“We grow through and towards connection.”
Jean Baker Miller
This statement comes from Jean Baker Miller and it is at the heart of my therapeutic practice. What this means in practical terms is that we are social creatures who develop in a relational context. We need strong, empathic, nurturing, and accepting connections with others in order to develop and in order to thrive. Many of our struggles arise from disconnections or distorted relationships.
Disconnections can happen between family members, partners, friends, co-workers. We can become disconnected from our core self. We can also feel disconnected from the larger culture. This may be particularly true when our sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, disability status, or socio-economic status/class do not align with the dominant culture.
I strive to help clients heal these disconnections, develop healthy relationships, and develop resilience in relationships. This process takes place within the context of an accepting, non-judgmental, warm, caring, kind, and authentic relationship. As a psychotherapist, I endeavor to provide this relationship. My extensive training in play therapy, expressive arts therapy, lego serious play, and sand play therapy compliment this relationship.
As a psychotherapist and a writer, I believe words are powerful. ‘Talk therapy’ is often an important part of healing, however there are often times when we are not able to process experiences or express emotions using words alone. At times like these I may invite clients to use any number of non-verbal modalities such as visual art, music, movement, dance, ritual, yoga, dramatic play, Lego play, or sand play. I am one of only a few psychotherapists in Vancouver with advanced training in Jungian sandplay. Jungian sandplay is sometimes called a ‘waking dream’, and it is a therapeutic modality that uses symbols to access the unconscious and facilitate processing.
BUZZ WORDS: Sometimes you see psychotherapists describe their practice by talking about their theoretical orientation. This can get a bit jargony. For what it’s worth, my theoretical orientation includes the following models: Relational cultural theory, psychodynamic, attachment-based, feminist, trauma-informed, bibliotherapy, expressive arts, sandplay therapy, expressive play therapy.