NorthStar Counselling Services promotes mental wellness and wholistic health, through therapeutic approaches and education.
To support the whole person (mind, body and spirit) through inspiration and motivation for positive change.
The NorthStar Counselling Services office.
Some psychotherapists work within one particular therapeutic framework. I believe it’s important to take into consideration the entire person in order to create a wholistic plan to meet your bio-psycho-social-spiritual needs.
There is much evidence to prove that, in psychotherapy, the quality of the relationship with the therapist is often more important than the approach that is used. Having more than one possible option gives the client choices and also allows the therapist (me!) an opportunity to suggest which one(s) might be helpful for your particular personality and circumstance.
For these reasons, I use an integrative (a variety of the models mentioned below) and collaborative approach.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Internal family systems (IFS) is a model that acknowledges that we all have inner qualities (parts of ourselves) that have been wounded and often they take control of our lives. Maybe it’s Anger or Grief or Shame or Depression or Anxiety or Guilt. These parts can hijack our lives and steer us off-course. By rediscovering the true you – Self, the person you were created to be – you are able to return to the pilot’s seat. (The animated feature, Inside Out, was based on this model.)
Trauma-informed therapy considers that every client may have experienced some form of trauma. This model emphasizes: safety, trustworthiness and transparency; collaboration and mutuality; empowerment and choice, as well as cultural, historical, and gender issues. Trauma impacts the mind, body and spirit of each person differently, and this is taken into account.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
The cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that can help you deal with challenges by changing the way you think, feel and act. It’s very practical and often addresses issues by breaking them down into smaller parts.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy involves working with a psychotherapist, an equine specialist and a horse. Horses are very intuitive and often mirror client’s experiences. This animal/human relationship can also facilitate positive change. My training and experience have been working on the ground and this does not require riding. It is my hope to begin to offer this option, in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, during the fall of 2021.
Expressive arts therapy
Expressive arts therapy is not about creating beautiful works; it’s about using the creative process to facilitate growth and healing. Whether it’s composing a song, sculpting an image, woodburning, writing, drawing or painting, this is an opportunity to explore what’s inside, often in a fun way.
Solution-focused therapy centres around the future, with the desire to change in order to achieve goals. Rather than getting caught up in the problem, it helps you utilize inner resources to find a solution.
In person-centered therapy, the therapist follows the client’s lead. There is the assumption that you are an expert on your own life and, with support, you can discover your own solutions.
Family systems therapy
Family systems therapy takes into account the entire context of family relationships and behaviours. This includes patterns related to communication, problem-solving, beliefs, power dynamics and roles, and intergenerational issues. All these have impacted who we have become.
Present-day feminist therapy is actually about social justice for all, not just for women and girls. In particular, it addresses stressors and challenges related to marginalization, discrimination, and oppression. Culture, language, environment, gender, and socio-economic impacts are only a few of the areas that may be explored. It’s about working together to empower you to speak your truth and feel free to be the person you were meant to be.
In recent years, the term mindfulness, has been used a lot and it can mean many different things. In my practice, I apply the principles of: acknowledging what is and isn’t within your control; being in the present (rather than living in the past or future); developing clarity; raising awareness (of what’s happening in your mind, body, and spirit); exploring what is helpful to keep and what is helpful to let go; and developing curiosity toward yourself, others and the world around.
I don’t believe one approach fits all people, for every circumstance, all the time. We will work together to decide which approach may be beneficial for you … and that may change along the way.
No matter where you are on life’s path, this is your journey … and you don’t have to walk alone.