Success Stories


Samantha* was struggling with depression. When she came to see me she said that she was crying frequently, and having trouble getting herself motivated to do much of anything. She was feeling that she was neglecting her teenage sons because she would often just hide out in her room in an effort to both shield them from her pain and because she felt most comfortable in the confines of her room. Together we worked on calling upon  resources that were available to Samantha in her community, exploring the things that Samantha had forgotten about that bring her joy, healing from some of Samantha’s difficult childhood experiences, coping skills and goals for the future. In a short time, Samantha reported that she had joined an art class that she was enjoying immensely and through this class she met a new friend. She began to feel more connected to her community and inspired to reach out further. She began volunteering at an agency and making plans to revisit the business she had been thinking about starting several years prior.  Samantha became better able to redirect herself when she felt she was slipping into that familiar depressed state. She told me that she was spending more time with her children and was noticing positive changes in their behaviors as a result. Samantha reported feeling lighter and better able to access her playful, happy self and I delighted in the joy in her face whenever she talked about the business she was getting started. Contact Shelley and begin to make positive changes in your life.


Paul* came to me saying that she was feeling anxious much of the time.  He said that there were times when it would be overwhelming. He would suddenly notice a sick feeling in his stomach, his heart would begin to race, he would notice this sense of impending doom and feel panicky that he might freak out or faint in public. He said when this happened he would just freeze for a moment and then rush out of wherever he happened to be. He said he was so afraid of embarrassing himself in public and he hated the feeling that seemed to overtake him for no reason.  Paul and I explored various relaxation techniques and planned a strategy for what he could do the next time he found himself feeling panicky. He developed a regular self-care plan and we discussed what was happening in Paul’s body when he was overcome by this anxious feeling.  Paul was not losing his mind, as he originally thought, he was just reacting to perceived threats in his environment. With some new tools in hand and a better understanding of why he was feeling the way he was, he was able to calm himself down when panic struck. He noticed these episodes happening much less frequently and when they did occur, he was able to handle them without fleeing. Paul expressed feeling liberated because his fear of starting to feel panicky has caused him to avoid going out at times. He developed a new confidence that he could handle whatever came up for him. Contact Shelley and begin to make change your life and break away from anxiety and fear.


Kate* came to me expressing that she was just feeling overwhelmed by everything. She was working full time and had 3 children. She felt that she was so busy that she had no time to breath. She said she found herself having no patience with her children. She said she would raise her voice with them frequently and then end up feeling really guilty that she was not able to manage her emotions better. She said her partner travelled on business frequently so she was left with the majority of the household chores and childcare responsibilities much of the time. This left her feeling resentful of him and their marriage was suffering as a result. In sessions, Kate worked on ways she could make some time for herself because nourishing herself was crucial if she was to be able to nourish her children. She needed to find ways to rejuvenate and enjoy life again. We explored Kate’s needs for assistance with the children and she found some creative ways to share parenting with another family in her community. As well, she was able to identify ways in which her husband could assist her even in his absence. Previously, it had been too difficult for her to come up with any ideas for making this easier for herself. Kate was thrilled with how much better and more in control she felt as she was able to take time for herself doing some of the things she loved but had let go of years ago. She began writing poetry again and reconnected with a couple of friends. She joined a yoga class and realized that her marriage was actually a lot stronger than she had thought. Her partner was just not aware of what a difficult time she was having and when she was able to express herself more fully to him, he did what he could to help her out. This enabled them to feel closer and they agreed that they both needed to put more energy into their relationship as a couple, not just as parents. Contact Shelley to begin rejuvenating and enjoying your life!

Sexual Abuse Survivor

Tina* had been sexually abused as a child but until she was in her 30’s she felt that it did not have an impact on her. At 32 she moved away from her hometown to live in Vancouver. Suddenly she found that whenever she was intimate with her boyfriend, she would begin to cry for no apparent reason. Gradually she found that she began crying for no reason at various points throughout the day on some days. She also found that she would have period of intense anxiety mixed with sadness and she would try to self-sooth herself by smoking and having a drink. She found that her anxiety and sadness would also arise without fail after visits to the dentist. She even started to hyperventilate while having a tooth treated at the dentist’s office one day. This made no sense to her because she had never been upset by dentist visits in previous years and she had no real fear of dental treatments. Tina tried to feel better on her own but after about a year of feeling this way, she came to me for help. By then she suspected that her childhood abuse was coming back to haunt her. Tina was able to gradually work through the pain with the assistance of a supportive partner, individual and group counselling. Today, Tina reports being able to fully enjoy intimacy and can even go to the dentist without any accompanying feelings of sadness or anxiety. She has incorporated grounding and relaxation exercises into her daily life and advises that she only experiences mild anxiety and sadness at times but that these feelings are much more manageable and in line with what is to be expected with the ordinary stresses in life. Contact Shelley to begin moving beyond the past pains and into the joy of YOUR life!

Behavioural Problems in Children

Eight year old Rory* came to see me because his parents were concerned about reports they were getting from the school that he was acting aggressively towards other children. They also noticed that he tended to hold things in and then blow up at the smallest provocation. They were concerned as well because became quite clingy at night and sometimes wet the bed. Through the use of therapeutic games, stories, and art therapy, Rory became better able to identify his feelings and express them appropriately to family members and friends. It surfaced in counselling that Rory was being bullied by someone at school and he had been afraid to tell anyone. We worked on building up Rory’s confidence and skills to cope with the cruelty of others. In a short time, Rory stopped wetting the bed and his parents indicated that his teachers had noticed quite an improvement in his behavior. Rory’s parents implemented a regular bedtime and routine for Rory to help signal to his body and mind that the day was over and he could safely go to sleep. Contact Shelley to give your child the skills to be confident and safe!

* Please note: All names have been changed to protect privacy.

Shelley offers individual sessions for adults and children in Toronto, Ontario. For your convenience, if for whatever reason you are unable to attend counselling sessions in person, Shelley is pleased to offer telephone or internet counselling through Skype video or messaging. For further information or to book an appointment, contact Shelley by phone: 778-885-2905 or email shelley(at)

Shelley can help you take your first step to feeling better for you and your children,
what you want does not have to be upstream.