Statement of Understanding

There are a few things I would like to share with you to assist you in your quest to find the right psychologist for you. The self-exploration and consultation process I share with those who consult me may include facing and expressing intense emotions such as feared loneliness. When these feelings, which have often been controlled or suppressed, surface, there can be a temporary increase in feelings of distress. I am willing to explore these feelings at the pace that feels best to you. I will encourage you to develop a curiosity to gain insight into the messages feelings bring. There are many techniques for accessing feelings and you have the right to participate in prioritizing the use of any particular technique. You also have a right to change your mind at any time and to discontinue the use of a technique. I do encourage exploring emotionally focused therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and body awareness therapy before making any final decision about what suits you best in a given session.

Techniques that may be used in the self- exploration process include relaxation exercises, deep breathing, visualization, affirmations, exercises that integrate right and left brain hemisphere functioning, observation of body sensations, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes combined with an inquiry into their origins and effects, re-scripting core beliefs, art therapy, journaling, therapeutic singing, acquiring and applying communication skills, assertiveness skills, boundary-setting skills, parenting skills, relationship enhancement skills, stress reduction skills and emotional self-care skills.

This self- exploration process is intended to assist you to make sense of your emotional suffering and to gain skills for living more effectively. This is not a “treatment”. Neither will your problems be viewed as symptoms but rather as messengers that deserve attention. Some psychologists do use a medical model and do view consultations as  Certainly when in distress you want relief. However, I consider that: “what we resist persists. What we explore with openness and curiosity transforms”.

We will be examining the idea that, in the past, you made some errors in identifying “what is wrong”. In some instances, You may have mistakenly been persuaded that there was something “wrong with you” when there was something ” wrong with your situation”. In other instances, you may have refused to be accountable for events that your own behaviour brought about.

I will be sharing self-care skills and assisting you to re-examine ideas and beliefs you learned in your family of origin, culture or religious community. Perceptions of yourself or the world around you may change in this “journey into self”. I will neither authorize, nor invalidate these changes and the feelings that surface during the process of self-examination and change. Instead, I will assist you to become your own authority. My role will be to facilitate your process by questioning you, by inviting you to observe and ponder your thoughts feelings and
behaviours and by engaging in a dialogue with you.

I will ask you to read and, in our first session, discuss the above statement of understanding. You may ask any questions and then indicate your willingness to consent to this process.

Download to sign (PDF)