Clinical Counsellor

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Attachment Theory

Attachment theory is beneficial to understanding our relationships with others. Bowlby developed attachment theory which initially focused on the relationship between mother and infant. He defined attached as an emotional bond to a particular individual who is seen as providing protection, comfort and support. This is a biological function that occurs during infancy and is important for an individual’s future relationships. During attachment in childhood, the individual develops beliefs and expectations about themselves and others. If individuals experience attachment-related anxiety or if they tend to seek out or avoid closeness when anxiety is activated this can continue into adulthood relationships. In adulthood, attachment occurs in romantic relationships. These differ from childhood attachment because it is reciprocal; both people become attached to each other whereas in childhood attachment, the child becomes attached to the caregiver.
Bowlby also discussed four attachment patterns; secure, preoccupied, dismissing and fearful. If an individual has a secure attachment they have low anxiety and low avoidance. They are capable of intimacy and interdependence, and they have positive views of self and others. Individuals who are preoccupied have high anxiety and low avoidance. They are preoccupied with close relationships and prone to anxiety. They also rely excessively on others for their self-worth. Individuals with a fearful attachment have high anxiety and high avoidance. They fear hurt and rejection, tend to have low self-esteem and avoid closeness. Individuals with a dismissing attachment have low anxiety and high avoidance. They tend to have high self-worth, low expectations of close others and deal with upsets on their own.
Thus, attachment theory helps us to understand our adult relationships. It can be difficult to identify which attachment pattern we are displaying, but individual or couples counselling can greatly help with this.


The Satir Model

Virginia Satir’s therapy model is based on the premise that change is possible and that we all have the internal resources we need to cope successfully and to grow. Thus, she believes that the person is not the problem, but rather, coping is the problem. Accordingly, therapy focuses on improving how an individual copes rather than solving problems.
Similarly, she states that feelings belong to the individual, and therefore we can learn to change them, manage them, and enjoy them. Furthermore, individuals have decisions in the way that they react, cope, and are. Therefore, Satir states that individuals choose their actions. For example, an individual chooses to be agitated. So, since feelings belong to us and we choose our actions, we can also choose to and learn to react in a positive manner.
Satir also believed that partners tend to repeat the familiar patterns from their childhood, even if these patterns are dysfunctional. It follows then that it is important to know a person’s origin and family, in order to better understand their current behaviours and possible problems. Similarly, Satir posits that the first caregivers an individual has will affect them dramatically.
Also in childhood, individuals learn certain stances. These may have benefited from them during their childhood, but they no longer need them. However, often individuals continue to use these stances and it is in therapy that they can be addressed. These four stances are being super reasonable, irrelevant, placating and blaming.
This is also a great book to better understand Satir’s model of therapy. It can also help individuals to understand themselves and how Satir views change, prior to or in conjunction to therapy.

Satir, V. M., Banment, J., Gerber, J., & Gomori, M. (1991). The Satir model: Family therapy and beyond. Palto Alto, CA: Science & Behavior Books.

For Youth

Here is a very helpful website for youth provided by the Vancouver Crisis Centre. They have great information on many topics related to youth. I recommend this for youth and parents.

I also highly recommend their chat service. Although telephone counselling is also available at the Crisis Centre, this website allows individuals to talk to someone via instant messaging, which is often more appealing to teenagers and young adults.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

Hello! My name is Caroline Lupetin and I am a clinical counsellor in Coquitlam, BC. I thoroughly enjoy working with teenagers, adults, and families and will be providing useful information for you.

I am also available to provide counselling in the lower mainland, and can be reached at 604-720-8359 or by email at

I can answer any questions you may have prior to starting counselling sessions.