Michele Maurer, M.Sc., R.C.C., R.S.W., Registered Marriage & Family Therapist
Michele started her career in Alberta, where she completed her Social Work degree at the University of Calgary in 1987, and began her work with children, youth and families. Two years later, Michele relocated to BC where she worked as a family counselor on the North Shore, and later, in Burnaby as the Supervisor of a family counselling program. In the fall of 1995, looking to enhance her training, Michele spent the next two years at the University of Guelph, completing her Master of Science degree in Couple and Family Therapy, also completing additional coursework requirements for membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Michele spent 500+ hours working as an intern therapist under the close guidance of four highly accomplished Couple, Family and Sex Therapy Supervisors. Returning to the Lower Mainland, Michele entered the field of healthcare, providing leading edge mental health services for children, youth, adults, and families. Over the next several years, Michele completed the remaining supervision and clinical work requirements to become a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Until 2013, Michele worked as a therapist, supervisor, and educator. In addition to leading a multidisciplinary mental health team who have been recognized provincially, Michele has often been invited to give family workshops both locally and for clinicians across BC. Michele has been asked to work with clinicians across BC as Instructor for the Provincial Advanced Practice Program in Early Psychosis Intervention.
Michele Maurer is warm and sincere, and puts people at ease from the first meeting. Michele’s philosophy of counselling is person-centered, and focuses on strengths, whether those strengths are apparent or hidden and may not have been accessed for some time. Michele is creative, knowledgeable, gentle yet persistent, courageous, and fair. She can be a strong advocate, while being very respectful of a person’s right to make choices that fit for them.
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” – George Eliot
Michele Maurer has been trained in Mental Health, Family Therapy, Couples’ Therapy, Sex Therapy, Individual Therapy, Critical Incident Stress (Trauma) Debriefing, and Social Work. Michele favours post-modern approaches to therapy, where the people attending counselling are partners in the work, where the sessions are more dialogue than monologue, and where attention is given to meanings and solutions in the present, with less focus on the long ago past. Michele is trained in a wide array of current and foundational approaches to therapy, and will work in an approach that is compatible with your particular needs and preferences. Michele Maurer is a Clinical Fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (#70447) in BC and with the Canadian Registry for Marriage and Family Therapy. Michele is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (#10520) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, and a Registered Social Worker (#11301) with the BC College of Social Workers.
Michele is a certified Gottman instructor for the “Bringing Baby Home” program and “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” program. Michele is a Facilitator in training with the Neufeld Institute, with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, where she will be facilitating several of Gordon Neufeld’s highly acclaimed parenting courses.
On a personal note . . .
Michele is married to her husband of 18+ years, and they are parents of two children. Michele is an active community member. She has been a long-time volunteer, including service in the executive of two non-profit boards of directors. Michele is a proud member of Lions Gate Chorus, a women’s acapella chorus who regularly compete and earn accolades at an international level. Michele is an outdoor enthusiast, enjoying many opportunities for outdoor recreation in BC. The photo to the right was taken Summer 2012 on a ten day family paddling trip around the Bowron Lakes. Michele is a hobby artist and crafter, an avid reader, and when time and budget allow, Michele loves to travel with her family.
Michele’s ‘Resilience’ Approach to Therapy
Relationships matter! Whether it’s your relationship with yourself, or with other people who you care about, there is great value in giving some time and energy to the life long journey . . .
Have you ever thought about, . . . ?
- in your relationship, have you devoted more time and energy to finding your intimate partner than you have to finding ways to keep your partnership intimate?
- between you and your spouse, have you spent more time planning your wedding than you have planning your marriage?
- if you are currently expectant parents, have you given more thought and preparation to planning your baby’s birth than discussing your shared approach to parenting your baby?
If you answered yes to any of these, go easy on yourself. You’re like a lot of people. These days, so much focus is spent on the destination – whether it’s finding a compatible lover, planning a memorable wedding, or giving birth to a healthy baby, that we don’t talk much about the ‘and then what?’ part of our relationships. And yet, that’s where we spend the bulk of our time . . . on the life long journey with those closest to us. We muddle through, doing our best, and sometimes settle into relationship patterns that get us by, yet may not allow the full potential of our selves and our relationships to be realized. Couples can slide into communication patterns that start off with the intent to build the connection, and end up creating a wedge instead. Naturally, when we are reaching out to our partner for connection and it doesn’t work how we meant it to, our emotions register the disappointment, and we can quickly find ourselves in a communication tailspin that negatively impacts our relationship. Fortunately, just like the garden over a cold winter, it is our self-preserving nature to protect some hope; some inner strength tucked away during a period of less-than-ideal conditions. Resilience is about that core reserve; your inner resources and tenacity of spirit that is sustained even in the face of misfortune, hardship and trauma, and a ‘Resilience’ approach to counselling is about establishing conditions that allow and encourage growth, connection and understanding. Counselling is an opportunity, in a safe setting, to explore the ‘and now what?’ part of the journey and re-discover the potential you already have within you (and your relationships).
If you are interested in learning some of the practices and skills of long term happily married couples, or discovering for yourself what the buzz is about Gordon Neufeld’s approach to parenting, consider signing up for one of the couples or parenting courses Michele offers. To be informed about upcoming courses, sign up for Michele’s newsletter.
“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau
Any discussion of counseling would not be complete without some acknowledgment that sometimes we need to say goodbye to a relationship – and yes, there is still value in taking some time even then to attend a few sessions of counselling. In fact, some jurisdictions mandate that prior to couples starting separation and divorce proceedings, they must first attend some counselling . . . couple/marriage therapists are trained to help with all aspects of relationships. Especially when there are children involved, this can be very productive and cost-saving time well spent. Counselling at this stage can support quicker recovery of well-being, and for the benefit of children, counselling supports fair and healthy co-parenting even through the challenging passage to separation or divorce.
Take a moment today, and resolve to find your resilience . . .
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