Pauline Goh, MA, RCC, FOT
Registered Clinical Counsellor, Certified Focusing-Oriented Therapist
I am always amazed by the strength and resiliency of my clients, and how their crisis points (marked by depression, anxiety, grief, affairs, “falling apart,” “feeling stuck,” “caught between two places”) have been the catalysts for change in their lives. As a counsellor, I feel privileged to bear witness and to accompany each client, wherever he/she may be, on his/her unique journey. I’ve noticed that if the “seed” is tended and nurtured, the possibilities are tremendous.
In my counselling practice, I like to explore “resourcing” with my clients – how to engage all their inner and outer resources throughout our work together. At the same time, I hold with respect, curiosity, and non-judgment all aspects of the client – including places related to the “shadow,” addictions and tendencies, or feelings such as self loathing, guilt, or shame.
As a culturally sensitive counsellor, I bring forth strengths and references from my own immigration and adaptation experiences, and from working and travelling internationally (including Asia Pacific, South Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe). In addition, I come with an experiential understanding of organizational/workplace issues from my previous 16-year career in the business/corporate world.
Having completed my certification training in focusing-oriented therapy, I frequently integrate this, along with other modalities – such as mindfulness practice, cognitive/behavioural, and transpersonal psychology, in my practice. What I like about focusing is that it is client-centered. It is respectful and gentle, and it brings us into our felt sense and body, facilitating right brain communication. I have found focusing to be effective, in working safely with trauma and PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, body image issues, as well as in enhancing self esteem and creativity, and in exploring dreamwork.
Couples counselling is an area of great interest for me. I have worked with many couples to help them deal with affairs, anger/conflict management, addiction, communication issues, cross-cultural and parenting differences. My continuing education in couples counselling training include emotionally-focused therapy and Gottman couples therapy.
I am a regular presenter on topics such as Mind-Body Health, Immigration: Settlement & Adaptation, Depression & Anxiety, Stress Management, Parenting, Grief & Loss, and Couples Communication.
Before setting up my private practice in BC in 2009, I worked in San Francisco as Behavioral Health Counselor at PAES Counseling & Pre-Vocational Services (PCS), dealing with welfare-to-work transitions and issues such as substance abuse/addiction, depression, and anxiety. I also co-facilitated an expressive arts group to deal with grief and loss. Prior to that, I completed a year-long extensive training at the Golden Gate Integral Counseling Center in San Francisco. I also have volunteer counselling experience working with African refugees in Hong Kong, who were dealing with trauma and grief.
In my personal life, I am a wife and parent, and a practitioner of Tai Chi and Vipassana meditation. I have a keen interest in creativity/music/arts, First Nations/nature-based resources, neuroscience, and the bridging of psychology with spirituality. I also enjoy integrating Buddhist/Taoist philosophies, such as the fundamentals of opposing/complementary as well as non judgment and curiosity in psychotherapy.