willing to sit with me and tell me about yourself, it is only fair that you
know something about me.
I have been married for over 19 years, am a proud father of four beautiful
daughters and one son, ranging in age from 18 to 9. I live in Abbotsford, BC
and have done so for almost my entire adult life.
and understanding in order to help people apply these same principles
towards themselves and the world they inhabit.
I lived in the West Kootenays, in a little village called Salmo, (we
actually lived outside of Salmo in a ghost-town called
Erie) until I was 13, when my family moved to the city of Langley, BC. This was
a shock for me, as Fort Langley Junior High School had more students in
three grades than the entire village of Salmo had citizens.
This was also the time when my undiagnosed ADHD and depression began to
wreak havoc on my school performance. There were some very dark years in my
adolescence and although I didn’t know it at the time, my experience (both
personally and otherwise) with various mental health issues was serving to
prepare me for a career in the helping profession. Many times I have drawn
on my own experiences in attempting to relate to my clients and to
communicate a sense of compassion and even companionship in suffering.
Following another bout with depression in late adolescence, I attempted to
create some structure in my life and served a mission to Vietnamese refugees
in the United States.
It was the most difficult and trying time of my life but proved to be a more
than adequate training ground for problems that I would face throughout the
rest of my life. During my first semester of university, I was married to
my wife Tina, and following an initial miscarriage, we welcomed into our
family the aforementioned tribe of children.
Initially, my career plan was to pursue graduate education in clinical sport
psychology but during the preparation process for that step, I happened to
find employment at a local residential treatment centre for adult men
battling addiction to alcohol and drugs. It was here that I began to
recognize the need for compassion and understanding in order to help people
apply these same principles towards themselves and the world they inhabit.
During my time in the field, I have worked with a wide variety of
individuals from diverse backgrounds, diverse ethnic identities, diverse
socioeconomic situations, diverse mental health struggles, diverse spiritual
leanings, and diverse sexual orientations. My wide variety of experiences
has allowed me to have an individualist perspective, underscored by the
importance of feeling loved and cared for, despite any differences in
background or experiences.
My Master of Science degree in psychology focused on the neurophysiology of
anger and anxiety and this has become my main focus on treatment, although
using attachment theory as a foundation leads to visiting virtually every
corner of the mental health spectrum.
Away from my field, I am also an
avid songwriter, struggling artist, and have a diverse athletic background (although this
is becoming more historic as time goes on).
So, that’s a little bit about me. I hope you experience me as a fairly open
book and if you can relate to any of the information that you have read,
please give me a call or send an email and we can begin the journey of
I grew up in the Lower Mainland and have lived here nearly
my whole life. For most of my childhood, I struggled with anxiety and although
I was very fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents it wasn’t until I
began to see a counsellor that I started to understand and value the
importance of my own mental health. Learning more about myself helped me
recognize signs of distress in others and really provided the perspective to
be compassionate, open, and able to listen.My mom is a teacher, and for a
while when I was younger I thought I also wanted to be a teacher. Although, as
I got older I realized that while teachers help many children, their job
doesn’t allow them to work deeply with students who need extra support for
mental health and behavioural issues. Counselling allows for deeper more
individualized work and I found that this fit with how I wanted to help
When I was looking into counselling programs, I fell in love with a combined
degree of counselling and art therapy. In my experience, there have been
times when words fail, however, art can create understanding in a way that
words alone couldn’t have. Art therapy works with the creative process to
facilitate healing on multiple levels. While I believe that every person is
an artist in their own way, my favourite part about art therapy is that you
don’t need any artistic skills to benefit from it. I also understand that
art therapy may not be for everyone, and providing choices is crucial in
forming relationships, so what happens in the therapeutic process is
entirely up to you. As a student in the field, I have worked in a variety of
systems with very diverse populations. I have experience working with
children, youth, young adults, parents, and seniors who have struggled with
an array of mental health concerns.
Beyond counselling I am a watercolour and acrylic artist. When I am not busy painting, learning, or working, I love to travel. I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to study and travel abroad, however, some of my favorite places can be found right here in our beautiful province!
Thank you for reading this far. Hopefully, something caught your eye, or perhaps there was something that you were able to relate to. If this is the case, please reach out to arrange a meeting. I look forward to speaking with
I grew up in a small community on the South Coast of Newfoundland.
Ever since I was little, I always knew I wanted to work with and help. Initially, I explored nursing and although I loved the patients and my co-workers, I realized that this profession was not my future. Eventually, as I explored my options, I decided to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.
This was when my life changed, thanks to an amazing field instructor who completely changed the way I looked at the world. She empowered me to step outside my comfort zone, encouraged me to ask for help when needed, and most importantly, she taught me how to relate to people, which is a skill I am most happy to own. I developed my ability to relate to others by trying my best to practice what I preached, right alongside my clients. As I was teaching them, I was also learning. I truly believe we teach each other.
I began my Social Work career as a Mental Health & Addiction Counselor in a remote Inuit Community on the North Coast of Labrador. During this experience, I learned so much and met some of the most resilient people I have ever meet. Following this, I moved to BC and after doing a few short-term jobs, I began working in Forensics and then Corrections. Working within these diverse systems allows me to work with very diverse groups of people. I work with those who experience FASD, Borderline Personality Disorders, Bi-Polar, Depression, Trauma, Anxiety and Addictions. I work with youth, adults, couples and families from diverse backgrounds. This diversity of experience has allowed me to view people and systems from a strengths-based perspective.
While completing my Masters in Social Work at UBC, I realized that I am a client-centered counselor. I use an array of therapeutic material and strategies, as this will depend on the individual and where they are at in terms of their well-being and treatment.
As I thought about what being client-centered meant to me, I discovered that my goal is to help you envision, achieve, and maintain a healthier you. I believe in people and their capabilities. This means I believe in you and I am confident that together we can explore your choices. If we can discover our choices, we can envision our future and achieve our goals. Let’s get started.