Just as your physical health influences your quality of life, so too does your mental health, and both require a level of care to maintain your optimum wellness.
It's no surprise that the pandemic brought on a lot of emotional distress for people. You may be struggling with anxiety, depression, and/or a sense of disconnection, for example, or other challenges, and are looking to access support.
However, if you've been reluctant to reach out and get started because you think mental health professionals are simply all talk, no action—literally, Venturous Counselling + Wellness goes "beyond the talk," a fundamental value of their mind-body-community approach, where all their practitioners and counsellors incorporate multidisciplinary practices into their work.
Taking a proactive approach to mental health with their online therapy and holistic wellness services, incorporating EMDR, art, movement, and breathwork practices, alongside evidence-based counselling, is only part of their work. Venturous Counselling + Wellness is also a justice-oriented practice.
"In addition to our multidisciplinary approach, we're a practice based on contextualized mental health care," says Abby Chow, clinical director & registered clinical counsellor. "We focus on unlearning oppressive practices right alongside folks we work with, creating community, as well as redistributing wealth back into the communities leading justice work. We’re still learning too and when you access support with us, we hope it feels like you're joining in on something bigger."
"We try to have interconnection lead our work as a way to resist a society that’s hyper-individualistic," adds Chow. "At the end of the day, interconnection is what heals; interconnection within yourself but especially interconnection with the community."
The word venturous represents the spirit of tenacity and the rebelliousness of thought required to speak truth to power both systemically and intrapersonally.
"You exist in context, so it only makes sense that the problems you experience do too," explains Chow. "It's contextual services that tracks power, that sees the problem as the problem, sees systemic influences for what they are, rather than locating the problem within you."
If you're not sure what the best way to get started is, consider virtual yoga and breathwork, or virtual counselling, as a good low-barrier entry point to help you embrace your resilience and embody your best self.
Virtual yoga and breathwork program
The practice offers group, individual and personalized classes. "It's unlike a regular yoga class, where you passively watch the instructor or you're just working out, not necessarily addressing a certain concern," says Chow. "Felix Canavoi, our certified yoga teacher and breath coach, will tailor your class to the specific condition your body and mind are in at that moment and what your long-term mind-body health goals are."
It's a targeted practice for your nervous system and can help reduce anxiety, anger and depression, and improve your sleep, among other benefits.
"Felix can also work in collaboration with a counsellor," reveals Chow. "For example, there might be spaces around anxiety that you hold in your body, so with your consent and if you’d like a more team-based approach, they can connect around how to best integrate the mind and body work. He'll also work with you to create your personalized program, and watch for and adjust your alignment as you go, so you can get the most out of your practice."
Breathing practices have been proven to help improve sleep and digestion while reducing stress and anxiety, amongst other benefits.
"Breathwork is a discipline," says Chow. "You don’t realize that your breathing is the most important tool you have for any emotional management; it directly accesses your nervous system and your nervous system is in control of your emotions and your thoughts."
Virtual, individual counselling
Whether you're struggling with anxiety, depression, self-worth, addictions, or relational and physical trauma, counselling can help.
"A counsellor provides you individual counselling services with non-judgemental support for self-exploration and inner resolution, wherever you may be," says Chow. "There’s no one size fits all, and there’s no going at it alone."
Individual counselling sessions help you co-create sustainable systems of thought by rebelliously subscribing to a different narrative and empower your ability to choose your story and make your own meaning.
"The hardest step is getting started," admits Chow. "Once you do, it's a space you won't want to leave; once you've experienced it, it’s so hard to settle for going at it alone."