My expertise: I work with persons who present with phase of life issues, grief, loss, relationship, anxiety, sexuality, depression, compulsions, addictions, trauma, abuse, acculturation and spiritual or existential issues in addition to couples therapy.
Phase of life issues
Major life changes can have a deep impact on your emotional wellbeing, including triggering or exacerbating mental health issues. Exploring these phase of life issues is essential to understanding their relationship to one’s wellbeing and contextualizing your experiences.
Grief and Loss
Grief is a natural response to loss. It might be the loss of a loved one, relationship, pregnancy, pet, job or way of life. Other experiences of loss may be due to children leaving home, infertility and separation from friends and family. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be.
Recurring Relationship Issues
Repetitive negative relationship patterns stem from problems originating in childhood, such as disrespectful communication, lack of nurturing or free emotional expression, a controlling parent, violation of boundaries, neglect, witnessing parental conflict, mental illness, addiction, or abuse. A variety of dysfunctional parenting styles cause shame and undermine a child’s self-esteem, which continues into adulthood.
Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous. But if your feelings of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months, and are interfering with your life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Your sexuality can play an important role in your identity and sense of self. Sexuality often refers to a person’s sexual orientation or preference. Your sexual orientation is who you are emotionally, mentally, and physically attracted to. This may be same-sex (homosexual), male-female (heterosexual) or bisexual orientation (most genders). You may consider yourself gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight, pansexual (attracted to people regardless of their gender identity), or you may not be sure of your sexuality.
Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities. It’s also very prevalent. People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity. It can also influence relationships and some chronic health conditions.
Compulsions or compulsive acts can be defined as repetitious, purposeful physical or mental actions that the individual feels compelled to engage in according to their own strict rules or in a stereotyped manner.
Typically, the individual experiences a sense of resistance to the act but this is overridden by the strong, subjective drive to perform the action. Most often the principal aim behind the compulsive behaviour is to generate relief (usually only temporary) from the anxiety elicited by the preceding obsession.
Addiction is a psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.The term addiction does not only refer to dependence on substances such as heroin or cocaine. A person who cannot stop taking a particular drug or chemical has a substance dependence.
Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences. Through a guided process safety and trust are established while strengths and achievements are underscored and held in contrast to the debilitation which trauma enforces
Embodies a multitude of shapes, forms and sizes and ruptures wellness and wholeness. It can imprison persons in extreme suffering and victimhood. While it is impossible to eradicate its memory and negative history it is possible to establish distance from it and regain control of it as opposed to it controlling you.
Immigrating and living in a culture distinctly different from your country of origin can present challenges to all aspects of life including mental health. Navigating and finding a map forward can be complex particularly if one’s wellness is compromised. Loss becomes more pronounced and can trigger earlier experiences of loss.
We are compelled to make meaning and when we fail to do so we experience crisis and become out of sync with our deepest selves. When the truth of what we believe is at odds with our experience of reality we rapidly lose contact with wellness and our functioning is compromised. Often we need to locate through a therapeutic process the core of what it is we believe in and in turn become deliberate with our narrative.