647.239.7337 debbi@aspiretherapy.ca

On this Resources page you will find lots of reading and some videos. I have included material from psychotherapists that I admire and emulate. Many of their concepts and modalities guide my work today. This page will be a work in progress and I will continually be adding new material.

I hope it will help you gain a deeper insight into your journey of recovery. Read, watch and enjoy.

Dr. Richard Schwartz and Internal Family Systems

Internal Family Systems or IFS for short, was born out of systems theory for family therapy by Dr. Richard Schwartz.  It is an evidence based modality that is sweeping Psychotherapy for its efficiency at connecting us with the complex system of parts inside us, often in conflict with one another.  It gives a new understanding of how we developed emotionally and new tools for finding inner peace and self leadership.

IFS is a faster deeper way to reconnect couples too, called Intimacy from the Inside Out pioneered by Toni Herbine-Blank.

I am an avide student of this modality and can help introduce you to your parts!  Learn more here.

Dr. Gabor Maté

Maté is a Canadian icon. He brought into mainstream awareness what frontline workers have known for decades, that all drugs are painkillers. People develop addictions in the attempt to soothe pain – pain of all kinds.

He debunks the myth that addiction is some sort of genetically transmitted disease or terrible character weakness. He makes it easy to understand the real factors that give rise to harmful dependence on any substance or behaviour that has become a problem in and of itself.

Dr. Mate’s work is with an extremely marginalized population of users, but his core concepts apply to anyone struggling and I would encourage you to get familiar with his work on addiction, attachment, and attention deficit.

Lisa M. Najavits

Ms. Najavits has written in my view, the quintessential guide for working with co-existing trauma and substance dependence.  She offers a clearly structured approach to building capacity for coping with the painful process of diving deeply into a painful past and/or present and deconstructing the pain that keeps us trapped in addiction.

Her guide is offered in the context of group therapy and it is in that context I first learned her methods, but her principles also apply to individual therapy.

We can identify together the myriad ways people try to cope, looking at each coping mechanism in terms of whether it is something you have used, whether it worked well or caused more harm, and whether it is something you would like to refine your aptitude for.

Once you know your strengths and how to keep yourself safe from harm, from relapse, then you can deal with anything.

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk

Dr. Van Der Kolk is revered as the world’s leading expert in Trauma within the profession.  His work has taught us that the body is a part of the integrated self and has a wisdom and memory of it’s own.  When combined with IFS, we can locate parts in the body in order to know them.  He is expert in neuroscience and holds that we have to have experiences that contradict the trauma experience in order to heal old synaptic patterns. 

Dr. Brené Brown

Brené Brown is a world reknown researcher on the subjects of shame and vulnerability  She speaks in lay terms with no jargon, is delightful to listen too and will teach you so much about the toxicity of shame and the power of vulnerability.  You can listen to her Ted Talk for free here

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