AREAS OF PRACTICE

PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS (e.g. depression, anxiety)
Experience: Seven years as adult short term treatment psychologist at the North Shore Community Mental Health Centre, 13 years as clinical director of a large psychological services firm, 14 years treating abusive husbands with concurrent psychological problems, 25 years in total providing cognitive behavioral therapy for mood disorders in various settings.
Approach: The main components of treatment are a thorough assessment, trusting therapeutic relationship, cognitive-behavioural therapy and treatment of any co-occurring disorders (such as alcoholism). A strong working alliance with the client's physician and use of community supports are key components of treatment.

FAMILY VIOLENCE, ANGER MANAGEMENT
Experience: Fourteen years co-directing the Vancouver Assaultive Husbands Program and 25 years providing anger management therapy on an individual basis.
Approach: My approach to treating family violence places safety as the highest priority and emphasizes personal responsibility for violent acts. Violence is seen as the result of inadequate anger management skills and dysfunctional power motives both of which need to be addressed in therapy. Couples counseling can help resolve underlying issues once an atmosphere of safety and respect has been created. Sometimes early trauma may need to be addressed to facilitate learning healthier approaches to conflict. A social learning approach is used for non-violent anger management issues.

RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING
Experience: Seven years in mental health, fourteen years providing relationship therapy and supervising of other relationship counselors in a large psychological services firm
Approach: My approach is to assist couples to listen and fully appreciate their partner's viewpoint, coach effective communication and conflict resolution, encourage a conscious increase in shared activity and demonstrations of mutual caring and to foster a shared vision for the relationship. A thorough assessment is made to screen for serious mental health problems, violence and substance abuse which would need to be addressed for couples counselling to be effective.

DISABILITY MANAGEMENT
Experience: Fourteen years as clinical director for a large psychological services company, specializing in Employee and Family Assistance Programs. Consulted with insurance companies and employers regarding disability cases and was responsible for all disability management work provided by the company in British Columbia.
Approach: Psychological disabilities are the fastest growing cause of workplace absenteeism. They are notoriously difficult for insurance companies and employers to manage and are demoralizing for the disabled employee. My approach is to intervene as soon as possible following the identification of a problem. This intervention begins with a thorough assessment including input from all stakeholders (physician, employer, insurance company, family) with the client's consent. Targeted cognitive behavioural therapy to treat the client's symptoms (e.g. depression, anxiety), collaboration with the physician on medical aspects of the treatment, a coordinated return to work plan, and the resolution of conflict issues in the workplace are all crucial to components of a successful intervention.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Experience: Certified Substance Abuse Professional. Experience with residential treatment; experience with outpatient treatment of substance abuse clients on both a mandatory and voluntary basis through a major employee assistance program. Research on the treatment of substance abusers and social problems related to substance abuse (i.e. road accidents, domestic violence).
Approach: I take the following steps in substance abuse treatment:

  1. a thorough assessment to determine motivation, the presence of co-occurring disorders, health concerns and current social supports,

  2. referral to residential treatment if warranted,

  3. enhance motivation and reduce minimization of the problem with a goal of abstinence in most cases,

  4. identification of triggers for substance use and the development of alternative coping skills,

  5. treatment of contributing mood disorders and relationship issues,

  6. coordination with the physician regarding medical aspects of the case,

  7. encouragement of consistent involvement in AA/NA for group support and public commitment and

  8. relapse prevention.

POST TRAUMA
Experience: Provided individual therapy for 20 years with various levels of trauma clients including Dissociative Identity Disorder. Conducted Critical Incident Stress Debriefings for 13 years through a large psychological services company.
Approach: My treatment approach for trauma includes the following steps:

  1. ensure safety,

  2. assist in decision-making and developing support,

  3. provide information regarding trauma reactions and recovery process,

  4. assist in reducing panic and hyper-arousal,

  5. facilitate desensitization through "dosed" re-experiencing and

  6. assist in re-connecting to others.

Breathing, relaxation, cognitive behavioural therapy, gradual exposure, nutrition and exercise are all components of the treatment.