It is absolutely fair to demand a level of "expertise" in a counsellor, but I would ask people to be careful about how they define this. It has been my experience that working with many different issues on a daily basis keeps me fresh and limber in my practice, while another counsellor may find working daily on one specific issue alone (ex. anxiety) works better for them. There are many ways to provide counselling, and the main goal is to find someone who is a fit for you. My counselling style starts with the person - not the issue and for this reason, I prefer to say my niche is in working with people, not problems. For some folks counselling is a short trek, perhaps issue specific, and for others it is a much longer voyage. My job is not to determine your path, but rather to support and encourage the journey.
My training in Family systems theory and intersectionality, along with almost two decades of direct counselling experience has shaped how I work with people. I strongly believe that we do not exist outside of one another and that we are constantly interacting (directly or indirectly). This perspective is very apparent when working with families. For this reason, when I commit to working with a child, I consider it best practice to counsel parents alongside children whenever possible. My role can be to help parents better understand their child's behaviours or to better recognize how their own lived experiences, inform their style of parenting. When it comes to children and youth, I find my playroom and the use of expressive-play therapies invaluable. Many adults have also benefitted from the various expressive-therapies I provide (sand tray, etc).
My masters research also deeply informs my counselling practice. I researched stories related to "family" and "belonging". In taking the time (and I mean MANY years) to better understand the experiences of "belonging" within family contexts, I gained incredible new insights. These reminded me of how courageous, intentional, and creative people can be when trying to hold space for themselves. This learning helped me to recognize that we are less often the problem, and more-likely the consequence of life experiences. Each person’s story is unique and worthy of being seen, and by keeping this belief central to the process of therapy, I have been able to witness incredible acts of bravery, transformation and healing. My strong commitment to personal-development, and my own evolution also continues to enrich me professionally. It is important to note that my therapy style fuses together a delicate blend of Formal Education, Life Experience, Work Experience, Therapies, Theory, and Creativity.
Level Living Counselling and Consulting acknowledges that the unceded and traditional territories of the Lkwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples provides the foundation upon which we strive to serve. We also acknowledge that their relationship to the land continues and is ongoing.
* dedicated to providing services that are accessible – both in language and presentation*