From Yesterday to Here and Now

When I was four years of age, my parents and I immigrated from Germany to Canada. I quickly learned the English language and adapted to the Canadian way of life. From an early age on, I had an interest in the use of words to communicate ideas. I was curious about many things, including nature and science. I liked learning and did well in school. I entered university on a scholarship, and obtained my B.Sc. Following graduation, I taught high school for one year, and then returned to university. I had an interest in the dramatic arts and English Literature. but eventually decided to pursue a career in psychology.

Like many adults who pursue a career in the helping professions, my interest in the field of psychology has its emotional roots in my childhood experiences, growing up in a home where there was much family conflict. In 1983 I graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology.

While living in the United States for one year, I worked with extremely disturbed patients in a state psychiatric hospital, and also provided brief psychological treatment in an outpatient clinic setting. I then worked on the psychiatric ward of a general hospital and also provided outpatient counselling for a number of years, helping clients with a variety of problems, including depression, anxiety disorders, life adjustment difficulties, coping with illness, marital conflict, low self-esteem and relationship difficulties. I have extensive experience working in the disability management field providing consultation and assessment.

I consider it important to be sensitive to the ways in which childhood experiences can affect the psychological health of the clients I treat, since these early experiences can deeply influence our ability in adulthood to express intimacy. I believe that the extent of psychological damage caused by inadequate parenting is often hidden and unrecognized. The sad irony is that parents who have difficulty valuing their own children in a truly loving way are themselves childhood victims of inadequate love. It is a tragic legacy passed on from one generation to the next, until the chain is finally broken.

Throughout life we are always faced with new challenges and opportunities to enrich our experience and activate our potential. Personal growth is never a completed process and we can all benefit from discovering new things about ourselves.