I am passionate about addressing gaps in services, resources and support of specific issues. This includes working with individuals, young carers and other family members living with a chronic illness, disability or mental health issue. It also includes people dealing with issues related to being transgender or supporting a Trans family member. People and couples experiencing fertility issues is another area of focus for me. I also work with many people dealing with past trauma and abuse, premarital couples, and a variety of other issues.
Since May 2012, I have been the chairperson of the Young Carers Project which is a community collaborative providing education and training, doing research, and motivating the community to better support young carers. We created a documentary and By Us For Us Guide that launched in 2015. I provide training for professionals about how to better support young carers and meet their needs. Consultation for agencies about young carer issues and services is another service I provide.
Currently, I also co-facilitate Chronic Pain Support Groups with another therapist and co-founded the Waterloo Region Chronic Pain Initiative – a community collaborative working together to better support people in our area living with chronic pain and provide education about pain issues. I work part-time for the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Dufferin as their Youth Justice Mental Health Counsellor where I provide therapy to youth on probation dealing with mental health issues.
I am a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and also a Certified Professional Counsellor with the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from York University in Toronto, Ontario and a Master of Theological Studies degree in Pastoral Counselling from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. I speak publicly to various groups about families and illness issues including the Wellington-Waterloo chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have led sessions for staff working with families who have a child with mental health issues and I spoke about my experiences with postpartum depression at Power, Pride, and Passion – Enhancing the Understanding of Mental Health and Women in Society.
Other past experience I have includes working with teens, young adults, couples and families in Waterloo Region in Ontario, Canada in a variety of capacities. I have facilitated grief groups for young adults at The Coping Centre and a group for teens who have a family member or friend with cancer. It was called Support Space and took place at HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre. I also taught spiritual life classes and discussed spiritual issues with 12-16 year olds in treatment programs for behavioural, emotional or psychological problems at Lutherwood, in the mental health services division. I have facilitated Caregiver Support Groups for people who are providing care to someone with an illness. I worked as a relief member of the Mobile Crisis Team at the Canadian Mental Health Association for several years. For more than two years, I hosted a radio show where I discussed a variety of topics pertaining to illness as well as other life issues affecting individuals and families. In the fall of 2010, I co-taught the course Assisting Families Dealing with Chronic Illness at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. This is a course I co-developed.