Jamie’s approach to counselling is specific to each client he works with. He believes the therapeutic process is highly creative and relies equally on spontaneous diversion and meticulous planning. He has a high level of empathic curiosity and draws heavily on his own life experience as a source of insight. In addition to a direct focus on the individual, Jamie also believes deeply in the power of family dynamics, social structure and societal pressures that exist in our highly complex modern world.
Having battled his own addictions for over two decades, Jamie knows the reality of living with a sense of urgency directly linked to his desire for more. More of anything and everything. This cognitive mutation slowly transferred his sense of attachment from a person to a substance, triggering constant impulsive behavior and profound emotional pain. In this state, his mind fueled elegant methods of self-deception, ensuring he was firmly embedded in a state of denial.
The transition to a life of abstinence from all forms of mood altering was not easy for Jamie. It took the love, support and intervention of the very people he had discarded along the way. It required serious introspection and forced him to confront the truth. A truth that was hidden behind layer upon layer of delusional thinking. Consequently, he knows what it takes, but he also knows the overwhelming relief that comes with it.
Addiction can allow for our true self to be a distant memory that is lost in the chaos created by our disordered reason and behavior. People tend to draw inferences about who they really are, by observing their own behavior. This can often lead to a completely unique type of existential pain, that begins to create a feedback loop of negative self-reflection that will further entrench individuals in their addiction. These addictive traits can manifest themselves in hundreds of destructive pursuits, not just alcohol and drugs.
Jamie believes that when we know very little, or nothing at all about a subject, we are generally indifferent or incurious. Consequently, when individuals are given the opportunity to explore their highly complex internal world and examine their own perspectives and true feelings, it allows them to find a way to stoke the fires of their own curiosity. Basically, when we begin to examine our inner world, our curiosity surrounding the existing information gap can take hold, leading to the desire for greater self-awareness and healing.
Jamie’s goal is to work with an individual through the various stages of development in recovery by walking alongside them as they reconnect with their true self. This approach can then serve as a launching point to discover the life skills and coping mechanisms that are congruent with our true identity. A version of ourselves that is emotionally present and cognizant of the subtle social pressures that we often fail to recognize. This process can result in a journey that leads to the discovery of the true nature of a person, help to break the cycle of addiction and allow for profound healing to take place.
Jamie has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology from the University of Lethbridge. He also completed a two-year addiction counselling certification program at Vancouver Community College. Initially, Jamie studied Filmmaking at Ryerson University and went on to become an award-winning Director and Executive Producer. Jamie is a member of the Canadian Addiction Counselling Federation and is a Certified Canadian Addiction Counsellor. He will begin his Masters in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University this winter.