As a psychologist, I am trained to diagnose mental health problems. And while I feel this is a critical step in helping guide treatment planning, I feel strongly about working from a strength-based perspective. Rather than simply see illness, I prefer to see a larger context. I look to find health first and assist my clients in finding ways to draw on their strengths to reduce their distress, enhance their functioning and ultimately, improve their quality of life. I very much enjoy the shared experience of providing tools to assist people to find the inner resources to help themselves. My approach is highly collaborative. I work together with my clients to establish an agreed upon path for treatment.
With respect to theoretical orientation, I work primarily from a Cognitive-Behavioural perspective; however, the treatment I provide is individualized. I draw from the several empirically validated treatment approaches to offer my clients the best possible fit with their needs.
To summarize my approach, I place a great deal of emphasis on developing a strong working alliance between myself and my client. I look for patterns in thoughts and behaviour that perpetuate difficulties. Next, together with my clients, we work to modify distorted thoughts and change behaviour to improve feelings. I think talk is very important, but not nearly as important as taking action in clients’ real lives. It’s not just talking…it’s about doing.