We all need help at times to overcome barriers that hold us back from living fulfilling lives. Sarah believes in working collaboratively with clients to move past challenges, identify strengths, and support their true values. Sarah focuses on developing a safe and open therapeutic relationship in order to promote change, growth, and self-acceptance. Sarah uses feminist principles to empower clients by recognizing larger systems impacting their lives.
Sarah is Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC). Sarah completed a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology at Simon Fraser University and has postgraduate training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). As part of her education, Sarah completed a Master’s Thesis exploring the barriers queer women face in interactions with healthcare providers. Sarah uses multiple therapeutic tools and a trauma informed approach when counselling youth and adults experiencing challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, sexual orientation and gender identity issues, stress management, relationship issues and career exploration. Sarah has experience working with diverse populations in both individual and group counselling settings.
Outside of Peak Resilience, Sarah works at the YMCA of Greater Vancouver as the Manager of Mental Wellness Programs. In all of her work, Sarah helps clients recognize their strengths and fosters inner courage to achieve change and growth.
Sexual Identity & Gender Expression Difficulties
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
What experience or background do you bring to your counselling and supervision practice that is uniquely yours?
I was lucky enough to have counselling normalized in my family from a young age. I went to counselling on and off, both individually and with different family members, throughout my childhood, teen years, and early twenties. I remember worrying when I was younger about whether or not I could be a counsellor when I needed counselling myself - I had internalized the belief that in order to be a counsellor you essentially couldn't have any problems - I now know how untrue this is! Counsellors also happen to be humans :-)
What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?
I am so inspired by my clients! I am reminded constantly of how much work counselling is and I am truly in awe of the dedication and courage clients have in their efforts to learn, cope, heal, succeed, process, accept, confront, challenge... I could go on and on!
What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?
Hmm what to pick for this... I'll go with the roller-coaster ride of my sexual identity. Growing up I considered myself to be heterosexual and to be honest I didn't give my sexuality much thought, I had boyfriends and sometimes felt attracted to girls. In university I started having more than friend feelings for another girl and had my first same-sex relationship. This led to a couple of years of having two separate lives - my university life where I was "out" and my home life where I was still very much in the closet. Through the help of therapy I navigated the coming out process to my family and friends and then a few years later after my initial same-sex relationship ended, I met my now partner - a guy. Embarking on a heterosexual relationship after a long-term same-sex relationship had it's own challenges but I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by understanding and open-minded family and friends and of course my partner!
What have you learned from your work?
That we connect through vulnerability and there's a lot of vulnerability in counselling, not only for clients but I also try to be vulnerable so that I can form close and trustworthy relationships with my clients.