Colleen’s training and therapeutic approach stem from an anti-oppressive lens that underpins her praxis - where theory and practise meet. Anti-oppressive theory acknowledges that oppression can intersect in an individual’s life creating oppression in multiple layers, for example: race, class, gender, and sexual identity or orientation. Colleen practises from an anti-oppressive lens and her approach is to work with people from a position of acceptance, understanding and empathy, while respecting their autonomy.
Colleen’s therapeutic modality is holistic and takes the medicine wheel into account, where the whole person is acknowledged: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. As such, Colleen also uses narrative therapy in her counselling practise. Narrative therapy separates the individual from his or her concern, issue or problem and helps to identify patterns of strength in individuals so that they can reframe their story. The narrative therapy approach comes alongside individuals by acknowledging that they are the experts in their own lives: the therapist is not the expert but facilitates growth and change with the individual seeking help. Narrative therapy helps to identify external factors that contribute to an individual’s seemingly overarching problem, putting issues into new light.