Parenting & Covid

Parenting & Covid

This is a must-watch podcast for parents, with Parul Shah, a psychotherapist, mother of 2, and owner of Embracing Empowerment Counselling Services. Here are 3 reasons why you should watch: #1 it’s a FREE resource, why wouldn’t you #2 it’s full of great communication strategies #3 can help you identify with your children more through some tips in transparency ???????? We talk about warning signs of isolation and depression your children might be indicating, how to create an open line of communication with your child, and how to socialize your child in a social distancing world. To find out more about Parul, find her online @ https://https//



The Coronavirus is easy to transfer. In some cases, this respiratory virus has proven fatal. What about the psychological effects of COVID-19? How does it affect our way of life, and our daily mindset? Psychotherapist Parul Shah joins Dahlia Kurtz on The Goods.

Mental Health and the Inside Scoop in a Workplace

Mental Health and the Inside Scoop in a Workplace

Can we talk about the elephant in the room?!

Mental Health Industries/Companies have been making noise this past year and half over how Mental Health has intercepted into the workplace.

New ideas, faster access, new innovations are promised everyday to provide the employee a way to seek help without losing the industries productivity.

Great news all around! But here is what no one really talks about- the aftermath, when employee discusses their mental health with their employer- repercussions! Demotion! Pushes the employee harder!

Personal opinions from an employer of what mental health looks like, makes the employee more afraid to speak up! The employee makes mistakes, and eventually are let go, or take a step back from the workplace. Sick leave begins !

Let’s put this into Statistic Analysis – 500,000 Canadians missed worked today, due to mental health issues and only 23 percent would speak about their mental health with their employer ! Main statement an employee asks themselves “ if I tell my boss I need time off because I feel off, they will give my position to someone else or say they can’t rely on me”

So instead of making it about the employee around mental health in the workplace- let’s begin to teach employers and management on the “how to’s”

Educating managers about mental health; have them participate in mental health first aid workshops; talk about their own experience around stigma; how to engage in talks with employees ( not all managers understand that listening skills are far more beneficial than voicing out the rules of the company).

When all of the above is achieved and completed by managers/employers – only then implementation of programs can be introduced!!

The problem truly isn’t all around the employee, it is how employers really think what mental health is!

Easier and faster access allows the increase of productivity in a company – but humans are not robots! Healing takes time! So let’s provide that space, that respect to the employees because without them, companies /services would not thrive!!

Let’s stop band-aiding the truth about Mental Health in the Workplace and let’s get to the root ! That’s where sustainability, productivity, Success lives:)


Entrepreneur of the Year 2019

Entrepreneur of the Year 2019

At one time or another someone or ourselves will doubt our ability/expertise  to show up; dress the part and voice out the message of worthiness.
When we leave the life of conformity and create an environment that feels safe but extraordinary for ourselves it provides this magical sense of feeling that you were meant for this journey.
When you see and hear the changes your clients sees in themselves, the feeling of “ they are in growth” manifests the growth in you.
When you have a community, peers see what you bring to the table, the feeling of all doubt disappears.
Hustle is an everyday job.
My hustle is with the heart and soul of being real with myself, my clients, my peers, my friends, my family and my community .
The art of sharing our story is changing how we see each other, it helps us connect, it helps us all know that being imperfect is one amazing quality and by sharing it can provide healing for ourselves and can help someone else.
Im honored and humbled to have been awarded #DistinctiveWomen Entrepreneur of the Year 2019.
This award is beyond the beautiful named glass , it represents something much more to me. It means that even in the most challenging moments in building up a private practice , I didn’t give up on me and others who believed in me; I didn’t give up on my clients or on our community. That being the same person publicly, professionally and personally is of enormous value.
Thank you to all of my peers  who had nominated me.
If ever you felt you were all alone in the life of Entrepreneur/building a business – know you can rebuild your tribe as well, because the truth is – we are never alone especially when we are able  to see that reaching in and out is what we all need. And most precious thing of all, is  that leap of faith you took on yourself- know you are worthy to be in the same space like everyone else. YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Alive. Grateful. Blessed.


On Sunday November 24th 2019, myself and my friend Marie-Julie went on air at 8:30am on #CFRAOttawa with #DahliaKurtz-The Goods, to chat about how to speak to your kids about your own mental illness.

I spoke on the perspective as a #Psychotherapist with a personal touch on some personal aspects. I also touched on the news this morning about obesity struggles in youth and what that truly means.
Marie-Julie shared her story as a paramedic , living with a mental health injury and as being a mom with a mental illness.
Wanted to thank 580 CFRA /@TheGoods  – Dahila Kurtz for having me in as her guest on her morning radio show.
Special Thanks to Marie-Julie in inviting me to sit beside her on that beautiful Sunday morning and sharing the journey around mental health.
Creating a Tool Box – One Creative Way To Manage Anxiety

Creating a Tool Box – One Creative Way To Manage Anxiety

When the outside world is in chaos, how do we center ourselves from the noise? 

We call it “The Coping Box” .  A box filled with certain things that would be able to assist in managing any form anxiety.  The box can be big, small and it can even be a compact box for you to travel with.   Here are a few ideas on what to add in your coping box:

  • Self Smoothness- comforting things that carries the 5 senses for instance, something to smell like candles; something to hear like music, something to touch like lava beads.
  • Distraction: keeping your mind off things while focusing on something like putting together a puzzle, artwork, inspiring quotes
  • Emotional Awareness : expressing your feelings such as journaling, drawing, poetry writing.
  • Crisis Plan – contact information of support and resources when coping skills aren’t enough such as connecting with a Therapist, A Doctor, a Friend, A Distress Line and 911.

Anxiousness often subsides, but when we are in the moment, it feels like an eternity. Validate that feeling! It’s okay to not be okay right now. Your emotions are part of you, therefore it is meaningful no matter how big or small.

Empowering Through Sharing Our Story

Empowering Through Sharing Our Story

On November 28, 2018, I received a private message on Twitter. It was from Silken Laumann. For those who are not aware of who she is, Silken Laumann is a Four Time Canadian Olympian throughout the 1990’s. The message to me went like this ” I am launching a Social Impact Platform next year and I would love for you to be featured as one of our experts”.  It took me awhile to ensure that this was the real deal. We live in an era where someone can pose as a look alike, I was once accused of also being an “imposter”. So after viewing her Twitter profile, I responded with my contact information. With no wasted space in between, I received a phone call from Silken’s team and they told me of what the platform will look like and how I can contribute to it. This platform is like no other, as it is the First Canadian Online Social Impact Forum, where various people including Margaret Trudeau sharing their stories of mental health, physical health and social health struggles and resiliency.

I was honoured to have been asked to be part of something bigger than myself.

On April 3, 2019 – Silken’s Online Social Impact Platform was launched and it is called “Unsinkable”  . 50 Stories from various Canadians being shared on a National level.

Silken Laumann’s mission of this platform, aligned to what I practice and teach inside and outside of my office, that sharing our story may feel very vulnerable but it opens the door to self healing and allow others to know that They Are Not Alone!

As a Mental Health Professional and In the era of technology we’ve opened up the conversation of mental health, but I believe that we need to do so much more!

So, we do more than a conversation, we share, because vulnerability is not a sign of weakness! It’s a sign, an indicator of strength. That even though through your own darkness, there is hope, waiting for you to see it, to believe it, to touch it, to reach it, to grab it and to share it, no matter who you are, what you do, and where you came from! Because…YOU MATTER!

To read more unsinkable stories you can go to :

#GetLouderOnMentalHealth #WeAreUnsinkable #Unsinkable #MentalHealth #DigitalHealth #NationalSharingStories #SilkenLaumann

Anxiety, Depression & PTSI – The Silent & Dark Nights During The Holiday Season

Anxiety, Depression & PTSI – The Silent & Dark Nights During The Holiday Season

Honour The Space You’re In

Beautiful colours, the smell of fresh Christmas trees, Carolers singing, the malls filled with people, the ceremonous get togethers with family and friends. Sounds like the most wonderful time of year, but is it really?

Bright lights that shines on our faces constricts ones vision; the smell of fireplaces are a reminder of what the crackling noises meant in our heads, the filled in rooms with people with hundreds of conversations going all at once; the room filled with love, yet constantly noticing ignorance. “Can anyone see me?”

A few examples of how one may look at the holiday season is not necessarily easy for another. The impact of what Anxiety, Depression and PTSI can greatly affect someone’s ability to see the beauty of a holiday season. So how do we manage ourselves or help the ones we love during the stressors of the holiday? Here are a few but effective suggestions:

  • Acknowledging The Emotion We Are In
  • Owning the Emotion We Are Feeling
  • Grounding Ourselves with Affirmations of Safeness
  • Scaling Out Our Fears, Frustration, Depression, Anxiety, with the ones with love
  • Excusing ourselves from the situation without apologizing on How We Feel
  • Recognizing that Pre-Triggers exist – Your Body is Telling You Something – even before your triggers rise up.
  • Creating a “on the go” Coping Box when you are unable to remove yourself from the location you are at.
  • Repeating To Yourself That “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay Right Now”
  • Close Your Eyes, Open Your Arms, And Breathe – bringing back and grounding back to simplicity can be more effective than planning.
Beyond the Definitions & Diagnosis – Post Traumatic Stress Injuries

Beyond the Definitions & Diagnosis – Post Traumatic Stress Injuries

We often explore mental health definitions, signs and symptoms. PTSD is no exception, yet what happens after we figure out that it is a possibility we have endured trauma and a mental health injury.  Frontline workers whether it be First Responders, Military, Veterans, Corrections,Probation and Parole often question this to Mental Health Professionals.  For instance most have advised us ” I have PTSD, how can you help me”  We often advise Frontline that PTSD is a diagnosis and it is one part of the healing process.  We often advise Frontline, that we change the lingo from PTSD to PTSI – Post Traumatic Stress Injury, as that is what we are focusing on, in a therapeutic setting.  Even changing the lingos can alter how we manage our own trauma.

We are often asked questions on how to seek help with a mental health injuries like PTSI.   First and foremost, Mental Health Professionals must be well equipped of understanding Frontline Trauma. Everyone can provide assistance, but understanding First Responders, Military, Veterans, Corrections, Probation and Parole role in their community or country, what that entails, the jargon, the evolution of protecting, serving and saving is one big step that is not only essential but necessary.

At Embracing Empowerment Counselling Services, we have that expertise and we are  affliliated with a number of Frontline Organizations.  We just don’t provide therapy, we provide the essence of understanding the root of trauma, and how you can manage life beyond the badge and the uniform. #BootsOnTheGround #Mission #Training #Grounding #TransformingIntoCivilianLife #WeRemember #StrengthInNumbers