AREAS OF THERAPY
Whiteboard therapists have specific training to help individuals (ages 12 and up) with a variety of counselling needs, including (but not limited to): anxiety; depression; stress; identity formation; trauma; abuse; spiritual matters; codependency; grief; anger; values assessments; substance use; self-esteem; conflict resolution; relationship support; career counselling; navigating life transitions: and preventative counselling.
Anxiety is a mood disorder with symptoms which include: panic, worry, fear, racing thoughts, emotional upheaval, and an overwhelming sense of losing control. The most common form of anxiety which we see at Whiteboard is a generalized variety which affects all areas of a client’s life and emotional health. Other varieties which we have supported clients through include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a wide range of phobia disorders. Sadly, untreated anxiety has the potential to reappear over and over throughout a person’s life, so we always encourage people to seek counselling and begin their healing journey when symptoms first arise.
Depression is a condition which is characterized by chronic low mood, persistent feelings of sadness or gloom, and a general loss of interest in activities that were once meaningful to you. Clients with depression often describe being overtaken by feelings of not caring and experience major changes in how they think, feel, and act. For some clients, depression manifests alongside anxiety. In these cases, a simplistic—yet sometimes beneficial—way to differentiate between the two is to note that anxiety typically manifests in a negative view of the future, while depression often manifests as a negative view of the past.
Stress is perhaps the single most dominant threat to our mental health today. Every day we are bombarded by noise, pressure, and unhealthy standards, each of which has the potential to impact us in strikingly negative ways. Learning how to navigate this stress is a vital part of healthy living in the 21st century. This process includes identifying potential stressors, evaluating their effect on our daily life, and charting a new course of stress reduction so clients can make more freeing choices in the future.
One of the phrases you hear a lot around Whiteboard is ‘identity project.’ We encourage our clients to be thoughtful, introspective people who are constantly giving themselves permission to redefine who they are. This occurs when clients evaluate their thoughts, emotions, and actions with the goal of determining how they line up with their overall values and perceptions. This step of self-examination is a vital part of optimal living and is one which we support our counselling clients with on a daily basis.
Trauma is as unique as the individual experiencing it. Anything that overwhelms our ability to cope has the power to have a lasting traumatic effect on us. Once our coping mechanisms have been overwhelmed we can often be triggered later in life by seemingly innocuous things. This process can cause us to relive events ‘out of nowhere.’ Because of the long-term negative impact which unresolved trauma causes, we always encourage people to speak with a therapist as soon as possible to help them take their first steps toward achieving the freedom they deserve.
At Whiteboard, we often say that the bravest people in the world are those who are willing to do the tough work of healing after they’ve been severely wronged by others. In the case of abuse, this process can often be a long and painful one which leads clients into places of self-discovery which they would have never unearthed on their own. Oftentimes abuse survivors are called upon to muster tremendous amounts of forgiveness, healing, and emotional resolve, and we count it an honour to support clients with that journey here at Whiteboard.
The world’s faiths and religious traditions have brought peace to untold millions. However, for many people, the notions of faith and spirituality have also brought about powerful and perplexing questions about forgiveness, doubt, and the true meaning of life. The process of understanding one’s faith is a complex journey filled with the sorts of paradoxical beliefs which often define us as people. Here at Whiteboard, we understand the complexity of spirituality and consider it a privilege to provide professional counselling for clients as they construct and deconstruct the value and meaning of their faith experience.
Co-dependency occurs when an individual struggles to find their identity apart from an overly close relationship with another. This sort of relationship is also referred to as ‘enmeshment,’ and it can often bring about unseen challenges for the individuals involved. These challenges include identity confusion, boundary issues, and major concerns related to one’s self-worth. Unravelling these concerns can be a difficult process which often requires the patience and discernment which comes from professional psychotherapy support.
Sadly, we will all lose someone we love at some point. While this process is inevitable, it doesn’t make the journey any less painful. For some, the process of grieving can appear to be quick and relatively painless. For others, the process of making sense of loss can be a complex and devastating journey which requires weeks, months, or even years to understand the thoughts and emotions involved. In these cases, individuals require professional counselling support founded upon patience and wisdom coupled with proven therapy methods.
In and of itself, anger is not an unhealthy emotion. It can spur us on to new frontiers by providing clarity, creating resolve, and motivating us to action. However, when anger is allowed to run free it has the power to torch our emotional lives like a raging wildfire. In these cases, we may need guidance to manage the emotional weight which anger carries. Doing so will help ensure that our experiences with anger are ultimately healthy and conducive to positive outcomes.
People have grappled with the definition of what it means to be happy since the beginning of time. Recent research has revealed that individuals are happiest when they find themselves in a position where they are free to express their values in their daily lives. In other words, the people who are happiest are the people who are in a place where they are free to think and act in accordance with their deepest beliefs. The questions which arises naturally from this finding are ‘What are my deepest values and beliefs?’ and ‘How can I construct my life so I can live these out in my daily decision-making?’ At Whiteboard, we assist clients in answering those sorts of questions, and love to see people become more informed, more happy, and ultimately, more free.
One of the most common mental health concerns that people face today is the issue of substance use and overuse. Managing the use of drugs, alcohol, and other substances can be tricky for some and downright destructive for others. Surviving the seemingly never-ending cycle of desire and reward which drugs and alcohol can cause requires persistence, focus, and an unwavering eye on a client’s ultimate goals. We cherish the support that we provide for those facing addiction and other compulsive behaviours at Whiteboard, and we welcome the opportunity to counsel all who welcome us alongside during that journey.
All of us struggle with some aspect of our self-esteem. The internal dialogue which we have with ourselves regarding our career, our appearance, our home, our expectations, and our abilities has the power to build us up or tear us down. By working with a dedicated therapist, clients at Whiteboard are provided the tools necessary to begin unpacking the emotional weight which exists deep within their own self-perception. This process is often long and varied, but the results are crucial for anyone seeking to live a life of genuine self-love and affirmation.
The presence of conflict can sometimes spur us on to new horizons of growth. More often than not though, conflict leads to fear, anger, and resentment. Oftentimes the one thing we need in the midst of conflict is the clarity to defuse emotions and see the situation in a new light. This often involves recognizing the part that our own actions and reactions play in maintaining a conflict. This sort of self-awareness, when coupled with an attitude of humility, mutuality, and listening, is often the most effective pathway to resolving conflict which we see at Whiteboard.
When relationships work well they are some of the most uplifting and enriching aspects of our lives. However when relationships sour they can bring about some of the most painful emotions which we can experience. These emotions only grow when they are tied to hurtful experiences such as infidelity, lies, estrangement, betrayal or neglect. Because of the depth of emotion which surrounds relational wrongs, recovering from these issues often requires the guidance of an impartial and empathetic support professional.
One of the dominant markers which we carry as adults is the identity which we associate with our career. Because of this, when we face a career change, either due to choice or circumstances beyond our control, it can often disrupt our entire emotional makeup. By engaging in a career counselling process such as the one offered at Whiteboard, we can ensure that the areas of goal setting, personality testing, and career assessment have been addressed. Once these pieces have been put into place, clarity—and solid decision making—is much more likely to follow.
A new school; a new job; a new relationship; a new baby; a new town; a new province; a new country. These transitions can all be thrilling, but they can also be fearful and destabilizing at the same time. Experience tells us that shying away from new experiences is rarely the answer to guarding one’s emotional health. Instead, by seeking out professional support, individuals can learn how to navigate transitions with a vitality which can ultimately lead them toward an exciting new future.
Here at Whiteboard, we often say that the best time to seek counselling is before a crisis ever arises. Much like preventative maintenance for your car ensures fewer issues in the long run, so too does preventative psychotherapy allow for effective coping in the face of the barrage of thoughts and emotions which we face everyday. Put succinctly, for a lot of people, the answer to the question, ‘When is the best time for counselling?’ is simply ‘Now.’