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Amy's Blog

A place for Amy to share informative posts, her personal thoughts, rants and success stories. Your opinions and comments are more than welcome, so feel free to share them with everyone.

therapist grande prairie

Asking for help can be hard. Sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings can be hard; but change IS hard. Why is this? In a nutshell, it is because we as humans are creatures of habit and behaviour is habitual; we learn to do things a certain way and if it works it becomes our go to behaviour.

 

Motivation to make change might be high for most that come in for counselling, but there is going to be mixed feelings about replacing old behaviours for new. You as the client will have to weigh out the benefits versus the risks of changing your behaviours, for example “If I learn to not accept bad behavior from others, they may get mad at me and they may leave me” can be a reason that people are worried about change. Change can be scary!

 

What is needed for change? The answer is how motivated are you? If you are looking up information about mental health topics and checking out potential counsellors, then you are either in what we call the contemplative or preparation stage of change. Contemplative is when you know there is a problem; you’re thinking about change but you’re not totally committed to a plan of action. Preparation is you are ready to commit to a plan of action. As a clinical counsellor it is my job to empower you to make the changes you want to see in your life. Through the sharing of your story, together we identify the areas that require change, we identify the skills and strengths you already have and use, and we build a plan that is right for you.

 

Why is it important to have a plan? It is important to develop goals and different strategies to meet those goals so that you do not become frustrated and quit. This is a process that requires constant evaluation and possible tweaking of strategies, that when done alone can be overwhelming. That is why it is important to have someone like me on your team; you are the expert of yourself, you know what you capable of and what works for you (yes, you really do!) and I share the knowledge I have, so that you can be successful in reaching your goals. Together we work on keeping you on track and motivated for change.

stress and anxiety associated with mental health

Mental wellness is a positive state of mental health. It is more than the absence of mental illness. Being mentally well means that your mind is in order and functioning in your best interest. You are able to think, feel, and act in ways that create positive impact on your physical and social well-being.

 

The following may help you cope and help reduce anxiety as we navigate the developments of COVID-19:

· Set a Time Limit for Watching the News and Updates – Keep informed but do not let the information consumption take up too much of your time. Make sure you are using reliable information sources.

· Maintain Your Connections – Stay in touch with friends and family through social media, facetime, telephone conversations. Also see if you can go for walk or a bike ride with a friend and just stay 6 feet apart to stay safe.

· Maintain Healthy Habits – make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercise as often as you can. Also try to get outside for at least 30 minutes a day to enjoy the sun and feel like you are not trapped in your home.

· Perspective is Key – Remember that you have survived difficult situations in the past. Realize that the COVID-19 restrictions will slowly be decreasing so therefore there is hope to return to a “new normal”.

· Maintain your Normal – As much as you can, continue to live your normal life. Routine can create calm. For example, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time.

· Make Choices to Reduce your Anxiety – Select a daily activity that helps reduce stress can be very helpful. This can be anything from having a gratitude journal, meditation, yoga, a hobby, going for a bike ride, walking your pet, or getting fresh air by yourself.

 

If you are feeling overly stressed out or worrying more than usual and you notice the stress and anxiety is starting to disrupt your daily life, then it is time to ask for help. Speaking to one of our counsellors at Interactive Counselling would be beneficial. We can offer some new ideas and strategies to help you manage this new normal life with COVID-19. Please call us at Interactive Counselling to book a counselling appointment.

kelowna counsellor

Why Interactive Counselling? 

How are you different? 

What can you do to help me? 

How many sessions do I need? 

 

 

These are some of the questions that we receive when potential clients call to inquire about counselling sessions. And they are GREAT questions! So great in fact, that we thought we would take this opportunity to write about it! 

 

Firstly, our practice is called Interactive Counselling for a purpose. We strongly believe in “interacting” with clients on their level. We will meet you where you are at in your mental health, and where you want to be physically for your counselling sessions. Our Counsellors want to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible, as making the first step in seeking help can be extremely difficult for many.   

 

We are different because we work WITH clients. Every single one of our Counsellors caters to their client based on their individual needs. We are not a factory style counselling practice; our approach will differ between each client! We consider what works for you, and encourage open communication between Counsellor and client.  If something isn’t working for you, don’t be shy! Tell us. We don’t want to give you homework that won’t fit to your life (Example: we won’t tell you to read a book if you are a slow reader, dyslexic or maybe just hate reading).  

 

At Interactive Counselling we have full belief that there are a million ways to do a million things, which means when our Counsellors work with a client, we can find just the right fit for you. Don’t worry---it won’t hurt our feelings if you tell us something doesn’t work for you! So please feel comfortable to speak up to your Counsellor! We are on your team!!!  We are here to create a plan and provide you the tools to lead a happy, healthy and productive life.  Our Counsellors will ensure to collaborate with you throughout your therapeutic journey, standing by you and supporting you every step of the way. 

 

But don’t let this method trick you! Our Counsellors WILL offer you accountability. In fact, we thrive off of it!  While we believe in ensuring that things work for you, that won’t give you a “free pass” to not TRY the tools we provide.  If something doesn’t work, that’s fine---but we then ask the question WHY doesn’t it work? And in order for us to know why, it means that you actually need to participate in doing our homework. This will assist your Counsellor in understanding you better. What works, what doesn’t work, and how we can build from there. Accountability to your own self-growth is a key component to us catering our approach to you and your needs. Each client operates differently, thinks differently, reacts differently---no one is the same! Yes, people can be similar, but not one client is exactly the same as another. We recognize that, and that is why we are so successful in helping our clients. 
 
Now to talk about the dreaded “H” word---yes, that’s right! We give HOMEWORK!!!! But please don’t let that scare you away from reaching out for help. And no, it won’t be like writing a report. Your homework will be focused on your self-growth, and again, will vary based on your needs (Are you getting the hint yet? That we focus on YOU!!!! And love doing it like that).  It will help you obtain you goals at a quicker rate, moving you in forward direction towards an improved mental health state. Your Counsellor will ensure that it is something you will actually do (even though it may take some effort), and review it each session. The counselling process isn’t just the one or two hours that you come in for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! It is a practice that you as the client put into place and exercise the tools that you have learned in the session with your Counsellor. So please do not expect to come in for a session and think that it will make everything better without you utilizing what you have learned in your regular day to day life. 

 

It’s a good reminder that practice doesn’t make perfect! Practice makes permanent!!! Even Michael Jordan will miss a shot despite being one of the best basketball players in history. But because he practices so much, he is a consistent player, a strong player. And that is what we strive to help our clients achieve---a consistent and productive life that they want that may not result in perfect, but results in them gaining the strength to get through anything that they face.  

 

In order to gain the skills that we have been talking about, we always say to our clients---Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable. And what we mean by that, is that we want you to feel comfortable in the environment you choose for your counselling sessions, and we want you to be comfortable with your Counsellor, BUT we don’t want you to feel comfortable in your therapeutic journey at all times. With remaining in your comfort zone, you will never get to the point of growth. Our promise is to you that we will push your comfort zone to ensure we are moving forward in the counselling process therefore improving your mental health, but we will never cross your boundary.   All of us at Interactive Counselling absolutely love the saying “Great things never came from comfort zones”.  It is so true! We guide you throughout our time together, resulting in clients actually being excited to push their own boundaries. Please remember, we go at your pace---you’re always in control! That’s a key component to our working relationship with each client. If you ever feel like it’s too much or too fast, all you have to do is let us know! We don’t want you to get discouraged at any point in our time together. 

 

Many ask how many sessions they need, and quite honestly, it varies from person to person, and goal to goal. Some clients come in for one session seeking guidance on one matter, but find that they actually have more to work on. Others can complete their journey with us rather quickly. We often tell our clients that we are working our way out of a job! The more skills we provide you, the less you will need us. But know, that no matter the length between sessions, we are always here for you! We have had clients return after over five years because they came across something they have never had to deal with before and needed a little extra help. Our Counsellors are very open with clients, and come up with a treatment plan that is customized for you. However, sometimes things up that you didn’t see coming! Which can be our favourite, because that is an area that you can grow in that you didn’t even realize! How fun!! 

 

No matter which location you visit, and what Counsellor you see, you will find support, kindness and compassion. At Interactive Counselling we are committed to you, from beginning to end!  

 

We Offer: 

 

  • Kelowna Counselling Services 

  • Grande Prairie Counselling Services 

  • Online Video Chat Counselling Services 

  • Phone Counselling Services 

  • Email Counselling Services 

  • Text Counselling Services 

 

Types of Counselling We Offer: 

 

  • Individual Counselling 

  • Youth Counselling 

  • Marriage Counselling 

  • Couple’s Counselling 

  • Family Counselling 

  • Co-Parent Counselling 

  • Life Coaching 

  • Corporate and Company Coaching 

  • Athletic Counselling and Mental Coaching 

 

Area’s that our Counsellors work in (but not limited to): 

 

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety 

  • Trauma 

  • Relationship 

  • Autism  

  • Abuse 

  • Sexual Abuse 

  • Physical Abuse 

  • Children and Youth 

  • Anger Management 

  • Addictions 

  • ADD/ADHD 

 

Interactive Counselling understands that you may work during the day, or shift work, or maybe you need to get a babysitter so you can put your 100% focus on yourself during your sessions, so we try to make it easier! We offer a variety of hours including daytime, evening and even weekends to ensure that your schedule won’t be the thing that prevents you from getting help. If there are times that you need outside of our hours please do not hesitate to contact us, as we will do our best to accommodate your needs.  

 

 

Our Counsellors would be honoured to work with you. We are committed to creating productive stepping-stones for you to work towards a happier and more confident life that you deserve. 

 

 

To book with our Kelowna Counsellors please call or text us at (250) 859-4485 or visit our online booking site here

 

 

To book with our Grande Prairie Counsellors please call or text at (780) 512-8462 or visit our online booking site here

Fear, worry, a future unknown. If you're like most people, you are
glued to your social media and reading the words that conjure up
feelings of anxiety and depression. Due to the amount of information
at our disposal, we can become overwhelmed trying to figure out what
is the right information we need to be looking at in order to make
plans for our future. No control, more anxiety. No one is immune to
the feelings that are generated from this vast unknown and loss, and
while we may not be totally immune, we are very capable of handling
the feelings of depression and anxiety when we are taught the proper
tools.

There are many tools out there that are used to help us handle our
emotions, which is a good as "one size does not fit all". The one I am
going to share is one I use quite often during times like this;
Attitude of Gratitude. I like to use this tool as it not only helps me
remember what I do have moving forward into tomorrow, it also grounds
me in "the here and now"; helps me focus on today. Of all the tools we
have at our disposal, this one is by far the easiest one to do when we
are at our most depressed and anxious. It is also the one that is easy
to practice on a daily basis as it only takes a minute a day to do.

The idea is that everyday; the time being your choice (I do this while
drinking my morning coffee...soooooo grateful for coffee!), that you
pick 3 things that you are grateful for. When starting this people
sometimes have a hard time with it as our brains do not have the
tendency to go to the positive, but rather the negative. Annoying! So
we have to take the time everyday to practice! It can be as easy and
being grateful for a piece of chocolate or being able to view a
beautiful sunset, or more complex as being grateful for health, life,
and family; the great part is it can be anything!

Today I am grateful that I am alive and healthy; my family still
remains healthy; and that even though there is scary stuff going on in
the world, there is still beautiful and loving people in it showing us
that not matter what, we can still make a difference for the better.

What are you grateful for?

Parents crying in front of kids

"I don't want to cry in front of my kids"
"I don't want my kids to see me cry"
"I don't want to scare my kids if I am crying"

These are things that I am hearing from many parents. Do you want to know what I tell every single parent???

CRY!

It's OK to cry in front of your kids. But explain to them why you are crying (in an age appropriate way). Crying is a release, and it makes you feel better; so don't hold it in.

Right now there is a lot to cry about! Isolation creates a deep rooted feeling of being alone. Children are not in their normal routines, which causes them to have behaviours; and after a month of this, they may be bouncing off of the walls. This can cause parents frustration, and let's be honest! Our fuse is short. This alone can cause many parents to cry, and that's OK! If you don't cry, you will release the emotion in other ways---most often anger.

Crying is NOT a sign of weakness. It is natural. And it is important that we role model to our kids that you don't need to be strong at all times. This teaches our kids to process their emotions, instead of holding their feelings in. By crying in front of them, it teaches them many things!

My favourite way to explain to kids about how crying helps is below:

Tears are like magic!!! When you cry, you feel better. If you fall on the ground and hit your knee, you cry. And that's OK! And when you cry, do you feel better? (This helps give them a relatable example of how crying helps) They say Yes (at least 99% of the time).

By providing them an example of when they may cry, and how it makes them feel after, it teaches them to recognize their feelings. Being able to identify feelings is not a natural thing despite what people may think; it really is a skill.

It is also important to tell your kids why you are crying (when appropriate). It can be especially beneficial if they are the ones who are causing the frustration that leads to the tears, as it can teach them that their actions impact other people; even their parents.

Parents, now is the time to give yourself grace, and give children grace. We ALL have less patience for one another (yes, even kids) through this time. Remember to recognize your feelings, communicate them productively, and process them. You will feel a lot better when you do!

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