My Approach

I received a Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2008.  I am registered with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors.  In 2009 I co-founded the 'CBT for Kids' Clinic and worked with children, teens and parents with a wide range of mental health issues. In 2019 I opened Karen Hamill Psychological Services to meet the counselling needs of children, teens, adults and families. In addition to private practice, I have counselled women and couples at the Reproductive Mental Health Clinic at BC Women's Hospital and worked with young adults at the University of British Columbia Counselling Services. 

As a life-long learner I have always been dedicated to staying current and at the top of my field.  I returned to school to complete my doctoral studies in Counselling Psychology at UBC.  While there, I worked as the Lead Researcher at the Anxiety Projects Lab at UBC.  My academic interests include:

  • the assessment, early intervention and treatment of anxiety disorders 

  • the impact of parental mental illness on children 

  • the factors that contribute to childhood resiliency when faced with adversity

Evidence-Supported Practice

I am committed to providing high quality, evidence-based treatment to ensure optimal results.  I have expertise in:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

  • Exposure & Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)

  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Positive Psychology

  • Latest Neuroscience Research

Empathy & Understanding 

A strong therapeutic relationship is one of the most important factors in counselling success.  I strive to create a safe and supportive relationship with the children and adults I see.  I am known for my empathic listening, kindness and non-judgmental approach.


Diversity, Equality & Respect

Everyone is welcome!  Diversity is celebrated here. You can expect to be treated with warmth and dignity at all times.  

 

                                  LGBTQ2+ positive space

 

 

Privacy & Consent

Confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me and I take all necessary steps to ensure that my clients' privacy is protected and that they are fully informed prior to consenting to therapy.

 

IEvidence-Supported Therapy:

CBT

DBT

Mindfulness

What is CBT?
       Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a scientifically proven therapy           that teaches people about the inter-relationship between their thoughts,     feelings and behaviour. For instance, how a person thinks will affect how
they feel and in turn, how they act.  The goal is to help people gain control of their thoughts and feelings rather than their thoughts and feelings controlling them. Cognitive restructuring teaches skills to identify, challenge and modify unhelpful thoughts and emotions and replace them with more adaptive ones. Behavioural interventions help people to shift away from problematic        behaviours (eg. avoiding social situations, compulsive hand-washing) by                  teaching skills (eg. emotional regulation strategies, social skills training,                        exposure and response prevention) that promote 
                                        better functioning.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness techniques teach people to become
more aware of their thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations in
 the present moment.  The goal is to help people to accept their thoughts/
feelings/bodily sensations without judgement or reaction. Mindfulness differs from traditional CBT cognitive restructuring in that unhelpful thoughts (cognitions) are not challenged and modified.  Instead, people are trained to disengage from unhelpful thoughts by simply noticing, accepting and letting go of them.  For example, a client that experiences panic symptoms (fear, racing heart, tight chest, sense of losing control) will learn to recognize them as un-harmful and    temporary.  To prevent a full-blown panic reaction the client will learn                      re-focus his/her attention away from their panic symptoms to their
breath or to some other soothing focal point that
keeps them grounded in the present moment.  
What is DBT?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a combination of CBT and Mindfulness techniques that help people to manage intense emotions and inter-personal conflict.  People learn skills in the following areas:
Mindfulness
Social Skills
Distress Tolerance
Emotional Regulation 
 

 

© 2020 Karen Hamill Psychological Services