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Hi there! My name is Sue Dockeray and I am a psychologist who works with individuals and couples who are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, life transitions, chronic illness, grief, trauma, and relationship problems of all types. As a person and a therapist, I am always humbled by the people that enter my office, and do not take for granted the strength and courage it takes to seek help and open up. I feel so privileged to be a part of someone’s process towards healing and health.
No one modality works for everyone thus I take an integrative approach to therapy, which means I use various modalities depending on the needs and preferences of the client. I outline the various modalities below.
Certain elements are key in humanistic therapy so that there can be a context for change. The therapeutic relationship is one of the biggest factors. I value a safe, collaborative, empathic and attuned relationship with all of my clients. I also believe that a
resilience and a capacity to heal resides within us all, from which we can become the best version of who we want to be.
I am particularly informed by attachment theory and research. The way we feel, think, and act is based on past, earlier relationships. We will look at how things in your past keep getting repeated in the present day. Whether it be a specific relationship pattern, being crippled by debilitating anxiety that keeps you stuck over and over again, or past traumas where you had to adapt in the moment in order to survive, we will look at how those ways of relating and being in the world are no longer serving you. We will untangle, explore, process, your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, and, within the safe therapeutic relationship, work towards a greater sense of connection towards yourself and others.
Systems theory takes into account the fact that our problems don’t arise just within ourselves. Our context matters. We will look at how your genetics, mental and physical health, age, relationships, gender, power, race, sexuality, and resources and the relationship between them all influence your way of being in the world. We will look at all the various contexts that have influenced your narrative and the way you understand and live your life.
Emotion-focused therapy can be used to work with individuals, couples and families to understand and potentially change your emotional reactions. It is based on attachment theory and research, in that we feel happier when we are lovingly connected to ourselves and significant others. In terms of couple therapy, I will help you become aware of how negative interactional cycles with each other are created and maintained as a function of unmet emotional and attachment needs. We work towards creating new emotional experiences and interactions that help to create a more secure and loving bond.
Life is hard and, as much as we would not like to admit it nor feel it, struggle and pain exists wherever life exists. However, how we choose to identify with that pain will influence whether or not we suffer. Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) is an empirically-based treatment that, as ACT trainer, Russ Harris describes, “helps clients create a meaningful life based on their values, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it”. Through mindfulness and acceptance strategies, you will learn how to be in the present moment with your thoughts and emotions rather than over-identifying with them or avoiding them. Through behavioural and commitment strategies, you will move towards relationships, jobs, health, and other goals that are valuable to you so that you can lead a rich and meaningful life.
At the very heart of my practice are the combination of all of these therapies that will see you heal, enjoy satisfying relationships with yourself and others, as well as be able to be in the present moment with openness. In doing so, you can become aware and see patterns and process emotions, and work towards changing things that are not working for you, while also learning to be at peace with the things you cannot change, so that you can live a full life.
I have a Master’s of Art degree in Counselling Psychology from McGill University (2004) and I have a post-graduate diploma in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Argyle Institute of Human Relations. Most of my work has been in education and private practice working with emerging adults, adults, and couples. I am a licensed psychologist with the Order of Psychologists of Quebec and I can provide receipt for insurance purposes.