this is me:
What makes me come aliveI am a wife, mama, and coffee lover. I am a former elite athlete and coach turned clinical counsellor. I come alive with connection to my faith, others, nature, and growth.
I believe everyone has a story worth sharing. I’d be honoured to hear yours.
The best leaders have scarsAfter a career-ending injury, I transitioned into coaching. Therefore, I know first-hand about navigating injuries & rehabilitation, expectations, and identity after sport. I transitioned into counselling, because I personally benefited from it as an athlete and as an individual. I know what it’s like to be in the other chair; to feel stuck & overwhelmed.
But, I also know the hope-filled and empowering experience of someone walking with me during difficult times. I am now on the other side, & I am committed to being a safe and trusted co-journeyer with you.
“Owning our story and loving ourself through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do” – Brené Brown
education & credentials:
- “Overcoming Anxiety & Stress” with Wildfire Women
- “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” with Aligned Chiropractic
- “Creating a Personalized Mental Workout” with BC Hockey
- “Gratitude” events with Third Space Life Charity
- “Performance, Pressure, & Identity” with Breakout West Music Conference & Festival
- “What is Mental Health” with Heritage Christian School
- “Stress Management Strategies”
- “10 Cognitive Distortions & How to Replace Them:
- “7 Steps to Turn Negative Thoughts into Positive Impacts”
- “Communication Strengthening in Relationships”
- & many more
inspiration & mentors:
- All of Team USA, especially my friends and former teammates, and mental health and women’s equality advocates Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureaux.
- Team Canada Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Spooner, along with Team Canada, Team Sweden, & Team Finland players. My former teammates, and still friends, your commitment and perseverance is inspiring to the next generation.
- UBC athletes and coaches who showed impeccable resilience following the suicide of a player in 2016. Implementing sports counselling has helped this team tremendously following this devastating event. The legacy has inspired this Sports Counselling Program of 1-on-1 Counselling and Team Workshops.
- As a former goaltending coach of one of the Humboldt Broncos’ goaltenders, I am inspired by their courage to continue to show up.
- Saul Miller, NHL and professional performance consultant who helped my mental game and performance as a goaltender.
My “Coaches” & Mentors
- As a counsellor, I was mentored by well-respected therapists such as David Fung (Director of British Columbia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy), Barb Gladue, Dr.Ed Weiss (Theological and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy specialist) and Dr.Reba Glidewell (American Psychological Association, Trauma specialist).
- I love the work and have done workshops on Dr. Brene Brown on courage and vulnerability, Dr.Sue Johnson & Dr.Gottmans on Couples Therapy.
- I have extended experience in the Strengths Finders Assessment used by 90% of Fortune 500 Companies for leadership & team-building. It is also recognized for resumes, applications, & life guidance.
And mostly, my Teammates in LifeMy husband, my kids, my family, & my bernese mountain dog, Molson. My grandfather, Steve Bilko, who was a major-league baseball player & instilled the importance of sport in me. It’s so much bigger than the game.
Natalie Spooner / Team Canada, Olympic Gold Medalist & Silver Medalist
The mental side of the game is extremely important. Having someone like Barb– who has been there as a player, coach, & mental health professional—is invaluable to help players perform their best on the ice, and in life!