Dr. Dawn's Areas of Clinical & Academic Expertise

Clinical & Counselling Psychology (NOTE: The following are the areas I specialize in helping clients)

  • emotional regulation issues (e.g., experience intense emotions that may result in you hurting yourself, loved ones, and/or others),
  • stress - in life & conflict  (e.g., family &/or work conflict, illness & pain including phantom pain, job loss, car accidents, fire loss, grief pain, betrayal, family violence, care-giving duties, burn-out/exhaustion, lack of assertiveness, conflict management),

  • personal development (e.g., address "Who am I?" in a variety of ways; pre-marital assessments for church & couple growth; and I welcome therapists/healers who want to expand their self-awareness such learning about their countertransference triggers and how to be "more present" with clients),

  • performance issues (e.g., giving a presentation, writing an exam (e.g., EPPP), enhancing a sport performance),

  • phobias & fears (e.g., dentist anxiety, blood & needle fears, fear of flying & driving), and

  • mental health concerns  (e.g., PTSD, borderline trait issues and personality issues, OCD, bi-polar, DID & NOS, dissociation, chronic suicidal thoughts/urges). 

    • *For those wanting to reduce an active addiction to chemicals or alcohol, I am able to serve as a secondary therapist.

Ethics & Related Legal Issues - with a special interest in constructing and teaching a new procedure for seeking consent (relational staged informed consent); designing efficient documentation practices to maximize client privacy; and exploring the harm and prevention of dual relationships, particularly those in counsellor training programs.

Family Violence - assessment & treatment  (includes victims, witnesses, and perpetrators) - I have worked in women's shelters, offered many PEG and process based groups for those who lives have been impacted by FV, as well as was an outreach coordinator for many years.

Multicultural Counselling - with an interest in Arab and Muslim issues and studying ways to adapt Western therapeutic approaches to be more culturally sensitive.  

Professional Development - design and offer training programs to enable staff to offer high quality care.

Online Learning - with a strong focus on building a sense of community online and managing discussions forums that keep students engaged in the online process.

Trauma Psychology - creation of a theoretical treatment model; special interest in the assessment and treatment of DID, complex PTSD, self-harm behaviours, medical trauma, and the impact of working with trauma (e.g. vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue).

My Therapeutic Approaches (to offer to clients, as well as to provide training and/or guidance) -

  • Preferred Treatment Modalities:  Psychodynamic and ego-state therapies with a focus on emotional regulation and attachment repair - Transactional Analysis including integrating Personality Adaptation Personality into our work (as I am a trainer for this very useful personality measure), Structural Dissociation with and without using EMDR; Gestalt/processed based therapies integrating creative expressive arts; Group counselling with an emphasis on process work (for all ages); EMDR; Neurological approaches to promote nervous system regulation (e.g., Somatic Experiencing & attachment based EMDR work including emotionally focused therapy - I completed a 4 day externship -Sue Johnson's work).

  • Additional treatment areas of high competency: Child and play-based therapies, Narrative therapy, Internal Family Systems (IFS), crisis and single session therapy, Adlerian-based positive discipline (classroom management & parenting strategies), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioural Therapy(DBT), and Solution-Focused Therapies (SFT).

For a brief description of the above approaches described, please go to the Counselling page - see question #3