Individual clients may bring a wide range of emotional, interpersonal, or spiritual issues that they would like to improve. Whether it is issues of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, personal or work stress, bereavement, anger management, self-harming thoughts, or some other personal issue, counselling can often be very helpful. As a mature, experienced professional, I have walked alongside countless people who have struggled with the many twists, turns and potholes on the road of life and am very experienced with these issues.
Couple or families may seek counselling for intimacy issues, coping with an affair, communication issues, fear of separation/divorce, working with blended family issues, excess conflict, or many other issues. Statistics indicate that it takes an average of 6 years before a couple looks to outside help when they are struggling. Almost all marriages can be saved with the appropriate guidance and 2 willing and hardworking clients. As an active clinical-fellow and the Northern Ontario representative for the Ontario Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, members must achieve the highest qualifications and are skilled relationship experts.
Parenting is a difficult thing for all fathers and mothers and sometimes blended family dynamics can even heighten issues. Sometimes we can face issues that we are unfamiliar with, or issues where all of the solutions you have tried have been ineffective. These issues can sometimes add stress to other relationships within a family. Children are our most valuable assets and we all want the best for our kids. Counselling will help parents develop new patterns, techniques or boundaries that can help ease the issues they are facing or change the problem behaviors they are seeing. As a father of 2 exceptional teenage boys and being happily married for 27 years, I have both clinical as well as personal expertise in this area.
Sometimes it can be tough to be a teenager. With issues like parents, friends, school issues, homelessness, self-harming behavior, anger management, self-esteem, drug and alcohol issues and others, it can sometimes be helpful to have an impartial adult to talk to. As a teen counselor/mentor for 15 years, I have learned how to bring my clinical expertise to young adults at this difficult and transformative time of life.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a well-researched psychotherapy modality that has been accepted by many large clinical organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and Veterans affairs for use with trauma and PTSD etc. It can be used with many other issues as well.
EMDR isn’t like traditional talk therapy. Its focus is about helping your mind PROCESS the difficult events in you life more effectively. Your mind can heal itself from difficult events just like your body can heal itself from cuts and bruises etc. Your mind and body are naturally oriented towards health and work to achieve it. You process the events unconsciously and can eventually file it away and not carry it with you everyday and into other areas of your life. Basically – it helps you shift from RE-LIVING an event to RE-MEMBERING the event.
Our mind does this during the REM sleep cycle. This is the portion of our sleep cycle where our eyes move rapidly while closed. While your conscious mind sleeps, your unconscious mind processes the events in your life. If there is a significant life event which overwhelms us or if your daily sleep has been disrupted for some reason, we sometimes don’t process events as we should and those events can complicate our emotional state, relationships, or our mental health. EMDR looks to replicate that REM sleep state while you are awake though bi-lateral stimulation such as rapid eye movements, alternating audio sounds, alternating tactile stimulation or many other methods. Unlike traditional talk therapy, your counsellor will not lead the conversation but will lead the process and will be there to monitor and assist if, on those rare occasions, clients have an extreme reaction to some of their past life events.
Counselling from a Christian perspective. This is not counselling with a particular theological bias but more about helping the client meld their own religious beliefs into their understanding of their life situation. Some clients would prefer to speak to a therapist who not only has clinical training but also has a Christian worldview. With a Master of Divinity Degree from Tyndale Seminary, a non-denominational seminary, I am well acquainted with most Christian as well as non-Christian theological beliefs.
When a traumatic event happens at a workplace or school, specially trained counsellors are sometimes called upon to helps those involved immediately and stay "on-site", as a resource, for a period of time. My training and certification is recognized by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. This training has not only prepared me to work with those experiencing trauma at their school or workplace, but also allows me to better help my clients within my private practice as well.