"You're still on... keep riding!" A coach once yelled that across the arena as I clung onto the side of my horse's neck after a jump that unseated me. It's become a catch phrase for life in my world.
My world for the past 10 years has been teaching fitness, and I am currently finishing a counselling diploma specializing in guiding women who've experienced abuse to live kickass lives.
Kickass Life Counselling focuses on the freedom and responsibility to choose our journeys, that our lives are an ongoing, never ending project we create and recreate in each moment, and that every women has the right to feel sassy, sexy, and strong. Remember... you're still on - keep riding <3.
"My time with Kat leaped me forward in my attempts to chip away at the challenges that were stopping me from feeling my best and I'm in a better position than ever to complete the goals that I have struggled with for the last few years."
You know, it's amazing the things I learned from you. I know I have ups and downs, fall off the wagon and sometimes get lost but it is what you taught me that always keeps me getting back to a better effort and place. I just want you to know I am eternally grateful for you and your programs."
This space is reserved for you. Imagine what you would say if the problem that is bothering you most had been solved. Write your own mini gold star acceptance speech ... 75 words max. Use the 'get in touch' link below if you want to send it to me. I'd love to hear it!
; Future You
Kickass Life Counselling gives you easily accessible options to suit your needs and your budget because the world is not perfect yet and mental health so often takes a back seat.
Check out the interactive video to see a sample of self-guided counselling. This is absofrickinlutely NOT a replacement for one on one counselling but it might be a starting place or an in between for you.
As of spring 2020, Kickass Life Counselling will be offering email counselling and live video or phone counselling. One on one, private counselling also gives you access to your own personalized journey course where I'll add material relevant to your specific needs.
To see a sample journey, take the Sassy Survival Guide Journey.
Video coming soon
The boring, but still accurate answer: Counselling is the process that occurs when a client and counsellor set aside time in order to explore difficulties which may include stressful or emotional feelings.
The fluffy unicorn dream answer: Counselling is human connection, empathy, and acceptance designed to build a relationship of trust so that the individual in search of healing can see things from a clearer, or even different perspective, and release the kickass version of themselves that's been held back by all the torturous mental barriers we humans are so good at creating.
I use an integrative, eclectic system of counselling so that counselling is individualized to your needs. However, all of my counselling focuses on client centered techniques of genuineness and empathetic understanding in a zero judgement zone.
I often follow an Adlerian model of encouragement with an interactive Gestalt model to discuss the past but will rely heavily on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy when we discuss the present.
If all of that is gobblygook to you, don't sweat it. All that matters is that you feel comfortable discussing your concerns with me. The most important aspect of any counselling relationship is you feeling accepted and understood.
Counselling is NOT advice, judgment, someone else sorting out your problems, comparing your situation to anyone else's, telling you what to think, say, or do, becoming your bff, (even if you are super cool), or any of the other things that you think would make your life so much easier.
"Just tell me what to do, dammit!" At some point in counselling, you will be overcome with the urge to say this, (or yell it). You can say it and wish it and demand it and pray for it and beg for it, but the ONLY response a counsellor can give you is... "I can't."
Why the f#*k not? Two big reasons:
1) Nutshell version.. I don't know what you should do. Only you truly know everything about the situation and like it or not, YOU are the expert of you. Somewhere inside, you know what is best for you. My job as a counsellor is to help you figure it out.
2) Nutshell version: I would be robbing you. The truth is I might have my own opinions based on my experiences and my perspective and my values and my whatever (you can see where this is already a problem - your answers need to be based on you, not me). The bigger problem is that the moment I tell you what to do, I have gone against my faith that you are perfectly, wonderfully, uniquely, beautifully, confidently capable of managing your life. And you so are!
These are interactive videos that allow you to explore a topic similar to one you might be experiencing and to be guided through a series of thought/ feeling explorations designed to help you see a new perspective.
They are good for someone needing a quick mental reframe, someone just starting to explore a problem, someone wanting to kickstart a different way of thinking, someone willing to be curious about their own thought process, someone who is confused or hurting and needing to know they're not alone.
The videos are hypotheticals and do not reflect what you might actually be thinking so obviously, their ability to be helpful is limited.
Self-guided counselling is NEVER a replacement for what one on one counselling provides and is highly unlikely to be enough to manage the serious topics that bring people into counselling.
Email counselling is a cost effective way to connect with a counsellor for individual guidance on your specific needs. It is fabulous if you prefer to write out your thoughts and take time to digest what you are learning. If you are time crunched, email counselling offers flexibility as you can answer whenever it is convenient for you.
The disadvantages of email counselling are that we are missing the face to face connection, tone of voice, and 'dealing with the present in the present' elements. Therefore, email counselling is NOT recommended if you are in crisis or dealing with a potentially life threatening situation such as domestic abuse or addiction.
If you need immediate assistance, please leave this site and google for a crisis hotline closest to you.
Email counselling is totally private through encrypted* Protonmail. You will be sent an encoded email from me with a password. You will be able to open the email and respond but no third parties will be able to access the email and it cannot be forwarded so you can feel safe to discuss sensitive issues.
You will get thoughtful, detailed replies to your emails within 48 hours. These are not fluff emails, but meaningful responses based on the same counselling techniques used in live counselling.
* end to end encryption means our communications are totally private and confidential
This is just like sitting in a counsellor's office except we are communicating over an encrypted* video chat or the phone. You get all the advantages of one on one counselling without the travel to get to an office. This does mean you will need an internet connection or a phone and privacy. A private, undisturbed place for you is essential to our meetings.
A totally optional feature of live counselling, is your own personalized journey project on the Kickass Life Project site. Based on the things we discuss, I will add paths to your journey that you can access between our sessions. Nothing of a sensitive nature will be put online but instead of me giving you handouts to read, you will have a database of links, articles, quizzes, and videos to help you map out your healing journey.
Most live counselling sessions are 45-60 minutes long.
* end to end encryption means our video chat is totally private and confidential.
Only you can know but here is a way of thinking about it that might help clarify things for you:
If you had an injury causing large amounts of blood loss or threatening vital organs, you would get to the emergency room at the hospital asap. Major crisis or suicidal thoughts are the mental equivalent and need to be treated just as quickly. You don't have to die but you do need immediate attention.
If you had a broken leg, or ongoing digestive distress, or you'd had a bad fall and wanted to check for possible internal, unseen injuries, you might also go to the ER but you'd expect a wait time and follow ups with your doctor. The mental equivalent here is a sudden derailment in the normal routine of your life or an ongoing issue that is slowing bringing you down. One on one live counselling is appropriate here. And just like you wouldn't expect a broken leg to heal overnight or to be fully healed when it comes out of the cast, you probably won't experience overnight relief from your mental injuries either.
If you had a persistent fever or a worrisome wart, you might book an appointment with the doctor or you might call a nurses hotline. If your mental equivalent feels like it fits in this category, there is no reason you can't use live counselling, but you might be just as satisfied with email counselling.
Self-guided counselling is the equivalent or googling your physical symptoms... it might be helpful but it also might scare the crap out of you lol.
I hope these analogies help you to think about your mental concerns with the same seriousness as physical ones and to decide the best approach for you to deal with them.
Ready to take a mental health step?
I've never quite understood why we go to the gym to keep our bodies healthy and go to doctor for physical check ups, but we don't invest in mental health gyms or go to the counsellor for check ups.
You can think of the Kickass Life Project Club as your mental health gym and Kickass Life Counselling as your mental health doctor.
If you choose to get on my waitlist, you are under no obligation to ever access my services. I will connect occasionally to share things I think may be helpful but you can unsubscribe anytime.
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