Hi, my name is Sue Top. I am a psychotherapist, wife, and mother of two teens. I think people are awesome, and I love the fact that my job lets me have deep, meaningful conversations all day. I love board games, travel, being outdoors, and laughing. Mostly laughing.
My education and experience enables me to offer individualized care. We will meet and I will cater to your unique needs at your pace.
In my work, I meet with people from all walks of life, and every person's issues are slightly different. This can also be said of every person's strengths. This is one of the things that I find so interesting about my job, finding out how you see the world, and how I can help you navigate it more easily, using your own strengths.
My heart is a judgement free zone. I provide a safe space for you to explore your struggles, heal from your pain, and move forward. I see it as a privilege to join you on your mental health journey.
Therapy with me has been described as an informal, interactive conversation. I ask lots of questions to help me understand, and I use examples to see if I have the right idea.
I use a combination of techniques, gathered over many years of practice and training. Which techniques I use with you will depend on which ones you will benefit from the most, and that will become evident to me as we get to know each other over the first few sessions.
Helping you learn to identify and express feelings with someone who is compassionate and non-judgmental is a big part of my work. Often, just the act of doing that can be healing.
Emotion Focused Therapy, or EFT, brings our attention to what emotion is being felt at the moment. My role in this approach is to create a safe space in which to explore feelings, to help you identify feelings, and to teach you ways to tolerate feelings so that you do not feel overwhelmed.
Interpersonal Therapy focuses on both the present relationships that we have with other people in our life as well as the past relationships that have shaped us. My role as a therapist in this approach is to provide a safe space within which to dig into the pain of past and present relationships, with the goal of processing the thoughts and feelings and putting the pain to rest. It is also to be authentic and honest about how I experience you, and how it affects me. This gives you the opportunity to reflect on how you effect other people. It is also important that you feel comfortable doing the same with me, to be able to clearly state your needs and concerns.
Gestalt therapy focuses on seeing each person as a whole being, rather than a bunch of different parts that do not interconnect. My role in this approach is to bring your attention to things you may not be noticing about yourself that may give us information. For instance, that your foot is tapping the entire time that you are telling me that you are very relaxed today.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is focused on looking at thoughts and how we can help ourselves by changing how we think. My role as a therapist in this approach is to gently point out thinking errors or self-critical thoughts, and to help you embrace thoughts that are more encouraging and compassionate.
Mindfulness refers to the act of bringing our attention to what we are experiencing at that moment. Being mindful throughout the day can significantly decrease anxiety. My role in this approach is to teach you methods of becoming more mindful, and to direct you to resources that you can explore on your own at home.
This group is 6 weeks in length, and meets on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 8:30.
The dates are:
March 4, 2020
March 11, 2020
Break for March Break
March 25, 2020
April 1, 2020
April 8, 2020
The fee is $550.
Introduction: Compassion, Self Compassion and Mindfulness
Explore your own understanding of compassion and self-compassion by looking at your own experiences of compassion, and how you might begin to turn this compassion inwards. Review the factors involved in self-compassion, and explore how you may foster it in your own life. Learn about the numerous benefits to living a more self-compassionate lifestyle. Learn about mindfulness and why it is so instrumental in self-compassion.
Mindfulness, Self Regulation, Identifying Emotions and Learning to Sit with Feelings.
Practice mindfulness, meditation, grounding, and self-soothing techniques. Explore your unique ways of experiencing and coping with emotions. Learn about the importance of acknowledging and accepting the rich range of human emotions, and learn tools to develop healthier, more productive relationships towards your feelings. Each person will develop a repertoire of associated techniques and explore how these may be integrated into their unique daily life.
Inner Critic to Compassionate Voice
Explore the origins of critical self-talk and why we experience it. Learn about the benefits of changing this internal dialogue, as well as develop tools for challenging these thoughts. We will work on changing self-talk into a voice of kindness, appreciation, acceptance, and love.
Personal Integrity, Motivation, and Self Compassion.
Look at your core values and explore the relationships between these values and the way you engage with and perceive yourself. Discover how self-compassion can help you grow and make life changes when your actions are out of alignment with your core values.
Building a Self Care Toolbox
Develop an understanding of what self-care looks like for you, while learning about the ways in which self-care positively impacts a person’s life and well-being. Each person will develop a set of ideas to take home, so that you feel better equipped to integrate self-care into your life.
Wrap Up: Planning for Success
Each person will leave with their own unique plan for the future, in order to plan for success, as you continue to grow your developing practice of self-compassion.
I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor, a yoga and meditation instructor, and a creative arts therapist. I have a master’s degree in creative arts therapy as well as training in the areas of trauma counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodrama, and play therapy.
Working from a humanistic framework, I draw on my diverse experience to provide a therapy that is unique to who you are, with the belief that all individuals possess an innate desire and ability to learn and grow.
I believe that we all have many strengths but that at times we may lose sight of them. I believe that reconnecting to these strengths is an important part of successful therapy — I provide honest feedback to help mirror these strengths back to you.
I understand how difficult it can be to explore certain thoughts and feelings — I honour these acts of courage, bringing confidentiality, non-judgement, and unconditional care and warmth to session.
I provide support, tools, and gentle challenges to help you process your experiences and develop insight into your life, so that you may heal, grow, work towards your goals, and ultimately be free to live your life in a way that is fulfilling and true to who you are.
Personal health information is identifying information about a person. It can be in verbal, written or in electronic format, and does not necessarily include the person’s name. If a person can be recognized, the information is considered personal health information, and is subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act.
A member does not collect or use information about a client without the informed consent of the client or the client’s authorized representative, nor does the member disclose information about a client to anyone, including other health professionals, without the written informed consent of the client or the client’s authorized representative, except where disclosure is permitted or required by law. In obtaining informed consent from a client to disclose his/her information to any third party, the member must explain what information will be disclosed, to whom, the reasons for the disclosure, and the time-frame within which disclosure is to be made. The member should report back to the client following the disclosure.
In law, there are a limited number of circumstances where disclosure of personal health information is required without consent. Notable limits to confidentiality include:
1. where the member believes on reasonable grounds that disclosure is necessary to eliminate or reduce significant, imminent risk of serious bodily harm (includes physical or psychological harm) to the client or anyone else, e.g. suicide, homicide;
2. where disclosure is required under the Child and Family Services Act, 1990 for example, where the member has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is in need of protection due to physical harm, neglect or sexual abuse by a person having charge of the child;
3. where necessary for particular legal proceedings (e.g. when the member is subpoenaed);
4. to facilitate an investigation or inspection if authorized by warrant or by any provincial or federal law (e.g. a criminal investigation against the member, his/her staff, or a client);
5. for the purpose of contacting a relative, friend or potential substitute decision-maker of the individual, if the individual is injured, incapacitated or ill and unable to give consent personally; and
6. to a college for the purpose of administration or enforcement of the Regulated Health Professions
Act, 1991 (e.g. providing information about your client to the College if a complaint has been made
against you, assessment of the member’s practice as part of the Quality Assurance Program; mandatory reporting where the member’s client is a regulated health professional and the member has reasonable grounds to believe that the client has sexually abused a patient/client);
Get rid of your loose change or write a cheque, either way the money goes toward helping someone who might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of therapy. Every dollar is matched by me!
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