Creating Promising Futures Through Social Construction
NW Community Mental Health Centre
280-1620-29 St NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4L7
I am employed as a Therapy Specialist and a Clinical Supervisor for a large publicly funded health care organization in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. While my practice license is nursing, my clinical home has always been marriage and family therapy. My job, in an outpatient mental health clinic, includes offering brief therapy to individuals and couples who have been impacted by a mental health problem. I also have conversations about clinical dilemmas with the people I supervise. Conversations with my client and with those I supervise always invites me to reflect on people’s experience and their challenges; and I am often changed by these conversations. I also am very passionate about providing accessible mental health services to people. One area that I have explored and practiced in is single session, walk-in therapy program.
For a long time, I have believed that people seek the input of ‘us therapist types’ when they run out of solutions. The actions they normally take to solve problems are no longer working and they need new ideas. During a conversation with a client about new solutions, I am often intrigued by the ways in which language influences the person’s perceptions of self and perceptions of other people. I strive, in my conversations with clients, to engage in language that addresses the presenting concern and to use language to draw forth competencies and abilities. I also engage clients through language to foster discovery of solutions that reduce suffering and to foster a sense of hope. I also listen for the client’s description of their relationships with interaction patterns and the important role of a system or systems in a person’s life.
As a supervisor, I endeavor to foster a team environment where different theoretical ideologies and perspectives can be expressed, discussed and debated. I believe that recognition and acceptance of both difference and similarities among the members of the clinical team will open space for those clinicians to listen to and acknowledge various points of view of their clients. We live in a time of uncertainty and anxiety – I try to foster a clinical space where therapists and clients can feel safe.
My degrees are from the University of Calgary; I am a clinical fellow and approved supervisor with AAMFT. I have publications in nursing and therapy journals in the areas of family nursing, supervision and single session therapy. My research interests are in the area of client reports of therapy outcomes.
In my personal life I am married to Lorne and we have two adult daughters who are off having adventures in their own lives. I enjoy cycling, snowshoeing, quilting and spending time with interesting people.