What experience or background do you bring to your counselling practice that is uniquely yours?
I have been told I have a calming presence that makes people feel safe and comfortable to be themselves. I think part of this is that I don’t take myself too seriously; in fact I think it is important to be my genuine flawed self. My own personal experiences help me connect on a personal level to what clients may be going through. Above all the textbooks and theories, I am a human who cares about other humans.
What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?
People are amazing! Seriously. I am so grateful that I get to sit across people being courageously vulnerable and exploring things that are often really dark and painful. I know how healing it can be just to say things out loud and I am always honoured to be a part of that process for people. Being a counsellor is such a unique job because I can leave a client’s session feeling changed by someone else’s story. It is not lost on me how lucky I am to have a job like this.
What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?
When I was younger I was in an unhealthy and emotionally abusive relationship that changed my life in many ways. I felt an immense amount of paralyzing shame when I was in it and, sometimes, even still. It took some time for me to dig deep and figure out how it impacted me and how I could forgive and be compassionate to myself. I later got the opportunity work with women who had experienced similar challenging relationships. Sometimes growth is a slow process, but for me it has been well worth it.
What have you learned from your work?
I believe that connections and relationships are often the things that hurt people and heal people. Having a safe person to say things out loud to can be life changing. People often know exactly what they need – they just need a nonjudgmental space to get there.