Psychotherapy

Sarah Pearson Psychotherapy Counselling Kitchener-Waterloo“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.” Carl Jung

I am a Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario, with music-centered psychotherapy as my core training.  I work with clients in a beautiful sunny studio at Queen Street Yoga in downtown Kitchener, in group and individual sessions at Grand River Hospital, as well as in group therapy settings and special workshops across the country.

I have completed trainings in Emotion-Focused Therapy, Gestalt, and various modalities of short-term, mindfulness-based and solutions-focused therapies, and hold a music therapy master’s degree. While working full-time as a clinician and program manager, I am also completing a part-time diploma in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Five years of working as a therapist in an acute-care hospital has made me adept at coming alongside people quickly and compassionately, often in the midst of a storm, to listen closely to what people want, and to create trusting therapeutic relationships that get to the heart of the matter, fast. I believe that while psychotherapy may not always feel easy, it should always feel meaningful. The process of becoming our true selves is some of the most noble and courageous work we can ever embark on.

My Approach

My core belief as a therapist is that we all have the innate ability to be whole and heal ourselves, and that often engaging in creative activities can tap that wholeness. When appropriate, I use creative experiences with music and other art forms to access this wonderful innate resilience that comes from creativity. Sessions focus on coming alongside clients as equal partners with the same goal: to be your fullest, most whole self.

Who I work with:

I work with adults and teens who are looking for change in their lives; who are struggling with relationship patterns that no longer work for them; who are tired with the status-quo; who want to take more risks in life but don’t know where to start; who are dealing with a major loss in their life; who know they have unfinished business with their families or loved ones that they can’t quite figure out on their own.

Grief, bereavement, trauma, depression, self-esteem, body-image issues, disability issues and chronic disease, creative blocks, and spiritual distress are some areas in particular where we can work effectively together.

I also work with musicians who would like to explore their relationship to music and their craft on an emotional level. Think of it as couples counselling – with your instrument!

New to therapy?

Therapy can be scary. Change can be scary. I like to think of the therapeutic process as a cocoon. We create a safe container together, and in that container, we do the work to slowly transform into our truest selves. If you’re considering doing therapy for the first time, here are a few tibits I’d like to share:

  1. congrats – naming that you want to make change is sometimes the biggest step of all.
  2. celebrate the small victories – lasting change can take time if we want it to stick. Steps in therapy that feel small are often actually huge.
  3. no judgement – a good therapist will celebrate your courage and vulnerability in just showing up, and should reassure you that it’s safe to say anything that you want to share, even the scariest stuff you’ve never told anyone.
  4. trust your gut – your therapist should be someone you feel good with and trust. Like any relationship, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. Trust your gut, and shop around for the therapist that feels right for you.

What is music-centered psychotherapy?

Music-centered psychotherapy can be a great fit for people looking for a style of therapy that is empowering, creative, and deeply holistic. Music-centered psychotherapy sessions are similar to classic talk-therapy – we talk through issues, set goals and explore challenges, but we also explore with music. Music is simply another language that can shed light on our souls and psyches, often in ways that words alone cannot. Music can get us into our bodies and into our creative selves. Music is a commonly-used self-medicated therapy, and when used with skill and intentionality in therapy sessions, it can yield powerful insights.

What makes therapy music-centered? 

The innate healing quality of music and creativity is a core belief of this approach to therapy. It’s ideal for people who think they can benefit from a more creative, embodied, and sometimes-spiritual approach to psychotherapy than your typical one-to-one counselling session.

No prior musical experience is required to take part in this therapy.

Some of the musical experiences we may engage with include:

Improvising on easy-to-play instruments to explore themes, images, feelings, etc
Therapeutic singing and vocal exploration
Songwriting together – that’s right, no experience necessary!
Listening to and discussing music
…and lots of verbal processing as needed.

I see clients in a beautiful private space in Downtown Kitchener, steps from the Charles Street Terminal. Please contact me if you would like to arrange sessions in Toronto and Guelph ON.

Rates

Psychotherapy is covered by many insurance plans. I am registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists (CRPO #003835).

Initial Phone Consultation ~ 30 min: Free

Individual Session ~ 50 min: $90