Couples and Families

My approach to couples’ and family therapy is related to response-based practice.  This means that the dignity of each person is of the utmost importance.  I work systemically, which means I consider the family as an eco-system, with various dynamics, inter-relationships, needs and loves.  I observe the dynamics, make suggestions for improved interaction and community, help identify problem-solving approaches and ways of becoming more connected to one another.

Over the past two decades, I have taught couples’ and family therapy at a number of institutions, including the University of Montreal, the University of Victoria, City University of Seattle, and the University of British Columbia.  My influences including the response-based team, Allan Wade, Linda Coates, Shelly Bonnah as well as Gregory Bateson, Murray Bowen, Monica McGoldrick, Robin Routledge, The Fifth Province, the Milan Team and narrative approaches.  I also integrate the work of brief and solution focused-therapy, such as the work of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer.  This involves trying to hold up families during times of pain, accompanying them through times of hardship, identifying solutions to problems and promoting their highest aspirations for happy, harmonious and meaningful relationships.

Cathy’s work has inspired, critiqued, enthralled and chastised me in helpful heartfelt ways across our multiple locations of power and subjugation. Cathy holds a fabulous and complex critical analysis that she has shared through teachings and writing, and this analysis has contributed immeasurably to my own ethical stance without which I couldn’t work. She is a brilliant and gifted practitioner and facilitator, and her compassion and ethics provide structures of safety that make it possible others to stretch themselves beyond their own locations and knowings into new transformational territories. 
Cathy’s writings and presentations are both generous and generative, and help feed a hunger I witness in practitioners, academics and activists to engage with a decolonizing ethic in all of our paid and unpaid transformation work. Cathy’s work is a gift from the margins that comes from struggle, at great cost to her as a Metis woman, and to my benefit as a white settler Canadian. Cathy’s work calls for an accountability from academia, practice and activism to respond to its demands for us to collectively decolonize and resist erasure.
Vikki Reynolds

Contact Me

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+1 438 862 2261

cathy@cathyrichardsoncounsellor.com