For most of my life I struggled with a pervasive sense of anxiety. Over the years, my search for self-understanding, with the aim of alleviating my own emotional discomfort, led me to the discovery of several unique tools and techniques.
In 1995, I attended a workshop led by author SHAKTI GAWAIN. Shakti, author of more than 9 books, including Creative Visualization, shared her own personal struggle that visualization, the very technique explored in her book, did not always work. She felt that this was due to subconscious “Parts” within that could be fearful or resistant to change. Shakti had hit this same type of roadblock, and over the next few hours introduced a technique called Voice Dialogue, developed by two American Psychologists, Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone of Mendocino County, California.
Shakti and her assistant did a demo of the work at the front of the room, and I was immediately enthralled – the hair on my arms stood on end. I knew I was witnessing something hugely important but I didn’t realize what a powerful change agent Voice Dialogue AND "Parts work" was going to be in my life.
I explored in depth the theory behind Voice Dialogue, and it provided me with a strong foundation in the psychology of transformation. Over the course of the next 2 years, this simple yet powerful technique allowed me to allay many of my anxieties and fears for the first time in my life.
Having experienced such profound changes in how I was feeling personally, I began teaching small workshops and doing private Voice Dialogue sessions with friends and clients. Soon after, I began co-teaching Voice Dialogue workshops with an Edmonton based psychologist to small groups and therapists alike.
In early 2001, after co-creating the largest Voice Dialogue training in Canada and establishing Voice Dialogue Edmonton with 3 other professionals, I was invited to become part-time senior staff for Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, the developers of Voice Dialogue, at their Intensive workshops in California. I continued this part time staffing position from 2002 until their retirement in 2012.
In 2013 I achieved my designation of Counselling Transpersonal Psychology from Clearmind International Institute,BC, and am currently a Registered Professional Counsellor with the Professional Counsellors’ Association and a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada.
In 2015, I stumbled across Dr. Dick Schwartz and his IFS-Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy. It dove-tailed beautifully with the "parts"work I have been doing since 1995. Dr. Schwartz has completed several empirical studies which prove how and why his method works. One of those studies has been published in the Journal of Rheumatology on the effects of working with "parts" to effectively REDUCE physical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. See : https://nrepp.samhsa.gov/ProgramProfile.aspx?id=1#hide1
My passion remains focussed on understanding the brain’s “operating system” and finding new ways to overcome known brain “glitches”. My work revolves around teaching clients that normal brain function is at the root of many of their current struggles and, as well, providing them with tools to begin the process of changing their own outdated, limiting beliefs and nonproductive behaviours. My clients learn to grow in self understanding, and to feel compassion for both self and other; as a result they discover more inner peace and joy and experience more fulfilling relationships.
My personal goal on my own life journey has been to experience inner peace and joy, and now I can confidently guide others to that end as well, utilizing the same simple tried-and-true tools and techniques I have used, to get to where I am today.