I provide one-on-one counselling services for teens and adults. My counselling services are available in person or by phone.
Anxiety is a universal human emotion and we all experience it in some way, shape, or form during our lives. However, sometimes anxiety can reach a level that feels unmanageable and it will start to negatively impact our daily lives. It's at that point that counselling can be beneficial.
There is a huge list of potential symptoms that you could experience if you are dealing with chronic anxiety. You may feel constantly on edge or antsy. You may have an upset stomach, feel dizzy, or have trouble breathing. You may catch yourself anticipating catastrophes (which may or may not occur) or thinking negative thoughts. You may be dealing with phobias, perfectionism, a quarter-life crisis, or performance anxiety. The experience of chronic anxiety is unique to each individual person.
In counselling, we will work together to figure out the puzzle that is your unique experience of anxiety. We will develop an understanding of the process of anxiety and your unique triggers. We will build you a toolbox of coping skills that will help you to feel more happiness and less worry on a daily basis.
If you are experiencing panic attacks, you'll understand why I've put them in a separate section from anxiety. Panic attacks take anxiety to a whole new level. Put simply, panic attacks are a terrifying manifestation of anxiety in which the person experiencing it believes that they may die. Dealing with panic attacks on your own can be an isolating, frightening, and overwhelming experience.
Panic attacks can be mistaken for heart attacks, asthma attacks, and other sudden illnesses. For that reason, sometimes people don’t know that they are experiencing panic attacks until they are told by a doctor. Doctors may provide medication and/or recommend seeing a counselling professional.
In counselling, we will discuss your experiences of both panic and anxiety. We will investigate what tends to trigger your panic attacks and we will work on building up your toolbox of coping skills for both panic and general anxiety. I often tell people who come to see me for panic attacks that one day they will look back and not be able to remember the last time that they had a panic attack. While I usually get looks of disbelief when we discuss that the first time, there inevitably comes a point where my statement is proven to be true. You can live a life free of panic attacks.
Depression is another feeling that we all have from time to time, but it becomes a problem when it is negatively impacting your life on a regular basis. Depression is like a dark cloud over your head that won't disappear. It may last for days, weeks, or years, particularly if it goes untreated. It is common for someone suffering from depression to experience anxiety as well.
Depression can feel overwhelming and confusing in its magnitude. It often seems all encompassing, never ending, and hopeless. You may feel a lack of motivation, a loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy, and an inability to follow through on the tasks of day to day living. You may feel just generally blah, but still be able to attend work or school every day. You may be experiencing post-partum depression and feel like you're a bad mother. Similar to anxiety, depression comes in many shapes and sizes.
In counselling, we will work on alleviating the negative cloud over your head and reintroducing you to a happy, functional life. Understanding your unique experience of depression and your triggers will be key, as well as developing a set of coping strategies. We will aim to build your sense of purpose and to get you feeling optimistic again.
Stress is something that we tend to feel on a daily basis nowadays. With the world moving so fast, it is much easier to feel overwhelmed and stressed. We are constantly inundated with information, piles of work, emails to send, events to attend, chores to complete...the list can go on and on. It's hard to keep up.
Stress can come in many packages and we all have a different threshold for how much stress we can handle. There is no right or wrong threshold for stress, though often I hear people saying that they should be able to handle more. Generally when people come into counselling, it is because things have gotten to be "too much."
In counselling, we take a look at the stressors in your life and identify which ones are potentially ongoing and which may be short lived. We will discuss your threshold for stress and come up with some stress management strategies that are applicable to your specific situation.
Grief and loss are experienced by everyone and come in a variety of forms. Death of a loved one, loss of a job, the end of a relationship, diminishing of health, loss of dreams...the list can really be endless. Grief and loss are very individual experiences – a specific loss may be terrible for one person, but that same loss may have minimal effects on another person.
Grief is a feeling that often accompanies loss. It can feel overwhelming, never ending, and just plain awful. You may feel sorrow, despair, or helplessness. In addition to affecting you emotionally, grief can affect you physically and behaviourally. You may notice a multitude of symptoms, such as headaches, tired muscles, or stomach issues. You may notice that you are eating more or less, sleeping more or less, or feeling unable to function adequately day to day.
Counselling can be helpful in dealing with grief and loss. The goal is not to forget the loss, but instead to embrace it as a part of your story and to figure out how life can move forward in the aftermath. It will be important to understand the process of grieving and your own individual course of grief. Developing a set of coping tools to assist you in living a full life and dealing with difficult days will be important. Another key aspect of therapy will be to honour the loss in a manner that is unique to each individual client.