Why I chose this profession
I believe that most of us are capable of dealing with life’s challenges and are able to manage most things on our own. Some of us have support from our friends and family while others do not. Even when we have support, sometimes we get overwhelmed and our usual resources just aren’t enough. We need to reach out to a professional. I have been there myself.
I believe that we are profoundly influenced by our family relationships and experiences. I chose the elephant to symbolize my practice for several reasons. Elephants are patient, strong and wise but also gentle, loving and take a family-oriented approach to raising their young. They are fiercely protective of (and devoted to) family, and have a rich heritage they pass on to the next generations. From a more pragmatic perspective, I help people talk about the “elephant in the room” – the topic that needs to be addressed but is being avoided.
My professional journey
I have been working with individuals and families in a variety of roles for more than 30 years. My experience in the fields of medicine, special education, teaching, law, and mental health have provided me with a rather unique background and have been instrumental in honing the skills I have developed in the field of psychology. I chose the name Empowering You for my practice simply because I see myself as a guide for my clients. My goal is to enable you to discover or reconnect with your own abilities to find the right solutions to whatever challenges you are facing. There’s an old saying that if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day but if you teach him how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. It’s a very old saying so the language is not gender neutral but it applies equally to men and women, boys and girls. I want to teach you how to fish. I will be with you to help you explore the changes you would like to make and help you develop the skills to confidently and competently manage on your own when you are ready.
Over the years, I have carefully designed my practice and training to focus on counselling, mediation, and developing a specialisation in working with parents and children going through separation and divorce. I have chosen to gain mastery in these areas because I enjoy working with people and watching them as they discover or reconnect with their inner strengths and resources. By empowering people in this way, together we can identify the behaviours or actions that will bring them closer to the outcomes or goals they are looking to achieve. I have experience working with people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances, specifically with helping them to repair and strengthen their parent-child relationships.
The people I work with
I offer counselling for individuals to help them:
- develop assertiveness
- manage anger and/or anxiety
- reduce stress and/or depression
- adjust to life transitions
- more effectively navigate and cope with the process of separation
- create meaningful and healthy relationships
I offer support to families by providing:
- Practice Note 8 Child Custody Evaluations (PN8)
- Practice Note 7 (PN7) Evaluative Interventions: Triage, Parent Psychological Assessment – Risk Assessment, Focused Assessment, Voice of the Child
- Practice Note 7 (PN7) Therapeutic Interventions: Parent-Child Reunification for parent-child contact problems, Individual counselling for parents or children, post-separation/divorce counselling for parents, family therapy
- mediation of divorce and family matters
- parenting coordination & parent consulation
- family therapy and parent-child therapy
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to youKhalil Gibran
Where to find me
In an effort to create a welcoming atmosphere, I chose to locate my office in a character home in southwest Calgary. Clients frequently comment that walking into the office feels like being in someone’s home and the warmth of that setting feels calming. I will welcome you to the office and invite you to join me for your appointments in my comfortable office upstairs. My office manager, Laura Romero, is available by phone, text or email to schedule appointments and answer many of your questions. I share my office space with an experienced and gifted child and developmental psychologist. Our separate practices compliment each other and we often have the opportunity to coordinate the care of children and parents in families.
Some of my experience and skills
First and formost, I am a registered psychologist. I completed training in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and I use it with some of my cients dealing with anxiety and trauma. That trauma is often connected to issues related to separation and divorce – either their own or their parents’ separation they experienced growing up.
I have been qualified as an Expert Witness in the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Provincial Court of Alberta. I conduct Practice Note 8 Child Custody Evaluations, Parent Psychological Assessments (Risk Assessments/Parenting Capacity), Voice of the Child Interventions, Reunification (Parent/Child) Therapy, and various other court-ordered therapeutic interventions. I also consult with lawyers and provide litigation support.
I completed extensive training in mediation, negotiation, arbitration and parenting coordination. I have been a mediator for nearly 20 years and a parenting coordinator for 10 years. I find it most rewarding as a parenting coordinator when, through the use of my mediation skills, parents are able to arrive at their own solutions rather than having to make a decision for them through the arbitration process.