My approach is relational and kind-hearted, grounded in building safety and trust.
I view counselling as a practice of assisted self-discovery – where clients can feel seen and heard and move towards deeper levels of awareness. Throughout this process I support you in meaning making, healing and transformation, and hold space for you to reclaim pleasure, joy and satisfaction.
My goal is to help you relate to the inevitable uncertainties, impermanence and unknowns that shape our human lives by providing a soft landing place of support.
Trudi Smith is a Registered Clinical Counsellor RCC with a Masters degree in Counselling (MC). She also has a PhD in Art and Anthropology from the University of Victoria. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at University of Victoria.
More about Trudi
I love this work. It’s always been a part of who I am. I’m a white Settler of Scottish and mixed European descent and over the course of my life I have experienced healing, growth and connection by moseying and making things within boreal forests, alpine meadows, and shoreline ecologies: the territories of the Miꞌkmaꞌki, the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation, and the Lekwungen and WSÁNEC peoples.
I completed a Masters in Counselling with a focus on expressive arts and ecotherapy. My capstone research and writing focused on the therapeutic potential of creative practices to support curiosity and to foster felt belonging in and connection to more than human worlds.
I acknowledge with respect that I am working as a counsellor on the stolen territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
My pronouns are she/her/they/them.
I’m a registered clinical counsellor (RCC) through the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.
In working with clients, I draw on
Ecotherapy: Strengthening our connectedness within more than human worlds (aka nature) is central to our experience of wholeness and wellbeing as humans. Whether in the woods or online, I work to cultivate a sense of belonging in ourselves, communities and wider world to allow for experiences of active delight.
Somatic therapies: Establishing connection with the wisdom of the body (somatic intelligence) we focus on healing, adapting and widening our capacities to support physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. We work with mindfulness and mindful movement, and neurophysiological regulation.
Narrative and cognitive therapies: Offer ways of developing understandings of beliefs, thoughts, feelings, actions and experiences. The development of a rich self-story that sustains you.
Expressive arts therapy: Our creative interactions with art and playfulness can support the expression of memories, feelings or insights. Working beyond words, we may work with ritual and ceremony, or focus on the sensory aspect of creativity – the feeling of bending clay or hands holding pastel and mark making. A focus on creative expression alongside talking in counselling can enhance emotional, physical, and mental health.
Working with creativity, curiosity, process and reflection in a session we may make things. Sometimes it’s helpful to work in other than verbal registers. Working with our hands, with a lump of clay or pastel on paper may help us process emotions, sensations, and stuckness. New movements and sensations may emerge. If it fits for you, a session may include sensing, gathering, and co-creating temporary eco-sculptures, or working with materials like clay, felt, stone, paper, nature inks, watercolor.
Training and education
- Somatics. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Affect Dysregulation, Survival Defenses, and Traumatic Memory. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute.
- Nature Based Therapy. Introduction to Nature-Based Therapy and Advancing Skills in Nature-Based Therapy. Human-Nature Counselling.
- Polyvagal focused and Sensorimotor Expressive Arts Therapy. Trauma Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute.
- Psilicybin-assisted psychotherapy training. Therapsil.
- Anti-racism training. White Awake: Before we were white, antiracism training focused on ancestral recovery for collective liberation.
- Standing together and caring for one another. Mobilizing cultural safety and humility in professional practice. Len Pierre. BCACC.
- Sanyas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training
- Justice-Doing, Collective Ethics & The Zone of Fabulousness with Vikki Reynolds
- Horticultural Therapy
Feminist and queer theory inform my practice of counselling.
I draw on these approaches and I work with you to find a style that works best for you.
I previously completed a BFA in Photography at Emily Carr University, an MA in Environmental Studies, and a PhD in Art and Anthropology at the University of Victoria. I’m an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at University of Victoria. In research and as a professional artist I work with human and more than human communities at the intersection of experimental art, ethnography, and political ecology.