Liberatory, Consent-based

Individual Counselling

When I work with individuals, I tend to focus on their current and future quality of life and explore their current situation to see what sort of work we want to do: grief and loss, depression, anxiety, life transition, healing current or past traumas, work transitions, relationships. We then create a treatment plan together, and my role is partly to pull from a variety of evidence-based therapies and partly to really check in to make sure that my client is in the driver’s seat.

We go at your pace. We talk about what you want to talk about. Sometimes people want to spend time on what happened that week. Other times people want me to redirect them to stay on the goals they have set for counselling. My job is to adjust to your needs week by week, so we may do some checking in to see what is helpful for you each session.

Therapy Styles I Use

RO-DBT (Radically Open Behavioural Therapy)

IFS (Internal Family Systems)

DBT

Narrative

Trauma-Informed Practice

Response-Based Practice

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Motivational Interviewing

CBT

Respect, Rapport, Resilience

Youth Counselling

Handsome teenager hipster boy outdoors

Youth want to be heard and respected. I work to connect with youth where they are at and value the amazing energy and insight they bring. I work from a fully accepting and harm reduction stance. My goal is to build on the youth’s abilities though finding out how the youth likes to solve their problems and then honing those skills with the youth. I make sure to make counselling useful and to connect what we do in session to their interests and needs. I tailor evidence-based therapies to be youth-friendly, kind of like the therapy version of hiding the vegetables in the spaghetti sauce! Connection and building rapport is key to how I work with youth.

Honour Our Voices

Family Counselling

For family work and parenting, we focus on the family’s strengths and values and work together on ways to align a family’s own parenting values with their personal values. We look at the each person’s role in the family and how these roles influences how each person views their family. My goals with parents and youth usually start with beginning to see each other’s perspectives. We work on establishing boundaries and building lines of communication. Learning to sit with big emotions is how we begin respond to conflict with our best selves.

Beyond the 101

LGBTQIA2+ Affirming Counselling

I offer sliding-scale counselling to LGBTQIA2+ communities. It’s really important for people to find counselling that is truly affirming. We go right to the heart of things without having to take a trip through “hi this is how to treat me” territory. It is important to take into account the whole person and that all parts of our identities, genders and sexualities are honoured and respected. I believe that is important to also have the knowledge to explore what we want to know about ourselves. I believe in informed-consent models to access gender-affirming care and I am sex positive. I make sure that I am up-to-date as I can on evidence-based practice and what is happening in community so that I can provide the services that the LGBTQIA2+ communities deserve.

What Can I Expect From You?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Does Most of the Talking?

We center your experience in the session so you might find yourself talking more than I do. I tend to work by asking a lot of questions to draw out your experiences and guide your self-exploration. Working with youth I do tend to talk a bit more and be more directive and self-disclose more, as I have found that to be important for building trust. I tend towards people discovering their own blocks and strengths through describing their experiences and beliefs, rather than being openly confronting or directing, although I do tend to guide people to explore their own experience and thoughts and confronting yourself can feel intense sometimes.

Is There Homework?

I tend more towards doing the work in the moment in the session rather than giving homework. That said, homework can be very effective and I do at times give carefully-curated resources that I have tried myself with your consent. .

How Do We Explore Emotion Without Being Overwhelmed?

I often describe counsellors as your professional guide through having all those awkward conversations you know you need to have but don’t know where to begin or what to say. Counselling is sometimes a place where we talk about the things that we have been avoiding expressing. When this happens, my role is to hold you through the experience and guide you to come back from emotions so when you leave, you are OK to drive and continue on your day. Some sessions may need some self-care afterwards and if that happens we will create a self-care plan together to make sure that we are going at a pace that feels stable and sustainable. To that end, I may end up stepping in part way through so that we work on small pieces over several sessions. When we slow down the pace of sharing our past and work on a bit at a time, we have time to experience and shift the emotions. This is one of the ways I work with you to avoid being overwhelmed by everything at once

Will I Have to Talk About That Thing That Happened?

When working with people who have experienced traumatic events, I tend to focus less on past history, nor do I tend to focus on uncovering root causes, unless that is the direction you want to go and then I adjust to you. I tend towards wanting to heal the wound in the present than in opening up old wounds and causing old pain to flare up in the present. In trauma work, the work I do starts by re-stabilizing and soothing the nervous system in the present moment. We look at the hurt parts of and find out how those hurt parts protect us and find ways to nurture those parts. Eventually we then gently and slowly go through the past to build towards meaning from the past—post traumatic growth.

Other Questions?

If you feel like I might be a fit, please feel free to contact me or book a free 30-minute video consultation.

(778) 400-6352
info@sonderhaven.com

I work with youth, families and adults to gently explore difficulties while affirming the ways people are already working towards their own healing. I’m a certified telehealth provider, offering online counselling by video, phone, and text.

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