When I think about the comments on my high school report cards, it was clear what profession I was suited for. “Nikki is a good student, but grades would be better if she spent less time socializing with peers”. I was listening and (admittedly) talking, but, with my friends, we were maneuvering our way through the trials and tribulations of teenage-hood, Listening, reflecting, seeking to understand and helping others has always come naturally. When I began my education in the Social Service Program at the age of 18, I knew I was where I belong.
26 years later, I still know I am where I am meant to be. My journey has allowed me to meet incredibly resilient children, teens, and adults who are struggling through incredible adversity. I have met courageous survivors of crime and trauma who demonstrated endurance and strength in the face of powerlessness and loss. Families fighting against oppression, marginalization and unhealed trauma continued to struggle to provide the best for their children. People experiencing the shackles and chains of addiction pave the way to recovery and finding freedom from shame and guilt through changed behavior. I continue to experience gratitude, humility and inspiration by the people who welcome me into their traumatic circumstances and teach me about hope and faith in the depths of pain and fear.
I have training and experience in various counselling theories and methods – psycho-dynamic, cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, critical-incident, grief and loss. I am a strengths-based, client-centered, strengths-based, trauma-informed, structural practitioner. The greatest learning about hope, courage, trust and commitment has come from my children, (who are no longer children), and 3 little ones (who are no longer little) we were lucky to provide foster-care for. Our children joined our family through the gift of adoption. In the professional world, our family is referred to as being a cross-cultural, older-child, high-needs, sibling group that was high-risk. Our family journey hasn’t always been easy, but the challenges have been 100% worth the struggle.
With compassion and a genuine desire to see people live their lives happy and content, I bring authenticity, non-judgment and the ability to create a feeling of safety to my practice. I enjoy fishing, knitting, gardening and teaching group fitness. I live in the Kootenays with my incredible husband, dogs, cats and horses where we all share a love of hiking, exploring and spending time in the fabulous rocky mountains.
Nikki Hemstad-Leete ReachesCranbrook BC