My Clinical Practice

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Life is inherently complex and challenging for all of us. We can – and should – expect to run into situations and problems that seem confusing or difficult to bear or navigate. At these times, psychology can offer help.

I work with clients to find and access their own strengths and talents that have sustained them to this point in their lives. When people find themselves in new or difficult territory, we work together to develop new skills and strategies to move forward.

Most of my work employs elements of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), including mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), tailored to the needs and interests of the individual. We work together to identify the goals for our time together, then map out a route to achieve them. A part of almost every session involves the two of us coming up with plans for producing change between our meetings.

Some of the most common strategies I use include: Gradual shifts in lifestyle to produce increased energy and motivation, re-examination of the ways situations are interpreted and understood, the development of supportive and realistic ways of viewing troubling situations, strategies to overcome anxiety and depressed mood, the creation of a vision of what a better life might look like, the gradual confronting of one’s fears, strategies to promote mindfulness and an ability to return fully to the present moment, and insight into the ways that past relationships and events have shaped our view of the world and the future.

You can learn more about my perspective on therapy and psychology by visiting my blog for professionals and the public at
www.psychologysalon.com.

About Me

I was born and raised in the Vancouver area and received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia. I then spent a little over a year working with Dr Anne Treisman on research into attentional processes. I attended the University of Western Ontario for my graduate work under Dr R W J Neufeld, and received my MA and PhD there, following an internship in the Toronto area. In the course of my training I worked in a variety of settings: on a diabetes complications trial at University Hospital London, on a spinal cord and chronic pain unit at Parkwood Hospital London, teaching psychology at the University of Western Ontario, and, following graduation, on an outpatient unit at St Joseph’s Health Centre.

In 1993 I returned to the Vancouver area to coordinate the Changeways Program, which was then a post-hospitalization program for people experiencing major depression. I conducted over 50 groups and developed outreach training for mental health professionals in depression treatment. The Core Program, as it continues to be known, became the dominant model of group therapy for depression in British Columbia, and was subsequently adopted by centres across Canada.

In 2002 Changeways became Changeways Clinic, a freestanding private clinic operating out of offices in Vancouver. Today my work involves an individual therapy practice, public speaking on psychological issues, training for mental health clinicians, and writing.