Integrative Health and Counselling Services by Lynn Gifford, MA, RCC (Former) RN.
Our inside selves are not always revealed. We all learn to mask our true selves to feel safe and belong. Sometimes what others see on the outside is not what is happening on the inside. While others experience us as strong and confident we may, in reality, be feeling fragile, insecure, or stuck. You may be struggling with difficult feelings and feel unable to make a decision or catch a breath.
Counselling can help you build a stronger more authentic self and provide you with the tools you need to live a more satisfying life.
We all feel better when our outside is congruent with our inside. It’s called emotional resonance and is associated with flow states.
Integrating your personal truths, counselling theories, and an evidence-based approach, I can help you explore your challenges and guide you towards your unique path.
Self-awareness is the first step to health and happiness.
I am a counsellor, a former critical care nurse; a mother, and a grandmother. My personal values include integrity, compassion, ecology, humility, and social justice.
Supporting people to find a purpose, a place to belong, and peace at home, at work, and in the world is the work of my heart.
I believe we all need a purpose and a place to belong, a sense of sanctuary within ourselves, our families, and in the world. Especially in times such as these when uncertainty and fear are so prevalent.
I provide in person, virtual, and phone counselling, health, and wellness services for people of all ages and genders who find themselves challenged with:
Both my academic education and my personal experiences with suffering have taught me the ways in which our sensations, thoughts and feelings are connected and how sometimes feelings can find their voice in our bodies through dis-comfort, dis-content., and dis-ease.
I prefer to approach health and happiness through an integrative and holistic lens and do not accept the bio-medical find-fix-it model of disease that can sometimes pathologize or objectify people leaving one feeling disconnected from both self and others.
Both western and eastern philosophies agree that it is possible to develop strategies to release emotional blockages and reach for those luminous places within our hearts and minds, and to live with more dignity, meaning, and community.
As a former ER nurse, I have a special interest in supporting the development of sustainable pathways to healing from the impacts of operational stress injuries, traumatic experiences, and the vicarious trauma experienced by front line human service providers such as firefighters, paramedics, emergency call takers/dispatchers, and critical care nurses. Life-limiting disease, illness, grief/bereavement, intergenerational trauma, and the trauma of adverse childhood experiences to foster health, hope, healing, and happiness.
Many, if not all of us have had early childhood experiences that have left us overwhelmed, blocked, emotionally shut down or stuck. Learning more about how these experiences show up in the present can disentangle who we are innately from what we have learned experientially. In this way, we can learn to let go of behavioural patterns or ways of being that no longer serve us in the present moment.
I have worked with a Pacific Assistance Dogs (PADS) Accredited Facility Dog (AFD) Koltan for several years while living and working in the lower mainland. Koltan and I worked together daily in one of the busiest ER’s in Canada. Koltan taught me so much about how unconditional loving can support healing. Learn more about Koltan’s work here;
If you choose to work with me our partnership may feel pretty similar to sharing a cup of coffee with a trusted friend. My approach is person-centred and trauma-informed which put simply means you are the expert in your own life. I will work alongside you and take my lead from you to build your capacity to regulate and manage difficult emotions, thoughts, and behaviours.
I will be fully present with you, listen deeply, invite you to focus on the present moment, your senses, feelings, thoughts, and gently guide you to navigate the change you are seeking.
People change when they are frustrated, dis-empowered, dis-content, or the gap between how they want things to be, and how they are, becomes too great.
Suffering is the gap between our craving and our satisfaction. My education, training, and experiences give me what I need to support you.
Our conversations may be about your fears, worry, difficult choices, hopelessness, anger, pain, illness, challenges accessing health care services, relationship conflict, grief, suffering, gender or identity conflict, or a loss of meaning and purpose at work or at home.
Feeling able to be fully yourself is an essential part of the counselling experience. For our partnership to be effective there needs to be a shared commitment to honour uniqueness, preferences, choices, and differences. Empowering you to decide if we are a good fit to work together ensures we have the best possible opportunity for success.
Creating a safe space to determine if we are a good fit begins with allowing room for us to explore if working with me is the right option for you. Your health and wholeness are what matters most! Message me if you’d like to explore a 20-minute free consult to assess our compatibility.