If you’ve ever suffered from a condition like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you know that it can influence more than just the way you think. You can get physical symptoms like headaches, chest pain or skin disorders too, your appetite can change, and your relationships with other people are affected too. More than that, the way you and your body respond to mental-health issues or trauma will be unique, so the treatment that worked for your mum or best friend might do nothing for you.
That’s where integrative and holistic counselling practices come in. “These approaches deal with the whole self, rather than typical counselling, which might focus on just the mind, or a specific event,” explains North Shore native and counsellor Brooke Evans of BE Integrative Counselling. “I’m really passionate about holistic practices that are individual-based and client centred. I might use cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness and expressive therapy (for example, using art, or if it’s a child, play). Painful memories or trauma can manifest as physical pain.”
Evans has supported individuals and families on the north shore for many years in government and non-profit agencies. Some of her greatest education has been from working with local indigenous elders and communities. As well as depression, anxiety and PTSD, she can help with parenting, life coaching, addiction, self-esteem, and overcoming abuse.
As with many people, her interest in counselling comes from personal experience. “I’ve had to seek guidance/support navigating some of life’s challenges. I would see counsellors but often not have success, whether it was because it was the wrong person or the wrong approach –some even ate and texted during sessions!” she says. “I think it can be hard to find the right counsellor. You need a connection – someone who you can trust, who makes you feel safe, and who uses techniques and methodology that will help you move forward. And you need to be willing to do the work yourself too. The right counsellor will empower you to create the changes you want to make in your own life.”
Evans sees clients at Compliments Healthcare, West Vancouver Community Centre, and 302 – 566 Artisan Lane Bowen Island. Find out more at Becounselling.ca, call 604-781-3987 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.