About Karen

Personal and relational counselling is some of the most challenging, and potentially rewarding, work we can do to develop and improve connections with others and ourselves, inside and outside of intimate, familial, social, and professional relationships. I help clients better understand the influence of interconnected thoughts, feelings, stories, values, and expectations on conscious and subconscious behaviours and decision-making patterns. I can also help reconnect them with the strengths and resources available to, and within, themselves in times of crisis. Building on the basic Buddhist tenets of mindfulness and compassion for Self and others, together we can help you build a different picture of both personal and relational issues, and in that difference find new ways of growing towards your goals.

Professional communications has been my job in one form or another for almost twenty-five years. Until late 2016, I was a technical writer and information developer with no small amount of project management experience in IT. From 2007-2010, I did a Master’s degree aimed at working as individual and relationship therapist using systems and attachment theory to guide my work. I use a flexible combination of narrative, solution-focused, attachment-based, and mindfulness approaches to help identify my clients’ needs and influence them towards positive change. In short, I explain complex processes simply to people, and explain complex people simply to each other.

I am open to, and experienced with, a broad spectrum of relationship styles and compositions, gender identities, and sexual orientations, including 25+ years with both the BDSM, polyamory, and swingers communities in Southwestern Ontario. I also have an extensive and direct understanding of the stresses inherent in working in the high-tech community of Waterloo Region, and the impacts those stresses can have on your personal and family life.

Spiritual issues and resources from all faith traditions are explicitly welcome. I have been a student of Tibetan Buddhism for several years, and pursued my Master’s degree in counselling through the multi-faith environment of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Wilfrid Laurier University). Inclusion or exclusion of spiritual topics is entirely at the client’s discretion.

I am a CRPO*-registered psychotherapist (#3387), and an OAMHP** member in good standing.

I work 2-3 evenings a week out of my home office in south Kitchener; I also have daytime hours available 4 days a week through Bliss Counselling in uptown Waterloo. I have trained as a support group facilitator for male and female survivors of sexual abuse, and those who have offended sexually, through Waterloo Region’s Community Justice Initiatives. You can view my current listings on both the Poly-Friendly Professionals directory (http://www.polychromatic.com/pfp/address.php?id=526) and on the Kink-Aware Professionals directory (https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html).

*College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
**Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals

KGrierson 2020
Photo credit: Jim Hartling 2013