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Neurodevelopmental Disorders

ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and LD (Learning Disabilities) are neurodevelopmental (brain-based) disorders that:

  • are caused by a combination of genetic factors (i.e., hereditary and runs in families) and environmental factors (e.g., early exposure to environmental toxins and early brain injury);

  • are not caused by poor parenting, ineffective teaching, food additives, too much screen time, or lack of motivation;

  • result in differences in the brain (developmentally, structurally, chemically, and functionally) when compared to neurotypical brains;

  • impact areas of the brain responsible for processing information (understanding and learning), self-regulation (controlling one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior), and/or executive functioning (planning and decision making);

  • result in significant challenges (attentional, emotional, behavioral, sensory, and/or social) that interfere with a person's daily success across a range of activities over an extended period of time;

  • appear different over the course of a lifetime because one’s environmental demands, developmental needs, and coping capacities continue to change over time;

  • increase the risk of being diagnosed with other conditions, including anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders;

  • are considered “invisible disorders” because they are not immediately apparent to others.

Early identification of one's developmental challenges and needs, coupled with timely and appropriate intervention support, are key to optimal outcomes. If you (or your child) struggle to understand, accept, or manage challenges associated with ADHD or LD, counselling can help. We all have the capacity to learn, make choices, and take action to decrease our obstacles and maximize our success. 

For more information, check out the following organizations that strive to build awareness, education, and advocacy for ADHD and LD:

Regulation & executive skills

People who can self-regulate (that is, monitor and manage their thoughts, feelings, and behavior) are more capable of implementing executive functioning skills (that involve planning and decision making to achieve larger goals). Both regulation and executive skills overlap and are critical for resilience (that is, our capacity to quickly recover from challenges) and effective daily functioning (including when we play, socialize, learn, do chores, and work). These skills are developmental, meaning that they develop over time - no one is born with them.


Children who exhibit challenging behavior (e.g., very emotional, impulsive, inattentive, forgetful, or unmotivated) are often unskilled, as opposed to ‘bad’ or ‘out to give adults a hard time’. They are often having a hard time - and you can help. Most neurotypical children are able to instinctively learn and implement regulation and executive skills on their own as they mature. However, due to brain-based differences, children with neurodevelopmental disorders (ADHD and LD) tend to struggle when it comes to doing what is expected of them. These children require additional understanding, explicit intervention strategies, consistent feedback, and plenty of practice to learn these skills within the context of supportive relationships.


Many parents find that when their child struggles with these skills, so do they. If you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, defeated, or unclear on how to effectively parent your child - counselling can help empower you with the strategies you need to increase your confidence as you support your child's learning, capacity, and growth.


When we notice an imminent threat in our environment, our brain and body's stress response quickly moves us into fight-flight-freeze mode. This process involves our heart beating faster, our breath becoming quick and shallow, and our muscles becoming fuelled with blood and oxygen. In moments of stress, survival and safety become our priority and our other capacities are put on pause (e.g., thinking, learning, digesting, reproducing, and growing). When the imminent threat passes, our brain and body return to their natural resting state and our other systems resume again.


Anxiety is what happens when we imagine a threat to our safety. That is, our stress response gets triggered in the absence of an immediate threat in our environment. When we feel anxious, our brain becomes activated and our body becomes energized. In this way, a little anxiety helps us perform better - such as on mental tasks that require alertness (like taking tests) and physical tasks that require agility (like playing sports). However, when anxiety gets really big, it can be relentless. Our brain and body were not designed to run on survival mode for prolonged periods of time. When anxiety is chronic, our survival instincts run on overdrive and take a toll on our overall health, performance, and wellbeing.


People who struggle with anxiety tend to overestimate the external threat of danger and underestimate their internal capacity to cope. People with extreme anxiety become preoccupied with seeking safety, security, and comfort - to the extent that they start backing out of life - which significantly undermines their best efforts to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.


When anxiety is left unchecked, it can develop into a number of anxiety disorders - as well as attentional, emotional (including depression), behavioral, and medical conditions. The good news is that anxiety is manageable and treatable. The most effective form of treatment involves medication and/or counselling. If you struggle with anxiety, counselling can help you gain new insight and skills so you can learn how to effectively manage your anxiety and adaptively respond to challenges as they arise. WIth the proper support, you can reclaim your self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-confidence, and autonomy.


For more information, articles, and resources on managing anxiety, visit


Depression is different from feelings of sadness. It is a mood disorder that causes significant distress and interferes with our positive sense of self and daily functioning. While people who struggle with depression often feel hopeless, helpless, and isolated - depression is treatable.


Research shows that people with depression have brains that function out of ordinary in parts responsible for mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior. The most effective form of intervention for depression includes medication and/or counselling. If you struggle with depression, counselling can help you challenge unhelpful thought and behavior patterns that maintain your emotional suffering. By thinking and behaving in different ways, you can better manage and alleviate depressive symptoms that are keeping you trapped, immobilized, and alone. You can make a change.


Trauma is what happens inside of us when we experience an event so overwhelming that our survival instincts kick in and our thinking brains shut down. We cannot cognitively process the event in a functionally adaptive way. Instead, the traumatic experience becomes stored in our brains and bodies like a shattered memory (free floating sensations, images, feelings) - not bound to time or space. We become disconnected, fragmented, and compartmentalized - in a state of shock, disbelief, or denial.


When we are traumatized, we lose a sense of self-awareness and self-control. We become easily wounded, triggered, overwhelmed, defensive, impulsive, and reactive - often beyond our conscious awareness. Trauma has a lasting negative impact on the way we think, feel, and behave. The more significant the trauma, the more it will diminish our sense of trust, safety, and connection with ourselves, others, and the world around us. When left untreated, trauma increases our risk for developing a host of secondary challenges, mental health disorders, and chronic health conditions.


We are all capable of healing and growth. If you are struggling with symptoms of trauma, counselling can help you develop skills to manage your challenges, establish an authentic mind-body-soul connection, and transform your relationship with yourself to become whole again. You can cultivate calmness, presence, awareness, safety, trust, and connection - from the inside out. You can exercise more compassion, courage, choice, and agency in your life.

My Approach


In counselling, there are many different approaches that therapists can use in their work with clients. The particular approach that a therapist uses will guide all aspects of their work - including how they make sense of you and your presenting concern, what questions they ask, what details they pay attention to, and what strategies they believe will be most helpful to you. This page will help orient you to my particular approach to help you determine whether we could be a good fit.

Counselling approach

  • Culturally-sensitive, trauma-informed, and neurodiversity-affirming

    • ​I afford you dignity and respect as I strive to empower you by staying attuned, sensitive, and responsive to your unique background, lived experiences, perspectives, values, goals, and needs.

  • Bio-psycho-social/ developmental-systems

    • I recognize that we are made up of biological (including genetics and ​physiology), psychological (including thoughts and feelings), and social (including family and cultural) factors that cannot be separated and that together impact our mind-body-soul connection and health. In my work, I apply my knowledge of how brain development and psychosocial development interact and contribute to issues of wellness and distress.

  • Strengths-based

    • ​I support you to draw from and build upon your unique attributes, capacities, and resources to enhance your overall wellbeing and success.

  • Holistic and integrative

    • I strive to honor your mind, body, and spirit as we work to acknowledge and integrate all parts of you into a coherent and functional whole.​

  • Relational-experiential

    • I believe that a strong therapeutic alliance (characterized by safety, trust, and respect) allows us to connect and make meaning of your struggle in a new way that awakens hope, presence, clarity, courage, creativity, compassion, and confidence.

  • Functional-contextual

    • Rather than pathologize symptoms of distress, I believe in honoring all parts of you as adaptive - in light of your given circumstance.​ From here, we can explore how certain aspects of you support or hinder your larger goals - and whether you would like to make a change.

  • Mindfulness-based

    • When we learn how to ​pause and reflect in-the-moment with curiosity, compassion, and acceptance (non-judgment) - we have the power to break unhelpful habits, follow our intuition, adapt to our circumstances, learn, and grow.

Theoretical approach

  • Person Centered Therapy

    • ​I offer warmth, compassion, and acceptance as I strive to support your natural capacity for insight, growth, and healing.

  • Attachment-Based Therapy

    • I can support you to address any past/ongoing significant relationships in your life to enhance a sense of safety, trust, connection, and security. ​

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    • We can actively explore your automatic thoughts and patterned behaviors that are maintaining your emotional distress - and how you can break the cycle.

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

    • I can support you to accept what you cannot change so you can focus your energy on living a life true to your values and in service of your meaningful goals.​

  • Narrative Therapy

    • We use language to construct stories that inform our sense of truth and meaning in our lives. I can support you to deconstruct problem-saturated stories that have a limited plot line and undermine your best efforts to live a satisfying and fulfilling life. I can collaborate with you to construct more inclusive and expansive strengths-based stories that separate you from your problem, honor your strengths and values, and empower you to live your life to the fullest.

  • Solution-Focused Therapy

    • ​I can support you to explore your goals, what you’re already doing that’s working, and how to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be.

  • Internal Family Systems Therapy

    • ​I can support you to restore your inner balance by acknowledging your many different parts that make up who you are and exploring how those parts interact at any given moment to give rise to what you do. As we focus your attention inward - validating, accepting, and honoring your many parts - you will discover your authentic self. As you allow yourself to be guided by your inner wisdom, you will notice a natural expansion in your sense of calmness, presence, clarity, compassion, connection, creativity, courage, and confidence.

  • Family Systems Therapy

    • ​I strive to help families strengthen their relationships and partner together to apply strategies that address challenges, alleviate distress, and increase family connection and functioning.

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