My Counselling Approach
My counselling design, which transcends the usual approaches in therapy, is to help you access solutions through a proven 2-step formula. The benefits of my methods are well documented in the scientific research.
1) The mind-body concept, the connection between emotional duress and physical symptoms, is a focal point of my approach. This step utilizes various energy psychologies, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Self Regulation theory and Thought Field Therapy/Emotional Freedom Techniques.
In short, these methods release frozen trauma energy so you can be restored to physical and emotional health.
2) Utilizing a cognitive behavioural model, which promotes rational thinking, I teach a reality-based belief system that can transform your life and elevate feelings of self-sufficiency for your future. Anxiety and depression are rooted in certain beliefs that often stem from trauma. By changing these beliefs, you will feel empowered, calmer and happier. My certification in this approach is rare which gives my clients a distinct advantage.
“Common sense” would best describe my counselling application.
Michele was the person most instrumental in "saving me" at a time when I was very physically ill. She gave me the tools that enabled me to heal. I learned "new and improved" ways of thinking and behaving... and these things aided me in healing. Had I not been fortunate enough to have "discovered" Michele and all her skills and knowledge, I'm quite certain I would not be alive today. Today, I'm a whole lot healthier... and a whole lot happier.... I'll be forever grateful to her for how much she has helped me. Laurie W.
My passion for my work remains embedded in being able to connect with you in your suffering, knowing that I can offer real solutions no matter how complex your issues may be.
While people often seek counselling with me when they experience a crisis, you don’t need to be in crisis in order to benefit from counselling. In fact, earlier intervention usually ensures a quicker solution.
In most cases there is absolutely no need to waste a lot of money on long-term counselling. Whether you are going through a long period of struggling or dealing with a more recent dilemma, my short-term common sense counselling approach can help you reach your goals, often in only a few sessions.
Counselling Modalities That I Use
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can reduce the intensity of disturbing thoughts under specific conditions. EMDR has evolved through the contributions of therapists and researchers all over the world.
Following a specifically designed protocol, the process of EMDR involves a combination of dual stimulation (eye movements, auditory tones, tapping), and gently focusing on images, emotions, thoughts and body sensations associated with your personal suffering. Together, we would track whatever comes to the surface until the negative aspects are neutralized. At the session’s conclusion, I would provide some resources that will leave you feeling in control and more empowered.
EMDR is a powerful healing method that has, to date, helped an estimated half million people, of all ages, relieve many troublesome symptoms. EMDR can significantly shorten the length of treatment and enhance results far beyond the scope of being involved in talk therapy alone. This is because emotional wounds are located in a more primitive part of the brain that is not assessable to language.
It is often difficult for our brain to process a traumatic or very negative event. This inhibits our ability to recover and over time, symptoms either do not go away or even get worse. The incident becomes stuck in a dysfunctional way. When you remember, you may actually relive it or experience strong emotions and physical sensations or conversely, you may feel numb and eerily shut-down from emotion.
I am a Level 2 EMDR Approved therapist. Since my original certification, I have continued to upgrade and expand my EMDR skills with additional training. A resource for further information is www.emdr.com.
I’ve suffered from PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) for most of my life: insecurity, nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, fear, phobias and constant disassociation (or spacing out). I thought these things were normal and there was no way to end my pain (I had even tried EMDR with another counsellor); then I met Michele. My trauma symptoms have healed, I am truly alive, free and at peace for the first time in my life. I can plan my future and know anything is possible! Gwendolyn G.
Thought Field Therapy & Emotional Freedom Techniques
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) was created by Roger J. Callahan Ph.D. According to TFT theory, a traumatic event, (or a person’s thoughts about that event), do not fundamentally cause negative emotions. Rather, residual perturbations (disturbances) in the “thought field” contain active information which triggers neurological, chemical, hormonal and cognitive changes in individuals. This is the cause of negative emotions.
These perturbations exert their influence by causing imbalances in the body’s energy system (named Chi in the 5,000-year-old Chinese medicine). TFT identifies which meridians are out of balance. By tapping in a specified order on certain locations of the body that align with Chi meridians and mentally focusing on the psychological problems, additional healing energy is created. This is how the healthy flow of electromagnetic energy throughout the system is promoted.
Clients can learn algorithms (tapping sequences) for themselves and some relief is usually noticeable within moments. TFT has been used successfully with a wide variety of problems, ranging from trauma and anxiety to weight loss and fatigue.
Further information can be located at www.tftrx.com.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an emotional version of acupuncture. Instead of using needles, energy meridians are stimulated to heal by tapping. Developed by Gary Craig, an early student of Roger Callahan, EFT is viewed by many to be an improvement on TFT. Instead of specifically different algorithms for each problem, EFT incorporates a universal tapping sequence that claims to work 80-90% of the time.
The most helpful website is www.emofree.com.
I have training in both Thought Field Therapy and Emotional Freedom Techniques.
Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy
Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT) was the first of the cognitive behaviour therapy theories and humanistic action-oriented approaches to emotional growth. It was first articulated by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955. REBT places an emphasis on an individual’s capacity for creating emotions, on overcoming the past by focusing on the present, and choosing and implementing satisfying alternatives to dysfunctional patterns.
REBT is fostered on the belief that how we emotionally respond at any moment depends on our interpretations… our views, our beliefs and our thoughts… of any situation (not the situation itself). In other words, the things we think and say to ourselves, not what actually happens to us, cause our positive or negative emotions, and ultimately, behaviour and other consequences.
These illustrations reveal how old this concept is:
If the theory is true that irrational ideas cause most of our intense, long-lasting, unwanted emotional reactions, then there is a simple solution: change our thinking!
Actually, changing our thinking may not be as easy as it sounds but that is exactly what Rational Emotive Behavioural therapy tries to do. It identifies an individual’s unreasonable thoughts and immediately challenges these problem-producing interpretations so the person will think differently… see things in a different way… and thus, feel differently.
The following is an excerpt from What is REBT?: www.rebt.org.
“[Rational Emotive Behavioural therapy]
is a practical, action-oriented approach to coping with problems and
enhancing personal growth. REBT places a good deal of its focus on the
present: on currently-held attitudes, painful emotions, and maladaptive
behaviour that can sabotage a fuller experience of life. REBT also provides
people with an individualized set of proven techniques for helping them
to solve problems. REBT practitioners work closely with people, seeking
to help uncover their individual set of beliefs (attitudes, expectations
and personal rules) that frequently lead to emotional distress.”
One of REBT’s favourite maxims (first expressed by Reinhold Neibuhr) is “Grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I have Advanced Certification in Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy from the Albert Ellis Institute, New York, NY and the Canadian Institute of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, Saskatoon, SK (1994).
The first step is usually the most challenging one. Your only commitment is to call. Then, together we can decide whether counselling is the best option for you at this point in time.
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