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Dr Karen Massey Registered Psychologist Emergo Counselling Services
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Dr. Massey's Approach to Individual and Couple's Counselling

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True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort
Walter Anderson

The philosophy of Emergo Counselling Services is that clients can "emerge" out of problems and "go" get into action. Television shows such as Oprah and Dr. Phil are making counselling more visible since TV viewers see firsthand how people can emerge out of their problems when they get therapy. Even Canadian Olympians are speaking out about emotional problems. For example Clara Hughes, the only Canadian Olympic athlete to win multiple medals in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games for cycling and speed skating is quoted in the newspapers and publicly regarding her battle with depression.

Clara Hughes is helping to reduce the stigma that a person is weak if they talk about their emotions and if they go to counselling. She says that "One day people will not know that there was once a time that there was so much shame around depression and anxiety, and people will know to call and where to go for help, because it will be talked about openly, and it will be available." Statistics show that 1/4 of the Canadian population will be affected by mental illness at some point in their life, just like Clara Hughes!

Clara Hughes also describes some of the benefits of counselling. These benefits show people what is ahead when they begin psychotherapy. She notes that recovery work is about the benefits of learning to set boundaries and listening to our bodies. She also gives a great description of what she does for self-care. It is vital for everyone in counselling to develop a long list of self-care resources that a person can use throughout their life for emotional support when life throws another curve ball with problems to be resolved, or as Hughes sees it, there are always going to be dark places that show up, and with awareness you can learn to recognize the early signs. The early signs are like little drops of rain, and you need to know how to deal with it before it becomes a downpour. Hughes describes her self-care as being through movement. Her movement includes walking, running, or cycling. She views that her daily dose of movement never fails to shift the chemicals that are blocked or flowing out of balance. It makes her spirit come alive and gives her the energy for what the day ahead holds. Lots of benefits!

There are a growing number of psychologically oriented TV shows. One show is called Hoarders. The weekly show follows several hoarders who try to face their problems and stop hoarding. One of the most successful hoarding shows that I saw is where a hoarder worked with a hypnotherapist who helped him resolve his childhood issues. As a result of resolving the core problems of his hoarding issues, the man was significantly changed and became functional again. He was even able to work and to socialize by having people visit and serve them a meal—there was finally a place to sit and a clear table to eat at!. Finding the core troubling childhood issues is one of the values of Hypnosis and of EMDR. Both of these approaches help people suffering from various types of anxiety such as hoarding, panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive behaviors.

Fortunately, a gradually growing North American phenomenon is that people are becoming more educated about therapy, emotional issues, and psychological self-help. Psychological information is being put into the public consciousness through self-help books and a variety of TV television programs ranging from extremes of sociopaths in Criminal Minds to Shield to the socially sensitive Drop Dead Diva. These shows are also making it more acceptable for people to recognize they need help, go get counselling, and that they do not need to struggle any longer.

Another psychologically oriented TV show follows several hoarders every week try to face their problems and stop hoarding. One of the most successful hoarding weekly shows that I saw is where a hoarder worked with a hypnotherapist who helped him resolve his childhood issues. As a result of resolving the core problems of his hoarding issues, the man was significantly changed and became functional again. He was even able to work and to socialize by having people visit and serve them a meal. Finally there was space in this man's home for people to sit and to not have to look at piles of hoarded stuff. Finding the core troubling childhood issues is one of the values of Hypnosis and of EMDR. They both help people suffering from various types of anxiety such as hoarding, panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive behaviors.

Dr. Karen's therapy sessions are based on two traditional approaches-- the Humanistic Approach using the work of Dr. Carl Rogers, and the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Approach using the work of Drs. Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis.

To augment the traditional approaches and to best facilitate your change process, a number of other approaches to counselling may be used. During our initial discussions, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Hope Focused Approach, Solution Focused, and Stages of Change Model will likely be used. Depending on your interest and comfort level, Experiential approaches may be used including Relaxation techniques, Breath work, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Hypnosis, Guided Imagery, Focusing, ,Gestalt, Integrative Body Therapy, Family Constellation, German New Medicine, Theta technique and discussions about spirituality.. Throughout the sessions psychological/educational information is also provided. Providing psychologically oriented information and body focused experiences helps you better understand the components of difficult situations and your emotional reactions so that you become more empowered to handle difficult situations in the future. By working on each small change in emotional, behavioural, belief, and value patterns, there can be a major change in your emotional well-being.

Couples Counselling

Traditional and Specialized Approaches to Counselling