My first real clinical experience began as the unit psychologist in an acute treatment unit at a psychiatric hospital in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was here that I was able to work with people who were suffering from profound episodes of psychotic experiences and begin to realize that ultimately the most important thing I could actually provide for these people was a true and authentic human connection that unfortunately seem to be so lacking in the world that they had come from, and now in the institution they had arrived at. Having come to Vancouver in 1989 I have continued to work in my private practice doing the very best I can to answer the question as to what actually makes a difference in the lives of the people who come to see me for help.
How I work with clients
Ultimately, it seems to me that the answer to how to help people revolves around teaching them how to first discover,and then trust the fundamental nature and truth of their own self which contains its own inherent and powerful wisdom for healing and growth. Primarily, we humans seem to suffer from a fundamental disconnection from our “self”, which more properly speaking can be seen as consisting of a series, or levels of “disconnections”, or “dis-associations” that we are essentially unaware of, and therefore cannot even begin to identify with, or access. In addition, the primary organizing force for such disconnections seems to be fear, and this, coupled with the many years of deeply embedded and essentially unconscious strategies we have unwittingly and innocently activated and constructed in order to protect ourselves makes this uncovering work a challenging and complex task.
Whether people are suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma, or a whole host of other psychological states of distress, this one common theme, fearful estrangement from oneself, presents a fundamental puzzle that needs to be solved; how to help people overcome their fear and then, not only discover, but learn to listen to their own internal wisdom. in this regard, I am particularly fascinated by the possibilities of the combination of psychotherapy with the psychedelic experience. I am firmly convinced that as of this time, there is no more powerful means for healing at our disposal.