Life Transitions

When your life changes course, it can be useful to have extra support.  Counselling can help!  Change is often scary and overwhelming.  As human beings, we crave stability and security and resist flux.  When I chose the metaphor of the willow tree for my counselling practice, I did so quite deliberately.  The willow tree represents flexibility amidst the “winds of change” in life.  Our challenge is to become flexible in response to them; when we don’t, we’re like a dry branch that snaps when a gust comes along.

Life transitions are a common reason for coming for counselling. Clients meet with me in my downtown Vancouver counselling and psychotherapy office for a range of life issues, including:

Divorce / Separation

  • The pain of a break- up
  • Adjusting to single life
  • Understanding patterns in relationships
  • Co-parenting after separation / custody issues

Marriage

  • Weddings: stress and joy
  • Premarital counselling
  • Newlywed life and adjustment

Career / Education

  • Career exploration
  • Career change
  • Workforce re-entry
  • Opting out of the workforce
  • Unemployment / underemployment
  • Retirement
  • Starting school
  • Returning to school
  • Studying away from home
  • Graduation and ‘the future’

Family

  • First-time parenthood
  • Life as a couple after baby’s birth
  • Children’s ages and stages / parenting issues
  • Step family issues
  • Children leaving home (“empty nest” syndrome)
  • Caregiving for elderly parents

Illness

  • Changes in health status and physical functioning
  • Chronic illness and physical pain
  • Life-threatening illness

Geographical shifts

  • Moving, relocation
  • Immigration
  • Cultural adjustment

Loss

  • Loss of anyone or anything we consider important

I would be honoured to assist you in any aspect of your life journey.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Recommended Books

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo (2014).

This bestseller, translated from the original Japanese, breaks away from traditional ‘clear the clutter’ manuals, asking us to reflect on our relationship with objects, keeping only those things which spark joy.

Mothering the New Mother: Women’s Feelings and Needs After Childbirth: A Support and Reference Guide by Sally Placksin (2000)

The author honours the experience of new motherhood and the need for nurturance and care for the mother at a time when all attention is on baby. Combines women’s comments, resources and practical strategies in the text.

 

Operating Instructions: A Journal Of My Child’s First Year by Anne Lamott (1993)

A humorous and unflinchingly honest description of first-time motherhood.  Lamott writes with a unique level of candour, wit and vibrancy.

 

Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood by Cori Howard, Ed. (2007)

Canadian anthology of tales of motherhood. Honest and riveting.

 

I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile (2007)

Quotes from hundreds of mothers across the US about their experiences and perceptions of motherhood with “mom-to-mom” advice from the authors, both mothers themselves.

 

Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea J. Buchanan (2003)

One woman’s account of the rigours (and joys) of first-time motherhood, told in a series of essays.

 

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Realife Parenthood by Camille Peri and Kate Moses, Eds. (2000)

Anthology of stories about motherhood. Pieces range from tender to provocative.

 

The Mother Zone by Marni Jackson (2002)

Personal account of first-time motherhood. Author asks the question, “why didn’t anybody tell me it would be like this?”

 

Resources

Vancouver Friends For Life

Specialized support programs, including counselling, for persons living with HIV, cancer, hepatitis C and other illnesses.

Callanish Society

Offers a healing space, retreats, counselling and other groups for those affected by cancer.

Reduced-Cost Counselling [PDF]

A resource list of lower-cost professional counselling options in Vancouver. Corrections and suggestions welcome.

BC Cancer Agency, Cancer Support Groups

604-877-6000, ext.2194

Parenting After Separation

Program  for B.C. parents and other family members who are dealing with family issues including guardianship, parenting arrangements, contact, child support and spousal support.

Information Children, Simon Fraser University

778-782-3548
Parenting helpline. Also offers workshops and resource/referral.