Hi, it’s nice to meet you :). And thank you for your interest in my specialization – I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (BCACC # 11568) and Registered Rehabilitation Professional (VRA Canada # 5258); I am specialized in Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy and have extensive clinical experience in the field of brain injury/ concussion rehabilitation. At the same time, and given my background in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, I also work as a Cognitive Consultant.
You see, the brain is a wondrous organ; it has been called “mission control”, and, thus, whatever impacts the brain’s functioning will have an impact on a person’s quality of life. Some factors are likely temporary, and these can include decreased sleep, medication, and alcohol ingestion. Others can have longer-term consequences, and these include the normal aging process, the pathological aging process (e.g. mild cognitive impairment, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease), and injuries to the brain (e.g. traumatic brain injuries, lack of oxygen to the brain, brain tumor/ surgery, chemotherapy, infection of the brain such as meningitis and encephalitis).
Whichever way the brain’s functioning has been impacted, it can create cognitive and emotional difficulties in a person’s everyday life, and thereby decrease one’s quality of life.
Therefore, in the capacity of a therapist or consultant, I help people understand changes in their cognition (e.g. attention and/ or memory functioning), and how their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are interconnected. As well, if potential changes in cognitive functioning seem worrisome (e.g. how can I keep my brain healthy, and support my future cognitive and emotional well-being), I can provide information and guidance on how to protect the brain.
My approach will always be geared to your needs and priorities, but it usually will include education to support you in gaining insight into your own functioning, providing potential solutions where appropriate or helping you finding your own solutions, and thereby assisting you in improving your quality of life- one step at a time.
So, how does all this look in real life and with real clients? Well, clients may come to me feeling overwhelmed with the daily demands placed on them due to difficulties concentrating, remembering new information, difficulties planning and organizing, getting easily confused, or lacking clarity of thought (feeling mentally foggy). Other difficulties may include losing your train of thought frequently; difficulties following a conversation; misplacing important items such as keys, wallet, or bank cards; forgetting important tasks such as turning off the stove or locking the door; and/ or forgetting appointments. While at least some of these difficulties happen to everyone at one point or another, they can turn life into a daily struggle when they happen too frequently due to brain injury or emotional difficulties (e.g. depression). Not only can it be difficult to identify proper strategies to deal with the ensuing everyday problems successfully in the long-term, but feelings of being overwhelmed and depressed also may leave you isolated in your pain and feeling like there is no hope.
I can give you and your family hope through providing you with emotional support and practical assistance. So, whether you experience cognitive and/ or emotional distress or just want to be proactive about your cognitive and emotional (i.e. brain health) well-being, I’d love to hear from you! So, please, drop me a line below, or call me to set up a free 15-minute consultation during which we can explore how I can help you.
My Educational Background:
- Paediatric nurse with specialization in intensive medical care for children (registered in Germany)
- BA (first class honours) in Psychology with a focus on Neuropsychology at Simon Fraser University – BC, Canada
- Masters of Science (2012), Clinical Application in Psychology at University of Leicester – United Kingdom
- Certificate in Cognitive Rehabilitation (2012) Brain Tree – United Kingdom
- PhD student (2003-2005): Cognitive/Clinical Neuroscience at the Brain Research Center at the University of British Columbia – BC, Canada
- PhD student (2015-2019), Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia- Department of Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy: Fatigue following traumatic brain injury
- PsyD student Clinical Psychology at California Southern University (2019-)
All of my academic education has been geared towards understanding cognitive functioning including the normal cognitive aging process and how the healthy brain creates our experiences (i.e. thinking, emotions, and behaviour) as well as the interrelationships between these experiences and other factors (internal and environmental influences). Throughout my work, I have gained insight into how cognitive changes as part of the aging process or due to a brain insult (e.g. trauma or disease) can impact and compromise a person’s functioning (i.e. cognitive functioning, emotional well-being, quality of life).
In addition, my personal experiences instilled me with a perspective of compassion, empathy, and cultural sensitivity. As such, my educational background (medical studies in nursing-Germany; cognitive neuroscience; human neuropsychology; rehabilitation and occupational sciences> see above) and personal experiences have provided me with unique insights that have allowed me to bridge the neuroscience aspect with the human aspect within the field of cognitive rehabilitation. It is this unique combination of knowledge and experience that I believe has made me so successful in working with clients who have experienced cognitive difficulties.
I am a member in good standing in the following professional organizations
- Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation
- Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada
- BC Association of Clinical Counsellors