My approach is heavily influenced by ideas and practices from Gestalt therapy. I spent two years training at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto and have done most of my personal work with Gestalt therapists. Gestalt is a client-centred, creative, and experimental modality that focuses on our emotional life in the present moment.
It recognizes that we exist in a system of relationships to others, and in the non-judgmental relationship between the therapist and the client, we discover together what new understandings of our experience are possible.
Notably, Gestalt therapy does not pathologize coping behaviours, but treats them as “creative adjustments” which people adopt in order to survive in their environment. In our work together, I will ask you to consider what behaviours and beliefs you hold that no longer serve you in your present life, and what freedom might be possible in letting go of them.
I’m a working novelist and a lifelong reader. Consequently, my experience of myself and of the world is profoundly shaped by the idea that we make meaning of our lives through story. Narrative therapy starts from the premise that the stories we tell about ourselves influence our thoughts, behaviours, decisions, and relationships.
Although we carry many different stories within us, we tend to cleave to one dominant story, and adopt patterns that conform to that story. Often, our dominant story (“I’m the lazy one in my family” or “I’m drawn to bad men”) limits us and locks us in negative cycles. In narrative therapy, we work together to find evidence of alternative versions of your story, and in doing so, open up other ways of being.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT is a modality that is particularly well-suited to couples. Like Gestalt therapy, EFT is a creative and experiential approach that focuses on our emotional life in the present moment. In EFT, we work together to understand the origins of your dynamic as a couple, and the specific attachment needs that each person brings to the partnership. EFT has an excellent track record of success and has been shown to reduce couples’ distress in 70%-90% of cases.