most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome,
to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering."
Welcome, I'm Helen....
Sometimes it is hard to reach out but if we can find the courage, it can change our lives.
From counselling and psychotherapy with many individuals over twenty years, I have come to steadfastly believe that everyone has more wisdom for getting through a difficult time than they generally realize.
consultation will assess your particular situation and determine the
type of support and psychotherapy that may work best for you. I will
make appropriate referrals as necessary if further medical or clinical
assessment is needed or different therapy modalities would fit your needs better.
Loss, illness, trauma, grief can be integrated into strength and wisdom but it's not easy and there is no clear map. We rarely find our inner resources alone because so often, we are hardest on ourselves.
I offer a steadfast commitment to create a compassionate space for each client.
I work with individual beliefs, values, goals, spirituality, hopes, through practical, in depth psychotherapy and counselling.
Together, we (re)discover your wholeness and strengths for a life that feels purposeful, meaningful, balanced and life-giving.
Some of the reasons (amongst many) that people come to my practice are:
Healing from trauma - using the EMDR (Emotional Memory Desensitization and Reprocessing) process we work through situations that have caused acute distress or trauma in the past and/or present to clear its effects. EMDR can strengthen your own healing process for integration and strengthening of your innate resilience. EMDR can aid you to more deeply integrate the strengths you innately have gained in life. Cut and paste this link for more information on EMDR including current research - https://emdrcanada.org/emdr-defined/ Anxiety - you will learn a variety of strategies targeting thought processes, body awareness, grounding techniques, release of acute stress after difficult situations, self-compassion practices for lowering high expectations on oneself. You can learn to manage with mastery the effects of anxiety in your life, reduce its impact and learn to identify triggers so you can better work with situations that might activate your anxiety. Most people live with degrees of anxiety patterns and learning the skills to become more aware and learn to turn anxiety into a skillful way of living through life's challenges can transform our way of living our lives and deepen our courage and resilience.
Loss of meaning and sense of purpose in life - Sometimes depression can stem from a pervasive loss of meaning and purpose if it is not caused by organic imbalances. Sessions explore depressive feelings or phase of life and focus on a discovery process to create new meaning and purpose with a "horizon of hope" to move towards. We find the baby-steps for change and life transformation from inner to outer. Bereavement, grief and loss - Processing loss and grief can often feel isolating and painful and support in this process can make a big difference. There are practices that can really help learned in sessions such as mindful connection and grounding practices in the 'griefbursts' of overwhelming feelings to ride the waves day to day; self-compassion (see Dr. Kirsten Neff's books) that can significantly enhance your relationship of support with yourself; and understand better your own inner wisdom for navigating daily life as the grief is worked through over time.
'Invisible grief' - As well, there are 'invisible' griefs such as job loss, retirement, divorce where the impact of the effects can ripple through your daily life for a long time but invisibly because it is not such defined loss as when a loved one dies. These invisible griefs can cause feelings of disconnection and alonenness. Working through the loss impact in a confidential and safe space with a therapist can buffer this sense of isolation that nameless but invisible grief can bring and provide the support for recovery into new insight, strength and hope.
Front-line crisis/trauma/vicarious trauma/compassion fatigue - I bring 20 years of debriefing critical incidents with front line health care practitioners as a Certified Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Vicarious Trauma Therapist. For front line practitioners
I have developed a robust tool kit developed in wellness programs for
oncology doctors, radiation therapists, allied health practitioners,
nurses and leaders for recovery and sustaining resiliency and mental,
emotional, physical and spiritual health on the front lines.
Spiritual well-being - For
some, spirituality is a source of meaning and it is important to them
that this is part of the conversation in therapy. As a certified
Spiritual Care Practitioner (CASC) and twenty years providing support and counselling to people of all walks of life and spiritual or wisdom traditions and sessions integrate your
spiritual well-being into the process. However, spiritual values are not
a requirement to benefit from our work together. If you watch the video at the end of this section below you can watch of a video of a presentation given at a regional Oncology Supportive Care Conference to front line practitioners on Spiritual Distress & Resiience and learn more about what this means.
Why I studied 'wisdom' in my doctoral research...
my clinical practice in health care I have had the tremendous privilege
to walk beside hundreds of individuals and families through cancer,
bereavement, trauma, crisis, depression, anxiety, complex grief, post
traumatic stress, hopelessness, searching for meaning living with
chronic illness and through other acutely difficult life experiences
such as job loss, divorce, or unplanned career transitions.
person has affirmed my conviction that we all have a depth of inner wisdom to find a
way through anything, if we keep a focus on the tiny steps that we can manage and get the right support.
fact, I was so compelled by my patients' cultivation of real, practical
and meaningful life wisdom discovered in the midst of awful situations
in their lives that I conducted doctoral research on wisdom with women
who were living with the acutely difficult diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Beth, Carrie, and Denise (pseudonyms)
contributed such moving insights to the study that they can give you or I
great hope that no matter what we face, we can find a way to live each
day and focus on what gives meaning, hope and purpose....
even when it seems impossible.
But again, they also emphasize, we can't do this alone.
is relationships of support and "wisdom conversations" as Denise put
it, "small steps" and "making plans", as Carrie said, and "creating that
feeling of hope" as Beth emphasized, that are all critical ingredients
to finding our way through difficulty. My therapy practice focuses on
each client finding their own wisdom, small steps, and ways to create
that feeling of hope… in their own way.
A way is there to be found and we discover it together.
But what is wisdom? Research shows that wisdom is practical, intuitive, self-compassionate, resilient, empathic, skilled and gives us a way to navigate uncertainty, loss, difficult crossroads and physical, mental, emotional, spiritual suffering. Wisdom helps us live through the paradoxes in life including our mortality, radical vulnerability in relationships and worst fears.
However, I have also learned, both personally and
professionally, that rarely do we find our strengths, solutions or
wisdom, alone. In my own life, it has been finding wise guides in
friends, mentors and skilled therapists at the right time that has made
the crucial difference.
My research study can be found at this link (cut and paste it into your browser) in case you're interested in reading further:
Focusing on your own personal healing & growth IS impactful parenting.
a last note, for the parents reading this - as a mother of two children
I understand intimately the juggle of life and parenting and know that
my personal therapy work has radically changed my approach as a parent.
A gift you give to them can be to support yourself with guidance from
someone outside your family system in personal therapy. It will pay
forward to your kids as well. Parent guilt can be insidiously draining
on your self-esteem, co-parenting relationship and resilience. Ditching
the guilt or feelings of inadequacy can be the biggest change to
tackling genuine problems creatively and wisely.
you for taking the time to read this introduction to my practice. I can
honestly say that each person I've had the privilege of supporting has
taught me something new about how to deepen our strengths and
resilience, hone our life wisdom for living through hard times, and to
not sweat the small stuff!
You can learn a little more about my past work in oncology in the YouTube below (scroll down to the bottom) given at a Regional Supportive Care Conference in London, Ontario for health care practitioners. It gives insight into the nature of 'spiritual distress' which can manifest with depression, anxiety, hopelessness not only in those living with illness but in all of our lives during difficult times.
you're interested in a 50 minute consultation session please email using the "Let's Connect" button on my Theravive listing. I will
respond within 24 hours Mon - Sat unless my listing states I'm away.
fees are priced for affordability and you can submit receipts to
insurance companies. You may want to call your insurance carrier to ask if they cover Registered Psychotherapists ahead of time.
I do offer a sliding scale for low income
households and special needs accommodation for accessibility and affordability.
I look forward to meeting with you if you are would like to reach out.
This video is from the 2012 SouthWestern Ontario Regional Supportive Care Conference. This is me, Helen Butlin but my name then was Helen Battler.
Helen Butlin ReachesLondon ON