My name is Luke. I work as a Registered Nurse (RN), Psychotherapist with Sheena Howard and Associates. Prior to this, I have worked in Nogojiwanong-Peterborough, loving our city’s most vulnerable people. During this time, I have been fortunate to draw many valuable lessons from my experiences. I am thankful to have this opportunity to connect with you.

Many years ago, I swore during a professional interaction. Instead of being offended, the person I was speaking with smiled, took a deep breath, and said, “Thank you for swearing”. The appointment continued, and we were successful in connecting more deeply than expected. In the closing moments of the interaction, I asked about their thanks. This is what they shared, “It was very difficult for me to come here today and when you swore, it made me feel comfortable, like you are just another person, and you were here to help in a real way.” My brief slip of authenticity removed a barrier between us, demystified what we were trying to do and built a stronger connection between us.

Over time, I have come to define authenticity in my practice as a matching of my “self” in community to the self that I bring to any interaction. It has allowed me to bring my thoughts and feelings into practice in genuine and caring ways. Authenticity builds real and foundational rapport between a therapist and a client and creates a space where your feelings, thoughts, and concerns reach and land with another person. They matter. They are heard. In this way, we build a shared and meaningful experience where the potential for growth is unlimited.

There is reciprocity here as well. Authenticity has helped me to identify and articulate my values. It has taught me who I am at my core, and consequently has increased my sense of self worth. It feels good to be your authentic self, but to do so takes knowing who that person is, how they operate in the world. That takes time.

The bottom line is this. When we walk with ourselves, we gain calm, and we grow more easily towards our goals. Authenticity is a deep accepting breath of who you are and who you want to be. When I bring Authenticity to my therapeutic interactions, I am demonstrating vulnerability, which in turn allows for a safe and welcome space for its return from the client. I believe that my job as an RN Psychotherapist is to bring my full self to my interactions.

To look for opportunities to grow comfort in a shared space and to create an environment geared towards growth of who/where you want to be. I care about the people I work with, whether in a clinic, on the sidewalk or over Zoom. I want to help, and frankly, I give a shit.