When she was 7 years old in Grade 2 she was busy drawing an animal. She was shy, still unfamiliar with the whole school environment; but she was serious and focused, wanting to do her best. The teacher came to her desk and asked what animal she was drawing. Big eyes looking up, she quietly said, “A horse.” The teacher laughed and said, “That’s not a horse, maybe you should do something else.”
A small sample of the “virus at work.” Am I enough? A brilliant young man she worked with several years ago was struggling deeply with childhood pain and serious addictions. After some silence he asked, “So, is this really all about Self-Acceptance?”
Perhaps the journey for all of us is the journey of self-acceptance and acceptance of others. Letting go of judgement. We are just at different points along this path, and every once in a while we have the privilege of encouraging and coaching one another.
The daughter of German immigrant parents, Annette was raised in and around Calgary, Alberta. The blue sky and the wide expanse of the prairies is in her soul. Today when she walks the beaches of White Rock and Vancouver, the ocean is like her “prairies”. Being in nature is healing for her, and she believes it is healing for us all.
She met and married her husband in Japan, and together they created a life which had laughter and fulfillment, as well as challenges and tears, until his death a few years ago. She draws from these experiences as she walks with her clients through their journey of self-discovery, healing, and growth.
Today her heart and life is full, celebrating her son and daughter, and sharing in the lives of her family, and her friends, and each person she has the privilege of working with. She sees each person who comes into her life as a gift and as a teacher. She sees in each interaction something to learn, something to learn about life, and something to learn about Self.
Annette began her career as a high school counselor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she worked with teens and their families who found themselves distanced from each other, often due to unhealthy communication patterns and lack of understanding. She later continued similar work as a social service counselor with the Board of Education in Ottawa, Ontario. In this role she provided facilitative liaison with students, families, teachers and administrative personnel to promote willingness and commitment to resolving conflicts and finding concrete solutions.
Annette began private practice after moving to Kelowna, B.C. in the late 1980’s. At the same time she worked with the Kelowna Family Service Centre, providing individual, couple and family therapy. Five years later in Abbotsford, B.C. Annette again established a successful private practice, and frequently worked with the Abbotsford Community Services and Mental Health, providing individual therapy, and creating and conducting workshops and therapy groups.
Annette has also had extensive experience as an educator. Early in her career, after receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught English in Tokyo, Japan both privately and in classroom settings at various language schools and
colleges. In Kelowna and Abbotsford she was an instructor at the University Colleges there, teaching Counseling and Interpersonal Communication.
Annette has served as a facilitator in the closing of companies and community agencies, assisting employees and management to express feelings of grief and loss, and to continue to maintain confidence and trust in their ability to pursue other fulfilling career opportunities.
Presently Annette continues her private practice in White Rock/South Surrey, B.C. Clients from Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Victoria, and the Sunshine Coast also seek her services. In addition she works with long-distance clients from across Canada and United States, and conducts video/telephone sessions at her clients’ convenience.
Areas of Specialization
- building healthy relationships
- building effective interpersonal communication skills
- building effective parenting skills
- recovering from grief and loss
- managing depression and anxiety
- recovering from childhood abuse issues
- premarital counseling
- self-discovery and building self-esteem