Psychotherapy

 

Jennifer provides individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy. In all approaches, you, the client(s), will be working through your struggles while gaining a better understanding of yourself. The process is meant to help you reflect on and improve your thought processes, emotional reactions and behaviours. In relationships, the dynamic cycle between members is determined and all parties are supported through a change process. Some may ask what the difference is between Psychotherapy & Counselling - Psychotherapy tends to be longer term and treatment focussed, while counselling can be shorter term and is support based.

Jennifer is highly skilled with a variety of evidence based therapeutic approaches.  These include, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Emotion Focussed Therapy, EMDR, Clinical Hypnosis, Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga Philosophy and Somatic Experiencing Psychotherapy and more.  She will meet with you to evaluate what will be the best therapeutic approach and to determine the expected duration of treatment.

Jennifer has specialized training working with 

  1. individuals experiencing the range of mental illnesses, specifically depression, anxiety, biploar, addictions and personality disorders 

  2.  individuals struggling with eating disorders

  3. individuals experiencing trauma, sexual or physical

  4. couples trying to reconcile their marriage 

    Part of the psychotherapeutic process can include Jennifer working closely with your treatment team e.g. your family physician and/or psychiatrist. Well rounded and coordinated care can be a helpful component in you moving forward.

 

You will benefit from working with Jennifer if you are:

  1. feeling isolated, lonely, depressed or anxious

  2. having difficulty managing the intensity of your emotions

  3. dealing with an eating disorder or are struggling with your eating habits

  4. suffering with compulsive behaviourssuch as drug, alcohol or gambling addiction

  5. experiencing anger and hostility that you are not managing well

  6. concerned about your child’s changing behaviours and adjustment

  7. struggling with your family’s conflicted communication

  8. struggling with marital dissatisfaction, separation or divorce

  9. experiencing Post Traumatic Stress

  10. experiencing Post-Partum Depression

  11. experiencing personal issues that affect your work life

  12. have experienced early childhood trauma,

  13. or, adult sexual, physical or emotional abuse

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Mindfulness & Meditation

 

Blending Mindfulness Meditation with Psychotherapy

Mindfulness Meditation and Psychotherapy blend very nicely into what is now known as Contemplative or Transpersonal Psychotherapy. There is a significant body of research that supports this approach in helping people to deal with mental illnesses such as anxiety and Depression, as well as, pain management, stress management and everyday life management.

Interestingly, mindfulness can be a way of life. It is when we stop living on automatic pilot and begin to be awake for our life that we learn to be authentic and real. There is great peace in this way of life as we focus on living in the moment rather than ruminating about our past or worrying about our future.

Jennifer has been practising Mindfulness Meditation for twelve years and has integrated this philosophy fully into her practise. She has seen the profound effects this shift has had with her clients as well as within herself.

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Why Mindfulness & Meditation for children, teens & young adults?

Childhood and adolescence are challenging stages in mind/body/social development where there is significant transformation that can cause increased stress. In your child’s early years they may have developed a conditioned response to manage emotions in an overtly logical, rigid, non-emotive manner or conversely in an overly emotional reactive manner. Neither end of this spectrum results in healthy long term coping. We experience mental health when there is integration and balance between these modes of responding. Research shows that when practising the basic tenants of Mindfulness the brain becomes increasingly integrated. With brain integration information flows between all parts allowing us to cope better with stress and life challenges.

Research also repeatedly demonstrates that the brain is plastic in nature. In short, this means that our brain is continuously moulding based on our experiences, conditioning and focus. Through the techniques of Mindfulness and Meditation, the individual learns how to watch the thoughts tied to their feelings, or learns the feelings tied to their thoughts. As they begin to see their perceptions and interpretations more clearly they are able to calm themselves faster and use logic more effectively for healthier problem solving, decision-making and responses.

Mindfulness develops the individual’s sense of ‘space’ from potentially self-destructive stories or narratives they tell themselves about their self-worth, sense of belonging and self-confidence. With ‘space’ and clarity, the individual develops the ability to challenge their old stories, decrease rigidity, calm reactions and correct misperceptions. A balanced perspective results and produces a tremendous calm within oneself, so much so, that one is able to leave fear and/or shame-based thinking behind and live for what is precious in the moment.

 

 Body Centred Work


After 7 years of studying and training Jennifer is ready to fully incorporate these practices into her work.  


Jennifer delved into learning about the mind-body connection because of her own journey with chronic pain. Jennifer’s journey started with disabling back pain that landed her in surgery. The residual manifestations of pain seemed to clearly link with times of stress or overwhelm. Once she made this connected she started meeting and working with an attuned massage therapist who guided her into her body. Helping Jennifer to sense what the body was trying to communicate to her. Jennifer learned so much from this gifted clinician and felt compelled to take her career in a new direction. This led to specific training in:


What to Expect

Jennifer uses these modalities within her psychotherapy sessions if you are interested in combining these kind of interventions and it is appropriate based on the issues you are working though.

Any hands on session woud be with the full permission of the client.

None of these modalities are a substiture for allopathic medical care from your physician. They are a compliment, a prevention tool and often a means to help you cope better.

Life Coaching

 

Jennifer is a highly motivational coach - while she challenges you to reach past your own self limitations, she also helps you to look at your current modes of functioning and critically analyze whether they are helping or hindering you. 

Jennifer uses Motivational Interviewing, Positive Psychology and Emotional Intelligence to develop your skill sets.  Jennifer has completed her Post-Graduate training with the College of Executive Coachng and the Coaching Federation. 

If you are seeking Life Coaching, Jennifer will help you to set out goals, determine the appropriate action steps and motivate you to move forward. Coaching is different from therapy, there is no treatment taking place and no review of historical issues. Instead, the focus is on the here and now and it is a creative process of helping you to determine your desired life direction while enabling a high level of accountability.   This process can involve reviewing obstacles to goal achievement as  at times you just feel stuck and as though you are not deriving the life satisfaction that you wish to achieve.   You will be assisted in creating strategic plans to move beyond these obstacles and with some minor shifts in organization, planning and focus you can turn things around and begin to feel your life is heading in a positive direction. Jennifer takes you to the next level. Using highly reliable assessment tools as well as Appreciative Inquiry, she helps individuals optimize their functioning. Jennifer specializes in the use of Positive Psychology and Emotional Intelligence to facilitate individuals to determine and attain their goals. 

 

 
 

Conscious Uncoupling

Jennifer was trained in traditional mediation skills for Conflict Management and Family Relations assistance with University of Waterloo/Conrad Grebel.  Over the years in practise she found the mediation process did now allow for a healing experience and in fact while less adversarial then the legal route it remained that couples were emotionally raw and lost. As an ardent believer in long term marriage, but also the subject of divorce, Jennifer recognized that there had to be a healing way for people to uncouple.  

Jennifer has combined her practical knowledge of separating with her couple and marriage therapy work, along with the groundbreaking work of Kathryn Woodward Thomas who coined the idea of Conscious Uncoupling.  In this process, Jennifer assists couples in finding their way through the painful ending of their relationship, while bolstering their ability to make healthy, loving decisions for themselves and for their children.   This is a process based on integrity, good will and ultimately the fact that a couple joined in the spirit of love and despite recognizing the relationship is over it can end in the spirit of love.

Jennifer assists in a cooperative brain-storming process where the couple is assisted in coming to a solution that meets everyones needs as well as helps them to grieve the end of their relationship in a healthy and productive manner. Jennifer neutralizes communication, contains the situation and directs the healing process.

As part of this process, Jennifer can help couples work through designing a fair and equitable parenting plan that is in the best interests of the children. 

Uncoupling consciously is a healing process, it not an adversarial process and thus is considerably less expensive and overall better for the well-being and health of the separating couple as well as their children.  Research shows that children can fair very well through a separation and divorce process if their parents can keep conflict at a minimum.