If you could see me right now, I’d be welcoming you into my office with a warm and encouraging smile.
On the walls, you would see several framed diplomas [all links are to full-sized copies of documents and open in a new window]:
• Master of Science (MSc) in Counselling Psychology, University of Calgary, 2016
• Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Honours), University of Calgary, 2013
• Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), Queen’s University, 2004
You would also notice a Canadian Certified Counsellor certificate, with an ornate red frame and a golden seal. Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) is a voluntary national certification program developed by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. It requires that CCCs meet professional and ethical standards for graduate education and practical client experience, and keep up their continued education. If curious, you could browse through the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that CCCs must follow*.
My member ID# is 7177. My current certificate is valid till 1/1/2021 (you can always double-check its status at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association directory.).
In addition to graduate education, I did further formal training in:
✓ online counselling, or e-counselling (completed CyberCounselling Level 1 from Therapy Online);
✓ brief therapy methods; as well as 2+ years of experience with single-session therapy (identifying and providing immediate support for the most pressing needs)
✓ couple therapy (Gottman Level 1 & Level 2);
✓ narrative therapy;
✓ grief and loss.
On a personal level, I am a first-generation immigrant. I came to Canada to study at the age of 17, and Canada became my home. I worked in the corporate and non-profit worlds for several years before realizing that I truly wanted to help people directly. Then I started training as a helping professional. I am also interested in advocacy and social change (much of my research has been on the psychology of change and prejudice).
For some people, counselling and psychotherapy is quite new. They are figuring out what it means for them. Others already know a lot, including specific words they intently look for to meet their needs. So… the list below has a bunch of such words. (And if you want to know more about my therapy approach and what it means for you, check out the “Services” page.). Here are the things I describe myself as professionally:
✓ Guided by culture-infused, intersectional, and bio-psycho-social perspectives;
✓ Familiar with neurodiversity, including adult ADHD and autism self-advocacy;
✓ Aiming to provide a safer space for people who have good reasons to be suspicious of therapists due to identity or life experience (including but not limited to those who self-identify as LGBTQ+, polyamorous, or kinky).
*If you have any concerns about my competence or ethics that you don’t feel comfortable bringing to my attention for whatever reason, information on how to file a complaint with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association is also available.