I am a fluently bilingual (English/French) Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker with 28 years of experience counselling youth (age 16+), adults, couples and families.
My passion is empowering people to improve aspects of themselves, their relationships and their lives.
I have extensive experience and qualifications to assist with the following challenges:
Abandonment by a parent (at any age)
Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)
Highly Sensitive Personality traits
Narcissistic partners or parents
Parent/teen or parent/adult child conflict-disconnection
Parenting Highly Sensitive Children/Teens
Toxic thoughts/beliefs & habits
PSYCHODYNAMIC (INSIGHT-ORIENTED) THERAPY
Psychodynamic theory states that events in our childhood shape our personality and have a great influence on our adult lives. Childhood experiences can remain in the unconscious and cause psychological and interpersonal problems in adulthood.
The goal of Psychodynamic Therapy is to help people:
gain valuable insight into their lives and present-day problems
identify unhealthy interpersonal relationship patterns they've developed over time
increase their self-awareness and self-understanding
understand the influence of their past/early life experiences on their present behaviour, reasoning, choices, decisions, struggles and relationships
uncover subconscious/repressed feelings, thoughts, needs, assumptions, beliefs and desires that maintain patterns of distress, unhealthy coping mechanisms and self-sabotage.
I practice in an integrative/eclectic way, selectively applying techniques from evidence-based psychotherapy approaches, in order to accurately address your unique needs and goals.
My therapeutic work is rooted in my steadfast belief in the worth of all people and their right to self-determination.
Below you will see a few of the counselling approaches that I draw from in therapy sessions.
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT)
ACT is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behaviour therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with inner emotions
Accept issues and hardships, while committing to change behaviour
Learn not to overreact to unpleasant feelings
Listen to the way you talk to yourself about traumatic events, problematic relationships, physical limitations, and other issues
Accept your psychological experiences and change your attitude and emotional state in a positive way
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY (CBT)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a well-established psychotherapy treatment based on the idea that our central/core beliefs, attitudes and thoughts about ourselves, others and the world around us determine our feelings and behaviour. We all begin to develop these beliefs/ideas in childhood as we interact with people and experience life.
Left unchecked, our negative/unrealistic/inaccurate thoughts can cause us significant emotional distress, low self-esteem, relationship problems and mental health challenges since we feel and react (behave) based on how we think.
The goal of CBT is to help people learn to identify, question and change the unhealthy, distorted patterns of thinking that underlie their difficulties.
CBT is structured, goal-oriented and practical. Its strategies and skills, when practiced during and between sessions, can yield satisfying results.
For more information about CBT:
EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED THERAPY
EFT is a short-term (8-20 sessions) and structured approach to couples' therapy developed by psychologists Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg in the 1980s. According to its website (https://iceeft.com), EFT is considered one of the most empirically validated forms of couples therapy.
A secure attachment between two romantic partners typically provides a much-needed "safe haven" - a way to obtain comfort, a deep connection and a buffer against stress.
Secure attachment begins in childhood when there is at least one emotionally available, empathic and nurturing parent/primary caregiver on a consistent (enough) basis. When this isn't the case, however, a child becomes insecure, anxious and mistrustful and learn that he/she can't rely on others for help.
He/she will, by default, develop ways to cope with their sadness, hurt, fear and stress on their own, eg. by shutting down or angry escalations/protests - habits/patterns that will impact their future love relationships and close friendships.
As adults, any distress or distance/separation in our close relationships (partner, relative or good friend) is interpreted by our brains as danger/a threat to our security. Losing the emotional connection to a loved one as a child and as an adult threatens our sense of security and triggers a primal fear of abandonment in the amygdala (fear centre of our brain).
Fight, Flight or Freeze Reaction
When incoming information from our partner/loved one is positive/reassuring or familiar, the amygdala is calm. However, when it perceives threatening or unfamiliar information, it increases our brain's anxiety level.
When our brain's anxiety level is elevated, we go into self-preservation mode: often doing what we did to survive/cope in childhood when we felt afraid, anxious, panicked, sad, insecure (threatened), etc. and our parents/primary caregivers weren't available (able or willing) to comfort us and help us manage these frightening feelings.
When we are triggered as adults in our romantic/close relationships, we tend to repeat unhealthy coping patterns from our formative years. EFT can help to unwind these counterproductive, automatic reaction patterns (Fight, Flight or Freeze) that cause and maintain distress and dissatisfaction in our most important relationships.
EFT's primary goal is to help couples:
replace old, negative interaction patterns such as "Pursue-Withdraw" or "Criticize-Defend"
create new sequences of emotional responses/bonding interactions to increase and maintain trust, safety and closeness
develop a more secure emotional bond by learning to express deep, underlying emotions from a place of vulnerability and ask for their needs to be met
learn to be emotionally available, empathic and engaged with each other
transform the relationship into a haven and healing environment for both partners
More information about EFT can be found here:
International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
Information about Attachment Theory
Developed by British Psychoanalyst John Bowlby (1907-1990) can be found here:
Benefits of Counselling
According to clients, counselling with me has helped them:
feel less distressed and anxious
achieve resilience and stability
become less emotionally reactive
discover practical solutions to problems
improve their self-esteem and confidence
tap into their courage
take more (healthy) risks
create more satisfying relationships
change unwanted behaviours
challenge taken-for-granted beliefs
learn empowering coping skills
reach a deeper understanding of themselves and others
get "unstuck" from a long-standing struggle
view their problems from a more positive perspective
prevent mild problems from becoming severe
CONTACT VERONICA FABIAN COUNSELLING
Get in touch with Veronica Fabian Counselling for a free, initial 20 minute consult.
In-Person (after quarantine is lifted)
$ 125 (tax included) for 1 hour of counselling / psychotherapy
The services of a Registered Social Worker, like myself, are covered under many health insurance plans.