1. Relationship Counselling: approximately 50% of my practice consists of couple counselling. For many of these people they come because they can no longer discuss important issues without becoming reactive and defensive; they don't like fighting so they lapse into silence and superficialities. Counselling helps them to discuss these issues constructively.
2. Parent/Teen Conflict: Often it is more difficult to be in conflict with your child than it is to fight with your partner. Teens are often at the height of their invincibility whereas parents have already discovered their fallibility and vulnerability. Consequently parents find themselves either being wishy-washy or tyrannical and drawing satisfaction from neither. Counselling shows parents how to set appropriate limits and how to substitute influence for control.
3. Panic Disorder, Performance Anxiety & Social Anxiety: I've grouped these together as they have a lot of features in common. Most notably, anxiety overwhelms our common sense so that we can no longer trust our meanings and therefore don't know how to proceed I've been working with these difficult conditions for over 40 years and have developed a number of short term strategies and long term healing approaches.
4. Depression: If anxiety makes you feel like a 100 watt light bulb with 1000 watts of power running through you, depression will make you feel that you only have 10 watts of power. While I'm not opposed to anti-depressants, I offer an alternative approach to re-vitalization.
5. Existential and Mid-Life Crisis: When you feel like the meanings that sustained your life up till now no longer make sense, you are probably experiencing an existential crisis. This can be a frightening experience. With support and guidance this crisis can lead to renewal.
6. Trauma Counselling: I've set up and trained peer support teams in a number of fire departments across the Lower Mainland. As a result I'm very familiar with the processes of trauma and recovery. Trauma undoes the assumptive world in which you previously lived - leaving you naked and exposed. Somehow you have to construct new meanings that you can trust as much as the old ones that didn't protect you from the traumatic incident.
My interest in trauma has led me to the discovery that much in modern and postmodern life has the same effect as trauma in that it undoes the assumptions that allow us to live by auto pilot. Both anxiety and depression can be signs that your assumptive meanings are failing you and that new, reliable meanings need to be constructed.