My name is Suzana Dujmic and I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counselling from City University of Seattle (Vancouver campus). I am a billingual (Serbo-Croatian) and bicultural counsellor with almost 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents/youth and their families in a variety of settings (education, collaborative practice-social work, family service work, clinical counselling). Children and the families I work with face diversity of all kinds on daily basis. Their strength and will to live a life that makes sense to them and to take a stand against personal, environmental and social barriers is a constant inspiration to me.
My philosophy of counselling is rooted in Narrative, Humanistic, Existential, Relational and Collaborative Therapeutic Modalities. I believe that the stories people tell themselves about their problems shape not only their lives but they also keep them from achieving their own potentials and prevent them from being who they really are. I understand problems as socially constructed entities that are not inherited or self-imposed. Within this understanding is a notion that neither the person nor the relationship between people is the problem. As White (1990) said, “the problem becomes the problem”.
As the name of my counselling agency suggests, one way to conquer problems and to reclaim our authentic life is to reach into what we already have, our inner power. This power within each one of us is what sustains us despite perceived weaknesses, diversity, social constructs and self-defeating behaviors. We often forget what got us going in the first place, what we stand for or believe in and consequently, we give in to negative self-talk or we cave in under the pressure of social expectations and roles others have assigned to us. The power within all of us never leave us, but it is up to us to reach into it so we reclaim our authentic state of being.
Further, I believe that theoretical modalities may inform a counsellor’s practice but the process of connecting and creating a space for change to take place is far more important than following a script someone else designed.
My worldview is one of human/nature’s connectedness, unconditional acceptance, integrity, dignity, respect, compassion and mutual trust. This worldview is informed by the work of G. Bateson, M. White, R.D. Lang, R. May, V. Franklin, C. Jung, Yalom and others who look for patterns of connections, explore meanings we assign to our experiences, witness human pain without the urge to run away, and look for unique outcomes instead of human pathologies.