Using a non-directive approach, I work with children through the mode of play. While adults often talk out their narratives and feelings during sessions, children use play to achieve this. Within the safe atmosphere of sessions, children are presented with the unique opportunity to delve into expressive, explorative, and therapeutic play. Using my experience and knowledge about child development, I gain insight into the child's inner world through the precious gift of playfulness. This allows me to follow the child's lead, working towards therapeutic goals.
Although primarily used with children, the benefits of play can be seen in adolescents and adults. When appropriate, I may suggest exploring therapeutic play with older clients.
Therapeutic Art capitalizes on the creative spirit within us all. Using art- whether it be clay, paint, pencil, et cetera- takes therapeutic work to a level where thoughts, feelings, and narratives may be expressed non-verbally. At times, artistic exploration may be client-driven. Other times, I may suggest a project or activity appropriate to the session and client's goals. Therapeutic art is beneficial amongst all age groups, and like therapeutic play, can surprise adults with its freeing qualities.
Narrative Therapy: Narrative is a wonderful gift. Knowing one's story- what has come before and what we wish to experience-is healing and healthy. At any age, we have the ability to consciously write our tales: will we be passive authors or take charge? Perhaps that event in the past can be reframed and rewritten in a way that facilitates forward movement? Maybe today is the day we decide to start the next chapter? How this narrative is discovered and recorded can take varying forms. When I explore narratives with clients, I work with individuals to do so in the manner most appropriate for them. Narrative therapy is especially useful when working with trauma.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is any activity which encompasses non-judgemental mindful awareness of the present moment. It is useful in aiding the resolve of many emotional and mental issues, such as anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, and more
Humanistic Psychology: Humanistic Psychology is based in optimism. It believes everyone is the expert on themselves and successful therapy happens when the client and therapist are engaged in a genuine relationship. I strive to form honest and empathic relationships with my clients. I believe clients (regardless of age) are the best judge of what works and what does not. To this end, all clients are encouraged to voice their opinions and ideas, especially if they differ from mine. No one knows you better than yourself! However, sometimes it is useful to have someone outside of you/your situation help you adjust your focus to see more clearly.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Thoughts are linked to behaviour, and vice versa. This is true for all developmental stages. I bring components of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) into my practice. Examining and challenging thoughts and behaviours can help us break free from unhealthy cycles. We have the power to reframe how we view the world, which is very freeing!
Spiritual: Some wish to incorporate their spiritual beliefs into their therapy. I accept all views and beliefs and am happy to incorporate clients' spiritual belief systems into sessions.
Symbols: Carl Jung suggested that there are symbols and archetypes inherent in the human experience. With this in mind, I keep an eye open for meaning in symbols throughout sessions. There are certain symbols and concepts that reach us all, and others are more individual. If I discuss symbolism, clients are encouraged to let me know how it feels to them- am I on an interesting track of does it lack truth? Symbols may be seen in artwork, play, or through other means of narrative making.