Arliss Kurtz is a registered Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years of experience and is part of our integrated health care team.
She offers evidenced-based therapy services to children, youth, families, and adults. Ms. Kurtz specializes in areas of mental health, trauma, risk, attachment and parenting issues.
Consultative services are available to address various socio-emotional, behavioural, and mental health concerns and biological/ foster/ adoptive parenting complexities.
Clientele can expect to be welcomed by Ms. Kurtz with respect, kindness, and care. The comfortable office space within the Nature Doctors Clinic offers a safe and peaceful place to address the issues and concerns that have resulted in the need for treatment services.
Biological and/or situational factors can raise the risk for developing mental health problems. Treatment interventions combined with psycho-educational information can help mitigate risk and relieve mental health distress.
Sometimes, thoughts, feelings, physiological responses, and behaviours may be a reactive response to troubling past events. A history of trauma can result in symptoms that present similarly to other mental health problems. Resolution of the traumatic experience(s) can reduce the issues of concern and increase positive coping strategies and ability to make healthy personal choices.
When processing the impact of trauma and adversity, Ms. Kurtz employs a variety of approaches that takes into consideration the individual’s age and stage of development, areas of interest, culture, personal values, and respectfully references (if appropriate) the individual’s spiritual beliefs.
Narrative (storytelling) approaches, combined with the individual’s preferred forms of self-expression (such as play, art, composition, music), gradually addresses the impact of the traumatic event(s) on the client’s functioning and reframes negativistic thinking to a more positive outlook to aid recovery from trauma.
In addition to “top down” talk therapy approaches, Ms. Kurtz encourages “bottom up” emotion regulation strategies that calm the mind, heart rate, and muscle tension, and develops self-care strategies with the individual to help reduce one’s vulnerability to stress and overwhelming emotions.
Ms. Kurtz will explore exceptions to the problems and will highlight the individual’s strengths and/or positive personal goals. The therapy team will be encouraged to assist the individual to “start” or “do more” of these areas of strength, interest, and healthy functioning. As needed, Ms. Kurtz will assist the individual and/or the therapy team to connect to additional resources that can further the implementation of constructive activities and pro-social change.
Ms. Kurtz works with clients of all ages and from varying backgrounds.
Multi-modal, creative approaches are used that encourage engagement and helps the youth to express and process their thoughts and feelings in developmentally appropriate ways. Communication with parents and caregivers about how to help their child at home is a key component of therapy.
Individual service will be provided that processes the emotional impact of the identified area of concern, aids enhanced coping skill development, and provides psycho-education for a changed perspective to aid recovery.
For complex situations, Ms. Kurtz encourages a team approach to therapy through the support of various “systems” in the individual’s life such as family, alternative caregivers, health care providers, school staff, spiritual leaders, child welfare personnel, corrections staff, probation officers etc.
A team approach ensures that involved significant others gain empathic awareness of the underlying experiences and emotions that may be at the basis of the concerns that led to the referral for therapy. With increased attunement, the “therapy team” may then more effectively respond to address the individual’s needs in his or her home/residential, and community environments to encourage healthy relationships and experiences.
Sometimes, the journey to recovery and good mental/socio-emotional/behavioural health can present complex challenges along the way. Clientele can expect Ms. Kurtz to be an assertive, conscientious, and effective advocate within the system when a strong, empathic voice is needed to help raise others’ awareness and understanding of the client’s needs and unique situation. If the need for psychological, psychiatric or health care services becomes apparent, Ms. Kurtz will make referral recommendations to assist the client’s therapy team in this process.
In order to provide the best possible treatment plan for her clientele, to engage in ethically responsible practice and to meet the standards of the Manitoba College of Social Workers, Ms. Kurtz receives regular clinical consultation from a registered psychologist who specializes in assessment and treatment with children, adults, and families and a licensed independent clinical social worker with a doctorate in education who is a Fellow of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and a leading expert in the field of juvenile sexual risk and treatment.
Ms. Kurtz is also committed to on-going professional development through self-directed learning and attending a variety of trainings, conferences, webinars, and peer-support opportunities to keep her knowledge up to date regarding research and evidenced-based treatment methods.
Ms. Kurtz consults and complies with the standards, ethical guidelines, and privacy regulations set by the Manitoba College of Social Workers and the Canadian Association of Social Workers, as well as applicable provincial legislation related to child welfare, mental health, and privacy.
Ms. Kurtz’s approach to therapy is largely grounded in the model of the Trauma Outcome Process, as well as multi-systemic, cognitive-behavioural, solution-focused, motivational, and strength-based.
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