Heading for relationship disaster
20 years ago, my wife and I were on the verge of divorce after more than 15 years of marriage. My relationship with myself wasn't much better.
In order to fit in, I thought I needed to constantly convince others that everything was going well for me. I became really good at hiding those aspects of myself I believed were probably not acceptable to others, including vulnerable feelings. That strategy appeared to keep me reasonably safe, but it also kept me disconnected. And I didn't know that a disconnected human is an unhappy human. So I put about as much distance, figuratively and literally, as I could between me and almost everybody I knew, and my wife eventually got fed up with the lack of real connection. Not only was I disconnected from others, I was disconnected from myself. I had no idea who I really was.
I took a new path
All I knew was that this couldn't go on. I started reading book after book, attending experiential workshops and seminars, and getting therapy. I slowly began to grow and heal, and after attending a particularly poignant workshop with my wife, I was finally ready to work with her on renewing our marriage. It was hard at first, but gradually we became more comfortable with the process. After some time, I noticed that I was much more fascinated with the challenges my clients faced in their relationships than I was with selling my company's services. I knew then that I wanted to offer others the same healing I had experienced for myself and in my relationships, and embarked on the process of becoming a counsellor. After completing university psychology courses, relationship counselling workshops, and a three-year practitioners training program at Clearmind International, I became a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (license #2514) with the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT). In addition, for many years I have also led weekly personal support groups and have been a leader in several personal development trainings each year.