For information about my Covid-19 response, please click here.
Seeking counselling is a courageous step. We all have our own history of experiences, challenges and unmet needs, and we tend to react in specific ways under stress. While our response may have been our best bet in the past, it may not be adaptive or successful in the current circumstances. Reflecting on previous and current experiences, trying new approaches, and resolving past traumas (big or small) can bring about profound and lasting changes in our life.
My services as a registered clinical counsellor may be covered in full or in part by your extended health insurance or employee benefit plan. I am registered with the First Nations Health Authority's Counselling program, as well as with BC's Crime Victim Assistance Program .
Get in touch with Monika to set up a free 15-min telephone or online consultation:
Phone: 250 885 3065 | Email: email@example.com
I acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples, represented by the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples, represented by the Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum, Pauquachin and Malahat Nations. I acknowledge the deep connection of the First Peoples to their lands and am grateful for their protection of these lands since time immemorial. I am committed to continue my learning about the true history of the Indigenous to settler relationships and the atrocities that have been committed by settlers of my heritage (white European), and deepen my understanding of the effects of continued oppression and systemic racism that Indigenous Peoples still experience. I pledge to continue my learning and actively look for ways to reduce my own inherent racist biases, work to contribute to creating the basis for true healing on a systemic and personal level, and stand with the Indigenous Peoples of these lands.
While in no way intending to delegate my responsibility to find ways to promote healing of Indigenous to non-indigenous relationships, I welcome suggestions of ways how I can contribute in appropriate, useful, and respectful ways. Thank you.
I specialize in
Depression, Anxiety, Self-esteem
Trauma, including attachment trauma and complex PTSD, Dissociation
Meaning and Purpose, Values, Spirituality
Grief and Loss
I use a variety of therapy approaches in my work. While my early training was in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), I am currently drawing mainly on the following approaches. Read more about them here.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR, certified practitioner)
- Internal Family Systems (IFS, Level 1 trained)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
My work is informed by nervous system regulation and polyvagal theory, attachment theory, dissociation, and embodiment.
Born and raised in Austria, I first came to Canada as an exchange student in 1999. After completing a Master of Arts in Lifespan Developmental Psychology at UVIC, I returned to Salzburg and Munich, where I completed my training in clinical psychology and cognitve behavioral therapy, as well as my dissertation research on meaning in life and support of family caregivers in palliative care. After the birth of our daughter we returned to live in Victoria.
Early professional Experience
I have worked in inpatient and private practice settings with a wide range of client issues, including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, and prolonged grief. During my doctoral studies, my focus was on positive psychology approaches, such as promoting meaning and well-being in palliative care. Developing a group psychotherapy intervention (PDF publication) to support family caregivers at such a vulnerable time was very gratifying, particularly after having experienced the loss of both of my parents to cancer as a young adult.
Since starting my private practice here in Victoria in 2016, I have looked for approaches that help me better assist people to heal from their trauma, including attachment trauma and complex PTSD. This journey led me to train in EMDR (2016), a very powerful trauma therapy. Assisting clients with multiple and early traumatic experiences led me to search for advanced techniques that help make EMDR safer, even when clinical dissociation is present (e.g. Flash training, EMDR 2.0, Progressive approach). In particular, the power of ego-state therapy techniques combined with EMDR made a significant difference for some of my clients. Continuing this journey, I have recently learned a lot about Internal Family Systems (IFS), a particular ego-state approach that centers our parts around a "capital S Self", an energy and resource that all of us have available, even if it might be obscured due to various traumatic experiences. As of February 2022, I am a Level 1 trained IFS Therapist.
2022 IFS Level 1 trained, IFS Institute
2018 EMDR Consultant in Training, EMDR International Association
2018 Certified EMDR Practitioner, EMDR International Association
2015 Registered with BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
2012 Psychological Psychotherapist (Licensing for Germany)
2006 Registered Clinical and Health Psychologist, Austria
2012 Psychological Psychotherapist, Bavarian Academy for Psychotherapy
2014 PhD in Psychology/Palliative Care, University of Munich
2004 MA in Life Span Development, University of Victoria
2001 Magistra in Clinical Psychology, University of Salzburg
For more information on professional development and education please click here.
In a project funded by German Cancer Aid, I co-developed and evaluated a group intervention for family caregivers of terminally ill patients. Family caregivers who participated in the six-session group intervention reported significantly higher quality of life and lower depression a year after the intervention than caregivers who did not receive this type of support. [PDF Publication]
For a list of my publications and to read more about my research click here.