Open, Honest, Direct, and Loving.
Each of us must walk our own journey on the path of enlightenment & self-awareness.
This walk in life will be filled with times of contentment, with victories and with struggles. The challenge is to experience the richness of life– including love, happiness, accomplishment, sorrow, pain, loss, grief– and yet not be owned or consumed by it. Emotions are fleeting, but too often we become victim to escaping or chasing them.
I believe in the individual’s right to live life as they see fit, as long as they are not doing immediate or intentional harm to themselves or others. I love my work so much because I help people heal and realize their human potential. My chief concerns are increasing your well-being and awareness.
Gratitude is a daily practice of mine. Like any other habit or skill, gratitude needs to be trained and conditioned regularly if it is to become instilled in us.
Yoga, meditation, and exercise are a part of my weekly routine but I follow the flow of my body with regard to how diligently pursue these endeavors.
I am a father and at most times a successful and loving parent to my two boys (9 & 5).
NON-JUDGMENT – LOVING COMPASSION – GENUINE & HONEST
“James has provided me with formidable insights into my own nature and being. James is not only incredibly easy to relate to on a personal level, but is also able to attentively listen to and understand the problems a patient is facing.
James provides his patients with immediate solutions and information on how to change your own life. He provided me with perspective and taught me how to be happier, more confident and secure with who I am.”
– Eryn K.
Helping people make positive changes in their lives through learning and empowerment.
If you are struggling in life please book a free consult to see if we have a connection and if you feel I can help. Below is a list of some of the most common concerns my clients have before we begin working together, click the Schedule An Appointment button to get started.
- Personal/Professional Stress
- Life Transitions
- Anger Management
“At first I only had a chance to talk about 5 minutes with James, but they were so powerful that I asked if we could meet again. Soon the journey of our 6 sessions together begun. As I write this, tears of happiness well up because I did accomplish so much!
I have had counsellors in the past so I know the value of Counselling. It brought me where I am now– 20 years being clean after 7 years as a heroin addict. I took the challenge to talk to James because there were some lose ends I had to deal with. Thank-you James for pushing me in the right direction and helping me understand MYSELF better!”
– Alber D.
Technique plays a smaller role in the positive outcome for a client then many would guess, rather it is client readiness for change and connection with therapist that account for the most change. With that being said, it is still an important part. I have adopted many different styles as I realize “one size does not fit all”. Instead, through collaboration we will discover which styles best address your concerns.
Ranked roughly in order most commonly used in my practice:
- Humanistic Therapy
- Existential Positive Psychology
- Jungian Psychology
- Family Systems Theory
- Attachment Theory
Not only is no specific modality of psychotherapy consistently superior to any other for any particular presenting problem (e.g., generalized anxiety, panic, phobias, depression, alcohol or drugs, grief, disordered eating, marital or sexual problems, children or family, work, stress), but Therapists do not differ in their effectiveness as clinicians.
Given that, a client-directed approach considers the client’s thoughts and ideas most important, time should be allocated to jointly set the agenda, agreeing on the topics to be discussed each session. Thus, the client’s concerns are solicited and discussed prior to those of the clinician. After exploring and attending to the client’s thoughts and concerns, the clinician may proceed with offering his or her own reactions and observations in response. Further, when working from a client-directed perspective, a skilled clinician will not only respond to the client’s thoughts, but will build on the client’s ideas in an effort to work together and collaboratively create a better, more useful understanding of the client.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Helps the individual get in contact with a transcendent sense of self—the you that is always there observing and experiencing and yet distinct from one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories. It teaches individuals to “just notice,” accept, and embrace their private events, especially previously unwanted ones. Helping the individual clarify their personal values and to take action on them, bringing more vitality and meaning to their life in the process, increasing their psychological flexibility.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This form of therapy focuses on the interrelationship between our Thoughts, Behaviours and Emotions. It identifies unhealthy thinking patterns (cognitive distortions) and uncovers their root. Through this process individuals learn to let go of thought patterns that no longer serve them. Some of these patterns can be day-to-day thoughts while some will prove to be more deeply rooted– Core Beliefs. This form of therapy is direct and efficient and commonly used for depression and anxiety.
Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance, spiritual crises, spiritual evolution, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, spiritual practices, and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living.
Counselling is not just about addressing and correcting problem areas in one’s life, it is also important to take inventory of and celebrate the strength, power, beauty, possibility and potential. This style also believes that the client is the expert on his/her own life and innately know how to help and heal themselves.
There is little concern of defining a person based on their symptoms or condition, instead focusing on how one can become their Ideal Self.
Existential Positive Psychology
Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? The four major existential anxieties are: death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness. While all of this sounds rather doomy/gloomy the Positive part considers how individuals address, accept and transform these truths.
From identity crisis to the quest for authenticity, from the crisis of discontent to the quest for happiness, from meaninglessness anxiety to the quest for meaning and purpose, from death anxiety to the quest for death acceptance and self-transcendence.
Focuses on the exciting, seemingly mysterious, and intangible areas such as the unconscious mind, dreams, the collective unconscious, the shadow self, archetypes. Carl Jung is one of the most influential psychological figures all time.
Is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Family Systems Theory
No man is an island. Individuals must be understood based on the context of their families: background, upbringing, belief/ value systems, birth order and many other factors. In every family there are patterns of behaviour what is deemed as acceptable or not determines how we view the world we are a part of. Often these values and beliefs my be outdated and no longer serve us.
Attempts to describe the dynamics of long-term and short-term interpersonal relationships between humans with particular focus on bonding of infants to parents as significant indicator of being able to have successful, trusting and loving relationships in the future.
“I feel what sets James apart from the other counsellors I have seen is his honesty and genuine nature. James did not “sugar-coat” the truth from me and just endlessly listen to my problems (while he did do a fair share of that) instead he helped me identify my patterns and then, together, we formed goals to change my beliefs, thoughts and behaviors. Occasionally honesty can hurt, but with James I knew it was always done with loving intention to make a stronger me. Thanks James!”
– Trent P.
Sessions are $120 for a 50-60 minutes.
I offer a sliding scale to clients who are in financial need, please inquire directly.
Often counselling can be covered by your benefits plan. Make sure to double check “Clinical Counsellor” is covered in your plan.
GET IN TOUCH
Office: 125 Skinner St.
Victoria, BC V9A 6X4
Call or send James a message today to schedule a Free 50 minute consultation. For more information, please don’t hesitate to use the contact form to get in touch!
Telephone and Skype sessions are available.
Copyright © 2017 James Kerr.