About Me

SARAH Atkinson Counselling and Consulting Services

Welcome to my practice. I am a registered psychotherapist in good standing with the BCACC (BC Association of Clinical Counsellors). I graduated from Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado with an MA in Somatic Psychology. 


I believe that people have the capacity to move beyond their suffering and the limited stories they believe about themselves, when the environment is safe enough. In my practice I am committed to offering this safe environment so clients can discover new ways of being that lead to an increase in self compassion; a reduction in negative psychological and physical symptoms; and enhanced well being and resiliency.


I live in Pemberton, BC, with my spouse, and our cat Gordie. I enjoy baking, making art, meditating, and being outside in nature.

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​​​Approach


My work is informed by the foundational principles of mindfulness practice; that psychological healing arises in the presence of increased self awareness and that gains are made by feeling seen by another. My role as a psychotherapist is to hold witness to this and to facilitate opportunities towards increased understanding within the self, making what was once unconscious, conscious, as a vehicle toward greater, whole hearted living.


My approach is eclectic. I am informed by the principles of somatic psychology, attachment theory/interpersonal biology, psycho-dynamic theory (How past childhood experiences influence the present and making these patterns conscious). I work with a variety of modalities including sensorimotor psychotherapy, expressive arts (mindfulness based art/movement therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and solution-focused therapy. My practice is LGBTQ inclusive.


​Credentials 


  • Masters Somatic Psychology - Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado.

  • Registered Member of B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors. BC, Canada.

  • Couples Therapy Certification - Gottman Institute, Seattle, Washington.

  • Emotion Focused Therapy - Couple's Therapy Externship, Emotion-Focused Individual Therapy - Vancouver Couple/Family Institute and ICEEFT

  • The Couple's Institute Developmental Model Level 1 - Ellyn Bader, PhD & Peter Pearson, PhD 

  • High Impact Couples Therapy - Ellyn Bader, PhD & Peter Pearson, PhD, Vancouver, BC

  • Relate: A New Paradigm for Relationship Therapy - Esther Perel and Terry Real 

  • ​Sessions with Esther Perel: An online salon where therapists discuss the important issues surrounding relationships, sexuality, and couples therapy (ongoing training)

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with Couples - Kekuni Minton, PhD

  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Post Graduate Training Level 1&2 - Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Boulder, Colorado. PTSD and Attachment-Related Trauma.

  • Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy Training - True Point, Vancouver. BC.

    I may also draw on my additional knowledge in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Self-Compassion Practice, Expressive Arts, and SMART Recovery.


Experience​

​​​​​Since 2003 I have worked in a variety of clinical settings in North America, Europe and the Middle East. In Denver, Colorado, I worked in inpatient psychiatry and addiction services. I established my private practice in France providing psychological services to the ex patriot community on the cote d'azur. Returning to Canada in 2006 I continued with my private practice work and began a career with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. 

With VCHA I fulfilled a variety of roles including psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, educator, and program manager. During this time I also worked as a Mental Health Officer on mission with MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders) in Iraq and Jordan. I now provide psychotherapy for MSF field workers. In addition to my clinical work, I am a trained facilitator in Trauma-Informed Practice for mental health and addictions teams within VCHA and other health authorities. 

My professional experience includes work with adults, couples, youth, and families. My training includes post graduate work with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute in the treatment of PTSD and attachment related injury and certification with the Gottman Institute in couples/marital therapy and relationship therapy training with Esther Perel and Terry Real.

My clinical background includes working with people in urban, rural, and remote settings who are experiencing psychological barriers. These issues may arise due to past or current events that result in everyday symptoms such as depression, anxiety, relational/marital problems, stress, substance misuse, eating disorders, anger issues, and self-harming behaviours.​ I also have experience in working with trauma and attachment-related injury.