KovenCounselling - Solution Focused Grief Counselling
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Can shame and pride co-exist?
Counselling for Diversity
A New Spring
Video Counselling, the next great thing?
Isolation

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Can shame and pride co-exist?

Being a third generation Canadian has always been a great source of pride for me. We now have 5 such generations in our family and we marvel at our great, good fortune.
Attending the Indigenous Health Summer Gathering this week has tempered my pride somewhat by illuminating what my good fortune has cost the Indigenous inhabitants of this land throughout the past 150 years.
Since I try to use every learning experience as an opportunity for personal growth  I  have been thinking of how this could  apply to a myriad of complex and personal situations.

Counselling for Diversity

When I began planning my counselling practice I knew that I wanted to provide sensitive and knowledgeable care to clients from diverse backgrounds. I have been teaching religious and cultural etiquette to students for many years and have continued to expand my own knowledge base. My latest opportunity to learn  will be the 2 day Indigenous Health Summer Gathering I'm looking forward to next week. It will highlight issues of housing and homelessness, mental health and addictions, chronic illness and spirituality and ethnicity.

A New Spring

As spring finds its place on our landscape the new season helps us mark our movement through the year. For some of you, this cycle brings continual reminders of what has been lost. Hopefully for others of you, the time passing is a confirmation of the strength and resilience you are developing as you wend your way through your difficult private journey of grief.

Perhaps by noticing the small changes, the early flowers waking from their winter sleep, the green buds on trees, and the longer hours of daylight, we too can begin to feel a slow awakening to life around us.

Video Counselling, the next great thing?

I recently signed up with a start-up offering counselling using the computer. It isn't SKYPE but is similar to it using a secure platform and confidentiality. What appealed to me was the motivation for this service. It is co-designed by a Family Doctor (MD) who can only see patients for psychotherapy on one day a week- if that. He is looking for dedicated therapists with the professional credentials interested in offering this service to clients who may have financial or mobility issues ( or any other number of reasons) and would prefer to see a therapist via the webcam rather than in an office.

Isolation

We all know what it means to suffer alone, to feel cut off from others, to believe that we should have the strength and resourcefulness to deal with life's challenges on our own.

This idea of isolation was recently brought home to me in a very different context- that of working in isolation. A very innovative fellow therapist reached out to colleagues whom he had never met, with the idea that most of us are working in our own bubble and could benefit from the support, ideas and expertise of others engaged in this field regardless of their professional specialty or modality.

Learning

This summer I am using some of my "down-time" to deepen my understanding of my client's concerns.  The month long course on Spiritual and Pastoral Visitor training was filled with fascinating people who represented the diversity of our city. Most of the participants were volunteers but the group also contained leaders of various faith communities.

The Refugee Mental Health course I just completed was offered by CAMH (The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) . This was an intense and multi faceted program designed to inform and strengthen one's basic counselling skills.

"It is Never Too Late"

I found this poem most inspirational  and hope that you will too.

It Is Never Too Late

The last word has not been spoken,
the last sentence has not been written,
the final verdict is not in.

It is never too late
to change my mind,
my direction,

To say no to the past and yes to the future,
to offer remorse,
and to ask and give forgiveness.

It is never too late
to start over again,
to feel again
to love again
to hope again.

It is never too late
to overcome despair,
to turn sorrow into resolve,
to pain into purpose.

"The Law of Attraction?"

Many people believe in " the law of attraction" and apply it every aspect of their life whether relationships, finances, health or professional success. I can't confirm or deny this phenomenon but I can share with you how I feel it applies to my own life.

I have been on a vertical learning curve the past few years. I earned my M.A. after not having been in university for 40 years. After 27 years in education I created a new business for myself in the form of my private practice in psychotherapy and counselling.

FAQs (frequently asked questions)

Many people are puzzled by the profound emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological affects that are caused by death, loss and trauma.

I thought that I would respond to a few of the most frequent questions I get asked.

Question: Since my loved one has died, some of my friends and family are telling me that it is time to get on with life, and that I've spent enough time grieving. Why am I finding it so difficult?

Answer:Friends and family are well meaning, but the fact is that everyone grieves at their own pace and in their own way.

Support groups versus individual therapy

People needing counselling often question whether they would benefit best from individual counselling or group therapy. 

In my practice, clients come to me for my undivided attention, my specific recommendations based on their goals and needs, and the working relationship we develop through time and discussion.

The success of the groups that I facilitate depend more on the compatibility of the group members, the balance between participants who are vocal versus those who are listeners, and the respect and support that is fostered within the structure of the group.
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