You are good:
You always have been and always will be good, wise, intelligent, beautiful, generous, loving, honest, flexible, zestful, happy, innocent, and unique. Like the Sun, these aspects of yourself are always there. The messages you internalized when you got hurt act like clouds blocking your ability to see the Sun.

I help you to clear away the clouded (incorrect) messages about yourself, to notice again your inherent amazing self, and to free your ability to act in terms of those realities.

You are the expert in your own healing. My role is to help you to unblock your own natural healing process and support you through it, at your own pace.

Using a rich array of frequently updated skills, I respectfully and gently help you create enough safety to heal. Click below for specific services I offer.

Photo of Diana Ralph in her home office

Click on any box below to learn how each technique may be able to help you.

Solution-focused Therapy

Positive, future-directed visioning is an empowering, quick way to reorient your life toward happiness, hope, connection, and meaning.
For more information, see the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Website.

Emotional Release Counselling

I help you to safely and gently release the pent-up feelings and behavior patterns from early hurts that limit your life now. We all have a natural capacity to heal from both physical and emotional hurts. Just as our body "knows" how to repair a physical injury, it also "knows" how to recover from emotional hurts, such as rejection, abandonment, teasing, abuse, loss, shaming, and so on. We heal by releasing these hurts through crying, yawning, giggling, yelling, shaking, sighing, screaming, laughing, and talking about it with someone supportive. However, most of us grew up with adults who blocked our emotional release or who even punished or threatened us for trying to heal by emotional release. ("That's embarrassing/childish/immature/crazy!" "Big kids don't cry." "Stop it!" "I'll give you something to really cry about.") Those blocks, in turn are hurtful, and make it hard for us to risk releasing (or even feeling) our hurts. But when we actually have (and can notice) safety and the calm, confident attention from someone else, we automatically release these emotional hurts. I gently and compassionately offer that calm, confident attention. I also offer you safe ways to quickly go into and come out of deep feelings, so that they no longer overwhelm you.

Trauma Counselling

I offer a range of methods to help you heal from early or recent traumatic experiences. One of these is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a gentle, safe way to recover completely from traumatic experiences. (Level II certification). I also apply methods developed by John Briere (Treating complex trauma), Franz Pearl (Gestalt), and Diana Fosha (Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy).
Here are some articles and websites regarding these approaches that I have found especially useful:

* EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (Frances Shapiro)
* Treating Adult Survivors of Severe Childhood Abuse and Neglect. (John Briere)
* Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Therapy (Diana Fosha)
* Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy for Trauma Survivors (Sue Johnson)

Couples and Family Counselling

I help to heal the roots of conflicts that damage your relationships and to recreate loving, healthy connections. My approach to couples counseling emphasizes healing attachment hurts from childhood and teaching couples how to become more loving allies to one another.

For more information on my approach to couples and family counselling:
* Relationship Counselling (Diana Ralph) (138KB pdf)
* Emotion-focused Therapy (Sue Johnson)
* Parenting Help (Patty Wipfler)

Anti-Oppression Counselling

We all have been hurt by societal oppressions (sexism, racism, homophobia, able-ism, as well as oppressions from social class, language, religious upbringing, and societal oppression of men). I can help you heal from these hurts and regain your full pride and joy in life. I have devoted my life to ending oppression and injustice. In addition to being a therapist, I am a community organizer and activist on a broad range of issues. In my counseling, I validate the specific damaging impacts of societal oppressions and help you reconnect with your full power, intelligence, and goodness.

Addictions Counselling

To survive traumatic hurts, we find ways to cope with, numb out, or "soothe" the resulting overwhelming and painful feelings. That happens especially when there's no one who can welcome our pain, grief, rage, horror, and fear. We were brilliant to figure out these self-soothing methods and survive.

But without outside support, these coping methods gradually take on a life of their own. It feels like we can't live without the (apparently) soothing substance, behavior, or compulsive thoughts. While they masquerade as "treats" and promise to make us feel better, in fact they tend to make us feel ashamed, isolated, hopeless, and stuck. They limit our lives, our clear thinking, our relationships, our courage, and our joy.

I offer a fresh, affirming approach to help you heal from the original pain, to gently free you from the addictive thoughts, substances, and behaviors, and to reconnect with your full zestful live and loving connections with others.

Additional information regarding Addictions Counselling:
* Healing From Addictions (Diana Ralph) (75KB pdf)
* In the realm of Hungry ghosts: Close encounters with addiction (Gabor Mate)
* Addictions and Trauma Recovery (Dusty Miller)

Play Therapy

For both children and adults, play is a powerful way of working through old hurts and freeing the places in our lives that are stuck.
For a comprehensive explanation, see:
* Play therapy (Eliana Gil)