“Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged. Missing me in one place, search another. I stop somewhere, waiting for you.” – Walt Whitman
MSc in Psychological Counselling (Regent’s University London – London, UK)
MBA (INSEAD – Fontainebleau, France)
Gottman Method Couples Therapy Levels I and II
4 years of counselling experience in public and private healthcare contexts
Trained and practised in providing Existential Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Psychodynamic Therapy
My Counselling Journey
I began training as a counsellor a little bit later in life. Indeed, for the first 12 years of my career, Iserved in the areas of international development, adult education, and conflict management. During that time, I worked all over the world: at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Yemen, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands, and at a variety of other non-governmental organisations in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Lebanon.
However, it was at the Halifax-based Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace, and Security where I served as a civilian trainer of state armed forces that I first became interested in “re-hatting” as a counsellor. In particular, I wanted to learn more about the phenomenon of moral injury: the sometimes painful ways that we might respond to experiences of deep heartache, betrayal, disillusionment, and shame.
Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working with adult clients of many different backgrounds, and who present with all sorts of life challenges. What I love most about my work today is that I get to sit and be with people as they courageously strive to approach their lives in new and unfamiliar ways. I think it takes enormous bravery – and a great deal of self-compassion – to engage in counselling, and I’m always honoured when I’m invited to join in the journey.
Outside of work, I’m hugely keen on adventure travel, reading, cooking, gardening, weight-lifting, scuba diving, and origami. I’m also a big fan of skiing, but I’ve yet to hit the slopes again since breaking my leg back in January 2022. Since then, I’ve started practising karate – in part, to prove to myself that it’s never too late to learn new tricks!
I’m also a proud member of the LGBTQIA2S community, and a strong supporter of queer mental health.
My Therapeutic Approach
I’m what’s called an “integrative” counsellor, which means that I draw upon a number of different therapeutic approaches to help support processes of healing and discovery that are unique to each client. In particular, I’m trained in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and psychodynamic therapy; but I’d say that my “bread and butter” is existential therapy. Sessions with me are therefore focused on emotions, identity, the stories that we tell ourselves (and others!), and the meanings that we derive from our experiences. In this way, I help my clients to explore and better understand their own particular philosophy of life. The task then is to live that philosophy with a greater sense of optimism, confidence, and self-mastery.
In the main, I work with clients who present with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), problematic anger, anxiety, depression, loneliness, obsessive-compulsiveness (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), relationship difficulties, and/or work-related stress. At the same time, I’m deeply passionate about working with individuals who have experienced moral injury (whether military or civilian), immigrant or expatriate challenges, sudden life transformation or existential crisis, LGBTQIA2S discrimination, non-monogamous relationship difficulties, and/or corporate/entrepreneurial workplace anxiety.
In keeping with existential therapy, I tend to work in a very open-ended way, and encourage my clients to lead us both in whichever direction feels most important to them. Indeed, I strongly believe that clients are the authority on their own life. I’m here to help deepen that feeling of authority.
A Note On Diversity and Self-Representation
As a counsellor, I seek to respect and honour the person that you are, no matter how similar or dissimilar our respective life paths have been. I embrace working with individuals of any adult age, gender, sexual orientation, relationship preference, ethnicity, religion, ability, and academic or professional background. Indeed, in my view, the counselling space is one where clients should feel radically free to test the self- or other-imposed boundaries of their own identities, and to take genuine
pride in their own individuality.