“We are whole systems. We are not just our pains, not just our fears and not just our thoughts. We are entire systems…and we can learn to say yes from the inside out.” – Adrienne Maree Brown
In this world, it can be very difficult to find—and listen—to your inner ‘yes’. I think of healing as a process of coming home to yourself. My role is to help you sort through your experiences, your history and your values; together, we will work to strengthen your inner ‘yes’ and discard what no longer serves you. I love watching my clients emerge with greater confidence, more hope for the future, and a stronger sense of themselves.
I am a registered social worker, consultant, and educator. I specialize in body-based (somatic) approaches to healing. These are techniques which use the intelligence of the body as a compass in the journey to wholeness. These tools are particularly useful approaches when there have been past experiences of trauma. They also support and enhance general wellbeing, self-awareness, creativity, and self-esteem. Brain imaging and neuroscientific research are constantly helping us find new understandings of exactly how interconnected the body and mind are—somatics and EMDR leverage this connection and use it as an entry point for healing.
I have over ten years of experience working in mental health, with a particular focus on working with people who have survived violence (primarily with refugees and survivors of sexual assault). I decided to focus my training on body-based approaches because, in my experience, these are the most effective and accessible ways of helping people who have experienced trauma recover and heal. I find it incredibly satisfying and inspiring to watch my clients as they release the remnants of a painful past and find more ease, calm, relaxation and connection in their lives.
In particular, I offer EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Somatic Experiencing. My approach also draws on the wisdom of attachment theory and Emotion Focused Therapy, which is all about the patterns we learn at a young age to connect to the people around us and how these patterns influence our adult relationships. I spent several years working in reproductive and sexual health services; this which led me to seek additional training in sex therapy, which I now offer to clients seeking to build healthy and happy sexual lives. I also integrate narrative methods and perspectives from Internal Family Systems.
I am LGBTQ+ allied in my practice and have extensive experience working with clients who identify as LGBTQ+. I was born in southern Africa, grew up across several cultures and have lived and worked on three continents, so I am very comfortable working interculturally and I particularly enjoy supporting clients who are working through cultural transitions or culture shock.
Outside of my work as a counsellor, I am also a practitioner of restorative justice. I am an educator (mostly with adults these days, though I used to work with young people), a gardener, and a theatre lover. I live with my husband in the lower city, where you can often find me cycling around and exploring Hamilton’s green spaces.