About Kathy

My Background

I have been working with adults, adolescents, children and families in schools and various mental health settings both in Canada and internationally for the last 17 years. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Simon Fraser University and my master’s degree from Adler University. In addition to my formal training, I have undergone further training in play therapy, couples counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), divorce mediation, and trauma incident reduction (TIR). Aside from working with individuals, I am also a trained Adlerian Parenting Educator and Parenting After Separation Facilitator who has facilitated parenting and couples groups.

I identify my counselling style as most in line with the Adlerian approach (based on the Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler), which presents an optimistic view of people and stresses the importance of understanding people within their social context. According to Adler, when we feel encouraged, we feel capable and appreciated and will generally act in a connected and cooperative way. When we are discouraged, we may act in unhealthy ways by competing, withdrawing or giving up. Therefore when people feel connected to others and are actively engaged in a healthy, shared activity, their sense of inferiority decreases. This makes absolute sense to me and, as such, I strive in my therapy to encourage self-awareness, challenge harmful perceptions, and motivate clients to act to meet their life tasks and engage in social activities.

Since I use a custom-tailored overall approach to best suit each individual client’s unique needs, in addition to my Adlerian lens, I usually apply a combination of various interventions in my sessions. For example, I commonly use CBT techniques to help clients gain insight into their automatic thoughts and see how those thoughts are connected to their feelings and behaviours. With this new insight, clients gain a sense of mastery by being able to consciously modify their behaviour, which, in turn, improves the way they feel. Another intervention that I often use is TIR, which is a brief (often one session) and highly structured technique that can create significant and immediate shifts in areas clients are struggling with as well as permanently eliminate the negative effects of past traumas. This technique can be used for many different problems clients face, and I love that the results are often immediate. And since I don’t believe that clients need to be in therapy for years, I choose to practice approaches that are quick, concise and deliver the results my clients are looking for.

Kathy is very down to earth and makes me feel comfortable. Her guided approach has really helped me overcome my issues.

Mary K.

Kathy Merabian, MA, RCC, CPF

Honesty
Authenticity
Courage
Curiosity
Growth
Laughter
Forgiveness

My Values

I am a firm believer in that what we value as individuals permeates every facet of our being. From the way we parent our children to the way we interact with random strangers, our core values stay with us. This is why I believe it is important for my prospective clients to know what I hold most dear to my heart because those values come through in the way I work with people.

As a wife and mother of two elementary-aged children, I understand firsthand the challenges that today’s busy families face. With the exponential growth of technology, many families struggle with finding the time to connect mindfully with each other and tune in to the healing power of nature. My connection to nature has led me to establish a practice that combines nature and counselling to create the most optimal environment for healing to take place.

I try my hardest to live my life according to the values of honesty, authenticity, courage, curiosity and desire for growth; I attach undeniable importance to laughter and forgiveness. To have the courage to be truthful and thus vulnerable is, in my opinion, the greatest human strength one can possess. In counselling sessions, I continue to be amazed and incredibly inspired by my clients’ strength to be open, vulnerable and determined to reach their greatest potential, no matter what their circumstance.

Although many professionals shy away from disclosure, I feel it is important as a therapist to have the courage to admit to being existentially tied to the human condition and to use one’s hurts and losses as opportunities for some of the greatest personal growth.

I have learned firsthand from living in many countries (Poland, Germany, Japan, Canada), travelling extensively, and working in many sectors (business, education, mental health) that the more knowledge we acquire about different cultures, theories and the human psyche, the more we realize that a lifetime of learning is the most amazing gift we can give ourselves. As such, I am wholeheartedly committed to always being curious, furthering my knowledge and self-development and never assuming I have reached my limit for growth.

I adamantly believe that change is always possible. People always have the option and the ability to make changes in their lives, whether that is changing their physical environment, their behaviour or their outlook on life. Being committed to the process of ongoing self-growth, I know that the right counselling can provide people with the ability to identify various blockages and to gather the courage to take action to make positive changes. I trust that by nature alone people are good; when that is combined with a healthy environment of unconditional acceptance, trust and respect, individuals will flourish to reach their greatest potential.

kathyewaAbout Kathy