Listening to people’s stories
A while ago, someone asked me what I did for a living, and I told them. They said, “oh, that must be so difficult … listening to people’s problems all day long …” somewhat to my own surprise, I just smiled and said, “I don’t listen to people’s problems. I listen to their stories.”
The knowledge and experience I have gained in over 14 years of counselling and psychotherapy mixes well with my creative side. Accompanying my clients on their journey is a creative act. I see this journey as weaving together the strands of our spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual and material aspects, to form a cohesive story.
I want to help people have a good life story. Rather than following someone else’s script or a script from the past that is not useful anymore, I help my clients write and follow their own script, make their own story.
Respect, strength, support
People who work with me say that they like my supportive and respectful style that makes room for all their experiences, from deep sorrow to anger to the wonder that comes from opening the gift of our dreams. They have also told me that they gain strength as I encourage and support them in finding and implementing workable solutions to the challenges they find in their lives.
Good service and a comfortable place to talk
My practice is there for you. I see it as a service, just as any other service. Sometimes we need a plumber, sometimes we need a hairdresser, sometimes it just feels good to have our nails done … well, and sometimes a counsellor helps.
So I want you to feel comfortable. You can see me at my South Vancouver office, or we can arrange for online counselling (also called virtual counselling – using the internet and/or the telephone).
Please drop me a line at moritherapy ( a t ) shaw ( d o t ) ca or call me at 604-618-0830.
What happens at a session?
I begin most sessions by finding out what is currently working for you, how you are already helping yourself, and we build on that. I rarely end a session without asking what was useful or asking, “so where do you want to go from here?”
You deserve good service. Therefore, I base a good deal of what I do on existing research about therapy effectiveness.
Improvement in therapy
Research shows that the effectiveness of counselling can often be predicted from improvement within the first four sessions. Therefore, at the end of the fourth session, I go over what we have done so far to see how much your life has improved and to plan where to go from there. If it turns out that I am not the best person for continuing therapeutic work, I do my best to refer you to a more appropriate service.
Your support system
Research shows that in order for you to create a better life, nothing is more important than to identify, amplify and support your everyday resources. This is why I work in a completely client-centered way, realizing that what I do is of a supportive nature; I do not “cure” you. Rather, I help you improve your life (and enhance those areas that are already quite good!)
Research shows that a good rapport between clients and their counsellors is essential. This is why it is important to me that we like each other. That does not mean that we always have to be “nice” to each other but it does mean that we enjoy each others’ company, that I show you that your progress is important to me, and that I will do whatever it takes to assist you.
One of the ways I do that is by realizing that seeing a counsellor is touchy and vulnerable. Just as you take risks in opening your heart and mind to me, I am also willing to take risks with you, for example by sharing some of my life experience with you if and when that is helpful.
The importance of expectation
Research shows that positive expectations, or hope, is one of the four most important ingredients in effective psychotherapy. My fierce belief that there is hope for absolutely everyone and that everyone has something very valuable to offer is one of the tools that I bring into our sessions.
When our sessions are over, I make sure that I follow up on your progress and keep in touch with you as long as that is comfortable for you.
Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions about how I conduct our sessions.
Who are my clients?
I work with adults from all walks of life. Some of them are small business owners, others are artists, teachers or educators; some of my clients work in the non-profit sector. I have also assisted immigrants who are working on getting comfortable with Canadian culture. A number of my clients are members of the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered (GLBT) community.
My clients want to work with a counsellor who treats them with utmost respect – but also with a sense of humour (that’s because they themselves tend to have a great sense of humour!). They want to improve their lives for themselves but also because they know that by having a better life, they can be more effective in making this world a better place.
If there’s something in your life that could go better, write me or give me a call at 604-618-0830.
Take good care,
Counselling in Vancouver