Counselling for Individuals, Couples and Families
Helping people recover and restore balance after experiencing difficult life events.
Feel better about yourself & the world. Reaffirm your dignity. Live your life purpose.
Family and Couples Therapy
Reduce conflicts and create more harmonious relationships.
Consulting & Supervision
Supportive work with staff teams and therapist professional development.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing! A. Roy
Hello! I’m Cathy
Dr. Cathy Richardson is a counsellor and University professor specializing in the training of counsellors, social workers and human service professionals.
Her particular expertise lies in helping people recover from various forms of violence or mistreatment. She provides training and clinical supervision, helping individuals and organizations to orchestrate positive social responses to people who have been harmed. She also works in the areas of life transformation, grief, loss and Indigenous healing.
I can be described as a collaborative counsellor, using response-based practice, systemic family therapy, working with life stories and studying histories of resistance to adversity. This holistic approach can help people who are living with anxiety, depression, grief, loss and historical violence.
I use the term “collaborative” because you are the expert of your own life and I help facilitate the exploration.
After experiencing traumatic events, such as violence, separation, harassment or being fired from work, people can experience a sense of humiliation and being “acted upon.” Response-based practice helps to highlight what people already know, do and value in the face of mistreatment and helps to reaffirm and reassert the sense of dignity and self-worth.
I live and work on the unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka, traditional caretakers of this part of Mother Earth.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is response-based practice ?
RBP is an approach based on the study of human interaction and how people respond to events, particularly to violence and humiliation. RBP involves looking at how humans resist mistreatment and strive to maintain their dignity while maximizing safety. This approach is based on exploring what people already know, do and value. And it is about restoring human connection.
What is anxiety ?
Today, there are many stressors and pressures involved in the modern world and making a living. Relationships can be challenged when we don’t have adequate time for each other. Anxiety and panic attacks can be indicative of a “system’s overload “, sometime resulting from a lack of human connection, support and positive social responses. Many people start experiencing anxiety after having a negative or humiliating experience at home, school or work. Anxiety can be partially relieved through medication, and talk therapy can be helpful in identifying patterns, possibilities for safety and dignity and loving connection.
What is depression ?
Depression can take various forms and can be describes as having low energy, feelings of hopelessness and low self-worth. Depression can involve having a despondence, a sense of numbness, “shutting down” on a emotional and energetic level. Situational depression may be temporary and related to deep loss. A longer-term depression can be linked to undiagnosed and untreated historical violence or childhood trauma. Hope can be found through working on the emotional and intellectual level to regain a sense of balance, hope and purpose.
What is a culturally sensitive approach to counselling ?
Cultural safety refers to an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere that is created in the counselling setting. A culturally sensitive approach refers to the reality that we do not all think and believe the same things across cultures, that we may live in different worldviews. Our perceptions of family, love, relationships, behaviour and social relations may differ somewhat. For example, some cultures are more individually-oriented in their outlook while others are more collectivist or group-focused. I am interested in working with clients across difference and in understanding how they envision ‘a happy marriage’, peaceful co-existance in a family or the meaning of life. I do a lot of work with Indigenous people: I myself am Métis. This means I am aware of the context of historical colonialism and the presence of racism in society. I also try to keep myself informed on certain global struggles, movements of groups of people and areas of war and attack. It is my belief that everyone has the right to belong and to feel respected and heard. Everyone is redeemable and counselling can offer a safe space to explore and improve our lives.
I’m not currently taking appointments, but feel free to contact me with the form below if you have any questions on my practice.
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