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Jennifer Hollinshead

BSc, MA Registered Clinical Counsellor #5106, Canadian Certified Counsellor - Supervisor #5088

What experience or background do you bring to your counselling and supervision practice that is uniquely yours?

Apparently my face is very expressive. Clients and counsellors often laugh at my reactions, even when I’m not trying to be funny. I try to tell people when I am amazed by them (I don’t think I should keep those thoughts a secret). Finally, I’ve had my own mental health struggles which helps me understand on a personal level how difficult they can be to navigate.

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

I’m constantly inspired by people’s resilience, strength, creativity and ingenuity when going through difficult life situations. I feel very connected to each one of my clients in ways that are unique to the individual. I have always gravitated to helping people in difficult situations, mainly because I think it’s such a privilege to help them discover their strength. That being said, sitting with pain is hard. I feel people’s pain because I’m a human. So I’ve made sure that I limit the time I’m with people so that I can give my whole self to each person I work with.

What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?

I’ll speak about the PTSD I healed from years ago. I’m grateful I went through it (now that it’s over) but honestly when I was in it I felt out of control, scared and debilitated by my symptoms. I was drinking a bottle of wine almost nightly to avoid the nightmares that terrified me. I had to take time off work (5 months to be exact). I quit drinking, started doing yoga almost daily, went to therapy, started running, ran a few ½ marathons, and once my symptoms started disappearing, I had to learn how to be compassionate and love myself.

What have you learned from your work?

There is always hope, resilience and strength. Sometimes we just have to be creative and curious enough to find it.