Trauma Experienced by First Nations / Indigenous People
Indigenous people are often traumatised in ways that others are not. This includes systemic racism, discrimination, and historical trauma — the long-term effects of colonialism and cultural genocide. Many residential school survivors struggle with symptoms caused by trauma, complex trauma, and intergenerational trauma.
Since 1995 I have worked with First Nations people on and off reserve. My experience includes:
- receiving teachings from Cree and Sto:lo First Nation elders and cultural workers
- supporting healing circles as the participating clinician
- supporting children and youth and participating in prayer / sharing circles
- co-facilitating a healing circle for youth experiencing grief and loss
Since 2013, I have provided clinical counselling to First Nations adults, adolescents, and children through Chilliwack Child and Youth Mental Health, Cares Counselling, and Ann Davis Transition Society.
In our private practice, we continue providing psychotherapy to First Nations’ youth and adults.
My clinical expertise is in the area of trauma-informed therapy — supporting those experiencing symptoms of PTSD and Complex PTSD.
Treatment focuses on holistic support with a strength-based and collaborative approach that identifies the strengths of the individual and their community. I help the client develop a balance of their mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
I integrate Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s model of the Circle of Courage into my practice. This medicine wheel model is a holistic way of helping individuals to develop a sense of personal balance. The Circle of Courage is a proven evidence-based model for supporting at-risk youth and provides a strong framework in:
- Sense of Belonging / Attachment
- Sense of Mastery / Achievement
- Sense of Generosity / Altruism
- Sense of Independence / Autonomy
My goal is to encourage clients to take pride in their identity and heritage. I assist them in identifying their strengths that support positive change and healing.
I facilitate Reclaiming Connections parent groups and provide clinical counselling support at healing circles.
My formal training / development in this area includes:
- Cultural awareness training in Grand Prairie, Alberta
- Reclaiming Youth at Risk workshop by Dr. Martin Brokenleg
- First Nations Historical Impact Training Series – Sto:lo First Nation
- San’yas Indifenous Cultural Safety Training Core Mental Health (Provincial Health Services Authority — PHSA)
I am registered with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA).
Funding for residential school survivors or those suffering from historical trauma is available. Please contact me for details.