Depending upon the particular issue or problem for which an individual seeks counselling, my approach has always been to work in collaboration with clients in a respectful and inclusive manner to facilitate change when, and if, they are ready to do so.
Some clients may just need an educated and supportive ear to help to guide them through a particularly difficult situation. Others may seek support for more significant issues that may have occurred recently or years before, the impact now having a more negative affect on their day to day existence, their family life, interpersonal relationships, work or school.
In the case of eating disorders/disordered eating, alcohol and substance misuse, cutting or other such behaviours, I firmly believe that such coping strategies usually exist for very good reasons (albeit perhaps not the most functional or healthiest way of coping) and that with education, treatment and new ways of coping, clients can let go of their unhealthy behaviours and learn new ones as they are ready.
While each person’s experience is unique, most of my clients have thought about seeking help for a long time before doing so, each passing day renewing their commitment to no longer engage in whatever their behaviours or patterns, and convincing themselves that this time will be different. I know that well-intentioned thinking all too well, but most of us could benefit from the support and expertise of others, even if we are a professional working in the field in which we are struggling. I have been told that my approach helps to inspire hope and motivation, as well as to reduce the stigma and shame of having, and seeking help for, an eating disorder or any other mental health issue.
I believe that it is important for clients to find a therapist who is a good fit for them and their particular needs. The therapeutic relationship is critical, such that the person seeking help feels safe, accepted and comfortable. Over the years, my clients have spoken of how much they appreciate being spoken to in a respectful, non-judgemental and straightforward manner.
Depending upon the presenting concern of the client, my therapeutic approach typically draws upon the transtheoretical model of change, psychoeducation, interpersonal therapy, harm reduction theory, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy, among other therapeutic approaches, theories and techniques.
When pertinent, clients may choose to include their partner, parents or children in the occasional session.
Finally, I have worked with individuals who have come to Canada from every part of the globe. Having travelled extensively, and having at one time conducted research and been based in South Asia, I believe that I bring a particular sensitivity, awareness and curiosity that enable my international clients to feel comfortable in the therapeutic setting.
Are you ready to take the next step and to book a free 15 minute phone consultation? If so, contact me at 416-922-3311 or send me an email at CynthiaJohnston@bell.net