I have a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from the Adler University of Professional Psychology and am an accredited counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (Barbara Leigh, CCPA #6740)
I also have a Bachelor of Education degree in secondary Math and French, and taught school for many years in the Port Alberni, Campbell River and Coquitlam School Districts, before taking early retirement 11years ago in order to establish my new career in counselling.
Although I enjoyed teaching, and worked in a variety of positions, from teaching grade 2, grade 6 (in English and French), Math 11 and 12 before morphing to secondary school counselling, I discovered that my bliss was really activated by helping others on a one-to-one, or in the case of couples counselling, one-to-two basis.
What does this mean? It means that I have worked with people of all ages, from the 6 year old in grade two to the 18 year old in grade 12! And with parents from all walks of life, grandparents, administrators, other counsellors, university admissions. It means I have dealt with the anxious student as well as the anxious parent; it means I have honed my communication skills to a level where I can teach them to my clients and see them change their lives by a simple effective process; it means that I have incorporated professional development into my life style and can bring you the very latest techniques gleaned from workshops and psychological readings!
It means I know all about stress and have developed strategies which helps you cope with it, and lead a more balanced life.
Many clients come in, unsure and uneasy about what to say or do. Rest assured that is never a problem once they enter the office. As a trained clinician, but also because I have a highly developed intuitive sense, I am able to pinpoint the problem and set manageable goals to effect the kind of change each client is looking for.
I use a variety of approaches in my counselling practice, depending on your needs.
For relationship counselling, I use a combination of Emotionally Focussed Therapy and Gottman Method Therapy. In this way, couples learn to re-establish friendship and love, move out of negative cycles and learn communication skills to de-escalate and resolve conflict. I have seen huge changes take place when partners learn to recognize the emotion underneath their words, and begin to really understand and value their mates just like they did at the beginning of the relationship. See more on the Couples Counselling page. For depression and anxiety, I use both Solution-Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Individuals learn to change their thinking and change their life in as little as three sessions! If you are feeling isolated and alone, unenthusiastic about life and work, this may be a nudge from the universe that you are not on your real life path, an indication that you have to do some self-exploration under the guidance of a professional, with specific training for counselling depression and anxiety. I find it extremely rewarding to see someone go from lethargy to energetic participation of life when they begin to understand the underlying causes of their depression, and make moves to free themselves from restricting thoughts that have held them back for so long.
I have attended the Level 1 training in EFT, or tapping, and clients have noticed an immediate reduction in their anxiety level when taught how to use this method on themselves. Others have said it helps them to reduce fear of flying, insomnia, procrastination and chronic pain. Fear of vomiting is another example of where EFT can be used.
I frequently give handouts or worksheets so you have something to refer to between sessions. (Yes, it is probably part of my teaching training and experience!) "Roadmap to Effective Communication" has proven to be very popular - clients have given me many examples of how they have used the techniques to improve their relationships both at home and at work, sometimes with their spouses, sometimes with their teens, sometimes with their parents.
I am also a voracious reader and keep up-to-date with the latest findings in the field of psychology, so can offer books to read and websites which may be helpful.
Again, I always welcome an initial phone call at no charge. This takes only 10 minutes and is a way of seeing if the connection is there, if this one step can be the beginning of a life lived more fully and happily. If you feel confident that the fit works, an appointment can be made at that time. Nearly every counsellor offers this same consultation, so go ahead - take a step now and call!
Evening appointments available on Tues -Wed.
Suite 301- 220 Brew Street
Free underground parking
"Walk life's path with easy grace."
Counselling services for Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Port Moody,
New Westminster and Burnaby