My core values are at the centre of how I try to live my life and create the foundation for how I do therapy. Below, I have tried to explain what these core values mean to me and how they influence my work.
Connection – I strive to genuinely connect with those in my life. To me this means being as authentic as I can and doing my best to approach others without judgment. It also means being aware of others’ needs and really listening to them. In therapy, my connection with my clients rests on providing a transparent, supportive, and accepting environment.
Hope – In my life, I generally try to make things better as I believe that you won't know what is possible unless you try. This belief rests on hope. Hope that things often can and do change. In therapy, I try to provide my clients with the hope that it is possible for them to feel better, because I believe this to be true. In part, my hope comes from doing therapy with clients who were dealing with longstanding, serious mental health issues. A common perception prior to therapy was that these clients were likely "unchangeable". However, time and time again, positive change occurred over the course of therapy. I'm so grateful to have worked with these clients and for the hope that they have instilled in me.
Acceptance – I believe that life can be really hard and unfair. I also believe that no matter who you are, you likely don’t live up to your “ideal self”. We often struggle with these things. We want life to be fair and we have trouble accepting ourselves the way we are. Perhaps we are afraid that acceptance means being okay with the way things are. In therapy, I see acceptance as a pathway to change. Acceptance allows us to let go of the fight and make room for curiosity that can lead to us discovering the barriers to change.
Awareness – I value self-awareness. Being aware of the good things in our life fosters gratitude, which helps us feel better. Being aware of the things that aren’t working is useful information, whether we act on it or not. At the very least, this awareness can help us understand why we’ve been feeling sad or frustrated. In therapy, I help clients become more self-aware and find ways to honour what they really need or want, which allows them to feel better.
Care – I’m a caregiver by nature. So it makes sense that I do my best to always come from a place of caring, both in terms of how I treat others and myself. In therapy, it is important to me that my clients know that I genuinely care about their wellbeing.
Responsibility – I have a strong sense of responsibility, especially when it comes to how I am in the world and how I treat others; I try to be respectful and show concern for others. In therapy, I am committed to always acting in accordance with what is in my clients’ best interest. Further, I abide by all of the ethical standards set out for Registered Clinical Counsellors.