I come to counseling as my third career. In my first career, I was a florist; a designer, manager and owner of my own shop. My second career was in Community Living, working with intellectually disabled adults and children in many roles, including work in case management and group home management. I flourished these careers until coming to a place of completion and evolution in each of them, leading towards what seems now a natural progression to this career in counselling.
When I was a florist, I humorously described the work as being an "emotional midwife"; people purchase flowers for all of these seminal moments in a life - love, birth, death - and in each of these instances, I recognized I had an opportunity to help people, a goal which I pursued with passion and conviction.
I then felt pulled to invest in something with a more direct human connection and this resulted in a change to working with developmentally-disabled youth and adults . This career has been full of heart-centred work, and I am grateful for each differently-abled person I have worked with. They have taught me a lot about life.
While managing a challenging Residential program I came to realize that the thing which was distinctive in my skill-set was how well I cared for the caregivers - my staff team. I realized that every day I was effectively acting as a counsellor in my management role.
From there it was a short jump to realize my greatest assets lie not in management, but in counselling people in need. I enrolled at VCCT and graduated in 2011. Then, following a rigorous 2 year internship, I became a Registered Professional Counsellor with the Canadian Professional Counsellor's Association. Now several years on and an abundance of counselling sessions in, VIDA has become my life's passion project.
the power of counselling...
I am an ardent believer in the power of counselling! Counselling played the major role in transcending some of the difficulties of my own early life. My life’s journey has been an abundantly rich and rewarding one, but it started with some painful circumstances, and over time it was a lot of deep work in counselling that put me on the path toward wellness, peeling away the dysfunctions and difficulties to create a life that is filled, on most days, with a sense of clarity and grace.
It is my hope that in counselling I may give back some portion of the gifts that have been given to me. I am honoured to commit my energy to helping people who are on their own path of discovery. In the counselling room I have watched people change, have witnessed their faces opening up as their lives do. The most amazing thing, to me, has been to note the physical changes people may go through as their lives change, from their face to their posture to even their breathing, their whole way of being in the world opening up to the flow of life.
To the individuals who I am honored to work with, I will work with honesty, commitment and integrity in partnership with you as we work together to help you find the path that will lead you to a more complete and fulfilling life.
"A Heart That Shakes Its Container": How VIDA Counselling Got Its Name
This song was the inspiration for the name of this practice. It is a profound chant of gratitude for life and all of its gifts, and it is my hope to always remember to practice from a place of such gratitude... Danzante Caldera