I was born and raised in Pembroke, Ontario, and studied journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa and theology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. I did my graduate work at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (now Martin Luther University College), affiliated with Wilfrid Laurier University, in the Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy program. I have more than 35 years experience working as a professional leader, teacher, and counsellor in congregations and social service agencies in Alberta, and Northern and Central Ontario. With my partner’s recent retirement, we have returned to the Ottawa Valley, and I have relocated my private practice from Orillia to Pembroke.
I have lived in big cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto), smaller cities (Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Orillia), and in rural areas (Eastern Alberta, Manitoulin Island). I have experience working with diverse populations, including First Nations, ethnic minorities, pioneer families and new Canadians, people of all ages, women and children impacted by violence, homeless and economically disadvantaged people, and those with mental and physical health challenges.
I believe that people are created as dimensional beings - body, mind, and spirit - and my approach to therapy recognizes, assesses, and nurtures these three aspects.
I believe that clients are very resilient and have within them the power to overcome their challenges with some guidance and encouragement. I see my role as a combination of educator, coach, and cheerleader.
I believe my work with clients promotes physical and mental health, emotional wellness, self-awareness, spiritual growth, positive communication, and healthy relationships.
I use a variety of modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Energy Psychology (EFT-Tapping), journaling, play therapy and art therapy. Typical sessions may include:
· me drawing explanatory diagrams on the white board
· the two of us playing out various scenarios or characters in your life
· you reporting on “homework” activities given the previous session
· me inviting you to be curious about some aspects of your thinking or behaviour
· you practicing new skills with me or your partner
· you trying new modes of exploration, creation and expression, like sand tray work, drawing or modeling in plasticine
I provide a safe space for you to explore your “inner child”, to tap into your creative spirit, and find healing from within. No pressure, no judgment.
Pamela D. Harrington MA, RP, RMFT