Individual, Marriage and Family Therapist
My Background as a Marriage and Family Therapist
I am a registered marriage and family therapist, with 20 years of experience as an individual, couple and family therapist. As a couple and family therapist, I provide therapy and coaching for people in troubled relationships. I have experience working with couples of different sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs.
While providing relationship counselling, I work with a range of issues that are often part of successful couples therapy. These areas include relationship stress and conflict, depression, grief and loss, trauma and early-childhood wounds.
As part of a number of trauma response teams, I have provided trauma response in the immediate aftermath of many critical incidents such as bank robberies, motor vehicle accidents, plane crashes, violence and so on. I have worked successfully with couples where one or both partners have survived traumatic incidents.
I have expertise in one of the most researched and highly effective relationship counselling approaches. This approach is known as Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFCT) or Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). This means I have a well-researched understanding of the needs of adults in romantic/love relationships and what is known about helping couples have satisfying and healthy relationships.
My Values and Style as a Marriage and Family Therapist
As a couple and family therapist, I believe that each person and each couple is doing the best they can with what they have at the moment. I know there is positive growth potential in every human being and that, in spite of how you may feel right now, your relationship has the potential to become a safe haven of support and comfort. I consider same sex couple relationships to be as sacred and as valuable as opposite sex couples.
I focus primarily on listening, respecting, and understanding each person and couple with whom I work. I combine my therapy skills and professional artistry with a loving heart, that will put you at ease and make therapy a comfortable place to begin the changes you desire.
I have the ability to help you overcome negative emotions such as anger, fear and sadness to create positive change. I am committed to helping you to make lasting improvements or to experience “transformation” in your relationship. See How I Work and My Approach for more details on my values and style of therapy.
In addition to my role as a marriage and family therapist, I have a commitment to continue to challenge myself in my personal and professional growth. This includes nurturing my relationships with friends, colleagues and family and opening my heart to others and the world around me. My regular Mindfulness Meditation Practice improves my attunement to others’ and my own mind-body processes. My rootedness in a tradition of Christian peacemaking propels me towards being loving and respectful of differences.
My marriage relationship provides me with a safe haven of comfort and support and a secure base from which to reach out to others with care and respect. My adult children provide me with ongoing sources of love and joy! As a marriage and family therapist and parent of an adult son with high functioning autism, my own secure marital relationship is a key factor in helping me to support my son with his special needs.
Qualifications as a Marriage and Family Therapist
Counsellor Educator and Trainer in Couple, Marriage and Family Therapy
In addition to my marriage and family therapy experience, I am a counsellor educator, having taught in Canada at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba and the University of British Columbia. In the United States I have presented at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. I provide consultation, supervision and training to couple, marriage and family therapists seeking accreditation with various professional couple and family therapy organizations.
Therapy and Counselling Registrations
- Registered as a Marriage and Family Therapist with the Canadian Registry of Marriage and Family Therapy
- Licensed as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in North Carolina: LMFT # 1245
- Canadian Counsellor Certification # 125 Canadian Counselling Association
- Certification in Marriage and Family Therapy through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy # 89116
- Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer, with the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, Ottawa, Canada
- Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.
- BA Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada, 1975
- M.Ed. (Counselling) University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, 1982
Recipient of the 2007 John Banmen Award for outstanding service and contribution to the British Columbia Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.
- Integrating Emotion-Focused Therapy with the Satir Model. (2006). Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 32, 141-153.
- Experiencing Satir Systemic Brief Therapy Training. (1999). The Wisdom Box, Newsletter of The Satir Institute of the Pacific.
- Native ‘vision quests’ release healing power of nature. (1997). Canadian Mennonite, 1:6, pp. 6-7.
- Understanding and Working with Client Resistance. (1995). Cognica, Canadian Guidance and Counselling Association. Presented at Canadian Guidance and Counselling Association, annual conference, 1994. (By Lorrie Friesen, a.k.a. Lorrie Brubacher)