Here’s how I help you: I walk alongside you, emphasizing compassion, teamwork, and respect. You’re the expert on your life—I’m here to support your emotional awareness and growth.
I’ll offer feedback and guidance to help you feel more focused, confident, and calm as you face life’s challenges. My support is rooted in evidence-based therapeutic approaches.
Counseling approaches fall into two main types: “counteractive” and “transformational.”
Counteractive approaches, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), focus on teaching techniques to manage current difficulties—like reducing overthinking or handling anxiety.
Transformational approaches, such as Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), dive deeper. They target the root causes of issues, facilitating long-term change in how your mind works.
I blend these approaches, often starting with counteractive methods, typically borrowed from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), to help you manage emotions before diving into deeper transformational changes. These changes might bring about rapid but positive shifts, challenging established ways of thinking and feeling.
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) revolves around the exploration and understanding of your emotions in the present moment. During EFT sessions, we’ll closely examine how you express yourself, the feelings you experience, how those emotions shape your thoughts and actions, and how your early attachment experiences relate to all of the above. It’s an approach deeply rooted in your current experiences, even if we’re discussing past or future events. The idea is to leverage the brain’s response to emotions, as it doesn’t differentiate between past, present, or future discussions—making it possible to influence your feelings and perceptions in the here and now. EFT focuses on the experiential aspect of therapy, engaging you in a dialogue that helps process emotions as they arise during our sessions.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
On the other hand, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a more structured approach, often perceived as directive due to its focus on resolving specific traumatic memories or distressing experiences. It’s a trauma-focused therapy that involves creating a plan to target and reprocess memories linked to your current challenges, such as communication issues, fears, anxiety, or trauma reactions. Unlike typical talk therapy, EMDR is often considered a “neurological therapy.” While talking is part of the process, a significant portion of the session involves engaging in specific bilateral stimulation techniques (like eye movements, tapping, or auditory sounds) to facilitate the reprocessing of distressing memories. This processing phase might involve less verbal interaction between us, with a focus on stimulating your brain to process and resolve these memories. However, every EMDR session begins and ends with a conversation to check progress and ensure you’re comfortable with the process.
Both approaches aim for healing and change but differ in their focus and methods. EFT leans towards exploring and understanding current emotions and experiences, while EMDR involves a more structured, targeted approach to reprocessing specific memories or traumas to bring about resolution and relief.
– James Hollis
Couples Counselling Approach
In addition to the above mentioned approaches, when working with couples, I primarily use an approach called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. It is technically different from the EFT mentioned above but has many core similarities. The version described below is more researched with couples and focused on relationship dynamics.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is an approach centered on strengthening the emotional bond between partners. It focuses on understanding and reshaping the emotional responses and patterns within relationships.
Key Elements of EFT
- Emotional Connection: Our work together aims to foster a secure emotional connection between partners by exploring underlying emotions and attachment needs.
- Identifying Patterns: I help couples recognize and transform negative interaction cycles that hinder closeness and intimacy.
- Building Security: I emphasize creating a safe and supportive environment for couples to express their emotions and needs openly.
- Enhancing Communication: By improving emotional understanding and responsiveness, we aim to improve communication and intimacy within the relationship.
How I Support Couples Using EFT
In sessions, I guide couples through the process of exploring their emotional dynamics, helping them understand and address the underlying issues affecting their relationship. Through EFT techniques, couples can build stronger connections, heal relationship wounds, and cultivate a more secure and satisfying bond.
Benefits of EFT
- Improved communication and understanding between partners.
- Enhanced emotional connection and intimacy.
- Resolution of relationship conflicts at a deeper level.
EFT offers a roadmap for couples to transform their relationship dynamics, fostering a deeper emotional connection and mutual understanding.
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- Adults 19+
- Post-Secondary Students
- Cancer Patients
- First-time Dads
- Male-identified HSP’s and Introverts
- Individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI)
- Construction/Trades Workers
- Individuals with Diverse Cognitive and Physical Abilities
- Business and IT Professionals
Types of Therapy
- Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Attachment-Based Therapies/Approaches
- Biopsychosocial Model
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Compassion-Based Techniques (i.e., MSC, CFT)
- Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Interpersonal Neurobiology
- Mindfulness-Based Techniques (i.e., MBSR)
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Neuroscience Informed Techniques/Therapies
- Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
- Trauma-Informed Practices
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
- The Neurobiology of Trauma (Online), NICABM
- Two-Day Immersion Seminar: Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), R. Cassidy Seminars
- Indigenous Cultural Safety Training (Online), PHSA BC
- Connecting Career Development and Mental Health Workshop, Life-Role Development Group Ltd.
- Certified Anger Management Treatment Professional: 2-Day Certification Course (Online), PESI
- Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Transformational Approaches to Treating Complex Trauma (online), PESI – Janina Fisher, PhD.
- Dr. Sue Johnson’s Intensive Course in Emotionally Focused Therapy: Attachment-Based Interventions for Couples in Crisis (Online), PESI
- EMDR Training: Integrating EMDR into your Clinical Practice (online) – EMDR Consulting
Book an Appointment
Book your session or free 20-minute consult today!