Her Approach: Seeing the Full Picture
Erika prioritizes understanding the whole person. By addressing biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual background and development, she seeks to gain a full understanding of a person's world. Erika believes in the importance of connection with others and the power of telling our stories. She believes that we all deserve to be understood.
By understanding why we feel and behave the way we do, we can harness this knowledge and shift perspective to make lasting changes in all areas of our lives.
She applies Hakomi principles of psychotherapy, which focus on the mind-body holism, self-acceptance, mindfulness, organicity, and more.
Organicity is a principle within the Hakomi method that respects and trusts a person's inner wisdom and integrity as they participate in and interact with the world around them.
It takes the pressure out of the fixing way of the world. We aren't machines that can simply be fixed—we are living organisms that are healed from within. By following natural processes we give up that "white knight" of someone riding in and saving someone. It’s more like being a gardener that follows the lead of a plant that is growing, changing, and moving towards more wholeness.
Erika also works with her clients to study their own experiences in a state of mindfulness to deepen awareness and this process allows her clients to organize their inner world to support the healing process. Imagine you’re getting a massage and your masseuse finds a knot in your back and stays there until it starts to feel better; it’s a similar approach. It means staying with the sensation in the body that’s associated with an experience or negative association, while providing nourishment to help gain clarity that may have been missing from their early life.
Ron Kurtz describes it as, "when the client is dealing with something new and surprising, and usually emotional, the client needs time to think and feel. This is the time when being silent is the most helpful thing a therapist can do." He is referring to the role of mindfulness and focused attention on someone's internal life. (Kurtz, R. (2006). Five recent essays. Hakomi Forum, (16-17), 1-8.)
When working with children and families, Erika uses a child-centred approach that fosters connection and safety. She commonly offers play-based treatments with success for the children and their families.
Background in Sports and Performance
Erika’s background as an athlete helps her relate to adolescents in sports, while her education in psychology allows her to help them in a unique way. Combining her experiences, she finds working with athletes who struggle with mental health or stress to be vital and important work.
Originally, Erika grew up by the ocean and in the forest on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. She competed in many sports as a junior including basketball, volleyball, and tennis and has been involved in the performing arts (musical performance) as well. She also has competed in amateur modified Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Erika has completed her Instructor Certification with the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA) in Canada. She believes that maintaining physical health through exercise, movement, and/or sport, is an important part of global health.
Education & Qualifications
Erika attended Trinity Western University (Langley, B.C.) obtaining a B.A. in Psychology (Honours). She then attended the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, B.C.) and obtained her M.Ed. in School Psychology.
After this, Erika moved to Medicine Hat and worked as a Children’s Developmental Specialist with the Children’s Health and Developmental Services (CHADS) Behavioural Team in AHS providing services to children and their families. Presently, she provides psychological services to individuals in private practice and, on contract, to the Medicine Hat Public School Division.
Erika is a Registered Psychologist (College of Alberta Psychologists) and is a member of the Psychological Association of Alberta (PAA), the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Erika is currently enrolled in post-graduate education studying Applied Sport Psychology at the University of Western States in Oregon, USA.
In her free time, she enjoys creating art and music, reading, kickboxing, exercising, and spending time in nature. Erika lives in Medicine Hat with her partner, children, two dogs, and two affectionate cats.