A Lifes Journey Counselling and Art Therapy


Beliefs and Therapeutic Approaches Used in Counselling

Art Therapy/Expressive Arts Therapy can assist you in expressing your thoughts and feelings through art differently than you would through traditional psychotherapy. You do not need to have any artistic ability to participate because art therapy is about the process of using the art versus the outcome.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma and many other mental health problems. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.

Trauma Informed Therapy and Trauma Informed Expressive Arts Therapy promotes a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing through recognizing the presence of trauma symptoms, and acknowledging the role trauma may play in an individual’s life during the therapeutic process.

Narrative Therapy helps people become, and embrace being, an expert in their own lives. Emphasis is placed on the stories you develop and carry with you through your life. A narrative approach views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, abilities, values, commitments, beliefs, and competencies that will assist them to change their relationship with the problems that influence their lives.

Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management (Dr. William Glasser) is an approach where we understand how our behaviour results from trying to meet one or more of our five basic needs. We have a Quality World where we place people, places and things that are important to us even if they might not be healthy for us and we can learn how to make choices that can help us live and manage better.

Strengths-Based Approach recognizes and focuses on a client's strengths. This can be very empowering for clients, especially if they have been victims of abuse and/or the trauma from single incidents, prolonged exposure, environmental crises, residential school experience and intergenerational effects.

Solution-Focused Therapy concentrates on where the client is at now, where they want to go and how they are going to get there. SMART goals are a useful tool.

Systems Approach considers what other issues, people or factors might be affecting or influencing the client in addition to the presenting issue or problem.

Helen believes that everyone possesses resilience, and she helps identify that to assists clients on building upon this resilience along their journey.

All clients have the ability to make changes in their life. Helen believes in assisting clients in identifying what resolution they want to their issues, rather than providing all of the answers herself. Clients are encouraged to identify their needs for service and collaboratively engage in goal setting for their counselling/healing journey.

Helen believes that it is important to work on becoming physically, mentally, physiologically, and spiritually healthy. She likes to implement humour, when appropriate, into her work with clients, since there are many benefits of laughter.

Areas of Specialty:

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Offering traditional psychotherapy as well as art therapy
  • Anger & Emotions Management
  • Stress
  • Self-care/Self-nurturance
  • Adult survivor of Abuse/Neglect
  • Goal setting
  • Issues related to incarceration
  • Self-Esteem & Worth Issues
  • Anxiety and mood disorders
  • Generational awareness
  • Healing from the Residential School Experience
  • Intergenerational Trauma
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management)
  • Providing supervision/consultation for Social Workers seeking supervision in their practice and/or mentoring in private practice
  • Providing supervision for art therapy students and trained art therapists who are pursuing registration with the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) or seeking supervision in their practice

Indigenous Clients - Funding Through First Nations Inuit Health Benefits and Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous clients may qualify for coverage for Mental Health Counselling Services through the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program, the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRS RHSP), the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Program (MMIWG), or the Indian Day School (IDS) Program.

  • The NIHB Program's Mental Health Care benefits provide eligible people with coverage for mental health counselling to address short-term crisis situations.
  • The goal of the IRS RHSP is to provide former students of residential schools and their families with mental and emotional support.
  • The goal of the MMIWG is to provide survivors, family members and those affected by the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with mental and emotional support.
  • The goal of the IDS is to provide former students of day schools and their families with mental and emotional support.

Helen is an approved Mental Health Therapist with NIHB and Indigenous Services Canada and can provide these services should you qualify.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there. I still fall in ... it's a habit ... but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

This poem is taken from Portia Nelson's "There's A Hole In My Sidewalk" - a wonderful collection of insights into love and life. The hole in the sidewalk provides a metaphor of life. Life is like a stroll down a somewhat hazardous sidewalk. The story identifies the key feature required to safely navigate life's sidewalk.

"I don't know what I want sometimes, but I know that I want to know what I want." - Portia Nelson

Testimonials From Current & Previous Clients

"A Life's Journey Counselling has been my 'Road to Recovery'. Helen has given me the tools in which to grow and when I stumble, she picks me up and encourages me to laugh and try again! I can't imagine going through life without her support." C.S.

"Helen's mentorship and support is deeply respectful and non-directive. She listens carefully and gently offers insightful questions and ideas to consider, creating a very comfortable and inviting space to creatively express and explore oneself." K.B.

"I highly recommend Helen as a counsellor and Art therapist. I have been seeing Helen regularly since November of 2019. She was always available if I needed help between sessions. I had never tried art therapy, it has helped in every aspect of my life. I was having trouble sleeping and experienced panic attacks at night. I am able to sleep now and rarely have a panic attack. I have been able to get back to enjoying my own art making and creativity. I feel am much more assertive at work and home, and am able to establish healthy boundaries. I am much more relaxed in general. I am able to allow myself time to heal and be more creative. I was experiencing creative blocks prior to seeing Helen, these blocks are also going away. She is such a great person, very easy to talk to, best counsellor I have had period." T.B.
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