Everybody Has A Story... Let Me Tell You Mine.

Over a decade ago I was young, innocent, and intent on making a difference in the world. I had worked incredibly hard through an undergraduate degree and then a Master's degree, knowing all the while that I wanted to be a counsellor. I wanted to be in the trenches with people, making a meaningful difference in their lives and making the world a better place.

I remember starting my first job after completing my degree. A nonprofit setting offering front line counselling support to women in domestic violence situations. The job was intense, and I loved it. ...For awhile. For the first year I often looked at my co-workers, several had been in the organization for a number of years, and the wear was starting to show. I saw their bitterness, and I prayed to not get caught in the same jadedness I saw in them.

Three years into the job and I was starting to get feedback from people in my life that I was different, and they showed some worry. I was more irritable, anxious, and needed a lot of quiet time and space to reset. It wasn't just the work - in many ways I still loved my time with my clients. It was the organizational dysfunction, the toxic relationships with management, and the feeling of tension and walking on eggshells in meetings that was eroding my sense of stability.

It was then that I started to learn about burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and organizational stress. I started researching and growing my own personal wellness repertoire. I cultivated a plan, and I have continued to hone and refine it ever since.

Therapist on a Mission

Skip ahead a couple of years and I opened my private practice specializing in trauma therapy. It was an area of work I loved doing. I had invested my research into PTSD, lots of extra training, and I found this work to be incredibly fulfilling.

I began working increasingly with First Responders through various contracts, and I found this work surprising. Going into my early sessions I thought we would be talking about traumatic calls and processing traumatic experiences...but that ended up being a very small amount of what was needed. What I learned quickly was that the experiences of First Responders and Front Line Workers paralleled my own: you got into it knowing that the calls would be hard but knowing it would feel fulfilling - it's the other crap that sinks you.

It's been years. Years and years of hearing this same story. And while I still LOVE my job and working with First Responders and Front Line Workers one-on-one in session, I am also so sick of hearing that nothing has changed. Organizational and management dysfunction, toxic work environments, bureaucratic pressures, disciplinary action...it takes the meaning out of the work you do and it weighs you down.

In my practice I often get clients coming to see me once they are so far down that rabbit hole that it's a long way to dig back out. I have watched way too many amazing people broken by the ongoing, perpetual stress and pressure. And I have heard way too many times that there is no training, or that the training offered is a joke.

So, now I'm a therapist on a mission to make therapy-based skills accessible before we're so far down the rabbit hole.

Those who know me, know that I love to take complex information and break it down into practical pieces. Concepts like the neuro-physiology of trauma, the psychology of lived traumatic experiences, persistent stress exposure and survival instincts, and the patterned responses of humans, are some of my favourite topics to tackle (yes, I do know that's weird). I draw from my extensive clinical experience as a trauma therapist, my inner-geek who secretly (or not-so-secretly) revels in a good research paper, as well as on my own personal experiences and exposure to burnout and vicarious trauma. I meld this with my love for teaching, my heart for connecting and my genetic tendency toward being a straight shooter (the red hair and freckles are a dead giveaway).

What you'll get from me is every ounce of wisdom gained from over a decade of working with people from all walks of life, broken down into totally learn-able, do-able skills that will transform how you engage in your work, with your family, with your friends and with your own self.

Now let me clarify - I'm not the stereotypical hippy-dippy-trippy type counsellor...although I do diffuse a wicked vanilla/orange essential oil combo in my office on the daily. I am not going to "therapize" or do voo doo magic to make your life different. My skill set is being a straight-shooter, and a lover of all things practical. What that means for you, is that you will get the real deal. Real life tools, with all the messy and nitty-gritty accounted for. I will teach you the fundamental things you need to know to not just survive life in the job, but to thrive - both in the job and in your life outside of the job.

Look, I know you got into this to help. To make a difference. I did too. And when you partner with me, you'll not only make a difference for others, you'll also see a difference in yourself and will learn to make it sustainable. So even if it feels like your cracks are starting to show, let me show you how to beat the breaking point.

What You Can Expect When You Learn With Me

Evidence Based Tools

All of the tools I create, content I share and guides I offer are grounded in the most current research.

Practical Applications

Conceptual understanding is great, but we also need action. I will always give you steps to make it real.

The Straight Up Real Deal

When you learn with me you'll get the good, the bad and the ugly. No shying away from the hard stuff.

Spotlighted On...

Where Can You Start?

Free Burnout Indicators Checklist & Triage Guide

Assess burnout and get specific steps to start taking action.

Behind the Line Podcast

Join me for this weekly wellness podcast for First Responders & Front Line Workers.

Beating the Breaking Point Resilience Training

Learn about our online burnout prevention/reduction course.