I consider myself privileged. My principled, hard-working parents gave me strong moral values, showed what family life should be and taught me the joy of giving. From an early age I understood injustice and spoke out against it, stood up for equality and saw how a small act of kindness could light up a face.
From an almost high school failure where a teacher thought my future school days were numbered, I graduated at the top of my class with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from McGill University. I found my calling there and became a trailblazer, developing innovative programs and services to treat trauma, improve mental health, resolve conflicts and break the cycle of family, work, school and community violence.
My quest for understanding human nature and for learning how to heal emotional wounds took me from crisis intervention work with victims of conjugal violence and sexual assault to being a trauma and PTSD therapist. My training in system’s theory and group work brought me from running a group for mothers of children with ADHD to leading complex multi-party conflict resolution processes in organizations. My early learning that community organizing helps people improve the quality of their lives showed me how to change organizational culture.
I provide counselling and coaching to individuals, couples and families to help them overcome their personal crises and life’s challenges. At the workplace I work with people, from the locker room to the boardroom, to help them develop mentally healthy and safe organizations.
In my speaking, workshops, consulting and counselling my approach and message are the same: let’s not lay blame but instead listen and talk together. Let’s use our collective wisdom to create positive change.
Through my personal and professional experiences I have come to understand how fragile life is, that relationships need nurturing and that respect, inclusion and collaboration bring wonderful results. I try to walk my talk while continuously working on being a respectful human being. I don’t see violent movies, turn off violent TV shows and don’t tolerate rudeness and disrespect.
I’m not one of the 20% of people who suffer from mental illness. However I am one of the 80% who temporarily fall down from life’s crises and need to take time to recharge and recover.
Today I share a peaceful life with my husband, friend and soul mate Miguel in a quiet town where we enjoy nature at its best and share our land with many birds and 4-legged friends.