Abby has her Masters in Counselling Psychology, certification in workplace conflict resolution and diploma in Business Administration. With over 25 years of experience in working with individuals, couples and families in complex relational situations across generational and cultural lines Abby has a unique and welcoming approach that easily engenders trust with clients. She has worked in humanitarian efforts in various parts of the world and has volunteered with the Victims' Assistance Program doing crisis intervention and stabilizing work with victims of crime and trauma. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (RCC), re responsible for licensing and regulating counsellors in British Columbia. The emphasis of her practice is individual and couple counselling with consideration to the family as a unit.
Abby utilizes the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) to address a wide range of issues regarding communication challenges, anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma, relational conflict, addictions, anger and identity issues.
CBT focuses on identifying and changing troublesome thoughts, which in turn changes emotions and behaviours. Clients work to develop new ways of thinking, which shifts their perception of situations and changes how they feel and respond to them. This is a short-term goal oriented approach to treatment lasting between 8 to 12 sessions.
EFT is an evidence-based approach that utilizes a combination of emotion, attachment, and growth theory. It helps individuals understand themselves in context of their life experiences and attachment styles and gives them insight into how they attach to others. I work with clients to face painful memories, which affect their current lives negatively. Through empathy, I assist clients to discover ways to make healthy contact with these feelings, memories, thoughts, and physical sensations that they have ignored or feared and avoided. Once my clients learn how to access these negative emotions and experiences they are able to use them as resources to address their fears, sadness of abandonment, and shame of inadequacy that have developed from past traumatic experiences. They then learn how to attach to others in meaningful and secure ways. As such, EFT is very effective in couples' therapy. It is a short-term therapeutic plan that last between 8 and 20 sessions.
SFT focuses on desired outcomes as a therapy solution. Little attention is given to symptoms or issues that brought someone to therapy. This approach looks to the present and the future desires of the client instead of focusing on past experiences. I support clients by encouraging them to imagine their future as they want it to be and then I collaborate with clients on a series of steps to achieve their goals by using their own skills, abilities and resources. I support clients in emulating and integrating past patterns of success as a way of rehearsing the ways and approaches that worked for them before. This becomes a rich resource and motivator to achieve their future hopes and goals.
Nature of Counselling
This will assist you in challenging and changing unwanted behaviours. From your learning, you will develop healthier ways of relating to those in your world. While counselling is a transformative process, there is risk of significant emotional discomfort. As you face the unpleasant issues that exist in your life, strong emotions may surface causing you unease. Your work will require courage and focus, but I am committed to you and your process, and will support you as we walk together through the tricky spots in your journey.
If you or your partner require individual sessions while you are in couple counselling and chose not to be referred to other therapists outside of my office, then your individual sessions will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. It would be your personal choice to bring forward any information from your personal sessions to the couple's sessions and must be initiated by you.