Embracing Empowerment Counselling Services continues to offer virtual therapy sessions to new and existing clients. As the province of Ontario re-opens for business, We are slowly bringing back in person sessions on Mondays with precautionary measures. If you're struggling or know someone who is please reach out to us at info@embracingempowerment.com or 613-983-6737. You Are Not Alone.

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 …

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 …

Empowering Through Sharing Our Story

Empowering Through Sharing Our Story

On November 28, 2018, I received a private message on …

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 …

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 …

Understanding Mental Health Injury as a Family

Understanding Mental Health Injury as a Family

Imagine having a family member away from home for  days, …

What Do Therapists Provide? – A Perspective From A Registered Social Worker

What Do Therapists Provide? – A Perspective From A Registered Social Worker

A recent article from The Global News theorized the differences …

The Truth About Human Trafficking in Canada

On Friday October 27, 2017 Founder and Therapist of Embracing …

Attachment and Trauma Conference

Healing Is Much More Than Words – Daniel Seigel Founder …

Mental Health In The WorkPlace – When Corporate Initiatives Are Not Enough

Mental Health In The WorkPlace – When Corporate Initiatives Are Not Enough

Within 7 days at any given time about 1/2 million …

Supporting Someone with Mental Health and Illness

Supporting Someone with Mental Health and Illness

Mental Health Affects everyone not just the person who is actually suffering from it. It’s hard to examine the day when you are unsure how to support one another through the challenging life of mental health. Here are a few ways to engage and support those who are living with some form of mental illness:

1. Acknowledgment- a huge hurdle as we avoid and label .Acknowledging that mental health is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and voiced can alter and even omit stigma.

2. Understand that even though someone suffers from mental illness does not always require 24 hour care. We call it Space Support – where you acknowledge that everyone needs space but can always be there for them. A listening ear is an essential part of support.

3.  Voicing that you care for someone who is dealing with mental health is the most powerful tool that can even save a life! ” You are Worthy!”

4.Understanding that those who are dealing with mental health , they don’t want to be ” fixed”, they want you to understood that they will have “bad days” just be there for them.

5. To be accepted. Accepting means opening up that mental illness does not always have physical wounds, some are invisible, and even hard to detect. So when it’s being said that they are feeling down and their brain isn’t the same, acknowledge the wounds . Compassionate acceptance is evolution of crushing Stigma.

6. Labels are labels they are not to be used to define someone. Calling someone “crazy” or using the words like “crazy, or mental breakdown” in ordinary daily language isn’t going to change how we look at mental health and the person dealing with it, we actually grow the gap even further.

7. Asking, ” how can I help you” or ” how are you” can open their darkest gate and start a conversation. It can be that simple.

8. Hugs – when words cannot be expressed, bear hugs can let any guard down, reduce stigma, stress, anxiety

9. Being accepted for who they are now is the only truest way to be free.

10. Words can be only words unless they have meaning, so when you are truly there for someone – phrases like ” I believe you” can alter and even save a life. Mental health affects all!

Closing The Gap: Bullying, School and The Rise Of Suicide

Closing The Gap: Bullying, School and The Rise Of Suicide

Bullying is a learned behavior.  Bullies have one point of another have been bullied themselves. Bullies enter their own school property and pick on younger students, older students, or even their own friends. Primary anti-bullying days are all over the school, not in workplaces, or rallies, or events. The Bullied feels scared, unworthy, anxious, sad, depressed and even suicidal. The Bullied connects with others who have been bullied themselves.They either get angry and form a bully pact or  A Suicide pact because they believe there is no other way out. According to Canadian Institutes of Health and Research, has the 9th highest rate of bullying and about 1 out of 3 teens reported being bullied.  Another factor to add onto this, is that more bullying occurs to certain cultural and ethnic groups, therefore bullying and suicide rates increases. For instance, “In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 53 per cent of trans youth (ages 14 to 25) reported being bullied in school. (excerpt from Winnipeg Metro News-May 2017)”

So how do we change this? Can we change this? Where do we start?

All incredible questions that have one major answer, bullies cannot be stopped until the origin of how it started gets addressed. It’s called the  trickle effect theory, but there are times in our lives we have to do things we may not have a choice, like paying our taxes. But we always have a choice to VOICE our thoughts, VOICE how to be respected, VOICE to be heard, VOICE to be listened to, VOICE to be accepted as we are. Our Voice can change how the trickle down theory can be demolished. So let’s go back to the school system

A student is bullied. A student calls out for help.  A bully gets called into the office and spoken to. The bully leaves the office, says nothing until the next day and rebullies. The student goes to the office again for help. The student is advised to walk away if they “bother” them again. This time the student walks aways, but isn’t able to get up after being beaten outside of the school yard. The student is terrified. The student receives inappropriate emails, texts. The student feels worthless. The student ends their life.

Bullies have been bullied before, and were not given a chance to VOICE their hurt, and only know survival skills, so they bully to protect their own pain.

A VOICE IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL ANYONE CAN OBTAIN AND THE MOST DEFINING MOMENT WHERE POLICIES CAN CHANGE, IN A WORKPLACE, IN A HOME, IN A SCHOOL.

Tips to Calm An Anxious Child

Tips to Calm An Anxious Child

How we approach our children when they aren’t able to speak about what bothers them can change the outlook. Here are a few tips to help you along the way –

1. Feeling safe is the number one thing a child feels comfort

2. Talking, when feeling safe they are able to start processing their thoughts

3. Getting down to their level of what their worry is often makes it real for them and feeling understood

4. Drawing – art therapy is one amazing tool that helps a child express their thoughts

5. More knowledge of their fear the more empowering feeling it becomes for a child. Knowledge is power- embrace it!

6. Deep Breathing or as we often call it Mindfulness techniques are a tool that even adults use when things get overbearing .

7. As parents we cannot see the sight of our own child buried in their worries, give them the time to tell you, it makes a child feel they can reach out and know you’re there . A listening ear is far more productive than fixing their issues for them .

8. Always ask your child – is there anything you need from me? It allows them to understand you are there for them no matter what.

Anxiousness often subsides, but when we are in the moment, it feels like an eternity. And validate that feeling! It’s okay to feel that, it’s their emotions, it’s part of them , therefore it become meaningful , no matter how big or small.

The Journey of A Federal Framework – PTSD

The Journey of A Federal Framework – PTSD

Changes and Implementations of Federal Policies and Legislation takes time, sometimes it can take years.  A disheartening fact but important to recognize when advocating for Mental Health initiatives for any geographical area or population.

600 days ago, An Federal Proposed Bill C-211 was born.  An Newly Elected Federal MP took on this Bill and brought it to life, of the reality, the hardships, the dedication, the challenges and the heartbreaking stories of First Responders, Correctional Officers, RCMP, Military and Veterans trying to overcome their Mental Health Injury – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or now verbally known as Post Traumatic Stress Injury.  There is that heart wrenching reality that some who dedicated and sacrificed their lives for Canadians could no longer hold on to their pain and took their own life.

Death by Suicide is a very dark fact amongst Police Officers, Paramedics, FireFighters, Correctional Officers, RCMP, Active Soldiers, and Veterans. Stigma continues to be present not only in the public arena but at times within their own services.

So there was a very important job to do, and that was to have Bill C-211 a Federal PTSD Framework to come to light in the House Of Commons.  600 days ago the process of debates began.

For every Private Member’s Bill/Federal Proposed Bill – there are steps to take for it to be recognized of it’s importance.  Data and Statistical analysis begins, interviews, collaboration, listening to hours upon hours of traumatic and heartbreaking stories and then the debate (a tiered process) in front of all Federal MP’s to understand why this Bill weighed more than another.

For any Bill to move onto the next stage, they must pass all tiered process or as they call it in the House of Commons – Readings which they are three.  Bill C-211, passed 1st reading, the two parts of 2nd reading, the Health Committee, and as of Friday June 16, 2017, passed the 3rd and Final Reading. It now enters into the last phase before it officially passes from a Proposed Bill to a Legislative Bill.

Everyday a life is gone, Everyday someone puts on a uniform whether it be First Responders, Corrections, RCMP, Military or Veteran, and knows that their life becomes second to anyone they protect, serve and save.  It’s time to take care of them. It’s time to put them first.Federal-PTSD-Framework-C211

In The Moment – Mindfulness

In The Moment – Mindfulness

A Quiet Space – Mindfulness embracingempowerment.com/…/A-Quiet-Space-Mindfulness.mov


We all heard of the word and it has become the norm on the “how to” of peace.

We define Mindfulness as being present without judgement in every moment.

Military, First Responders are using the concept of grounding – which means being in the moment, feeling their feet on the ground, what they see in the moment, how they feel in the moment.

Mindfulness can be a useful tool when you suffer from anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness is an umbrella , and underneath it are thousands of tools . The key to understand mindfulness, is to seek which techniques works for you.

The Wounds Within

The Wounds Within

Understanding trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Injury (PTSD) isn’t an easy thing, but imagine living with it. Here are a few pointers about how We can help.

Trauma changes people, period. It changes ones physical being as well as how one thinks.

PTSD/Trauma hijacks ones identity. It takes away the one thing they knew for sure. Every moment is looked upon as dangerous, threatening and unpredictable. All the meanwhile one feels helpless, powerless, fearful.

Trauma makes one always on autopilot, a survival mode. Therefore hyper vigilance is pre-dominant. Survival responses are not in the control of the person itself but what they see and in order to protect themselves from further trauma including re-traumatization .

Knowledge is POWER- the more we know and how it is seen through the person suffering from it, the less we become scared of it- we need to normalize the aspects of trauma and PTSD, because it opens the doors to healing for those who wear the wounds within.

Suicide vs Suicidal – Is There A Real Difference In How We Use Language

Suicide vs Suicidal – Is There A Real Difference In How We Use Language

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. (excerpt from World Health Organization)

When someone ends their life,  everyone is there, we hear ” I feel bad”
” I didn’t see the signs”
“Why did they do it, they had an amazing life”
However if someone was suicidal, everything becomes different. No one wants to hear the facts, the problem or even act that there is an issue. Reality is – being Suicidal isn’t just going to go away.
When your Suicidal, people believe it’s the only option for them and treating this like it is their problem will only bring them to confirm that it is the only option.

So When someone says their suicidal, don’t push them away, or say it’s only in their head, instead be the one who keeps them here – lend a hug, a listening ear and a compassionate heart.

Through The Eyes Of A Therapist

Through The Eyes Of A Therapist

Passion and Knowledge can go far in life, but it can be short lived if there is no action to what you believe in. As a Therapist at Embracing Empowerment Counselling Services our passion comes through on how we empower others to better themselves. We would like to share a few pointers on the driven knowledge and passion that we believe would help others take that courageous step of seeking help.

• When you accept yourself, both the good, the bad and the ugly – you will start to feel peace. I am here to tell you – YOU ARE ENOUGH.

• Learning to say NO is essential part of owning your own happiness. It’s ok to say you have limits. We are innated to please and help others, but when it takes all of who you are, we can become lost. So say NO for you.

• Comparing yourself to others will not get you anywhere. It can either make you feel superior or even feeling not worthy. We are all different who bring in uniqueness to the table. The goal is to find what your unique self brings to the world.

• Communication is Key to any resolution in life. With the technology that we have we forget that sometimes the basic human need is the concept of talk. It can omit life’s heartaches, hurt, pain, anger, sadness, loneliness.

• We are not here to “fix” people, We’re here to advise that you are a person, a human being, that consists of complexity, beauty & uniqueness. We are here to help you understand yourself, and find clarity of what that entails.

Happiness comes through glimpses of HOPE, COMPASSION and HEALING. Our Passion continues with ongoing Call of Action by providing 30 Minute Free Consultation, as we believe that Everyone Deserves Self Care!

Mental Health Crisis- Can Traditional Mental Health Delivery Survive?

Mental Health Crisis- Can Traditional Mental Health Delivery Survive?

According to Mental Health Commission of Canada 1 in 5 People in Canada experiences mental health problem or illness. 70 percent of youth who are dealing with mental health reported that their symptoms began during childhood years. An alarming statistics! Wait times still exist in the mental health industry and the increase of need is ever growing. So how does traditional mental health deliveries overcome such demand? It’s simple. We need to adapt to change.

Many initiatives are being developed every single day in order to better mental health services, but reality is many are not ready to adapt to drastic changes. We are immuned to our old ways. One way to ride the wave is to implement and place into action through simple changes. For example, being able to provide free clinics in order to determine urgency versus ongoing assistance. When a person who is struggling with their own mental health, the wealth of information and services become overwhelming, therefore they are unsure what to do. Simplifying the “how to ” can keep our traditional mental health deliveries alive. Breaking down barriers, bringing up new initiatives is a step to the right direction, but action is what will alter and save a life.

Mental Health Delivery is in crisis and so are many who are struggling with their own mental health – but we can save the omission of traditional delivery by knowing we all want TO BE HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. We cannot bandaid mental health by providing a quick fix to how we deliver services. Take the time to hear someone’s story because it can alter or save someone or even themselves.