Dr. Beverly Ulak, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Registered Psychologist in London, Ontario
The context and history of our lives can shape how we see ourselves and others, how we view the future, and how we treat ourselves in the here and now.
The kinds of interactions we had growing up in our families, and with others, particularly during our school years, impact greatly on our identities, world view, and self-worth.
In life, the negative “what ifs” can come to dominate our minds and it is difficult to consider that we can still be agents of change. We can collapse into our hopelessness or pain.
When we are stuck, it is easy to believe that it is the end of days, versus the start of something new. Painful feelings and non-constructive thoughts can take on a life of their own, and result in a confusing tangle. We see no way out, and we find it hard to consider the possibility that there are different ways to move with, and through our troubles.
The relief we seek, and some of the things we do to grasp for happiness, often results in disappointment. The more we try, the worse it gets. It can become increasingly difficult to view ourselves as valid or even visible in this world. There can be a persistent feeling of pain, loss, anger, and unfairness.
In our work together, we will look at the powerful interaction between your lived experience and your values, thoughts, and feelings. You may come to view your feelings as useful and practical information rather than as mysterious and frightening interferences.
Therapy is an opportunity to re-visit yourself, to find compassion and peace with who you are, to work with what you have, and to decide how you should like to proceed.
I am a Registered Counselling Psychologist and I work from a contemporary and eclectic humanistic perspective. My work is strongly influenced by the Acceptance and Commitment model of psychotherapy, which is a form of CBT. I am experienced in Emotion Focused Therapy or EFT, and in traditional Gestalt. I have a solid foundation in the science of psychology and in qualitative research.
Complimentary to science is personal experience, symbolism, metaphor, dream work, art, writing, and the meanings that we take from our cultural and familial backgrounds. The practice of constructive critique will be emphasized in therapy, with the onus on the idea that you are a unique work in progress.
My academic background originates in Liberal and Fine Art at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, where I studied both in Toronto and off campus in Florence Italy. I did my Undergraduate Honours Degree at Guelph University in Psychology and Fine Art, and I completed my Ontario Teacher’s Certificate after my Bachelor of Education at Western’s Faculty of Education. (High School Arts and Humanities). For twelve years I taught counselling and psychology courses within the Art Therapy Diploma program at Western. I have a strong foundation in theory and practice that incorporates visual and symbolic modalities into psychotherapy.
I have worked extensively in the areas of trauma, interpersonal stress, anxiety, physical pain, and overall personal development and stress management. For the past twenty years I have provided and continue to provide, clinical supervision and education to Master’s level interns and Clinical Psychology Residents. For more than 26 years I have, and I continue to provide therapy to university students.
I promote psychological health by helping people to recognize and build upon their inherent strengths, and to tap into their natural creativity, in order to make positive changes in their lives.