How I Became A Therapist

Therapist in Orillia

My journey began in rural Southwestern Ontario, in a Mennonite community, spending my summers picking cucumbers and working on the farm. Those early days of hard farm labour ingrained an appreciation for hard work, simplicity, honest living, and helping others. These homegrown values would help guide my journey from the corn fields of rural Ontario, to spending over 7 years in the Canadian Forces, going to University, and working at non-profits, community agencies, and hospitals across Ontario.

I never thought I would be where I am today. I didn’t even think I would go to University. No one in my family’s history had ever gone to University, neither of my parents had even graduated high school. We were an uneducated, lower middle-class family, which meant we could afford to play some sports, but couldn’t afford anything brand name. I knew I couldn’t afford University right out of high school, so I joined the Canadian Forces and left for basic training two weeks after my graduation. I spent the next 7 years in the military, learning a lot about life, people, tragedies, connection, perseverance, and earning a Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal during my service. You get to know people on a different level when you spend almost every waking moment together. I spent many long nights having deep conversations with fellow soldiers, who came from all walks of life. Those late nights and long days became my first glimpse into the power of conversation and human connection to overcome tremendous amounts of adversity.

As time went on, I eventually realized that what I loved most about my job was making a real difference in peoples lives. I was told I have a knack for deep and stimulating conversations and should look into a career where I can be more engaged with people. I initially went to school to become a military Chaplain, so I could help soldiers with mental health issues. But once I started learning, I became passionate about education and decided to continue with a Masters degree. At this point, I didn’t know where my education would take me, until I did an internship with a local counselling organization. I had done internships before, in other fields, but this one stuck with me. I absolutely loved the work. I spent countless days and nights reading everything I could get my hands on to become a better therapist. I have never loved learning about something so much. I found my calling.

I began my career in Kitchener-Waterloo, working at KW Counselling Services, then moving to London to work at Family Service Thames Valley, while also working as a family support worker for troubled youth. I eventually moved to Simcoe county to pursue some of my other loves of life: spending time outdoors, running, hiking, skiing, and biking. I worked in non-profit agencies and Community Health Centres and helped launch provincial psychotherapy programs with the Ontario Ministry of Health. I eventually realized that the best therapy I could offer people would be in my own practice and started my practice in 2017.

My passion for my work has never subsided. I continue to read steadily, mostly psychology (as you might expect), and I do my best to stay up-to-date with world leading thinkers. I especially love studying the history of psychology, how we got to the present, and how we move forward. I also attend regular professional training so I can continue to hone my skills and offer the highest quality therapy.

So there you have it, from the corn fields of Southern Ontario, to the training grounds of the Canadian military, to the University classroom, and into the therapy office. I think my therapy practice reflects my life experiences in how I balance hard work and dedication with a softness and inquisitive nature. I aim to provide a friendly and accepting atmosphere while providing high quality, life-changing treatment.

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