Caregiver Counselling

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Caregiver Counselling

Edmonton-based therapist, Adam Sartore, provides online counselling services to caregivers who are looking to reconnect with the joy of caregiving by increasing their self-compassion, understanding their personal triggers, enhancing their confidence in their caregiving role, and integrating new coping strategies. Using a holistic approach, Adam helps caregivers identify their stressors and begin to reconnect with themselves and their inner joy. Contact Adam today to begin your healing journey by booking your free initial  consultation.


The Journey of Caregiving

Being a caregiver provides you with a sense of purpose, joy and profound connection with those you care for. It’s a journey that you might not have planned for, but it has transformed every aspect of your life and sense of being. It’s something that you wouldn’t change for anything. 

At the same time, caregiving can come with feelings of exhaustion, overwhelm, isolation, and self-doubt. Many caregivers also struggle with feelings of guilt because the experience can simultaneously bring them a sense of joy and tremendous personal stress. Research shows that finding meaning in caregiving, connecting to supports, and using positive coping strategies can all help prevent caregiver burnout and improve caregiver resilience.

Reduce your Distress and Reconnect with your Inner Peace 

Adam uses Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to help caregivers accept and tolerate the ambivalence of caregiving. DBT is based on the belief that two opposites can be true. Life can bring both moments of joy and deep pain. A person can be doing the best they can and also want to change their behaviour. By learning DBT skills, caregivers can begin to find meaning and joy in their caregiver experience while also improving their ability to tolerate overwhelming and triggering experiences. 

DBT is an evidence-based treatment approach which teaches clients four sets of coping skills:

  • Mindfulness skills teach us to accept the current situation and stay grounded in the present moment.
  • Distress Tolerance skills teach us healthy coping tools which help us tolerate painful emotions instead of numbing, avoiding or escaping our emotional pain. 
  • Emotional Regulation skills teach us to manage and change our response to intense emotions.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness skills teach us to set healthy boundaries and reduce conflict in our relationships by communicating in a way that is effective and respects ourselves and others.

Self-Compassion Refuels the Caregiver

As caregivers it is common to think of ourselves last. We may even feel guilty or selfish for taking time for ourselves. Counselling offers a space for caregivers to openly talk about the challenges of caregiving and reduce the heaviness of emotions such as guilt, grief, and anger. By talking to a counsellor we can learn to give ourselves the same kindness we freely give to others. Practicing self-compassion helps us refill our own cup, so we can give our best to the people we care for.

Caregiver Burnout

Your counsellor will work with you to explore how caregiving is impacting all areas of your wellbeing and relationships. By seeking support, learning new ways of coping and identifying your own personal warning signs you can prevent daily caregiver stress from turning into burnout and emotional exhaustion. 

How Our Online Caregiver Counselling Works

1. Book a free initial consultation: This 15 minute session allows you to meet with Adam and explain what you would like to work on with him. During this brief initial introduction, you and Adam will see whether you're a good fit for one another and discuss how he can best support you in your caregiving role. You will also be able to ask Adam any questions you may have about the therapeutic process, or bring up any other concerns.

2. Book an initial assessment: This initial 50-minute session allows Adam to walk you through the counselling process and outline what you can expect from him. You will then come up with specific goals designed to improve your confidence and wellbeing as a caregiver. This first session is primarily used to get to know one another but many people report they feel better, lighter, and more positive because they finally have someone to listen to them and are moving forward with their issues by receiving the help they need for them.

3. Counselling sessions begin: Once the initial assessment takes place, we then move forward to counselling sessions. These sessions can occur on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis depending on your needs. During these sessions we will explore specific interventions, including DBT coping skills and self-compassion exercises, aimed at helping you in your role as a caregiver. You will then have the chance to practice these coping skills and self-compassion exercises in between sessions.  In the sessions we may also explore how past traumatic events and early childhood experiences may be contributing to your current stress as a caregiver. If necessary, we will also process past traumatic experiences or memories together so we can better equip you to leave your past behind.

Ready to get some support?

Sometimes admitting you need help is the hardest part of the whole process, especially when so much responsibilty is resting on your shoulders. If you’re ready to take that first challenging step towards living a happier life, contact Holistic Healing today to set up a free initial consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who is a caregiver? 

At Holistic Healing Counselling, we define a caregiver as anyone who cares for another person in need. This could be a parent caring for a child with developmental disabilities. A foster parent caring for teens or children in need of a safe home. An adult caring for their partner with cancer. A teen caring for their parents with terminal illness. An older man caring for his wife with dementia. The bottom line is caregivers are present in all age groups and come in many forms. All caregivers play an important role in caring for vulnerable persons in need. All caregivers also deserve access to appropriate support including caregiver counselling services.  

How can caregivers benefit from counselling? 

Counselling provides caregivers with a supportive and non-judgmental space to talk about the challenges they are facing. Research shows that seeking professional support and learning positive coping strategies can help caregivers prevent their overwhelm from turning into caregiver burnout or compassion fatigue. By talking with a counsellor, caregivers will not only feel validated in their experiences but can also develop new insights into how the stress of caregiving may be affecting their overall wellbeing and relationships.

Our caregiver counsellor, Adam Sartore, will work with caregivers to implement new coping strategies such as DBT coping skills which teach skills which are valuable to the caregiving process including boundary setting, assertive communication, emotional regulation and distress tolerance. Our caregiver counsellor will also incorporate mindfulness and self-compassion exercises into his counselling sessions with caregivers. Mindfulness and self-compassion practice will not only help caregivers cope with difficult emotions but also help them find joy and meaning in their caregiving experience. By attending couselling, caregivers are able to incorporate these new coping tools and let go of painful events which were increasing their stress, allowing them to tune more into the joys experienced in caregiving

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Welcome to Holistic Healing

Welcome to Holistic Healing

Meet our certified therapists, Adam, Selena, Juanita, and Shaheen. No matter what you want to work on, we have a therapist to help. Our Counsellors focus on helping you feel at ease by allowing you to feel heard and understood. By using a holistic, or whole picture approach, our trained Counsellors can help their patients live a happier, more authentic life. Our therapists offer adult counselling, couples counselling, and adolescent/teen counselling. Interested in learning more? Need to book a session? Contact Us here.

 

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