Hi, I’m Mel. I use she / her pronouns, and I acknowledge that I am a white settler of Irish and English Ancestry. I am a therapist who works from an anti-oppressive, harm reduction, trauma informed, queer, trans, kink/BDSM, polyam allied lens and am committed to creating a space that is welcoming of all people, regardless of race, religion or spirituality, sexuality, gender and relationship configurations (I realize that is a big mouthful, but important to name regardless of sentence size).
I value humor and intuition and take great joy in helping people tune in to their own inner healer while celebrating their immense resilience.
You can anticipate me showing up as my most authentic self and I encourage my clients to do so as well. I aim to create space where people can drop their masks and bring their whole self to their sessions, a place where the unspoken may be spoken. I believe each person is the expert of their own lives and I strive to minimize power imbalances in therapy the best I can; recognizing my own locations of privilege and power is a big part of this.
I have been working in the helping profession since the age of 19. Personal life experiences I had as a child/teen put me on this path, and I have never looked back.
Walking beside you on your journey is nothing short of an honor for me. Over the last two decades I have worked with a wide variety of people, including folks living with HIV/AIDS, people who have experienced sexual and other traumas, the street community, the queer community, youth and families as well as youth involved in the criminal justice system and people living with mental health challenges.
I hold a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Counselling degree in addition to several other specialty trainings, such as EMDR, DBT, Satir Family Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Intensive Sex Therapy training at the University of Guelph, Advanced Personality Disorders Assessment and Treatment as well as specialized training in the area of anxiety as well as training in Gender Affirming Care and Hormone Readiness Assessment. I am currently studying at the Institute for Sexuality Empowerment and Education. I have done internships on the Indigenous Child and Youth Mental Health Team, Capital Mental Health and AIDS Vancouver Island at the Needle Exchange.
In my work, I draw on several different therapeutic modalities to support our work together with evidence-based practices that produce results. I believe strongly in holistic care, and take a mind, body and spirit approach in my practice. If there is an area or issue that is out of my wheelhouse, we can work collaboratively to find you a practitioner who has the tools or expertise you need who can work with us or take over your care if that is what is needed.
When I am not at work, I can be found spending time with my two children (ages 12 & 14) and my partner of 17 years, plus our sweet dog, Skippy. I am always up for a dance party, time in nature, good food and even better company, and believe strongly in the infinite possibilities on this wild, magical ride here on planet earth.
I would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land on which I work, play and live is within the ancestral, traditional and unceded territory of the K’ómoks Nation.