Where do you come from?
You are your story, and how that story is composed, told, and interpreted describes your experience of life. The elements of your story include understanding and articulating your cultural origins, particulars of your family life, your formative relationships, and your vision of what you hope your life will look like.
As we work together, you may come to see that being proficient in telling your own story as well as the stories of the people and places around you will help bring about a depth and richness to life you may never have had before. When you have a sense of the story you are telling with your life, you begin to develop the ability to see what is missing, where hope may lie, and maybe even find the curiosity to see what happens next.
If you are interested in counselling with Ed, please email him at [email protected] to schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation.
How Are You Struggling?
I don’t just treat symptoms. I also focus on insight into root causes and change in perspectives that allow flourishing. The goal in counselling is not necessarily a “cure”, but a better framework in which suffering can be understood and endured.
- Men's Issues
- Relational Issues
- Meaning-Of-Life Issues
- Low Self-Worth
- Spiritual Issues
- Life Transitions
When I work with clients who may be suffering from depression, I try not to rush to a diagnosis. Rather, I am curious about how your personal development has led you to a place of feeling some of these within the greater understanding that you are not “crazy”, but that you may be feeling and expressing things that have their roots in your family, your work, the history of your people, and what you perceive of what is happening in our world. Then, out of these insights, we work together to find new ways of perceiving, being, working, and loving so that we learn to live with hope instead of despair.
Lack of Motivation
Thoughts of Death or Suicide
As the majority of my clients are male, one initial hurdle we face is to demythologize counselling as a ‘feminine’ practice. The reality is that confronting ourselves takes an inordinate amount of courage. And when it comes to confronting issues that men tend not to be able to speak about with anyone but a counsellor, we take time to understand how we were formed as men, what messages we live by, and how to subvert control of these narratives over our lives. By throwing off these unrealistic constraints, we then stand a chance of living in peace both within ourselves and with others.
Relationships with Romantic Partners
So much of contentment and peace in our lives is bound up with our significant relationships. If they are good, they are the source of where we first learned about our place in the world, where we developed resources for resilience, and the people to whom we turn when we are by turns elated or in despair. Yet when our relationships are struggling, we also struggle. When we work with our relational issues, sometimes the only changes we can make are with our perceptions and attitudes. The hope of this is that as we lovingly persist in the latter, we change the systems in which we participate.
- Separation and Divorce
- Strained Relationships with Parents and/or Children
- Loss of Friendships
- Difficult Work Environments
Friedrich Nietszche once said, ‘[he] who has a why can bear with almost any how.’ Even when life is crisis-free, it still can be difficult because we do not have a framework in which we can make sense of why we are doing the things we do. Counselling for existential difficulties is not a frivolous past time. Instead, grasping why we engage in life as we know it can help reinvigorate our approach to life.
- Career Frustration
- Aimless Living
- Lack of Awareness of Personal Values
Many people admit to suffering from ‘low self-esteem.’ One of the first steps in changing this feeling about ourselves is that we think of ourselves as having “low self-worth.” A person who is aware of their worth is able to view themselves in a realistic light and can put effort into change without showing off or expressing overweening pride. It is from a place of seeing oneself as “valuable” that we potentially develop the tenacity and courage to make concrete changes in our lives.
- Negative Self-talk
- Lack of Persistence
- Inability to Take Risks or Make Changes
Whenever clients tell me that they are feeling ‘distant from God’, I immediately wonder ‘which impression of God are you talking about?” Our ideas and images of who God is are often informed less by accurate information and often have too much to do with the messengers and media that have shaped our understanding. Although surviving spiritual abuse is slightly different from the above, the abuses we have suffered can also lead to our closing ourselves off from God instead of becoming more open to the possibility a renewed relationship can bring.
- Distance from God
- Estrangement from Church Community
- Surviving Spiritual Abuse
An analogy I often use with clients to describe the process of working through anxiety is that of being a child, and being afraid of the dark. What do we see when we look out into the darkness of our rooms? Is that a monster in the corner? The decision many of us make when it comes to experiencing anxiety is to try to ignore the “monster in the dark” instead of turning the light on to see what it is. It is through “turning the light on” together with me that we can learn to face our fears and perhaps, in time, make these monsters our companions along the way.
- Difficulty Resting
- Lack of Assertiveness
- Conflict Avoidance
Life is in part built upon the idea that we advance from one stage to the next. However, it is quite common to find that these transitions are more difficult than we imagined, and that the burdens of one phase are often not resolved before moving onto the next. Talking through what we expected of each time of life and adjusting our vision of life can be helpful in deciding how we may act in the present.
- Uncertainty in Educational Direction
- Stressful Work Environments
- Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
Areas of Emphasis
My research and interest in cultural psychology informs how I empower clients to deepen and expand their personal stories in the hopes of developing courage, patience, and love for self and others.
I mainly use a modality known as “psychodynamic psychotherapy.” My natural curiosity about our world and the people in it has led me to value our relationships within ourselves, with others, and with God. My particular concerns within psychodynamic psychotherapy are relationships, cultural backgrounds, significant events while growing up, and developing a sense of both personal and communal narratives that have shaped our lives. Clients often remark upon my genuine presence, breadth of life experiences, warmth, and sense of humour as distinguishing my style of therapy.
A counselling modality that originates in the psychoanalytic school, the concerns of psychodynamic psychotherapy center around our relationships with others, within ourselves, and with the elements that make up our cultures.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy looks at anxiety, depression or other mental health issues as “symptoms” of deeper processes that have not been fully processed and metabolized into personal transformation. As with other psychodynamic practitioners, Ed values his relationships with his clients, and strives to provide a warm, gentle, yet truthful presence to the people with whom he works in order to facilitate change.
Relational Cultural Therapy
As the progeny of feminist and psychodynamic psychological principles, Relational Cultural Therapy seeks to help people begin apprehending themselves as partly constructed by their environments and their difficulties in part their responses to these environments. It is when we work through the “sources of ourselves” and the influences that have shaped us that we can then use our insights to help with choosing differently for ourselves and others.
Ed enjoys helping people recover and tell their personal stories, a practice and awareness that can lead to greater personal health overall. Sometimes, this means dredging memories that remain unlinked to our current self-conceptions as well as helping to establish narrative patterns that appear when one’s story is being told. A narrative perspective does not necessarily just dwell on one’s past, but is also concerned with how a story is being told in the present, and what story might be told in the future. These help with providing a sense of coherent meaning and purpose.
As a graduate and sessional lecturer of Regent College (an interdenominational theological school in Vancouver, BC) as well as a former church pastor, Ed continues to adhere to the Christian faith and allows this to inform his worldview of himself and others. As such, when Ed works with people who may be going through “spiritual issues”, he does not usually prescribe interventions, but will ask more about our perceptions of God, understandings of ourselves as spiritual beings, and will help process tangled histories of religious involvement. Ed has also had training and experience with the practice of Christian Spiritual Direction, and will employ this frame if clients request it.
30 Minute Phone Consultation for Free
The primary purpose of this consultation is for me to gather basic biographical information that helps me get to know you a bit better and the difficulties that have brought you to counselling. But it’s also a chance for you to ask me questions, either about myself and my methods or about counselling in general. Usually, clients will book their first session with me at the end of the consultation.
Full Session for $190.00
In-person and online sessions are available.
I offer a discounted rate for full-time students and clergy. Please ask me if you qualify.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ed does offer a sliding scale for clergy and students. Please inquire with him during your free phone consultation if this may apply to you.
No. Ed sees everyone who wants to see him regardless of religion, gender, race, creed, national background, sexual orientation, or any other personal identifier.
One of the best ways to tell if a counsellor is a “good fit” is for you to discern whether you feel comfortable with them and whether you feel safe enough to be able to talk about your very private matters. This may include your seeking one modality of counselling over another (e.g., cognitive behavioural therapy over psychodynamic) but effective counselling is first a relational bond between a client and a counsellor upon which they build an agreement to work in a certain way towards particular ends.
Ed accepts cash, cheque, and INTERAC e-Transfer for payment. Unfortunately, he does not have the administrative capacity for direct billing to insurers.
Ed primarily uses what is known as a “psychodynamic psychotherapy” approach, which emphasizes the creation of warm, responsive, and safe environment for people to explore and change their perceptions of themselves, others, and their environments. Ed welcomes working through significant memories, family dynamics, cultural issues, and current events as entry points to personal transformation.