Counselling in Kitchener
Therapist Profile: Karen Grierson
I practice counselling and therapy in Kitchener under the supervision of a Registered Psychologist or Registered Psychological Associate who are members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
Individual and relationship counselling is as much about learning who we are as individuals as it is learning who we are as partners in relationship. Issues often result from not understanding what we want, then not clearly communicating our expectations to others. It’s no surprise: muddy self-awareness + muddy communications = relationship chaos.
For many people, developing healthy communications in relationships is an uphill struggle against a lifetime of inherited family values and models, our own bad habits, and shortcuts based in assumptions. Where counselling often helps most is in the intersection of learning to identify our own needs and wants, learning to authentically share those needs and wants, and building better tools for solution development. Counselling is also helpful in learning how to listen to others. When exploring all of the factors that influence our development, therapists and clients find a rich mix of stories, characters, and (perhaps most importantly) resources that clients in crisis have sometimes simply forgotten. The work of good therapy is to reconnect clients with a sense of their own skills and successes, to help them build — individually or as a relationship — better skills for managing both daily and life-long challenges.
A key tenet of counselling is this: “Change only occurs once the need to change exceeds the pain of staying the same.”
I've been a professional communicator in one form or another for almost twenty years, first as a technical writer in the world of software/IT; later, I trained in the family systems approach to individual and relationship therapy. I use a flexible combination of approaches based on the individual needs of the client. I help clients look at the internal and external systems that influence conscious and subconscious behaviours and decision-making patterns, and also at the strengths and resources available to, and within, the client. Building on the basic Buddhist tenets of authentic presence, mindfulness, and compassion for Self and others, together we can help you build a different picture of both personal and relational issues, and in that difference find new ways of growing towards your goals.
I am open to, and experienced with, a broad spectrum of relationship styles and compositions, gender identities, and sexual orientations, including 25+ years with both the BDSM and polyamory communities in Southwestern Ontario. I also have an intimate understanding of the stresses inherent in working in the high-tech community of Waterloo Region, and the impacts those stresses can have on personal and family life.
In addition to being part of the Dalton network, I am an AAMFT* pre-clinical member (#124747), working under the guidance of a local AAMFT-certified supervisor. I have also trained as a support group facilitator for those who have offended sexually through Waterloo Region’s Community Justice Initiatives.