I am a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario (CRPO). My registration number is 10626.
My post-secondary education began with the University Transfer Program at Fleming College. This course was designed to put pressure on students to prepare them to move on to Trent University. In my first semester at Trent University I chose to major in Psychology and push myself to complete a Bachelor of Science. I won't lie; stress and exhaustion were always present along with a few tears here and there. I graduated on the Dean's Honour Roll and felt ready to move on to another challenge.
I believed that I needed direct exposure to clients and the counselling process, so, I attended the Addictions and Mental Health Counselling program at Durham College. A core component of this program was a placement that I completed at the Northumberland Hills Hospital. Clients came with a variety of issues. From a young lady needing support to return to the job market after being fired to a father who struggled with addictions and wanted to be more present for his children.
I was honoured to hear their stories and to help them through a difficult time. However, by the end of this placement, I knew that I wanted to make a greater impact than I was capable of with the education I had.
I found a Master's course in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and I believed that it would show me how I could make a greater impact in people's recovery. Due to technical errors, I spent twice the amount of time I was supposed to in practicum gaining experience and learning from different environments. In one organization I helped clients go from being insecure to solving their social issues with confidence and from being lost to finding purpose in retirement.
I had clients return to work after they burned out and helped them develop relationship skills. In another organization, I educated clients on the multiple different ways one can experience a deep loss, the feeling of isolation that can come from keeping our sorrows to ourselves, and discussed different perspectives to handle their grief and trauma.
Finally, in the last organization, I explored clients' responses to their traumatic relationship(s), and who they were as individuals in and outside of relationships. I taught and supported them when they applied new self-regulation skills that did not interfere with who they wanted to be as people.
In my spare time, I have many interests that I enjoy. Interestingly, they can all be tied back to mindfulness. Not a lot of people understand what mindfulness is, the way I see it, mindfulness is attending to the present moment without your thoughts and feelings pulling you away from what you are doing. I find that I can be most mindful when I am creating or finding beauty around me.
I love to sew and I am invested in making beautiful clothing for my daughter to wear (although they don't always turn out that way). I also love to photograph nature and relish the opportunity to find beauty where some might not think to look. These interests keep me centered and provide me with an escape from the things that naturally stress us all.
My immediate family are the funniest people I know. My husband's humour was what hooked me. He is witty, goofy, and has a great memory for jokes. Our daughter is closely following in his footsteps. She is often finding creative ways to get into trouble like when she gladly brings us to her newest string trap she set up in her room.
She says shocking things that make us all laugh and does her best to remember what she did to make us laugh so she can repeat it as often as possible.
Even our pets can be funny. My cat loves to slip out of the house but once he is out it is as if he has no idea why he wanted to be outside in the first place. Sometimes I get the feeling that he does it just to show us that he can leave when he wants but has no desire to do so. Our dog has so much personality; when she is happy to see us, she turns in circles rubbing herself against us as a cat would. She loves to follow us around the house and even accompanies us into the washroom at times.
I don't believe a meaningful life has to be complicated, fast-paced, full of friends, or filled with money. Helping people discover what gives meaning to their life can be difficult but never impossible.