My Journey

to helping others

My journey to becoming a life coach and counsellor started a couple decades ago, when I began researching health and wellness in 1997 or so for my own health. I battled with IBS and a friend directed me to a book called “The Ministry of Healing.” This book, written by Ellen White, has an integrative approach to health. It focuses a lot on mental wellness and relationships as well as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle principles. Following that book improved my health tremendously and started me on the path to becoming a plant based nutritionist in 2007. That was just the beginning! But before I dive into that, here is a Podcast I did with Dr. David Burns, on Feeling Good podcast.

Sharing some of my story, listen now!

My Physical Health Journey Started it All but it didn’t end there….

When I learned a plant based diet and other lifestyle choices could help my IBS I did a feel deep dive into learn about nutrition and the human body. But turns out one of my favourite books, the Ministry of Healing, spends less than 20% of the book on diet and exercise. The missing part, the other 75% is our mental health, spirituality, and our relationships with others. The mind is extremely powerful, I recommend the book “When your body says no” by Dr. Gabor Mate.

As I pursued learning more about health I also I raised my son, trained horses, and got into graphic arts, videography and photography. I was invited to do some cooking shows on a TV network called 3ABN which I did in 2007. I also took a program in plant-based nutrition and became a certified nutrition counsellor with an accredited diploma program. But all this was just the beginning as it set me up to peruse the mental health profession, I just didn’t know it yet.

My Struggle with Depression & Anxiety

In 2006 I struggled with depression (not the first time I struggled with depression, more about my depression story here), then I learned about cognitive behaviour therapy and Dr. David Burns through Dr. Neil Nedley’s Depression & Anxiety Recovery Program. Dr. Nedley’s program is great for an integrative wellness approach, putting into practice what I learned in The Ministry of Healing, and it completely cured my depression. I came of my anti-depressant med’s in just a few months.

I became a Depression & Anxiety Recovery certified program director, which fueled my desire to learn more and to help those who have very specific issues or for those where a group program wasn’t as effective. In 2016 I did several more courses on life and health coaching.

During this time I develop online self-help courses on health and wellness from an integrative approach, mostly on nutrition to start since that’s the education I had. The blue zone scientific research spurred me on to develop programs that included the key aspects to health and longevity. The amazing thing I kept seeing in all the literature is, what’s good for your physical health is good for your mental well being and visa versa. I couldn’t believe more health professionals weren’t promoting the research. The data was in, was I going to wait for someone else or start sharing as much as I could myself? So I launched several online courses and my students trickled in until I had approximately 7500 students by the end of 2017.
But depression wasn’t the only thing that I had to overcome on my journey — anxiety and excess stress nipped at my heels from time to time. Long before this point in my life I had been bullied as a child, experienced suicidal thoughts in my late teens, and dealt with extreme loss. Add to the curve balls life through at me, I’m a perfectionist by nature and have a fear of rejection among other self-defeating beliefs. Working through hidden emotions, facing my fears, and accepting some flaws became the catalyst for recovery which was possible only through TEAM-CBT. It’s so amazing to have tools that crush anxious thoughts and temper stressful circumstances!

I was encouraged to pursue counselling by several people. So in 2018 I took my diploma in applied psychology and counselling, and in 2019 I became a registered professional counsellor and Level 1 TEAM-CBT life coach. I’ve taken many other trainings since then including CBT-I, CBT for insomnia, Abide Network training, and many of Dr. David’s workshops. In 2021 I became a Level 4 TEAM-CBT Advanced Therapist & Trainer and the Vice President of education for AAHWC.
I really feel there is a need for qualified counsellors and life coaches who can guide people to greater emotional stability and mental wellness through the integrative approach supported by the Bible and science. That’s my goal, to reach people who are struggling, that want to work with someone who understands the Adventist or Christian perspective, and also for those who are not Christian.
So whoever you dear reader, I’d love to meet you!

Interview on David’s “Feeling Good” Podcast & Show Notes