Qualifications & Training
I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC #12377) with more than 20 years experience in the fields of Counselling and Education, working various times as a clinician, university professor, and/or scholar. I have a Bachelors of Arts (Psychology, Honours, SFU), Masters in Counselling Psychology (SFU) and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (SFU). I have taught Counselling and Education at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and City University, and I have provided clinical supervision for more than 70 Masters level counsellors throughout the lower mainland and Ontario.
I am trained in accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (AEDP), emotion-focused, existential, narrative, solution-focused, and cognitive-behavioural approaches, and hold additional certifications in emotion-focused therapy (Dr. Les Greenberg), accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy (Dr. Diana Fosha; Dr. Ron Fredrick; Dr. Karen Krantz; Dale Trimble), grief therapy (Dr. Robert Neiymeyer), narrative therapy (Dr. Stephen Madigan & Dr. David Nylund), emotion-focused couples therapy (Dr. Sue Johnson), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT; Dr. Alex Chapman & Dr. John Warner) and collaborative divorce (BC Collaborative Roster Society). I engage in ongoing training and supervision.
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My clinical experience includes the provision of personal, career, group, and family counselling, as well as psychoeducational workshops at two university counselling centres, multiple non-profit agencies focused on issues related to HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol treatment, and crisis support work. I currently work in my private practice, teach university, supervise graduate students and run a group for cancer survivors.
I have taught Counselling and Education at Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, City University, and I am currently an approved thesis and clinical supervisor for students at various professional graduate programs in counselling in Vancouver.
My academic work explores the way in which sociocultural, political, historical, and economic conditions inform the ways we make sense of our lives and our difficulties, and how these understandings can be shifted in meaningful and positive ways. I have been honoured by the American Psychological Association’s Society for Theoretical & Philosophical Psychology for my writing in this area and I am a reviewer for several academic journals including the Canadian Journal of Counselling & Psychotherapy and The Journal of Theoretical & Philosophical Psychology. For more information on my academic work see: Publications
Having had to redefine both my personal and professional identities following a series of sports and work-related injuries, I understand the many frustrations, pressures, and losses that occur in response to transitions (expected or unexpected) and the means to ultimately succeed and flourish in the wake of change. I am passionate about supporting others in the process of redefining their personal and/or professional identities in response to change, loss, or a desire for a new way of being.
My theoretical orientation is strongly informed by emotion-focused and constructivist therapies which focus on the ways individuals make meaning of their emotions, identities, relationships, and experiences, and the process of producing new meanings in order to provide new possibilities for living.
In putting theory to practice, I draw on a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches (e.g., AEDP, narrative-constructivist, existential, emotion-focused therapy, solution-focused therapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy). However, my work with clients is always based first and foremost on a deep belief in the importance of a strong, respectful therapeutic relationship, the need for every person to feel valued, heard, and known, and the importance of proceeding collaboratively and according to specific client needs, wants, and goals.
A Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) must meet the provincial standards of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) by completing specific academic criteria and engaging in ongoing clinical supervision. RCC's are required to abide by a Code of Ethical Conduct as well as Standards of Clinical Practice.
Sarah Hickinbottom Counselling
Online & Telephone Counselling
North Vancouver, BC