Matthew Harpster has been in the business of helping for nearly two decades. He earned his Masters in Clinical Counselling from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2000. Matt is a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (# 005048).
He has experience both as a therapist and an high school teacher. He helps clients strengthen themselves through life strategies and by building support networks. His goal is to enable clients to understand themselves better, develop goals and then make plans to achieve those goals. He is trained in and uses many techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
Therapy can be accomplished with individuals, couples or family. Matt has advanced training and experience with issues regarding anger management, crisis, anxiety and depression. He also has extensive experience in working with troubled youth and their families.
Matt lives in Waterloo and enjoys spending time with his family and his dog Maple.
What is counselling?
Counselling is an opportunity for a person, couple or family to talk to a professionally trained therapist about the difficulties they are experiencing. These discussions occur in the context of a supportive, non-judgmental therapeutic environment and are typically focused on thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The counsellor’s role is to listen attentively and to offer support, advice and new perspectives on the issue.
Common reasons why people seek counselling:
- Self esteem and feelings of unworthiness/inadequacy
- Body image concerns
- Emotional impact of health issues
- Depression, chronic feelings of sadness, guilt or shame
- Anxiety and the tendency to overthink
- Difficulty managing stress or emotions
- Grief and loss
- Issues pertaining to gender and sexual identity
- Dealing with past or current trauma
- Life transitions (shifts in career, relationships)
- Relationship difficulties
- Challenges of parenthood
- Difficulties with addiction (substances, gambling, or sex addiction)
What can I expect when I see Laura for counselling?
“Well, to put it simply, we’ll be talking a lot about you! Both the initial and follow-up sessions are 50 minutes in length. During those appointments, we will be exploring the issues that bring you to counselling, and the symptoms you are experiencing in detail. I will ask you questions about the history of the issue, and may want to learn more about your childhood, current relationships and social supports, how you spend your time, what your values and interests are, and what your hopes and goals are for the future. I understand that opening up can be hard, so we work together to establish a pace that is comfortable for you – I won’t force you to talk about something if you’re not ready. We will discuss different techniques that can help you cope, work to establish and meet goals that are meaningful for you, and there may even be a few small homework assignments between sessions.” – Laura
What can I expect when I see Jessica for counselling?
“As a Trauma Therapist, trust is a huge piece of successful therapy. When you first meet me, you’ll notice I’m pretty relaxed and right to the point. I offer free 15-minute Meet and Greets to ensure that the fit feels right for you. I may not be your therapist, and thats OK! If I am, great!
I’ll share with you what trauma therapy is and ask what brought you to therapy. After you share some details about you, I will give you some extra things to consider before booking.
Sessions are very focused and based in exposure therapy, meaning that I will ask you to go into detail about your traumatic experience. This may involve childhood emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual abuse, neglect or drug/alcohol dependence. If reading that made you scared, know that it is OK that you feel that way. That is your nervous system kicking in (my favourite part of the body!).
Because trauma is extremely complex, I provide psycho-education throughout the sessions when relevant. Often times, it is about the nervous system. I believe that part of healing, is knowledge. There are studies that have found that If you can understand why something happens, you are less likely to be afraid of it. The more you talk about something, the more desensitized to it you become.
If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to meet you in person. If you’d like to learn more you can visit my website at www.alongsidetrauma.ca”