Hi, my name is Mel (she/her). 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 honour for me. Over the last two decades I have worked with a wide variety of people, including folks living with HIV/AIDS, women who have experienced sexual trauma, 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 DBT, Satir Family Therapy, Internal Family Systems, 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 the Study of Somatic Sex Education as well as 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. I work from an anti-racist, queer, trans, kink/BDSM, polyam allied and trauma informed lens.
In my work, I draw on several different therapeutic modalities to support our work together with evidence-based practices that produce results. I truly believe that one of the most important ingredients in a therapeutic relationship is having a space where you feel you can bring all parts of yourself; that the unspoken can be spoken in my office. A core belief that I hold is that you are the expert in your life, and we will work together to help you tune into your inner guidance to make the changes you desire in your life. 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 will 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 and partner of 15 years and our sweet dog, Skippy. Some of my favourite places to be are out in my garden growing food and flowers, at the local farmers market, dancing or doing yoga, creating something in my kitchen, playing somewhere out in nature or reading a book.