Depression can take many forms, and severities. Michelle is well versed in behavioural activation and has learned how to help improve some of the most debilitating depressions. Motivating factors and strategies that she relies on are: collaborating with medical practitioners, finding meaningful activity or relationships, skill of breaking down the goals or activity to be smaller and more manageable, ensuring client has foundational elements self-care (sleep hygiene, eating, dressing, bathing). Unresolved grief manifested often turns into "depression" as a symptom and in this circumstance the unique training in expressive therapies is often beneficial in conjunction with behavioural activation.
Anxiety also takes many forms, and Michelle works with people with all kinds of anxiety problems including PTSD, OCD, GAD, panic attacks and phobias such as Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and specific phobias, (such as flying or spiders). Often times using exposure therapy, significant changes occur in a relatively short time period. Because Occupational Therapists are excellent at helping people function, this is a strength that she brings with her that is unique in the world of counselling. She has experience with helping people with agoraphobia get out in the community, across the country (on airplanes), and many more. She also recognizes anxiety as a normal feeling that is activated at certain times throughout our lives and enjoys helping people find that calm, grounded voice to help them guide themselves toward the change that may be required.
Trauma: Michelle works with many people who have a history of abuse and other traumatic experiences in their lives. She uses various approaches depending on the needs and goals of the clients. Sometimes people need to learn to find safety in various parts of their lives. Other times, people are safe but need an avenue to experience emotional re-processing. She is well versed in the 3 stages of recovery from trauma, and has created group based programs for stage 2 and stage 3 recovery.
Anger: Michelle enjoys helping to empower people by finding their voice and developing assertiveness skills. Boundary setting may be challenging for many and with practice and support, Michelle helps people to reach their goals. Unexpressed anger also impacts and manifests in painful symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Relationships: trained with a couples and family certificate through the University of Guelph, Michelle enjoys helping couples. Prior to this certificate, Michelle has always enjoyed helping people navigate their important relationships whether it be at work, with neighbours, in friendships or with family members. Michelle enjoys particularly helping people cope with "difficult people" or "difficult situations". Join her with her creative approaches to give you refreshing views and strategies.
Michelle has had experience in both clients homes as well as inpatient hospital. Though she typically meets clients in her office, when needed, she will work with clients in the community or at their home. Clients tell her they find her to be approachable, easy to talk with, supportive and straightforward. She uses a combined approach of CBT, strength-based therapy and expressive therapy to help people reach their goals and to have more clarity and feel more grounded.
Please feel free to call for an appointment. A free 15-20 minute consult via phone is always provided to have a sense of client/therapist "fit".