My Approach

The therapeutic process always begins with a strong working relationship that is built on trust and rapport. Central to my practice is respectful, authentic, and collaborative engagement. A comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment is a starting point in formulating an individualized plan.

I use a number of evidence-based methods to assist clients in reaching their goals. I work from a trauma informed perspective and draw from theoretical orientations such as family systems, attachment, feminist, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), solution focused therapy and narrative therapy. I incorporate motivational interviewing as well as harm reduction strategies. I utilize several trauma-specific techniques, examples of which include somatic (body) work, mindfulness practices, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). These techniques have been found to be extremely effective in reducing the responses to trauma and facilitating a client's innate ability to self-regulate or calm the nervous system.

Building an alliance of trust with the therapist leads to a reshaping of significant emotional experiences, and builds confidence
and wholeness in new and enduring relationships. It provides the presence of 'personhood,' not just technique.

~ Gary Hellman