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Group led by Hope resident offers support to therapists and counsellors

Supporting you, Supporting them will meet online every second Tuesday starting in mid-April
Who helps those who help others? ‘Supporting you, Supporting them’ is a group that will bring counsellors and therapists together for online meetings every second Tuesday, starting April 12. (Metro Creative photo)

Whether it’s for mental health, careers or something else, counsellors are there to be an ear to provide an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on.

But what do counsellors do when they need help? It’s not an easy job listening to other people and guiding them through problems, and that’s why Marion Baker and Olivia Nelson are offering ‘Supporting You, Supporting Them.’

The support group for counsellors/therapists meets every second Tuesday starting April 12.

Registered counsellors and therapists are mandated to complete a certain amount of personal and professional development hours, which this support group will help to fulfill.

“If you’re taking care of people, you have to prove you’re taking care of yourself,” Baker said. “It’s not like once you become a counsellor you have life figured out, and I have my counsellor on speed-dial.”

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Baker said she was trained in depth about proper boundaries and how to not “take stuff on and make other people’s problems yours.”

She talks to some counsellors who struggle far more than she does. There is a saying, ‘physician, heal thyself,’ which suggests doctors don’t always make the best patients.

But Baker believes counsellors do, and there are lots of ‘Aha’ moments.

“When people are truly authentic with where they’re at, when they are non-defensive and show you their soft underbelly, and often that comes with tears, the whole group just melts. Everyone feels for that person and feels close to that person.”

Baker was trained experientally, which means a lot of role-playing. According to her bio in the Facebook post about the support group, Baker’s focus is also steeped in spiritual connection and healing.

“Learning to trust in and follow your higher power, (or intuition) is crucial on your journey to peace and surrender, whether it looks like letting something go, or standing up for what’s important.”

Nelson runs a private practice out of her home in North Vancouver, and brings almost 30 years of teaching and facilitation skills to the support group. She also taught acting for 15 years.

“In all my experience, whether I’m facilitating personal growth, working with corporations or teaching an acting workshop, the focus is always on empowering people to become their most authentic, expressive self.”

Baker said the support group will be a success if participants walk away with nothing more than more peace of mind.

“And a way to be more gentle and forgiving with themselves,” she added.

Supporting You, Supporting them is available to anyone falling under the ‘therapy umbrella,’ like a counsellor/therapist/social worker, running for two hours online every second Tuesday from April 12 through June 21, with a followup session in early September.

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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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