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Hello and welcome, I am Heather Dunnigan, a Provisionally Registered Psychologist. I have earned my masters’ degree and completed my practicum during the pandemic and so I am happy to be able to meet with clients in person!
I believe there exists a natural drive within each of us to continually pursue a meaningful and contented life, and I view counselling as a brave step towards that goal. I am passionate about helping clients identify, dismantle, and re-story the unhelpful messages we receive from ourselves, others, and society to create meaningful alternative stories that embody strength, resilience, and compassion.
Currently, I am seeing individual adults and have a special interest in working with parents. I focus my approach to therapy through feminist, culturally conscious, HAES (health at every size), and attachment lenses. I value collaboration with clients as experts in their own lives and adapt my approach according to client needs. I use a number of therapeutic skills and techniques including self- compassion, dialectical behaviour, strengths-based, narrative, and internal family systems. I also aim to provide a safe(r) space in therapy for supporting and exploring topics such as gender, sexuality, poly, queer, and trans ways of being in the world.
A bit about me:
As a third year Master of Counselling student, I have had the privilege of working with a diverse set of individuals (youth, children, those in treatment settings and with members of the marginalized community) which has given me a great appreciation and understanding for those in all walks of life. From my time in this work thus far, I’ve realized that people are so resilient and have the capacity to heal by reframing their problems and reconnecting with both nature and their communities.
To fully support the healing process, one must first understand that humans are complex, presenting with both strengths and difficulties. It is a gift to have the ability to empower future clients by recognizing their strengths and helping them make sense of their context, and current ways of existing in this world.
My grounding theory combines aspects of both Psychodynamic Theory and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. Psychodynamic Theory provides an opportunity to understand client problems by uncovering unhealthy coping mechanisms and dysfunctional relational patterns. Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is the attempt to work towards a balance of acceptance and change and integrate skills such as mindfulness and distress tolerance into daily practices.
A bit about me:
• I love pottery, in my spare time you can find me on the pottery wheel making wonky mugs and bowls.
• Rainy days are my absolute favourite, and when it rains, I enjoy baking up a storm, cuddling my two pups, reading a good historical novel, or drinking tea while trying to piece together a 3D puzzle.
• As someone who was born in South Africa, I have a deep curiosity when it comes to learning about other cultures. Every chance I get I like to travel and explore new countries.
I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University in 2019. Before starting my journey as a Registered Provisional Psychologist, I spent 2.5 years post-graduation, working as a mental health and addictions counsellor while living in a small and remote community in the Northwest Territories.
Through this experience, I was able to work with a diverse population experiencing a wide range of presenting issues. During my time up North, I gained a huge appreciation for many things, including Edmonton’s winters, and just how difficult fishing is (at least for me!).
Therapy can be a scary (and courageous!) step to take for your wellness. I work to understand your life through your perspective, as this is after all, your journey. You bring unique experiences, values, strengths, and knowledge to therapy that deserve to be respected and honored. I strive to establish a safe, non-judgmental space for you throughout your therapeutic process.
I use a trauma informed, strengths-based approach to treatment which means that I tailor counseling and treatment to your individual needs, while focusing on your skills. I incorporate Solution-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Gottman’s Method for couples and families, and Play Therapy interventions to help you gain awareness and work towards your goals. I enjoy working with youth, adults, couples, and families.
A few things about me:
I want to first start by thanking you for taking the time to view my profile. Choosing a therapist can be incredibly overwhelming, and it is so important to select someone that you feel connected to. To help in making the right decision for you, I would like to talk about how I work therapeutically.
It is my belief that change cannot happen in the context of judgement or shame. Therefore, my priority as your therapist is to build a safe environment defined by unconditional acceptance and support. I aim to build a genuine connection with each client through mutual respect, warmth, and humor as I have found in my own healing journey that these are key ingredients to growth.
I tend to utilize an integrative approach, drawing from several different therapies. I seek to tailor therapy to each client, as I do not believe in a one size fits all approach. Areas that we may work on together include mending the relationship we have with ourselves and others, repairing negative beliefs about the self and learning to connect with and heal a traumatized nervous system. I draw primarily from Attachment Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Somatic Experiencing. I also often incorporate self-compassion, mindfulness and enjoy including creative elements into my therapeutic work as much as possible.
The populations I work with include children, teens, adult individuals, and families. Experientially, I worked with children and adolescents for several years. In this role I was responsible for teaching social cognition, emotional regulation, and self-awareness to kids ages 7-12 years old. I also supported parents of children struggling with various diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as general social difficulties such as bullying, self-esteem and communication. I also thoroughly enjoy working with teens and adolescents as I believe they are vastly misunderstood and in need of support and compassion.
Additionally, I have specialized training in Emotionally Focused Family Therapy and am passionate about healing damaged familial relationships through building secure bonds with an emphasis on the importance of learning connection before correction.
Now that you understand who I am as a therapist, here are a few things about me as a person:
Lastly, I will leave you with this. I see you, I see your struggle and I want to acknowledge the immense strength and bravery it takes to seek therapy and expose yourself to the painful but rewarding healing process. It is an incredible honor to be included in that process and I am looking forward to meeting you.
I recently graduated with a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from Athabasca University and am now a Registered Provisional Psychologist. My background also includes experience in neuroscience and psychological assessment and because of this I have developed a deep appreciation and passion for the brain. I try to integrate this knowledge to better understand all the factors that might be impacting your unique situation.
In a counseling environment, I tend to work from a person-centered, solution-focused approach. Change is constant, certain, and possible. That’s why I believe in adopting a strength-based perspective to shift focus from problems to solutions, foster hope and empower individuals towards positive change.
I recognize that counseling needs to be flexible and inclusive and that it works best when there is collaboration. That means tailoring therapy by being integrative and that might mean using techniques from other models as well, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and Gottmans’ Couples Therapy. You are the expert of your own story, but we can work together to help you reach your goals and get the most out of the therapy experience.
Therapy should be a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings. I strive to build positive, respectful, and open therapeutic relationships that can help create the foundation for exploration and growth.
A bit about me:
I recently graduated with a Master of Counselling from Athabasca University and registered as a provisional psychologist. Prior to this I worked as a Registered Social Worker and earned two previous bachelor degrees in Arts and Social Work.
I strive to build therapeutic relationships on mutual respect, trust and understanding because I believe this foundation creates the safe space required for individuals to navigate the therapeutic journey. I believe that every person brings with them a unique set of strengths, resources, experiences and knowledge that should be honoured and validated.
This belief informs my approach to counselling, which is from a strengths-based, collaborative, and integrative framework. In other words, I want to work with you to understand your narrative, as you experience it. I believe that bringing awareness to different areas can help to pave the way to achieving goals. Additionally, I believe that focusing on strengths can help empower individuals, leading to greater personal growth and well-being.
I tend to draw upon techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Mindfulness-based therapies in my counselling. Saying this, I also want to work collaboratively with you, to the best of my ability, to help explore your needs and work towards healing.
A few things about me:
It can be a difficult decision to come to therapy. To acknowledge there is something in our lives that isn’t working for us is scary. But whatever you are going through, and whatever you have been through, you are capable of change and healing. Together, we can explore how.
I graduated from the University of Calgary with a Master of Social Work. How does social work fit with mental health therapy? Social workers are found in a number of different roles, and at the bachelor’s degree level can work at a wide variety of community agencies. At the master’s level, they’re qualified to provide therapy, just like psychologists.
When I entered social work, I always knew I wanted to become a therapist. My own life experiences fueled my desire to help others. I struggled with mental health challenges as a teen, but, growing up in rural communities in the 90s and early 2000s, those challenges weren’t well understood in my environment. I often felt alone, and as a young adult I spent a lot of time trying to be ok without knowing how to actually do that. My motivation for being in this field has always been to help others know that they are not alone and that there is hope.
I work from a trauma-informed approach, and draw on elements of Somatic Experiencing. In therapy, that means listening not only to the story you are telling, but to the story your body is telling. Pain and trauma affect not only our minds, but our bodies. The body provides valuable clues that, if we recognize them, can lead us to a place of greater well-being.
My work is also influenced by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the mindfulness techniques it includes. ACT encourages us to reject the conditioning many of us have received that tells us some feelings are bad and should be avoided at all costs. It challenges us to embrace our inner emotional landscape, and by doing so invite peace into our lives.
Ultimately, I will tailor my approach to your own unique needs. In the meantime, I honour your strength and bravery in being willing to move forward on your healing journey.
A bit about me:
The basics about me are first that I’m a psychologist with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. My love of working with kids and teens comes from working as a school teacher and as a school counsellor and I have loved my experiences working with adults as a vocational rehabilitation counsellor. It’s been so inspiring to me to be welcomed into the world of others to share in the journeys of people from all walks of life.
When it comes to finding solutions for the challenges that life brings, I firmly believe that we’re stronger together. Asking for help gives us the opportunity to learn from one another and shed light on the strengths that we forgot we had inside. It can be one of the scariest things to open up, but I believe that when we create space to be honest, non-judgmental and compassionate with ourselves, we can see new possibilities and venture towards them with a renewed sense of mastery and courage.
I believe in the saying that comes from Narrative Therapy which states that “the problem is the problem, the person is not the problem”. This implies doing away with the blame, shame and stigma that come with life challenges and mental health struggles, instead working together to overcome the problem. When it comes to my therapeutic approach, I’ll often draw on Narrative practices or Solution-Focused questions to help map out strategies for moving forward and determining our goals together. There are times when we’ll use Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) to help get through presenting concerns such as anxiety or depression. We might decide on therapeutic tasks that involve some creative expression or mindfulness practices.
When working with children, youth and families, I’ve learned to engage clients at their developmental level, helping young people to overcome life’s tough problems in a playful, empathetic and hopeful way. With kids, I believe that parents and caregivers are important teachers and team-members when it comes to making changes that last. When appropriate, I will collaborate with parents and create opportunities to educate them on the skills and attitudes that can help create changes outside of therapy.
A bit about me:
I recognize that seeing a therapist can be scary. The idea of becoming vulnerable by sharing your inner most thoughts and feelings is hard. Allowing me to join alongside you on your journey through therapy is a very honouring and rewarding experience. I enjoy celebrating in the steps and milestones that occur throughout your journey. The psychology environment provides a non-judgemental, safe, and encouraging space where, together, you are able to see that change is possible!
I am a Registered Provisional Psychologist with a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from Adler University in Vancouver, BC. I work from a humanistic perspective which involves discovering the root of the problem. This is done through exploring your frame of reference to the world, understanding how your experiences shape your perception, and the lens in which you see yourself. I incorporate attachment theory, positive psychology, mindfulness, and aspects of systems therapy.
I have training in cognitive behavioral therapy which involves challenging unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, narrative approaches which involves evaluating stories we develop about ourselves, and compassionate inquiry which explores what is underneath the way we portray ourselves to the world.
I come from a primary healthcare setting where I have been given the opportunity to work with a variety of presenting problems in adults and adolescents.
A little about me:
What does one put here? My name is Ashley and I’m a psychologist? That I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2012 from the University of Saskatchewan seems a little stuffy, but necessary.
My philosophy on life and change? I’m still working that out. I guess what I probably need to say is that I do this work because I love to celebrate the successes, absurdities, and challenges of my clients.
I recognize that seeking out therapy is a challenging decision for many and I have the opportunity to work with people through what are some of the most difficult times in their lives. I like to approach my clients with warmth, humor, and directness and I work hard to make my office a safe place for people to explore the darkness and the light that exists within them, and indeed all of us.
If we are going to get down to the technicalities here, my theoretical orientation is an interpersonal perspective which in short means that I work to understand how we relate to others is critical to our mental health. We are all trying to be happy we are all trying to get our emotional needs met, but sometimes we just need a little help with that.
I apply this perspective to a variety of issues including substance use, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, domestic violence and abusive behaviors, and interpersonal conflict. Change is hard work and I am honored to work with my clients to achieve it.
A little about me:
I look forward to meeting you!
* Currently Ashley does NOT take appointments for couples therapy and adolescent therapy.
I love the work that I do. I love learning about what makes you thrive, and helping you discover what you truly want to see come to life within you. When people hear what I do for work, they often say something along the lines of “That must be challenging/hard/sad”. At times, my work can certainly be challenging, but it’s also an immense privilege to sit with my clients and hear their stories. It’s incredible to see their progress and growth, and witness all the ways they feel connected. Though there are moments of sadness and pain, there’s also beauty in the joy, growth, and connection my clients experience.
I work with couples and adult individuals. Therapy takes trust, and vulnerability. I strive to create a space for my clients where we can be open, honest, and work towards your goals at a pace that feels comfortable for you.
I enjoy working with couples, no matter how long you’ve been together. Sue Johnson says: Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other: Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? Do you need me, rely on me? I want to help you connect meaningfully in your relationships, to feel seen, heard, cared for, and connected with your partner. I’ve studied Gottman Therapy, and Emotionally-Focused therapy, which are grounded in deepening and strengthening our connection to our partner. We can learn skills and work through tough issues and hurts of the past to increase the quality of your relationship.
I also work with adult individuals. Ultimately, I want to help you feel at home within yourself. I believe you are your own best expert. I work from a variety of approaches, including Satir Family Systems. Together, we can uncover what you truly value in life, and better understand who you are. I want to help you align your decisions and behaviors with what you value, feel, and desire.
I see huge growth and changes when clients stay invested in therapy outside of our sessions, so I’m happy to send handouts, book suggestions, videos, or podcasts to help your continued growth, if that’s your cup of tea.
I hold an Honors, Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Psychology from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology from Trinity Western University. I also specialize in perinatal mental health, and maternal health. If you’ve experienced the loss of a pregnancy or a traumatic birth, You may have loved ones who have no idea what you’ve experienced, and you may feel isolated and alone in your experience. We can navigate this together, and all the complexities of how you feel and how it impacts your relationships.
Lastly, a little about myself. Therapy is so personal, and I only think it’s fair I share a little about who I am with you:
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to work in a profession where I was able to lend a helping hand to others. I stumbled upon the world of psychology accidentally while I was completing a counselling course as part of my undergraduate degree in Education. There was a strong feeling from within that told me I would one day love to be a psychologist and here I am.
My passion for working with children and adolescents comes from my background in Elementary Education. As long as I can remember I have always enjoyed working with this population and it has been a privilege to be able to apply my previous knowledge to support development and growth in the therapeutic space.
A strong collaboration between myself, my client, supportive family members and other professionals is important to me. I call my office the “no judgment zone” where we are able to feel comfortable exploring various challenges and working towards finding viable solutions.
There is no cookie cutter or “one size fits all” approach when it comes to therapy. I work very much from a client-centred approach to understand the world as you see it. I draw from areas including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy. Part of therapy is us deciding together what approach will work best for you.
I know that therapy can be challenging, including the decision to start. Acknowledging that you have a challenge you are willing to work at is a strength and I am here to recognize it.
A bit about me:
My journey here to Reframed began in University where I took a part-time job as a youth worker with high-risk youth. This position led me down a path that included working in addictions, as well as with a variety of adolescent forensic populations over the past 10 years.
This unique and diverse population provided me with experience in adolescent development, trauma, mood and personality disorders. Further, I was granted a front row seat to witness the raw resilience demonstrated by clients from various backgrounds. Additionally, this front line work provided me with the motivation to complete a master’s degree in counselling psychology in order to continue to support those who encounter many of life’s challenges.
Beyond working with adolescent forensic populations, I have previously worked in a private clinic as a therapist with everyday adults dealing with anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, and a number of other common issues that we may face from time to time.
Why is common emphasized you may ask?
While mental health initiatives have come a long way in recent years, I believe it is still vital to normalize these experiences daily and my hope is to contribute to your mental well-being in any way I can. Whether it’s simply unloading everyday stressors and problem-solving, or dealing with depression and anxiety, please feel free to reach out, ask questions and come into our new clinic for an intake session.
A little about me:
If you are looking for a psychologist who can see you for who you are and the possibilities that lie before you, even if you cannot, then you have come to the right place.
I consider my work with clients to be such an honour! They entrust their challenges and vulnerabilities with me in order to the two of us to work in a partnership to help them to see and attain the possibilities that could exist in their life. That trust is the very definition of privilege and the rewards of witnessing the change and the transformation in clients are truly satisfying. I have a wide range of experience with individuals, couples, and families dealing with a variety of issues. This diverse experience has allowed me to watch clients embrace the enormous change that can occur within people who are struggling and often may not be able to see their path forward.
My work focuses on people’s connections with themselves (how they see themselves as a person) and with others, using Attachment Theory. Very often when we have struggles to connect we then find that we experience a variety of issues from depression, to anxiety to personality struggles. By repairing and learning how to better connect, people are able to regulate their emotions in a healthier manner and find that they can attain their goals and dreams. Working with my clients to tailor their therapy to their needs is an essential part of the process and more often than not it requires a blending of different modalities to truly meet client goals. Check out my methods and trainings page if you would like to learn more.
I’m also trained to provide psychoeducational assessments for children ages 6-16. Psychoeducational assessments help determine if there is a learning disability or a behavioural or mood disorder. (anxiety, ADHD, etc.). These assessments provide a window into how children and adolescents are functioning within their different environments, including both school and home. The information that can be learned from an assessment is far more than an IQ and numbers, it provides information that can create successful learning environments, both in school and at home, and can lessen frustration for educators and parents. I wish that I had known more about this when I was a classroom teacher!
I have a special interest in relationship issues and trauma. I enjoy working with people who are struggling in their relationships, whether that is as individuals, couples or families. The relationship dynamics that people find themselves in is often a pattern that can be interrupted, changed and significantly improved.
With healthy, happy relationships people lead healthier more satisfied lives. Using a blend of two very well respected methods, Gottman and Emotion-Focused Therapy, I tackle the practical side of building relationships along with the important work of creating strong, secure connections. Let’s face it, all people want to connect, to feel like they belong and when people struggle with relationships they are lonely and find that they are grieving what they do not have.
Trauma is another area that I have a special interest in. The impact that trauma has on a person’s psychological and physiological functioning is tremendous. Being able to assist clients in processing their trauma and being able to function more effectively in their daily lives is an exciting component of my practice. It requires patience, empathy, and solid training. When working with trauma I utilize mindfulness activities in order to help clients to be in the present moment and be able to ground themselves, this is a small component of a therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which helps clients to be able to find their way out of unhelpful thought patterns. Additionally, I am trained in and utilize EMDR, which is an evidence-based therapy for trauma. I find this work to be especially challenging and rewarding.
So…that tells you about my work and passion in the world of psychology. Now…how about me as a person?
Ok… enough about me, I’m curious and excited to hear about you!