Client Success Stories
Barbara Stops Rescuing Her Teenagers and Develops Self-Love
“Candace changed my life. I had always prided myself on being a survivor of abuse (physical, mental, psychological) until I adopted two FAS Native children while in a loveless marriage. My marriage soon fell apart and my life quickly began to unravel.
Both children became addicted to alcohol and drugs as teenagers. I struggled with this situation for several years, not knowing how to deal with it. They were both verbally abusive with me, and totally disrespectful of me and our home. I was continually “rescuing” them from the trouble they were getting into. I had fooled myself into thinking I was coping.
At a point of absolute mental and physical collapse, a good friend recommended that I meet with Candace. The thought of exposing my world and thoughts to a stranger was terrifying. I didn’t know where to begin.
With Candace’s skillful guidance, I began to view myself in a different way, learning how to value myself. I had been denying my own pain, not respecting MY needs, and enabling my kids to choose the wrong path. As my sessions progressed, I learned how to set clear, firm boundaries with my ex-husband and with my children, and I soon began to feel a lot better about myself.
If Candace had not come into my life, things could have become disastrous for me and my children. Today, we are all doing well. We have a healthier relationship with each other than we have ever had. The abuse has stopped, the enabling has stopped, and my newfound self-respect is modeling a healthy approach to life’s choices.”
Kelly Overcomes Guilt and Becomes a Strong Role Model for Her Family
“I began seeing Candace because my daughter had a serious addiction problem that was negatively impacting our family’s lives.
I was trying to help my daughter stop using drugs, but she wasn’t ready to help herself. I was letting her walk all over me because I was afraid of losing her forever. I felt a lot of guilt, and I was blaming myself for her situation.
Candace helped me see that I needed to establish firm boundaries for myself and my family and that I could only continue to support her if she respected those boundaries. I realized that I couldn’t control her addiction, only my choices and reactions. I knew I was the one who needed to establish what I would accept in my relationship with her.
When I saw the situation more objectively, I understood that her addiction was not my fault, and I could be there for her in emotionally healthy ways, without compromising my self-respect.
Now I feel strong and confident when I make decisions for myself and the rest of my family. My daughter is a part of my life. It’s not always easy, but I am offering her loving support with new understanding, respect and integrity.”
Kayla Gets Real with Herself and Transforms Her Life
“I first began talking to Candace as part of a couple. My partner was drinking very heavily and it had become apparent that our relationship would not survive unless things changed pretty quickly. Our relationship has always been strong but his disease was starting to tear us apart and I was fed up with living in this awful cycle just waiting for the next time he would get drunk.
To be honest, I already had one foot out the door and I thought that talking to Candace was just a way of supporting my partner and preparing both of us for my departure.
My initial sessions with Candace were in person. I immediately liked her straight-talking, no-nonsense approach, but I quickly found out that she also has a very gentle supportive way about her. Candace’s skills lie in her ability to help you understand that only you can change your circumstances and, through this, discover for yourself what you really desire and how you can achieve it.
Only after a couple of sessions with Candace, I understood my real issues were not just in my current relationship, but that I had been living with a lot of anger buried deep within me for many years. Being angry had become such a habitual part of my personality and had become a very normal part of my life. I hated myself and what I had become — I had no idea who I was anymore. I was afraid to look at myself and terrified at the thought of looking deep within. What if there was nothing there?
Candace was amazing. She listened to my fears and talked me through what could be the possible pro’s and con’s of doing the work. I have never felt pressure from Candace to do anything I didn’t want to. However, her objective suggestions and honest and gentle guidance has always directed me to find the best possible outcome.
Candace started by gently helping me remove many of these layers. Week after week, a little more of the real me started to reveal itself. Candace encouraged me to find my own voice, to slow my life down and take time to nurture myself.
Putting myself and my needs first did not come naturally at the beginning. It seemed selfish, yet Candace helped me understand that I needed to learn to love myself first in order to be able to give love to other people. I was carrying a lot of resentment and frustration but gradually this started to dissipate.
Candace has taught me many valuable tools and skills to help me deal with my anger. Now I take the time to assess my feelings and process what I need and how to ask for it. I am much more aware of when anger is making decisions for me and I am able to change this. My life and my relationships have changed beyond recognition as a result of working with Candace. I have more love and respect for myself than I could have imagined.”
Donna’s Dramatic Transformation: From Alcoholism to Self-Respect
“I met Candace when I began attending a 16-Step support group for women that she was facilitating.
At this point in time I was a very distressed person. I was unhealed from the painful break-up of my second marriage. I was also involved in a continuing series of unhealthy relationships with drug-addicted and abusive men. My self-esteem had always been low and I had suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life.
I was also drinking heavily and engaging in other addictive behaviours such as over-spending of money, over-exercising, and chronic “busyness.” My relationships with my five children (ages 15-23 at the time) were estranged. I was extremely uncomfortable in social situations and found it difficult to establish and maintain friendships with women. I was very deep in debt. I was aware only of great pain, but not of the true sources of this pain.
I have been working with Candace for a number of years and the transformation that has occurred in me is dramatic and unbelievable. I was extremely distrustful of both Candace (a woman counsellor) and the process of therapy itself. Her directness, warmth, and candor helped me establish a relationship with her.
At the beginning of the therapy she helped me see possibilities where I had only seen darkness and hopelessness. I had felt that no one counsellor could possibly address all of the issues I was dealing with, and I did not feel I had the strength or motivation to do the work.
She helped me begin with small steps and focused me layer by layer on workable problems. I was given “homework” which helped me to have goals, achieve them, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Candace addresses the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of pain and healing, and I have found this incredibly helpful and valuable. She always encourages me to not only heal and recover but also to “spread my wings” and become all that I can be.
Today, I am a different woman. I have not felt the need to drink for over six years. I very rarely engage in any behaviours that could be called compulsive or addictive. I have a loving and positive relationship with my children and continue to work on nurturing and deepening these bonds. And I am free of debt.
I have been involved in a relationship in which both of us were committed to health and growth. My depression has lessened considerably and I very rarely experience anxiety. I have developed many friendships with women. I greatly enjoy time alone, pursuing my interests in a relaxed, non-compulsive manner. I have broadened my life considerably by taking many classes in a number of different subjects. I attend many workshops and groups to continue my healing and growth. Candace has directed, supported, and encouraged me in all these endeavours.
As a result, I finally love myself, value myself and have positive self-esteem. I still face the ups and downs of normal life, and the old behaviours and feelings sometimes hover around me. But I now know I can cope with life. I am confident and trust in myself. I know a new way of living now and my old ways of being no longer exist.
There are no words to express the gratitude I feel towards Candace. She is a strong, powerful woman, incredibly skilled, warm and caring in her approach. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
Sue Learns to Stand Up for Herself
“I met Candace at just the right time. I had separated from my .husband after 27 years of marriage, and much as we tried to keep everything very civilized, it was definitely the most stressful time of our lives. My teenaged son, who was living with me, was angry and verbally abusive toward me, and I was struggling.
I knew that the only person I could change is me, and I needed to hear that again. I needed to make those changes too. I remember that Candace introduced the book The Four Agreements (Ruiz) to me, and I endeavoured to do my best, to tell the truth, not to make assumptions and not to take anything personally. That last “agreement” was definitely the most difficult for me – I seemed to take most things personally, which made it difficult for me to set healthy boundaries with other people. I was always afraid of what they would think of me, and their judgements of me were more important to me than my own feelings about myself.
Candace listened, never judged, and was firm with me. She was never sympathetic, but instead was empathetic, and she provided tools and steered me through a significant growth period. She is extremely professional, extremely good at what she does, and has gifts which enable her to see people as their ‘whole’ selves, incorporating her considerable spiritual awareness. I can now stand up for myself in ways I never thought I could, and my life has become a lot easier. I would recommend her wholeheartedly and am very grateful for her being in my life.”
Susan Overcomes Trauma and Excels in Her Life
“I initially went to see Candace because I was concerned about my brother’s excessive drinking. But it didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to do some of my own personal work as well.
When I started working with Candace as a client, I was struggling with several issues such as lack of self worth, trauma from abusive relationships, and family of origin relationships. I often felt paralyzed by self-doubt and overwhelmed with anxiety. Life sometimes felt uncontrollable for me.
With Candace’s guidance and support, I have explored and healed many of these re-occurring issues in my life, experiencing a phenomenal period of self-growth. I learned to identify the things I had the power to change in my life as well as those things that were beyond my control. This has enabled me to communicate more effectively, establish boundaries in my relationships and effectively manage my anxiety.
Candace also did couple counselling with my partner and me. When we first saw Candace we were on the verge of splitting up. I was really scared that our relationship would not be able to continue. Over the course of a few months, however, Candace helped us learn to communicate better. We now understand and listen to each other a whole lot more. As a result, our relationship is much stronger and happier, and we are now planning our wedding!”
Rob Stops People-Pleasing
“Before I started seeing Candace for counselling, I had a difficult time telling people what I was thinking and feeling. I was quite a people-pleaser, and I was afraid that people wouldn’t like me if I told them what was really going on for me. This was hurting my personal relationships and hindering my professional goals, and I often did not feel happy and fulfilled in many areas of my life.
With Candace’s help I have realized that what is most important is to be true to myself. While I once feared being judged by others, I now have self-confidence and I am able to express myself. I am pursuing my professional goals with enthusiasm. I am in a healthy relationship for the first time in my life, and we looking forward to our future. Best of all, I am happy knowing I am able to meet my personal challenges and create the life I want.
I no longer feel afraid of other people’s opinions of me, because my own opinion of myself is what matters most to me today.“
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My office is located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. My team and I provide therapy and counselling services worldwide.