Samantha is on maternity leave and would return in November 2023, if you need further assistance please contact the office.
Hi. I’m Sam and I thank you for taking the time to read a bit about me.
Before I let you know more about who I am, I want to commend you for taking the first step into looking for a therapist. I know it can be a bit scary to think about telling someone else about what you have been carrying and I think it takes tremendous strength to open yourself up to that. I hope you are able to take a moment and thank yourself for even getting to this point.
I’ll be transparent in sharing that it was actually my own losses and failures that lead to me becoming a therapist. In fact, I actually spent my undergraduate years at the University of Alberta believing I was going to become a physician. It was not until my medical school application was rejected that I realized I had never asked myself if that was actually what I wanted to do. Following my undergraduate degree, I spent five years working in a child advocacy centre where I worked frontline in supporting young people and families who have been affected by child abuse. I had the privilege of working alongside the Edmonton Police, the RCMP, Children Services and other medical and mental health professionals and I had the honour of holding the heavy and emotional stories that our clients came in with. In addition to seeing how powerful those emotions are, I also saw how powerful people are in responding to them. And it is because of this work that I went on to complete my Master of Counselling Degree with the City University of Seattle. I wanted to be able to support and assist others who have faced loss and trauma and who have been carrying their own heavy burdens for too long.
Since beginning in the field of psychotherapy, I have taken training in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and therapy which lend well to the treatment of trauma. I am also a certified grief recovery specialist and I have begun exploring the field of existentialism to complement any discussions my clients wish to have about finding purpose or meaning after losses. In addition, I have training in dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) to support those looking to better regulate their emotions and behaviours and I have extensive training in play therapy techniques for my younger clients.
Because of all of this, I find that I work very well with those who have experienced abuse/trauma at any point in life and those that are suffering from grief and loss (including bereavement, the ending of relationships, or more abstract concepts such as a loss of safety or loss of self). I have worked with individuals of all ages with a variety of traumas and losses and I feel so grateful to witness my clients discover their own states of healing and growth.
As I hope you can tell by now, I consider myself an open and authentic therapist and I truly value getting to know my clients in that sense as well. I know that life does not always take us where we planned and I know that many of those detours can cause us a significant amount of pain. If you feel that you are ready, and if you feel that I may be someone who can help you carry such, I invite you to click here to contact me.
In addition to my clinical practice, a significant chunk of my time is devoted to researching, developing, and sharing mental health information with the public. I have taught for Alberta Health Services in the past on a variety of topics pertaining to mental health and I currently have webinars available online through the Institute of Child Psychology. I am also a faculty member at the City University of Seattle.
As the Director of Community Education at Ward and Associates Psychological Services, I have the honour of designing and teaching workshops for our community as well. I truly believe that knowledge is power and I take great pride in being able to share the knowledge of this team. For more information on booking community workshops or presentations, please click here.