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Our style of therapy can be described as conversational, existential, non-prescriptive, compassionate and often laced with humor.
Our aim is to not reduce what you’re facing to issues of personal psychology – we strive to acknowledge and understand the full context of your lived experience; the social, cultural, political, and historical aspects that make up your experience in the world.   

Style of Therapy

By training, both Dr. Wayne Dykstra and Gloria Dykstra are existential-phenomenological therapists (which is a mouthful), but in the simplest terms this means we approach our work from the stance that all who experience pain and suffering are wrestling with issues of existence. These are issues surrounding death & grief, suffering caused by isolation in its many forms, and the struggle to make meaning in our lives.

Often despair, pain and suffering are nested in our personal search to resolve the questions of meaning in our lives: What am I meant to be doing? Why am I here? Why do I experience so much pain?

The phenomenology piece is, very simply, the peeling back of the layers in these experiences. What underlies the anger you’re experiencing? Or the anxiety you feel? What lies below the stress you feel in your day-to-day life?

When we sit with a client, we are listening in particular for your attachment styles in relationships - how early attachment wounds may affect your current relationships, or ways of relating. We’ll get curious, together, about what you need from others in your life, what may be missing and how to settle into understanding what those needs are.

What can I expect during a first therapy session?


First therapy sessions are about getting to know each other and filling in some background about what brings you to therapy. For those who are brand new to therapy, we might spend some more time asking questions during that first session. Others might have a good deal they'd like to share for context during the initial sessions.
Initial sessions are *not* about re-telling of traumatic histories, or getting the big-picture all at once. We figure out the pace together. 

How long does therapy last?


Generally speaking, therapy can last anywhere from 6 months to many years at a time. We tend to see clients longer term, and of course there are situations where you might only see a therapist for a short time. 

How often will I see my therapist?


Ideally we see clients once a week, which helps create momentum in our work together that improves its impact in your life. 
And of course we understand some folks' circumstances mean coming twice monthly, or even less, makes the most sense. We will always do our best to ensure our time together is of value.  

Can we meet in person?

Yes, we have an office in East Vancouver, on Commercial Drive (easily accessible via bus routes, with free parking, and an accessible building). 

What is virtual therapy like?

Admittedly, when virtual therapy became required (March 2020), we had our reservations about its efficacy. Now, we can say it is absolutely comparable and essential, from an accessibility standpoint.  
We find it doesn't impede our ability to create close relationships or to do good therapy together. 
What Software do you use for Virtual Sessions? Is it secure?


We have a few options for meeting virtually, all of which are encrypted and meet the PIPA and HIPAA requirements for protected health information. We use Jane App for our scheduling, encrypted video and secure billing software. We also have access to and Zoom applications which we have Business Associates Agreements (BAA) with, that ensure their privacy standards. 


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