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Born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, I am an outdoorsy girl at heart. I spent my summers at Besnard lake up north in the Canadian shield, fishing, swimming, cliff-jumping, hiking and waterskiing. Alberta became my home in 2004, and I have fallen in love with Edmonton (though I wish it were just a little closer to the mountains).
My journey in psychology began early on. I was described as a mediator and peace-keeper as a child, and have always been especially interested in the curative powers of animals and nature. I also consider myself to be a highly sensitive human.
After finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology I worked in a group home with at-risk youth, which fuelled my value for advocacy and gave me some great skills for working with kids who are having a really tough time.
I have also volunteered with Pilgrim’s Hospice in the expressive arts program for grieving children and families. This type of work has always been close to my heart, and grief continues to be one of my favorite areas of practice. This role also sparked my interest in art and music therapy.
I completed my Master of Counselling degree through the University of Lethbridge and a counselling practicum focused on helping my clients improve their emotional regulation, develop coping skills, and strengthen their relationships.
I completed my supervised practice hours in a variety of settings including animal assisted work and private practice with couples and individuals of all ages. I love to incorporate art and play therapy into my work, and I am especially fond of EMDR therapy which I find immensely helpful in treating a large scope of issues.
When I'm not at work I can be found backpacking through jungles in Central America, camping, trying new restaurants in Edmonton, walking my dogs in the river valley, or enjoying a cup of coffee and an awesome book. My favorite movies are Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and Gone with the Wind. I have watched The Office start to finish 4 times. My favourite books are The Glass Castle, Untamed, The Grapes of Wrath, and the entire Harry Potter Series. My favourite podcasts are Risk!- people telling true stories they never thought they'd dare to share, Unlocking Us, and We Can Do Hard Things.
The greatest piece of advice I've received:
When I was 18 my mom told me, "never let anyone else be responsible for your health, wealth or happiness." I don't think I fully understood it at the time, but I sure do now and I think it is powerful advice. Thanks, mom!
Something on my bucket list:
I would love to visit Norway- I have a lot of ancestry there and am fascinated by my viking roots!
I would also like to meet an octopus (in it's natural environment). Probably not in Norway, but of equal priority to me.
My top 3 values:
If I was an animal I'd be...
A pelican. This way I can have the freedom of flight and also live near the water (which is where I like to be). I could hang out with my pelican pals, eat fish, and be hilarious.
I have a day totally to myself, with no obligations. Where would you find me?
You would find me somewhere outside, near a body of water/the mountains with a bowl of noodles, a book, and my dogs.
Besides my work, a special skill of mine:
I can do a back flip into a body of water from a moderate height, and that is probably the coolest thing about me.
My Myers-Briggs personality type:
ENFP: The Campaigner
Populations I Work With
Adults of all ages
Children and youth age 5 and up
Areas of Practice
Stress and burnout
My Therapeutic Modalities
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Animal Assisted Therapy
Accelerated Resolution Therapy
Gator is a five-year-old yellow Labrador and is my therapy sidekick. I have trained her since our first day together to work as a therapy dog and she really shines in this role! We have completed “Prepare your dog for AAT” classes through Dreamcatcher Association and participate in ongoing training and consultation. In our sessions together, Gator is available for pets, comic relief, and can even bring you a box of tissues! I believe the most magical thing about Gator is her very calm nervous system, which can be felt by everyone in the room.
Gator’s favourite things in this world are cheese, sticks, swimming, having upside down naps, exploring, playing fetch, and her little brother. She is an excellent hiking buddy and thoroughly enjoys supervising on fishing trips.
Gator is present in the office with me three days per week. If you would like her present in your session, I will introduce her to you and give you an explanation of her role and how we can work with her.
Banjo is Gator's little brother and therapy dog apprentice. While the process of training for this work is ongoing and dependent on the abilities, needs, temperament and best interest of the dog, Banjo is already showing some exciting potential as a co-therapist. We have completed training with Revolution Animal Behaviour and continue to engage in ongoing training and consultation as Banjo expands his skillset!
Banjo possesses the intuitive skill to notice when emotion arises in sessions- sometimes before the humans are even aware of it. He loves to snuggle up (when invited) and has a gentle and calm energy for a young dog.