Psychotherapy and Counseling

The purpose of psychotherapy is well-defined: Understanding and Change. Psychotherapy is designed to help you identify and understand dysfunctional ways of thinking, feeling and acting, and help you establish more productive and satisfying ways of thinking, feeling and acting.

Psychotherapy and Counseling are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they are very similar, there are some subtle differences. Psychotherapy is generally a longer term treatment which focuses more on gaining deeper insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. Its focus is on your thought processes and general way of being in the world rather than on specific problems. Counseling is used to denote a briefer treatment that is more focused. It often targets a particular symptom or problematic situation, with suggestions, advice and instructions for dealing with it.

What do they have in common? No matter what form the therapy takes, the essence is an ongoing relationship. Researchers who have studied what makes therapy successful have found again and again this central fact: whatever else happens, the closeness and trust between client and therapist – what is called the “therapeutic alliance” – is a key factor. The relationship between you and your therapist is unique. What makes it valuable is what sets it apart from friendships, family ties and work relationships. You and your therapist are collaborating on a single project — helping you deal with your problems and achieve the changes you want. There is no other agenda and no strings attached.

There are three other essential qualities of therapy that make it unique. One is safety. In order for therapy to work, you have to be able to be yourself and say what you feel without any repercussions. The therapist’s professional role is to hear your disclosures without moral judgment, ridicule, censure or resentment. Confidentiality is another essential quality. Except for a few well-defined situations (see Policies), the therapist is bound by ethics and law to reveal nothing that transpires during your sessions. A third essential quality is that it is an educational experience. An effective therapy will lead you to step back and reconsider what you may have been taking for granted, try out new ways of looking at yourself and your world, and try out new ways of interacting in it.

Whatever your problems, my commitment is to help you gain understanding and make changes through an ongoing relationship that is collaborative, safe, confidential, and educational.

Areas of Practice

Depression, Stress, Anxiety and Trauma: Learn to understand yourself better, become more aware and autonomous, conquer fears and overcome depression; learn to relax and problem-solve, manage stress better and be more effective at work; recover from trauma and loss, change self-defeating behaviour.

Relationship Difficulties: Become more confident and comfortable socially; learn to trust your judgement and be more assertive; improve communication; learn to manage anger and resolve conflicts in key relationships; achieve greater intimacy.

Cancer and Bereavement: For the cancer survivor or caregiver, at any stage of the illness and beyond, find meaning in adversity, cope better with treatment, adjust to new realities; adopt a wellness-enhancing lifestyle; restore and optimize family, social and work activities.