Counselling for young people can often be considered a challenge as they may initially not see the value or benefit of the therapeutic process. Brooke has been working closely with young people (13+) since her internship in her Master’s program and has always felt connected to their free spirits, fresh perspective, and tendencies toward total honesty. Brooke maintains a close connection with popular culture, social media, and current events related to this younger yet complex age demographic. Brooke’s preference is to engage in a family approach when working with young people, but she also understands the importance of an adolescent having access to confidentiality. As long as the young person is able to understand the limits of confidentiality and has a keen grasp on what counselling is, they are free to consent to services on their own. Brooke’s work with youth has been focused primarily on substance use and gambling, disordered eating and body image, self-harm behaviours, anxiety & depression, grief & loss, and rebuilding self-confidence.
Problem Gambling & Addiction
The BC Responsible & Problem Gambling Program (RPGP) provides gambling support and treatment services free of charge by the Province of British Columbia. Brooke has a contract with the RPGP program where she provides counselling services to anyone who is a resident of BC that is struggling with gambling, as well as their family members. She has a specific geographic region (Mission to Hope) where clients travel primarily to her office in Abbotsford for counselling support. As well as individual counselling, the RPGP program runs weekly drop-in groups and other intensive treatment workshops related to the struggles associated with problematic gambling behaviours.
For more information about Brooke and her work with the RPGP program can be found here:
Problematic Substance Use & Addiction
Problematic substance use can look very different from person to person. Brooke will help you identify reasonable goals and work with you to achieve them. She believes that there are many paths through recovery and is open to working on both harm reduction and abstinence approaches as well. There are often free alcohol and drug counselling services in individual communities staffed with qualified health care professionals, but there are often long waitlists and session limits that get in the way of individuals and families accessing immediate support when the need arises.
Grief & Loss
Brooke has been working closely with the BC Cancer Agency and Abbotsford Hospice Society since 2011. She currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Counsellor at the Abbotsford Cancer Centre where she specializes in counselling individuals diagnosed with primary brain tumors as well as all other forms of cancer. Since starting this work, she has developed a passion for supporting individuals and families through their own grief process in a healthy way.
Often managing grief is simply about having a safe space to discuss the complicated emotions associated with loss while developing healthy coping strategies and a self-care plan. Meadowbrook Counselling Services is a place to do just that. With Brooke’s extensive counselling background in cancer and the complexities of living with illness, she can help create a plan for healing that fits each individual’s unique circumstances.
Depression, Anxiety & Self-Harm
Most people will at some point in their lives face a situational mental health struggle such as depression and/or anxiety. Stress levels are at an all-time high for individuals living in the lower mainland with the cost of living ever increasing, housing becoming unreachable for many, and relationship and family stress on the rise. Although feeling ‘blue or down’ for a short period of time is normal, there are some key symptoms to pay attention to should they go on for more than two weeks.
Anxiety can be equally debilitating and it is often a partner to depression. For some individuals where anxiety and depression have taken a stronger hold, destructive coping strategies can develop including persistent thoughts of suicide and self-harm behaviours such as cutting. These coping strategies begin as a means to help relieve extreme emotional discomfort but often lead to increased negative consequences and can even be fatal. If you find yourself thinking or feeling this way, it is probably time to connect with your family physician and consider checking in with a therapist as well.
Please see the links below for detailed symptoms:
Body Image, Self-Confidence & Disordered Eating
One of the most challenging issues in North American culture today is personal self-confidence. The desire for perfection in various aspects of life including appearances has been a widely discussed topic in popular culture. The impact of these pressures can lead to deep-seeded insecurities about how a person see's himself/herself, how they perceive others to see them, and how they feel about who they are. As a result there has been a trend toward both men and women struggling with extreme body critique, obsession with fitness, exercise, and 'clean eating', and on the more severe side, problematic eating behaviours that lead to more severe issues such as anorexia, bulimia, and body dysmorphia. Counselling can help sort through the emotional impact of these challenges, but often a multidisciplinary approach is helpful involving the family and a medical professional.
For more specific details on the symptoms and specifics of eating disorders, see the link below.