Christine Hillis is a Registered Social Worker with undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Social Work through the University of Waterloo, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work through Dalhousie University. Her main area of practice is within grief and trauma. She has received formal training in narrative therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), grief and bereavement, traumatic bereavement, IFS (Internal Family Systems), mindfulness, and Gottman Method Couples Therapy: Level 2.
Christine started working in mental health over nine years ago with the ideology that you should “become who you needed when you were younger.” She has worked with individuals with a range of backgrounds. Her passion for working with grief and trauma grew over the years upon recognizing that our past experiences impact us more than we may realize.
Christine uses a postmodern approach drawing from her training in narrative therapy, mindfulness, IFS, and EMDR. She believes that together it is possible to create new stories of our lives that feel more empowering and genuine. She cares about the messaging we have internalized throughout our lives and encourages individuals to determine what messages still serve them. EMDR allows her to reprocess some of these messages.
Christine also has extensive experience working with traumatic bereavement and first responders. Trauma can get in the way of being able to grieve our losses. EMDR can be helpful when we cannot access the good memories of those we have lost because traumatic images are flooding our minds. She also became passionate about working with first responders after being a crisis clinician working out of police detachments.
During our darkest times, it is important to remember that we do not need to suffer in silence. Sometimes it is difficult to verbally express how we feel and we might not know how to ask our partner for support; this is when coming to see a therapist as a couple can be beneficial. Through guided sessions, couples are able to strengthen their bond and to learn the skills required to fully communicate with one another during the most challenging times. Using methods cultivated by the Gottman Institute for Couples Therapy, Christine is able to fully examine the relationship and determine its strengths, as well as the areas that need a little more development. As a Gottman trained therapist, she is able to provide suggestions to strengthen the particular areas of potential growth.
When Christine is not working, she is most likely to be found being active or somewhere in the woods. Her giant Bernese Mountain dog is most likely not far from her.
Many Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and extended health care plans will cover services rendered by a Registered Social Worker.