, not what you want it to be.
“Hardiness” is the ability to see problems or unexpected developments as challenges to be overcome rather than as overwhelming disasters.
“What else would you expect?” is something I often say to my clients—not in a blaming or insulting manner, but in a helpful way. What do I mean? When you have a pretty good idea of the kind of person someone is or how they tend to act, you should be able to predict how they will react to certain things. It is not helpful to wish for something very different from what will likely happen. Base your expectations on reality, not fantasy.
I balance my realistic and practical approach in therapy with great respect, compassion, understanding, empathy, care, concern, encouragement and support for my clients. This is a key formula for success.
To grow as a person or to become successful usually requires learning to step out of your comfort zone. This is one of the scariest things someone can do, which is why the vast majority of people don’t do it.
Gaining a greater sense of control over our environments, both internal and external, is the most important thing we strive for our entire life, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Virtually all major problems in life can be traced back to “control issues”. Even if we cannot control the world around us as much as we’d like, we can learn to better control our thoughts and reactions to our surroundings and experiences.
I am often amazed at the resiliency of the people I get to meet through my work. Whether it’s a student returning to university after 20 years while trying to balance a full-time job with a family, or a client who has refused to let years of abuse and multiple crises prevent them from persevering through the most difficult times, I am frequently filled with respect for people who rise to the many challenges life throws at them.
A big part of the therapy I do is to get clients to challenge the many assumptions about themselves, their lives and the world that they’ve been carrying around and following without question for years—often without even knowing it.
A great place to be psychologically is when you are able to accept who you are, with all of your many faults, but you are motivated to try to keep improving on certain aspects of yourself or your life. However, you don’t regret not being where you want to be; instead, you are happy with where you have come so far and build upon your (small) successes to keep moving forward.