My passion for counselling was discovered in high school through my participation with a pilot peer counselling program, and fostered all through my undergraduate career (B.Sc. Double Advanced Major Psychology/English at Dalhousie) as I was fortunate enough to volunteer and work at both the Dalhousie and Memorial University Counselling Centres for a total of four years. Through my graduate degree (M.Ed. Counselling Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland) I was employed at Iris Kirby House and this experience along with my exposure to undergraduate Women's Studies solidified my interest and experience in working with gender and women's issues. However, my work isn't not limited to these populations or topics and I provide Employee and Family Assistance (EAP/EFAP) to companies through the St. John's area. I also work with issues in pregnancy and childbirth to help women prepare for their best birth as well as help them process negative and unexpected outcomes.
Going into any new experience can raise questions about what to do and what to expect. Here is perfect advice when going to a counselling session:
Psychotherapy can be a life-changing experience if you want it to be. To help your self, you can bring with you three things. First, bring your awareness. Awareness means giving attention to whatever you experience at the moment. You may be aware of a feeling, a wish, a memory, a dream, something your five senses tell you: awareness is anything that matters to you at the moment.
There is no such thing as right or wrong awareness: you feel what you feel. I will ask you often what you are aware of now, because I believe that your awareness is the best guide to the work we do together. If you feel I don’t understand you, tell me.
Second, bring your readiness to search for what matters to you. I will ask you often what’s important to you, what’s meaningful to you, or what you would like to work on today. You are welcome to bring an object that matters to you, for example, artwork or photos, or to do some creative arts right here.
Third, bring your self, just as you are. You may become aware of things that seem beautiful or terrible to you, or have nothing special to say at the moment. Be patient with your self as you make sense of your experiences, both the beautiful and the terrible, and find your own way to live a meaningful life.
Confidentiality means that I do not reveal your presence, or anything about our work together, without your permission. If I speak with family or other people from your life, I tell them that I will not keep secret from you anything they say.
There are exceptions to confidentiality. First, if you identify a person in immediate, mortal danger, or who is endangering the lives of others, or is involved in abuse of a vulnerable person, the law requires me to break confidentiality to protect the person in danger. In my work, people often tell me they are thinking of suicide, or doing dangerous things. I am not required to break confidentiality simply because someone does something that might be dangerous, or thinks about death. I want you to speak freely about death when you choose, as I believe the way we deal with death is also the way we deal with life, and well worth opening up between us.
Second, I may ask other professionals for a confidential second opinion. This is done with no identifying information and is always done as a way to improve or further therapy. Third, I keep written records of our meetings in a locked cabinet. The legal system of Canada can require these records or me to appear in court. If you are court-ordered to obtain professional help, I will require permission to share information with officers of the court. You are free to see the records I keep. Fourth, if you are younger than 16, the law requires me to answer your parents’ or legal guardians’ questions about your welfare.
If you want to tell me something but are not sure whether it is protected by confidentiality, say so and we will find a way to work it out.
My fee is $85 per 55-minute session of psychotherapy, payable by check, cash or email transfer at the end of the session. If we agree to other forms of professional help (for example, writing letters or reports on your behalf, or phone consultations lasting longer than 15 minutes), my fee is pro-rated to the nearest quarter-hour.
If you or your family wishes to be reimbursed for some or all of my fee by an insurance company or other source, I provide a receipt which can be submitted by you to the company. Please note that every insurance company and every company's program works slightly differently and I can make no predictions as to if or how much coverage there might be.
If you are an EAF/EFAP client we will likely know at our first meeting how many sessions are being covered by your program. Part of our time together will be planning for any long term supports you will need outside of what is being provided by the company.
Please leave me a voice mail or email to cancel appointments. I charge my fee for sessions cancelled without 24 hours notice. If I must cancel an appointment I'll contact you as soon as I can to reschedule.
I may not be able to answer messages on the same day that you send them. You are welcome to send e-mail, but be aware that e-mail can be accessed by other people. In case of emergency, I recommend calling the Health Science Centre at 737-6300 or the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary at 729-8000.
I am currently available for evening and weekend appointments only.