I'm Liisa, and I'm a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Yoga Teacher, and Meditation teacher working in Victoria BC on the land of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.
I see the relationship between counsellor and client (or teacher and student) as an important part of the work we do together. I aspire to create a space for our work where honesty, authenticity, and humour are welcome. The approaches that I use in the counselling room recognize that people are highly interconnected beings, both internally (body, mind, emotions and spirit) and externally (to our families, history, culture, and systems). I tend to use a blend of feminist counselling, mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, yoga, acceptance commitment therapy, EMDR, and family / systems therapy; however, every client’s needs are unique.
Particular interests of mine are relationships, diversity, identity, families, eating disorders / body image, social justice and substance use / abuse. I enjoy working with couples and see relationships and sexuality as a place of learning for many people. I have a deep commitment to diversity and enjoy working with all families and ways of being in relationship. I believe it is an essential part of counselling to begin your relationship by honouring your language choices regarding your gender identity.
I find that many clients today have questions about work life balance, perfectionism and rest; this is such an important conversation. How we restore, sleep and care for ourselves impacts all parts of our lives. I also believe that when we are well rested, these bodies are meant to move (and likely to sweat!). We can find what works best for your body and your abilities, and counselling work can support you in making changes to your movement routine that will help you thrive.
I believe in using the past as a teacher for our current work. Often the circumstances of our early years and upbringing influence how we cope in the present. Sometimes we are aware we are acting out old patterns, sometimes not. Sometimes when we are aware, we still make choices that don't serve us. Sometimes the stories and trauma reach into our earliest years, or the generations before us. I hope to provide a supportive environment in which to explore the past and a place where you can use the wisdom you gain to make real changes in your life today.
I have found yoga and body-centered approaches to be complementary to talk therapy. I am a certified yoga teacher and find my own practice to be very grounding. I've completed a certified Meditation Teacher Training program which is licensed by the Government of India. My personal meditation practice is one of the cornerstones of my wellness routine. I’m also very interested in nutrition and the ways in which different ways of eating can impact mental health. One of my favourite areas of study is where neuro-science and yoga meet. I've completed studies with Dr. Richard Miller, who studies the ways in which Yoga Nidra helps the brain (and the psyche or spirit - or your words can go here too!) heal from trauma. When we can see in brain scans that the structures in the brain responsible for the trauma response are shrinking, and creativity and calm are returning, that excites me. Some clients really want to see the brain scans, some really want to feel it on the mat. I see real value in both.
We are all changing all the time. It is very human to discover that ways of being which worked at one point in time, no longer work for us. When we realize that we aren’t coping well, or that life is feeling too much, these are invitations to learn new ways of being which will serve us better and bring us closer to our true selves. We may also find opportunities to critique our social systems, ignite activism, or compassionately look at the impact of oppression.
I see great value in being a part of this process and feel honoured to do this work.