My Practice

My Clinical Social Work and Clinical Counselling Practice can be described in terms of My Approach, Theories and Models.

My Approach is Relational, Strength-Based, Somatic and Trauma-Informed. These approaches weave together to describe my overall way of working with clients.

The relational-based approach is founded on the core value of recognizing the inherent dignity and worth of the client and the importance of the client-therapist relationship.  Developing a sense of safety and trust with clients is foundational. I believe we are all doing our best to navigate our lives, that we are not meant to struggle on our own, and that a therapeutic relationship can assist us to reconnect with our inherent wisdom.

The somatic psychotherapy approach is relational work.  Relationship with the therapist, the body and the mind. Our body holds the history of our experiences.  Most often there is complexity to the stories of our lives. The body’s nervous system can guide us and call attention to resolve our unresolved experiences. The somatic psychotherapy approach focusses on assisting to digest and metabolize our experiences; creating more organization and coherence to the stories of our lives.

The trauma-informed approach is based on having a theoretical understanding of brain development, and how trauma impacts brain development. Therapy can assist to reorganize traumatic experiences and disrupted attachment to bring of a new sense of self and wholeness.

Theory guides me to understand, describe, explain and predict what and why something is happening and what can be done to bring change the client is seeking. The theories that inform my practice are:

  • Attachment Theory,
  • Somatic and Poly Vagal Theory,
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology,
  • Psycho-Social Development Theory,

Models refer to the interventions and treatment options.  I have received training and certification in several relational evidenced-based treatment models to work with children, parents and adults, such as:

  • Somatic Attachment Psychotherapy,
  • Video-Intervention Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline,
  • Child-Parent Psychotherapy,
  • Expressive Holistic Therapy,
  • Circle of Security-Parenting.

My practice continues to evolve; I am a lifelong learner.  I am passionate about the work I do. I look forward to assisting others to achieving the changes they are seeking.


I have studied extensively, and continue to do so, in the field of play, trauma,

attachment, infant and child development, child-parent psychotherapy,

relational practice, emergent neuroscience, and somatic therapies. 

I have studied Holistic Expressive Therapy with Dr. Marie-Jose Dhaese.

My interest expanded to early intervention with Watch, Wait, and Wonder

with Dr. Mirek Lojkasek and Child-Parent Psychotherapy

created by Dr. Alicia Lieberman and Dr. Patricia Van Horn.

I attended seminars with the luminaries in the field,

including Dr. Ed Tronick and Dr. Peter Fonagy,

when I completed the Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program.

I have trained with Dr. Sonya Vellet and Dr. Naomi Gribneau-Bahm

in the Adult Attachment Interview Training.

I have studied with Dr. Loray Daws in the Masterson’s Disorders of the Self

and with Dr. Peter Fonagy and Dr. Anthony Bateman

in Mentalization-Based Treatment.

I have taken advanced studies with Dr. Allan Schore

in the Neurobiology of Development and Affect Regulation

and with Dr. Lisa Mortimore in the Advanced Somatic Attachment

Psychotherapy: Bringing the Body into Practice.

All these training weave together to provide an integrative

attachment/relational and somatic-based approach to my practice.


  • Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work –  University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC


  • BC College of Social Workers (08439)
  • BC Association of Social Workers (1007219)
  • BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (15802)
  • Ont. College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (837479)
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Member (11246908)

Contact Dawn

I am here to assist.

Book your free 20-minute phone consultation.

For emergencies call 911 or visit your nearest hospital.

#212 - 2186 Oak Bay Avenue

Victoria, BC V8R 1G3

Sather Counselling & Consulting Inc. respectfully acknowledges that we live and work within the ancestral and unceded territory of the Lkwungen  People, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. We offer gratitude to the traditional keepers of these lands, waters, and supernatural ones.

A designation of BC Association of Clinical Counsellors