Heather (she/hers) is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Master of Counselling Psychology degree from Adler University. She has several years of experience counselling individuals from a variety of populations. She values individual strengths and differences and meets clients where they’re at to help them achieve workable goals.
Heather is a caring and empathetic counsellor who believes in creating a genuine connection with her clients so they feel safe in exploring painful, deeply personal topics. She works using an integrative, trauma informed approach that focuses on the impact thoughts and emotions can have on personal well-being. Heather has worked with individuals experiencing challenges with substance use, the effects of trauma, abusive relationships, depression, anxiety, sexual health, sexuality and relationship concerns. She has experience working with diverse populations doing both individual and group counselling.
Outside of Peak Resilience, Heather works with VCH at Three Bridges Substance Use Services as a Concurrent Disorders Counsellor. Here she works with people from all walks of life who may be struggling with substance use, mental health concerns, and the effects of trauma.
Substance use and Addiction
Sex, Sexuality and Gender Concerns
Emotion Focused Therapy & Emotion Focused Therapy for Complex Trauma
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Feminist & Trauma Informed
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.