“The Personal is Political.” – Carol Hanisch
I am a queer, settler, non-binary person on the unceded and stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Watuth) Nations of the Coast Salish Peoples. I was born on this land and remain uninvited, the descendent of English immigrants on my mother’s side and Irish immigrants on my father’s side in majority.
I have lived experience with bisexuality, non-monogamies, neurodivergence, complex traumatic stress, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, sex work, and substance use. I am keenly aware of the strengths and deficits these experiences have afforded me, and enjoy working with folks who have walked similar paths.
As an activist, I’ve organized and facilitated grassroots community groups, events, discussions, and circles. I have experience writing community policy, advocating for marginalized groups in community proceedings and practices, and lobbying for changes in policy to accommodate those groups. This work has included participation in Restorative and Transformative Justice processes. I continue to provide survivor support as needed to folks in my community, and it is always needed.
As a life-long learner, I hold a BSW and am a Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers. My degree’s focus was on gender equity in policy and practice. By means outside of academia, I study feminisms, politics, unconventional relationships, trauma, and recovery with a commitment to reimagining how we value ways of knowing. I work well with folks who long to have big dreams and are aspiring to be a force of change in the world.
Reflective and Unconventional Relationality
I bring a non-judgemental, compassionate approach to issues of relationality, be they monogamous or otherwise. I have 10 years of practical, activist, and explorative knowledge in ENM (Ethical Non Monogamy) to contribute to support you in navigating your relationships. Together we can explore practical, accessible tools based on radically honest communication, shared responsibility, and social equity principles to help discern the particular relational framework that suits your life best. I can help you explore your ENM, your Consensual Non Monogamy (CNM), your relationship anarchy, your polyamory, your solo polyamory, your infidelity or cheating in a monogamous or ENM context, your mono/polyam dynamic, and everything in between.
- Breakup Coaching, Relational Future Planning
Let me help you get together and separate with kindness. This can start as soon as the relationship begins: planning a kind, compassionate and considerate path to separation is a gift you can give to your future selves, reducing harm and discomfort if the time comes. I will help you make plans and agreements that honour everyone involved and come from a place of love you share together to support your future individually.
Gender and Sexuality
People are complicated, and I have found society’s social expectations do not make that any easier. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are personal, political, and unequivocally unique to each person. Focusing on arts-based approaches like writing exercises, creative exploration, and reflection, we will approach contemplation of identity by using principles of storytelling with compassion and flexibility. We will center your strengths, your superpowers, and consideration for your history of events in your life. Together with these tools, we will address questions you have about your gender and sexual identities. I know you are the expert in your own experience with a deep knowledge of what you need (even if this is unclear to you at this moment). We can explore labels, markers, feeling good in your own skin, and how you present yourself to the world to make you feel euphoric to be yourself.
What you experience in your own mind is unique, special, and you. I am committed to hearing from you about your experience with or without a professional diagnosis because I believe that we are more than capable of discerning how our minds work best and what we need to feel well. I have lived experience with combined-type ADHD and complex traumatic stress while assigned female at birth; I want to help you develop a set of tools and coping mechanisms that allow you to thrive personally, professionally, and relationally. I can relate personally to the struggles of a mind that never slows down, feeling stuck while also unsettled or distractible, and the feelings of shame and self doubt that can follow. I welcome people with varying neurodiverse experiences including complex psychiatric diagnosis, Autism, and all ADHD types.
Grief and Death
Grief can come with all of life’s big transition moments: loss of life of a loved one, loss of community, loss of relationship, loss of identity, financial and economic loss and transition, and in my opinion the most common: loss of safety. When big things in our life change or big events change us, it can prompt anxious and depressed feelings about our standing in the midst of the housing crisis, the climate crisis, world health emergencies, and many other things. Grief and Death Work is a passion of mine; I bring deep, empathetic listening to your experience and process, suggested coping skills to manage existential dread, and exercises and practices to determine next steps in your path, while honoring what you’ve lost. I sought Death Doula training as a means of finding a framework for my approach to all things to do with the end of life, and all things to do with continuing to live: I believe in our inherent knowledge of what we each need, and that sometimes a good advocate can help us center ourselves in our experience. My certification as a Death Doula gives me skills in advanced directive planning, end of life planning and counselling, and advocacy for the dying and their loved ones. I center the person dying while providing support to loved ones, helping them create a system of support that prioritizes the wishes of the person who is losing their life, which is everything.
How I Work
I work collaboratively in the therapeutic space to create safety, clarity, and craft a plan to cope for now and to thrive in the long term. My areas of focus line up with the political framework I use to determine my values: self determination, critical thinking, and intentionally changing our minds. I treat our sessions as an opportunity to connect, collaborate, and work as a team to find pathways forward. I utilize intersectional feminist theories, attachment, and trauma-informed practice. My orientation is focused on building autonomy, using our worldly knowledge to make good decisions about our lives, and building capacity to change our ways of being, knowing, and doing. I use narrative, emotionally focused, and person-centered techniques that are critical of systems and compassionate towards people. I think about things in terms of what power structures are at play in relationships, how we imprint with our caregivers and the resonating effects in our lives, and consideration for the life events that stick with us for the long haul. Let’s make space for your story to come alive and be a narrative that you feel pride and contentment with, and can preserve sustainably within your life.
Ways of knowing, determining purpose, and personal ethics and values are all connected to making meaning of life, the world around you, and your experience. I’ll investigate your experience with you as my guide, and help you make decisions about life’s big questions rooted in a set of values and beliefs that honour your being, culture, and personal code of ethics. Together we’ll use creative modalities to facilitate meaning-making in your life that’s sensitive to your values and circumstances.