When big feelings happen, it’s easy to unravel, especially when you’re a child who has not yet developed all the skills necessary to successfully cope with life stressors. For a child, that unraveling shows up in a variety of ways including anger, depression, anxiety, sleep issues, lack of focus, and school avoidance.
I have been trained in a variety of approaches however, I try to connect in a way that fits the particular child or youth I am working with. Because I believe that children and their behaviours are unique and complex, the techniques I use are flexible and multifaceted. I may sometimes use techniques from Art or Play Therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), Solution Focused therapy and Client Centred Therapies combined with relaxation techniques and simple stress-releasing yoga poses.
I have a strong connection to nature, and I believe that exposure to natural environments can lead to a reduction in anger, a decreased risk for problem behaviour, greater respect for self and others, greater autonomy, and a reduction in depressive symptoms. Children's ability to regulate their emotions is also improved through exposure to nature. I try to do walk and talk therapy whenever it’s appropriate and a fit for the client.
Most importantly, I believe that making a connection is key. It is the foundation behind all counselling techniques and to the client counsellor relationship. That’s why I strive first to create an environment where the kids I work with feel safe, comfortable and relaxed.
My educational background includes a BA in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Counselling. Over the past 15 years, I have worked as a counsellor in hospital, community and school settings. I have known and respected Elena Starr for many years and I am very excited to be joining the Starr Counselling team.