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Areas of Expertise
I'm a feminist and I have a strong passion for women's rights and empowerment. I work from a feminist-perspective and I'm adamant about standing up for social justice issues and helping those who are marginalized, traumatized, and victimized. I believe that women have plenty of power inside themselves already, but many need help to rediscover their strength and voices. Given this, I find it relevant in my work to examine the social, cultural and health issues that impact a woman throughout her lifetime.
Some of these include menstruation, pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, parenting,
menopause, sexual assault, domestic violence, body image, discrimination, racism and harassment. I’m sex-positive and specialize in helping women to become more intimate with their bodies and obtain optimal sexual pleasure.
Recently I have completed trainings on menstrual health and nutrition for mental health. I enjoy helping those who menstruate learn more about their cycle and live in a way that's more aligned with this process. Even though menstrual symptoms are very common, our cycles should come and go with relative ease and little to no symptoms.
I once read that being aware of your cycle is the greatest gift of self-care you can give yourself. If you are experiencing symptoms that impact your functioning or struggle with your cycle in general, there are solutions. More often than not, this means exploring nutrition, as it’s undeniable that what we eat has a huge impact on our menstrual/physical health, as well as mental health. I truly believe that food is medicine. I'm a big proponent of the Health at Every Size movement (HAES), mindful and intuitive eating, as well as learning about one's ancestral background to get inspiration for eating more in alignment with this.
Highly Sensitive People
Highly sensitive people make up about 50% of psychotherapy clients and about 20% of the general population. Upon learning about this, I began asking clients to take the quiz and found that more than half of my clients are highly sensitive - maybe you are, too?. Unsurprisingly, I’m also a HSP. This is not a diagnosis, but rather an innate personality trait that presents itself in different ways. It might mean having strong emotions and feeling them very deeply and/or having physical sensitivities to smells, temperatures, or sounds.
HSPs tend to be more emotionally responsive, creative, conscientious, compassionate, detail-oriented, empathic, and more sensitive to subtleties in their environment. HSPs also tend to think more about the meaning of life and are very tuned in to their social environment - which is a huge strength, but can cause anxiety, depression and stress if one cannot regulate their emotions well. Due to their sensitive nature, HSPs can also struggle with overwhelm, overstimulation, perfectionism, and people pleasing.
Being highly sensitive is difficult in a world that doesn’t value this trait. You may have been told by family and friends that you are “too sensitive” or “too emotional”, and this can contribute to feeling ashamed and criticized. I enjoy helping HSPs connect to and own their unique gifts, and love teaching them how to care for their sensitive systems. Because when they are thriving, they often help people and make a difference in the world. Due to my highly sensitive ways, I believe I am able to create a very warm, compassionate and strong bond with my clients.
I practice from a trauma-informed approach. I take seriously the prevalence of trauma in our societies and I operate from the mindset that most of us are not getting through life without experiencing trauma. Experiencing something traumatic can lead to feeling disconnected, overwhelmed, helpless and ashamed. I believe that we can all heal and that healing happens in the context of supportive, loving relationships. Healing trauma must revolve around choice and empowerment, while establishing safety and trust. I will help you create new experiences in the here and now that will contradict the feelings of helplessness, shame, and overwhelm.
Being trauma-informed also means that we won’t just spend time exploring and trying to modify your behaviors and beliefs, rather we will seek to understand why these came about in the first place and what purpose they may serve. We must first understand and honor all the ways in which you learned to cope and survive.
I also find it extremely relevant to put a client's issues into a greater context regarding the current state of our world. Many of us blame ourselves for our issues without looking at the conditions that surround us. Patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism have caused great damage to the Earth and its beings and have
created unhealthy societies that are abound with trauma. We also cannot deny that things like racism, sexism, climate change, wealth inequality, polarized politics, lack of community and our increasing reliance on technology and social media have a great impact on our mental and physical health. It's no surprise that many of us are regularly feeling depressed, fearful, anxious, traumatized and disconnected. I will always help my clients challenge the notion that their value is dependent on how well they fit into a world that is harmful and unhealthy in many ways.
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