Personal and professional experience
What my training gives me is a framework for helping others create change for themselves. This comes about through carefully listening, asking questions to guide your own understanding, resources and skills to help you be more empowered, and other ways of viewing your situation to consider.
What my personal experience (of the wonderful as well as the rough that life has to offer - I lived with chronic illness for 20 years, most of it not very graciously) has taught me is something about compassion and a capacity to sit with some of the worst life has to offer.
I also have personal experience of being a carer. I lived with my grandmother during her final months of life and participated in providing hospice at home for her. This sparked my interest in elder and end of life care.
While caring for my mother through cancer treatments I also developed an interest in hospital work and the needs of the seriously ill.
Both of these experiences also gave me a deep appreciation of the challenges of being a carer and the need for support and self-care.
My professional work is in aged-care as a Somatic Experiencing therapist and bodyworker; at University of Canberra Hospital as coordinator of Spiritual Support Services; I also have private practice.
As you can imagine I see a lot I see that's reminds me of how precious life is, how easy it is for things to 'go wrong', and how desperately so many of us need careful attention. Every day many of us face our lives with immense courage - even when it doesn't feel like that.
I wish to acknowledge your strengths and support you to find your way.
My wish for you, always, is that you find what will help you most for whatever hurts your heart in the dead of night, or frustrates you to the point you want things to change!
Philosophy of change and healing
My philosophy of change is that
it occurs in an environment where we feel safe enough to be ourselves
exactly as we are.
It is here that we can see and accept who we are and feel the acceptance of another. This in itself is profoundly healing and opens many doors.
I further believe, and it is what has been true for me, that
healing comes about from having new experiences.
These, over time, replace our old ones and give us a new view of
what life can offer.
This means we need to replace what was missing, what was needed for us to not be hurt or to heal from our wounds.
It means we need to be loved and cared for by another so that we can feel into our own love and care for ourselves.
It means we need to do things differently.
Remember "do what you've always done and get what you've always got"? Ah. 'Tis true. We can only have change by adopting new habits and getting out of old (unhelpful) ones.
It is through taking action, trying something new, that we have different experiences of life, that we change and discover what can change in our lives.
This can take courage.
It can also be a source of excitement and pleasure as we see ourselves taking steps into new lands and finding that we can have mastery.
Philosophy of therapy, coaching, counselling
So I will accept you exactly as you are.
I will see your wholeness, your potential,
what is true and wonderful about you now.
I will also hold the hope that there are better things ahead. And that
there are ways you can do things differently that will allow you to have a better experience of your life, that will take you towards your dreams and aspirations.
We deserve to have the flexibility, the freedom from unhelpful fear,
to be able to explore what we want and need in our lives.
And often we need someone who will be beside us, on our side (to use Rick Hanson's term) as we find our way through or forward or even just learn how to be with a situation that cannot be changed.
I believe that the wisdom for healing and growth is already within you.
For a variety of reasons you may not always be able to connect to it.
And there is no reason you should have to do this on your own!
We are human beings, we are designed to grow and learn in connection with others. There are no prizes for sorting it out on a mountain top all on your own. There is much joy and love to be had in learning together.
My role is to be here to help you connect with your truth, your wisdom,
your innate capacities for healing and for creating what can be new
and wonderful in your experience of your one wild and precious life
(as the poet Mary Oliver so beautifully puts it).
Philosophy of money
I want my services to be available to as many people as possible.
I offer a sliding scale to help those who would otherwise not have access to needed services get them.
For those who are able to pay full price I thank you: this helps me fund these lower-end payments.
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Chantal is a member of the:
"Chantal brings to her life coaching a listening ear, perceptive observations, creative ideas, quirky humour and great organizational suggestions. I found my sessions with her were both enjoyable and practically helpful."
"Chantal has this beautiful ability to listen with depth and then translate what you say into a digestible form for you to understand. She hears the silent undertones of our true voice, the voice that screams to be heard. Chantal can pull that voice out and give it recognition, thus transforming it into a platform from which building an exciting and self-empowering future can occur. Thank you Chantal for helping me realize my dream and giving me the strength to push forward with it."
"I saw Chantal because of my back problem. She was very empathetic and caring. She really helped me understand better how to live with this ongoing issue. I would recommend her to anyone."