When working with adults experiencing adjustment issues, mental health problems, and other emotional difficulties, Irina helps clients to understand their thoughts and feelings as well as the impact of previous experiences and learnings, and how these affect the body, behaviour, relationships, and decisions.
Irina provides an opportunity to learn productive ways to reduce symptoms, clarify what is truly important and meaningful, and commit to taking action that improves and enriches life.
While Anxiety (General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, OCD, Social Anxiety, Phobias, Tics), Depression including Post Natal Depression, and Trauma (including complex trauma and PTSD) are the most common concerns Irina works with, she also enjoys working with people presenting with difficulties around intimate and work relationships, anger management and violence, stress management, and grief and loss. Irina is passionate about supporting women and men through the planning journey of starting a family, the pregnancy, the postpartum period, and parenting.
When working with children and adolescents with social, behavioural, cognitive, learning, and psychological challenges, Irina invites parents who wish to act as “co-therapists” to actively participate in the sessions. Irina also understands, however, that some parents would like to “take a break” from working out solutions and would prefer that their psychologist offers ways to facilitate change. Other parents may prefer their children to have their own space to explore concerns and learn new skills; yet others prefer to be trained so that they can help their child themselves.
Irina also works directly with parents to work through any matters that may “dominate” parenting, such as a parent’s own childhood experiences, mental health and wellbeing, grief and loss, values and meaning-making, and co-parenting. Such work, where relevant, allows the parent to be fully present and responsive to their child.
Parents often seek the psychologist’s input to help with advocating for accommodations at their child’s educational setting and for obtaining supporting evidence and documentation for funding purposes, social inclusion, individualized support, and academic integration for their child.
Irina has a special interest in working with clients on the autism spectrum and clients with attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, and executive functioning and “self-management” challenges (ADHD) to address mental health issues they may be experiencing, help embrace positive self-identity and adopt self-advocacy skills. Irina embraces neurodiversity, which refers to the natural variation in the human brain regarding various mental functions. Thus, she regards Autism and ADHD as a difference rather than a disability or a disorder.
Irina’s vision is to see people empowered by their gifts and passions; for them to learn self-acceptance, and see the uniqueness, contribution, and benefits in being and doing things differently rather than following the already established ways. Irina empowers her clients to advocate for accommodations, inclusion, and academic and vocational integration. Irina is confident that when the individual’s unique needs are met, they will be able to demonstrate their best abilities when learning, working, and communicating.
Irina’s philosophy is simple - “know who you are, and ask for what you need (assertively; rather than aggressively, or not at all)”. Irina believes that it is not the sole responsibility of a neurodiverse individual to learn to adjust and accommodate. It is their responsibility, however, to acknowledge and learn about their gifts, unique needs, and challenges - and then to communicate these to others. As in any relationship and two-way communication, the world and the individual can “meet halfway”.
Irina is confident that the world can benefit from embracing autism and ADHD by tapping into the special gifts and strengths of the individual, by becoming more flexible, creative, accommodating, accepting, and inclusive of all types of brains. Irina knows that accommodating Autism and ADHD is not as hard as it is often perceived to be, and is honoured to help make it practically possible.
Irina is a Psychology Board-approved Clinical Supervisor (principal). Irina embraces a competency-based, reflective, approach to supervision and provides both individual and group supervision.
Irina is eligible to supervise provisionally or generally registered psychologists undertaking:
- A 4+2 or 5+1 internship program
- Accredited higher degree programs (Master, Doctorate, Master with Ph.D. combined)
- A registrar program leading to Clinical endorsement
- Professional higher degree placements
- Transitional Program for overseas applicants