Registered Occupational Therapist (Alberta, CA) & Sandplay Therapy Trainee
With nearly 3 decades in clinical practice.
I’ve worked with neurodiverse children, their parents and adults for almost three decades. Many of my clients have developmental diagnoses (like ADHD, anxiety, Autism, OCD, ODD, learning disabilities, attachment disorders, developmental delays, FASD). Many have not. All have struggled with symptoms that caused distress, conflicts, and confusion that made it harder for them to get along with others, get things done and feel good about themselves.
In that time, I've also raised my own “sensitive” child, been a committed guardian to a menagerie of furry and feathery babies, learned a great deal more about sensory, attachment and trauma-focused therapies, and worked through my own experiences of grief & loss. I have also had the privilege of journeying with literally hundreds of courageous families as they worked to heal and grow.
The culmination of those experiences shape who I have become and how I see my role as a therapist - a companion, a witness and a fellow traveller on the scenic, winding trail that is life. I just happen to have a few extra tools in my backpack, along with the collective perspectives, experiences and wisdom of all the clients I’ve had the privilege of journeying with over the years. This gives me a more detailed map of the terrain and allows me to be a better trail guide for those I serve.
My maps are based in neuroscience (sensory processing, polyvagal and neurodevelopmental theories) and psychological frames of reference (attachment, individuation and client-centered care). I offer them in an integrated way, through therapeutic conversations, play and creative activities, with a deep respect and empathy for the unique histories, cultures, needs and perspectives that each individual brings. The focus of my practice with clients of any age, gender, or ethnicity is to support them to make sense of their unique lived experiences and help them develop and follow their own maps towards healing, growth and loving connections.
Prior to becoming a therapist, I had always cared for or worked with children in some capacity. In high school, I babysat, volunteered with youth groups, and tutored younger students in music, French and Math. And I'm a Mom - which has been my favourite (and most challenging) role! And, like every one of you, I've also been a child, specifically, a child of an anxious mother, a mother of an anxious child, with just a little anxiety myself ;)
I am also an amateur musician (harp, piano, and vocal jazz), animal and nature lover (my first degree was a specialization in zoology), avid reader, and lifelong learner.
Mental Health Credentials
- I am a Registered Occupational Therapist (Alberta Licence #1015 with the Alberta College of Occupational Therapists), Level III Sandplay Therapy Advanced Candidate and former member of the Board of the Canadian Association of Sandplay Therapists, with extensive training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), lifestyle design, sensory processing, and polyvagal (trauma) informed therapy.
- I am a graduate of the Occupational Therapy program (B.Sc.O.T.) at the University of Alberta (1992) and have been spent many of the years since then addressing the mental health needs of neurodiverse children and adults.
My therapy inspirations
ALSO, in case you're interested, the business name, Kyokan (pronounced "Kee-oh-khan") is a Japanese word that means "empathetic". Kyokan Connections gives parents and adults the chance to explore, practice and delve deeply into learning how to engage with respectful, empathic curiosity and compassion, with themselves and with their loved ones. This is foundational to healthy minds, bodies, hearts and souls - and relationships!