About Us

What’s So Great About Workshops?

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Why do I love facilitating workshops? I was asked this recently in an interview I did with Jessica from Birth Takes a Village on post-partum rage (video being posted soon!)

What I love about facilitating workshops is: bringing people together with what might be an otherwise unknown commonality, and creating a space for safe and empowering discussion and self-exploration.

I am always so excited when I create workshops to be able to share information about topics I am passionate about, and helping others to foster self-awareness and take steps towards their goals.

Workshops are a perfect place to start exploring a topic or area that you are interested in. It can be a gateway to starting therapy or an addition or any work you are already doing on yourself (with or without a professional).

Check out my website for more info on my upcoming workshops: www.theessenceofyou.ca/events

^ Private workshops and Individual Counselling sessions are also available by appointment if you’d rather explore these topics 1-1.

JEN IS A COUNSELLOR AND PSYCHOTHERAPIST IN CALGARY, ALBERTA. JEN OFFERS WORKSHOPS AS WELL AS INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING ONLINE & IN PERSON IN CALGARY, ALBERTA. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BOOKING A SESSION WITH HER OR ATTENDING ONE OF HER GROUPS OR WORKSHOPS, VISIT THE ESSENCE OF YOU WEBSITE OR CONTACT JEN DIRECTLY.

Book into Jen’s Workshops below:

Being a Counsellor - Rewarding or Exhausting?

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I am feeling so much gratitude right now after a fulfilling weekend of work. I had the privilege of doing 1-1 therapy with clients yesterday, and I co-facilitated an incredible workshop today with one of my favourite people - Jill Thompson from Tharseo Counselling Services. We worked with an incredible group of women who participated in the workshop with openness, courage and vulnerability. A perk of facilitating workshops is I always learn new things from what the participants contribute.

Yesterday at a personal gathering, someone said to me: "It must be such a heavy and exhausting job being a counsellor". While I was contemplating this, my husband jumped in and said "No, she loves it, its very rewarding doing what Jen does." < He is so right. It takes a lot of conscious and deliberate energy to maintain strong boundaries to be able to show up for my clients and be present for them, and then to end that session to be present for the next, and to wrap my day up and be present for myself and my family; and yes I do hear sad and difficult stories, but nothing feels better than being able to walk alongside my clients in their journeys of self discovery and being able to support them as they make awe-inspiring progress and overcome the obstacles and barriers in their lives. I do have to make sure that I take care of myself to be able to show up for my clients in a helpful way and not be exhausted by it, but that is pretty good motivation to take good care of myself! I am so incredibly grateful to do what I do, and I just want to affirm every one of you who have challenged yourselves to dig a little deeper and do some self-discovery in whatever way fits for you. It is NOT an easy process, but it's so worthwhile when you start seeing changes in your life because of the work you've put into yourself!

 

www.theessenceofyou.ca

Authenticity & The Essence of You

"No matter how much you change, the essence of you is always the same."

- A friend once said this to me as I was going through a lot of personal changes and struggling with experiencing the ways that my relationships with others were changing. At this time I was questioning myself a lot, and wondering if how I used to be (codependent, people pleaser) was better, and if I should go back to how I was before.

My friend assured me that no matter how I changed behaviourally – that the essence of who I am was still the same, that I would always be myself no matter what.

The changes that I was making in my life were in light of a new awareness of how self-destructive my codependent behaviour was. As I gained self-awareness and worked through the root causes of my codependent tendencies, I began to live more authentically. I started standing up for myself, assertively sharing my opinion and expressing my feelings; while making decisions that suited my own best interests (after struggling through fear of being SELFISH) and I started setting and maintaining strong boundaries.

Although it was a difficult journey, and still is some days - my realisation that I am still the same person - that the essence of who I am was still the same, continually empowers me to be my authentic self. I was always who I am now, I was just hiding parts of myself before! What I needed was the opportunity to grow into myself, which I am still doing, and will always be continuing to do.

It was at this time that I began to realize that my relationships changing around me as I grew into myself was not actually a reflection of who I was; but instead a reflection of the quality of those relationships or maybe where the other person was at in their own journey. 

This realization made me become more comfortable being my true self, despite any relational consequences this might have (being disliked, judged, etc.) and since then I have been able to foster more meaningful relationships with others that are formed from an honest, respectful and nurturing base, whilst honouring my true self and living an empowering authentic life. Even though it can still be challenging and painful to allow the vulnerability that enables this authenticity, there's no turning back for me now, and I don't have any regrets.

Any guesses where my business name came from? It is one of my goals in my practice to support others to connect to their true selves to be able to live more confidently & authentically.



Jen is a counsellor and psychotherapist in Calgary, Alberta. If you are interested in booking a session with her or attending one of her groups or workshops, visit The Essence of You website or Contact Jen directly.

Workshops: What to Expect

When you attend a workshop at The Essence of You, you can expect psycho-education on the topic of the workshop you are attending, and exploration around how that topic impacts you.

Workshops are held on a regular basis on a variety of topics (See upcoming workshops here)Jen's workshops can be used as either a boost to your current therapy, as an introduction to these topics or for those who are not ready or unable (or not interested!) to commit to regular therapy. 

Similarly to how Jen's IndividualGroup Therapy Sessions work, you will be supported to increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings, and to connect to your emotions and inner voice. Workshops are different from these because you will be encouraged to do more self-reflection, and while you will be guided in this by Jen, you will not be given direct questions and feedback like you would in an Individual or Group Therapy Session.

Jen encourages discussion amongst the participants to give opportunity for relating and sharing. She guides and direct all of her workshops in a way to promote a safe space and to help ensure that the goals of each participant are being met.

Jen has a special interest (and training) in Expressive Arts Therapy and often leans on this to help her clients with deeper connection and exploration of their issues (learn more about Jen here). Jen almost always use some form of expressive arts therapy in her workshops, however this is something that I am flexible with depending on the needs of each participant in the group. Follow this link if you'd like to know more about how Jen uses Art Therapy.

All workshops will be delivered in a group setting. If you would like to see different topics being offered in a workshop, or if you would like to arrange for a private workshop please contact Jen to discuss.

READ MORE BLOG POSTS HERE:

Individual Sessions - What to Expect

In my Individual Sessions, I would be supporting you to increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings, and help you to connect to your emotions and inner voice. You would set the pace and decide what you want to focus on.

We would work together to identify and address your goals. I guide my clients to find their own answers by exploring emotions, core beliefs, triggers, helpful & unhelpful patterns, and past experiences. Every session can look different depending on what comes up. Depending on the needs of each client, some sessions might be more structured where some would be more free-flowing.

If it seems like it would be useful and my clients are open to it - I often use different methods of creative art therapy to help my clients in exploring their issues on a deeper level, which always helps people gain new perspective. (This is not about being artistic! Just a different way of exploring that helps you tap into your subconscious).

You can read more about my background and therapy style here.

Group Sessions: What to Expect

In my group sessions, we will be focused on a particular topic, and there will also be space for each participant to share - as much or as little as you choose - about yourself and what you are currently struggling with.

You can expect psycho-education on the topic and exploration around how that topic impacts you. Sometimes there will be more focus on the topic, and sometimes more focus on what the participants bring up - I am always flexible with this to meet the needs of the group.

Similarly to how my Individual Sessions work, you will be supported to increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings, and I will help you to connect to your emotions and inner voice. We work together to identify and address your goals. I guide my clients to find their own answers by exploring emotions, core beliefs, triggers, helpful & unhelpful patterns, and past experiences.

You are asked to share only as much as you feel comfortable and at your own pace, giving and receiving feedback while respecting boundaries and differences. It is asked that no advice is given unless specifically asked for; as group therapy is more about developing your awareness and coming to your own conclusions instead of being told what to do.

I encourage discussion amongst the participants to give opportunity for relating,sharing, and feedback; which is so helpful with normalizing and reducing shame; as well as gaining different perspectives and insight on your experiences that you may not have seen otherwise. It is incredibly powerful to share and listen within a group, and I love being able to hold the space for this!

I guide and direct the group sessions in a way to promote a safe space and to help ensure each group members goals are being met, and I will encourage you to look at what the underlying causes of your presenting issues are.

I have a special interest (and training) in Expressive Arts Therapy and often lean on this to help my clients with deeper connection and exploration of their issues (learn more about Jen here). We will not necessarily use the arts in every session - and again this is something that I am flexible with depending on the needs of each participant in the group. Follow this link if you'd like to know more about how I use Art Therapy.

How it Started

My motivation for starting my practice was twofold. I love counselling and I feel very passionate about supporting women through body image and peri-natal related issues; and I also enjoy being a stay at home mother so I wanted to find a way to be able to do this while also working in my career that I love. Starting this practice has been challenging in many ways but I’ve never been more excited than I am about this!

My main goal for my practice is to be able to support and empower women. I want to help women in learning how to trust themselves, their bodies, their intuition. I am passionate about working with women-specific issues because I believe that as women, we have a stronger ability to connect to our intuition than men (sorry guys!) and that when we allow ourselves to tap into this we can empower ourselves and each other. This means allowing ourselves to become vulnerable. It means looking beyond what meets the eye. It takes courage, it is hard work, but it builds strength and allows us to become open, develop self-awareness, and find healing.

Learning to trust myself through my intuition has been a big part of both my personal and professional journey. This began for me as a child with my parents always telling me to "trust my gut"; and this has been continuously reinforced for me throughout university, as well as various supervision and training I have done in my career that has taught the same message. Over and over again I've been reminded that my body never lies and my intuition is always right. It is so easy to disregard this inner sense of knowing, because it is intangible, and therefore undervalued in our society that celebrates numbers and things that come in square boxes!

Living in a culture that frequently disempowers women, there is no wonder why we experience so many issues during the vulnerable experiences of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. As women, we also have a lot of pressure put on us for our external appearance. This seems to be highlighted during pregnancy and motherhood - our bodies are constantly under scrutiny by friends, family, acquaintances and health care professionals. We are so often being judged, criticized, and belittled… not to mention also holding ourselves to unreasonably high standards, doubting ourselves, and comparing ourselves. And all of this is often accepted and encouraged in our society.

After going through pregnancy, birth, and now motherhood myself, as well as being surrounded with pregnant women and mothers, I’ve really noticed the lack of HEALTHY support available and I'm hoping that my practice will help to shift this.

 - Jen

Jen is a counsellor and psychotherapist in Calgary, Alberta. If you are interested in booking a session with her or attending one of her groups or workshops, visit The Essence of You website or Contact Jen directly.