About Sarah

I wish I’d had a therapist who could relate to what it’s like to live with illness.

My hope is to fill that void.

Registered Social Worker

Healthcare Leader

Patient

With an Madter of Arts in Sociology: Families, Health & Well-being and a Master of Social Work, I’ve been professionally exploring the concepts of health and illness for almost 10 years.

My interest in these subjects is no accident. I became a patient of our Ontario health system before I even took my first steps and have been working in an urban health network since 2013. You could say I’ve come to know the system from both sides of the bedrail.

I know what it’s like to feel locked in a battle between your self and your body. To be left out of contemporary definitions of wellness. To feel different from your peers. To be viewed as a collection of symptoms and body parts rather than a whole person. To know what the best course of action is but to be met with resistance. To mourn the loss of what used to be. To feel overwhelmed with fear.

You are not alone.

It can get better. And it starts by reaching out to someone who’d love to hear your story. I’d be honoured to create that space for you.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

Brene Brown

Principles That Guide My Practice

Trauma Informed

A trauma informed perspective is about viewing the world with the understanding that so many of us have and will experience trauma. It means viewing problem behaviours as our attempt at coping through difficulty. The question shifts from “what is wrong with this person?” to “what happened to this person?”. My promise to you is that I will always honour your consent to participate (or not participate), offer choice in as many ways as I can, be open and receptive to your feedback and do my very best to create an accepting and respectful environment for our work together.

Strengths Based

I believe we all have personal resilience, resourcefulness and abilities that are unique to each of us. A strengths based perspective orients towards hope instead of viewing people from a place of lack or pathology. I think this is especially important when working in the realm of health and illness. You may consider a diagnosis as an important part of who you are or you may not. I will spend time listening to what is most important to you, what you’ve tried before, what helps you move through difficult times and what supports you have in your life. We have so much to build on.

Commitment to Ethical Practice

I’m registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (#831933 ) and am a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (#14039). That means my profession is governed by a regulatory college with standards of practice and a code of ethics that I follow. Importantly, regulation offers the public (you) protection. I engage in ongoing professional development and believe in life-long learning which includes training, self-study, peer support, supervision and community work.

Therapeutic Approach

I believe therapy should be a mix of exploration/self-reflection and skill building. My priority is in creating a safe space for you to explore your self, experiences and hopes for the future while also introducing tools you can call on in difficult times.

I take an integrated approach to therapy which means drawing on different parts of the following therapeutic approaches rather than applying a single, rigid approach only. Just as every individual is unique, every session should be uniquely suited for your needs, preferences and goals. I am happy to discuss as much or as little about the therapeutic approaches as you’d like throughout our sessions together.

  • Acceptance and commitment (ACT) therapy
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy skills
  • Emotion focused therapy
  • Solution focused therapy
  • Existential
  • Somatic

Let’s Learn About One Another! I’ll Go First..

I’m a big fan of a good cup of tea, cuddling with my 9 year old cat Isabelle (affectionally called Bun) and spending time in nature, especially our beautiful Ontario Near North where I humbly acknowledge that I am a settler on indigenous lands.

I was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic connective tissue disorder when I was two and a half years old. I’ve lived through fifteen surgeries to date and wrote a bit about it on The Mighty.

I have my Usui Reiki Master attunement and have almost completed my Master Teacher certification.

Watching reality TV is my (not so) guilty pleasure!

I was born legally blind. After many eye surgeries I continue to be visually impaired. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m grateful for the wisdom blindness has taught me.

I’m an Aquarius and highly sensitive person.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

― Maya Angelou