I am delighted that you are seeking greater wellness and that you have come across my web-page. I work with youth, adults and couples living in British Columbia.
Common goals that people and I work on include:
- Heal Trauma and Historical Wounds: Sometimes our past wounds continue to bring pain into our current lives. Trauma healing is about reclaiming wellness, so we can let go of the suffering that traps us in the past and live our own lives in the present.
- Overcome Despair and Worry: Often labelled “Depression” or “Anxiety”, sometimes we can become overwhelmed by what begins as a natural response to difficult situations; we label our attempt to stay still for the sake of safety “depression” and our attempt to watch for possible danger as “anxiety”. Together we will examine how to respond to our life situation in a way that leads us to feel engaged in our lives with joy and serenity.
- Revive Intimate Relationships: When we struggle in our relationships, we sometimes feel trapped in a role that doesn’t feel authentic to who we are, and we may confuse conflict with the relationship itself. While we long for stronger connection we find ourselves chasing, fighting, or distancing from the one we love. Together we will release the roles and conflicts that divide and develop the relational connections that will allow the relationship to flourish.
- Enhance Personal Development and Establish Life Direction: Our lives may look good from the outside, but it may not feel that way—we have a longing for “more”. Together we can take steps that will lead to a deeper relationship with oneself and the universe to contribute to the world with a greater sense of purpose.
- Overcome Substance Misuse and Other Dependencies: Sometimes we cope through medicating our bodies (often called “addiction”) or distracting our minds (by activities such as gambling, video game playing, sex, shopping, eating, etc.). we explore better responses to one’s experience that can result in a healthier relationship with the problematic substances or activities.
- Parent Positively: There is almost nothing as challenging or as important as raising a child and we often have very little support and guidance when it comes to the most difficult parenting situations. Together we will explore how best to support your children to make good choices and become a man or woman who lives in wellness.
I offer a compassionate approach to healing and wellness that builds on your strengths and creates a space where you can do your healing and growth work. Together we will
(1) create a safe place in which you can honour the gifts you carry,
(2) find insights into life patterns and situations, and
(3) facilitate the change you seek.
Rather than focusing on problems or diagnoses, we focus on wellness goals and how to get there. We may confront larger social and cultural forces that act on or within you, and we may examine your painful past, if it is necessary, but the goal of our work is for you to live in wellness—that is, in a way that is valuable to you and the world. Embracing a strength-based approach, I believe that you hold the answers and the capacity to heal and grow is within you; my job is to ask the right questions and support you in the process.
The therapeutic model used is selected to suit the person and the issue which is brought forward. I may draw from:
- Psychodynamic Therapies (including Adlerian & Depth Oriented Brief Therapy)
- Motivational Interviewing and Solution-Focused Therapy
- Narrative and Feminist Therapies
- Somatic Experiencing Therapy (for trauma) and Mindfulness Work
- Person-Centred and Existential Therapies
- Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies
What does wellness look like? Many of us seek wellness without knowing what it looks like. And if we don’t know what it looks like, how can we find it? Wellness is not the absence of illness or a problem with which we may struggle, although that may be a good start. It is not something you “find”, because it is always with you. Wellness is something you “do”—it is something you live. Wellness is living in a way that is valuable to ourselves and the world.
In the process of responding to the issue that brings you to seek assistance, there are four wellness outcomes that we will pursue together:
- Connection: engaging in caring relationships with ourselves and those who matter to us;
- Empowerment: engaging with our experience (emotions, thoughts, sensations, etc.) and our world with a sense of competence and importance;
- Purpose: engaging with our community in a way that contributes to their wellness;
- Wisdom: engaging in life guided by our values and knowing who we are in the universe.
The first two of these, together, are often called self-worth—the feeling that we are of value. The second two guide us to live a worthwhile life—one that is valuable to the world.
Darien Thira is a registered psychologist (CPBC #2040) who is therapist, clinical supervisor for other therapists, and facilitator of workshops (related to wellness, grief and trauma healing, suicide, “addiction” and related fields). He is also an adjunct faculty member at Adler University where he teaches courses on psychotherapy and social justice.
He works with Indigenous communities and mental health-related programs across the country and with various substance-misuse related Healing Centres. He has served for several years each as: a clinician with adults at substance-related Healing Centres, with youth at Child and Youth Mental Health, and as a crisis Counsellor at the Vancouver Crisis Centre. As well he served as the Director of Community Education and Professional Development at the Vancouver Crisis Centre. He has created several prevention programs related to suicide and crisis response that have been used by more than 250 programs world-wide. His doctoral dissertation related to resilience and he was involved in further resilience research at the University of British Columbia. Darien has presented workshops at many local, provincial, national conferences, and international conferences in Canada, the United States, and Australia.