I always knew I wanted to be a counsellor, and over the years I have developed a special interest in working with women. I’m sure as a result of my own life experiences, and some built in interests, I have slowly directed my training and practice towards a focus on women and the problems that seem to be more uniquely connected to us (trauma, anxiety and depression, self esteem and body image issues, relationships, life transitions, etc). I believe we’re born with certain passions and strengths, that we are created with a purpose, and when we couple that with a variety of life experiences (some pleasant, and some not so pleasant), we have a rich pool of resources to draw from when working with people.
About 20 years ago, in hopes of developing this passion, I returned to school as a single parent, uncertain how I would make ends meet or whether or not I could even be successful in university. This decision changed my life and after completing my bachelor’s degree in social work I worked for several years in federal corrections, mental health, health care, and addictions. I knew these areas weren’t the ultimate calling for me. So in 2007 I started working in private practice, finished my Master’s degree and eventually opened the doors of Eterna Counselling (with my business partner) in Abbotsford, BC. It was through this work, along with teaching in the Social Work program at the local university, where I was able to finally sink my teeth in and fulfill the dreams and passions I have held for decades.
Through a series of life events, it became clear to me that it was time to close my practice in BC and move back to Ontario where I had grown up. This was a big move and has been both exciting and daunting, but I am in awe of what God has done over the past few years in my life, and am excited to see how this next chapter unfolds.
WHAT I DO?
Sometimes I can’t believe how blessed I am to do this work. I get to sit with courageous women every day who have decided it’s time to deal with the things that are holding them back from the life they want. Plain and simply, I have the privilege of participating in unique and meaningful conversations, focused on healing and growth with amazing women of all ages. In a warm and comfortable environment, I support women to overcome obstacles and areas of frustration that stand in the way of joy in their lives. It is my hope that through the work we do, women become more connected to themselves and their strengths, feel empowered to make the changes they want and need to make, and just generally experience more joy and peace in their lives.
It’s exciting and powerful to have a front row seat, and in some small way, be part of women rediscovering themselves and finding health and wellness and strengths they had forgotten about, or didn’t know they had.
If you’re a Christian, you know the radical difference it makes to have the Hope of Jesus; especially when facing heartbreak, trauma, and loss. I believe He is the great Physician, and it has been during times of desperation and devastation in my own life I have learned just how near He is and how very much He loves us. So, my work is rooted in the knowledge that Jesus is close to the broken hearted and that He has a profound interest in each of us. I am not a Biblical scholar, I’m just a woman with a personal relationship with Jesus and want to bring Him in on the work we do.
If you’re not a person of faith, I still enthusiastically welcome you and look forward to working together in a way that is comfortable for you.
HOW I DO IT?
People often ask me, “what is counselling?” And the easiest answer is: It’s just a conversation really; but a rich conversation rooted in your strengths and focused on moving you through obstacles and towards the life you want. The therapeutic relationship is important, so you will find our sessions to be an active exchange rather than a passive experience.
I practice Narrative Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, from a strengths based, anti-oppressive approach. This means you will gain understanding and new insights into yourself, the problem, and the preferred outcome, and you will generally leave sessions feeling much better than when you came in.
Clients report that sessions are uplifting, encouraging, and enlightening. In addition, the skills and insights people take away are helpful in other areas of their lives, and past clients have shared that they find improvement in relationships, increased self-esteem, and are generally more at peace with themselves and their lives.
I am incredibly grateful to be invited into the lives of my clients, and find it an honour and privilege to be part of their journey.
WHY I DO IT?
“I believe we are all on a unique journey in an effort to be our best and live our best lives. Sometimes our journey brings us face to face with incredible obstacles which can be overwhelming.”
Approaches to Counselling:
Narrative therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, feminist therapy, life skills coaching, mindfulness and imagery techniques
Areas of Practice:
Self-esteem and boundary development, addictions, depression and anxiety, life transitions, marriage and family, grief and loss, trauma, relationship issues, parenting issues, faith and forgiveness
Women of all ages.
Educational History & Associations:
Master’s Degree in Social Work (University of the Fraser Valley)
Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (University of the Fraser Valley)
OCSWSSW - Registration # 832350
“Nicole was recommended by my Pastor to deal with my lack of boundaries and an eating disorder that I have struggled with since I was 13 years old. Right away Nicole put my mind at ease. She is warm and funny and she helped me remember who I was and who I am in Gods eyes. Remembering Who’s I am has been key to my healing, and I am so grateful God brought Nicole into my life.”