About Chris

Chris has been working with people in various capacities in both the private and public sectors for over 30 years. Following a year working in a detox centre, he worked for nine years in a large inner city facility in the capital, which served housed and served the homeless, unmedicated mentally ill, and those suffering from all manner of addictions, as well as housing federal day parolees and provincial TAP releases.
From there he took a position in a large long-term care facility operated by the provincial government, which housed psychiatric patients as well as some of the more hard-core addicts and alcoholics who were not capable or willing to return to living in the city.

Chris has suffered from a lesser known form of epilepsy for a large part of his life. As it was not well known by the general public in those times, it remained undiagnosed for the better part of twenty years, until it had progressed to the point where life was unmanageable and it became evident that something was seriously wrong. The seizures caused sometimes violent rages and, as is common among people with epilepsy, Chris lost almost all memory of more than ten years of his life. Career dreams from the military to music, and several college program endeavours were all destroyed before they got off the ground until the diagnosis, and finally the understanding that provided came and several years later later the seizures were stopped.

Chris attributes much of his insight into mental health, especially anxiety, panic attacks, and pervasive shame (the “not good enough”) to decades of experiences with  the bizarre aspects of the disease, followed by several unfortunate mis-prescriptions and the sometimes horrendous side effects of those drugs and the medication he must take for life. Having gained a diverse range of life experience as a result of his long journey to recovery, Chris is comfortable engaging with people from all walks of life. He often jokes, “I had the best practicum I could have hoped for, I just had it before my training instead of during.”

Once his epilepsy was stabilized Chris found himself working in the helping field, in both the private and public sectors, in entry level, supervisory and management positions, eventually realizing the need for a formal education. At the age of 43, he undertook a bachelors degree in Health Sciences addictions counselling, and a few weeks later began his masters in counselling psychology. “I was very fortunate in university, finding my mentor in an amazing nondual psychologist, and a wonderful array of brilliant instructors and colleagues. My mentor dissolved my lifelong dilemma and introduced me to my area of investigation – pervasive shame, and I’ve continued developing and honing my approach to resolving this most painful of afflictions over the 15 years that I have been on my own.”

Chris has been working in his home town of Medicine Hat since his return here in 2007, in both the public sector with psychiatric patients in the community, crisis in the community and ER, and in private practice since late 2009. He sees people locally as well as outside the province, and occasionally internationally.

Chris’ approach to counselling is eclectic, heavily informed by object relations theory and nonduality in the discipline of A.H. Almaas. He is a voracious reader, influenced by many writers and teachers including C.G. Jung, Rupert Spira, Michael Singer, the poet Rumi, Ken Wilber, Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Ivan Antic, to name a few.

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