I love where I work…one important reason is that I get to work alongside some of my favourite people. I’m not being polite when I say that–the therapists and admin staff at our offices are some of the most amazing people I know. They are compassionate, supportive and respectful of our clients–absolutely–but what is absolutely critical is that this isn’t something they “turn on” for clients…it’s who they are.
And so the folks that work at Bergen and Associates Counselling are also naturally compassionate, supportive and respectful of each other…including me.
That makes for a truly awesome place to work.
People are comfortable to be real…which means we can share mistakes with each other. We laugh with each other. Given how hard the work we do can be on our souls, there is often “checking in” with each other…to see how others are doing. I enjoy being with the people I work with.
We took some pictures recently after one of our meetings. Doug Little, of Douglas Little Photography took our photos. What was totally fun about that is that Doug is our next door neighbour at our Pembina office…we chat back and forth, and receive packages for each other from time to time. The one downside about crossing paths in the hallway with him, is that he is so friendly and interesting that before I know it, I’m running late! It seemed fitting that we’d ask a neighbour to take our photos. (Especially so, since so many of us aren’t particularly at ease posing for photos and he is so good at making folks feel comfortable)
So…our new photos are on our therapist page as well as each of the individual therapist pages.
Our photos are “as is”…we put some effort into presenting professionally that day, but our photos are real. No retouching.
This is a deliberate choice.
We all fight feelings of unworthiness because we compare ourselves to pictures that aren’t real. It’s said that Cindy Crawford wished she looked like Cindy Crawford. Airbrushing, thinning, removing wrinkles and pores, and whitening teeth are a normal part of photography…and set us all up for feeling “less than”.
So…we have zits, blemishes, and wrinkles to show where smiles have been. Our teeth are white-ish, and our hair has fly-aways.
We are real people.
I think this is an absolutely beautiful team…their beauty blows me away, and I wasn’t going to ruin a bit of it with retouching.
Clients gain the most benefit from therapy if they are willing to “be real” with us…getting honest and vulnerable in talking about themselves…which means exposing themselves “as is”. Why would they expect any less of their therapist?
|Rod Minaker has such heart. He’s tall–and can be a formidable guy…until you get to know about him and realize how he is really such a gentle soul. His passion for learning is incredible. Truly. He goes after further learning like a dog with a bone…and it translates into this incredible body of knowledge that acts an an enormous reservoir of resources when he works with clients. He teaches me often.|
|Roshonna Plett is a therapist who’s skills continue to amaze and impress me. I have known Roshonna since she started as an intern working with us years ago. She has pursued excellence in working with couples with EFT therapy, and her reviews in running the anger management group are stellar. She is thoughtful and caring and sensitive in a way that is good for all of us at the office!|
|Gail Shaver is a gentle soul that has a desire to have integrity in all that she does. She has developed our Intimate Partner Violence program into something that offers a real service for those that have been charged with a first offence. Her level of compassion, her gentle tone, and her desire to make a difference are “wow”. Gail is an incredibly thoughtful colleague, and her thoughtfulness is quiet and often “behind the scenes” but blows us away.|
|Deanna Carpentier is FUN. She has an energy about her that is infectious. She thinks about things carefully, always gets back to people when she says she will, and has courage to ask tough questions. The twinkle is almost always present in her eye, but she can be courageous to ask the tough questions of care that ask how a person is really doing.|
|Michael Quiring is an amazing person. Michael is committed to following through on the tough conversations that can be uncomfortable knowing those times of conversation serve a valuable path to genuine connection. He has a silliness about him that leaks out during informal times of conversation and staff parties that expose his sense of fun. Michael and I don’t see each other often because our schedules don’t overlap, but a recent dinner together just reaffirmed how glad I am to call him a friend.|
|I’ve known Sabrina Friesen for several years before she joined Bergen and Associates. I’ve always seen her as someone with a wisdom that enriches my life. She has this calm presence that listens carefully, and understands that life is both painful and beautiful simultaneously. Her sense of fun keeps things lively, even as she supports family in crisis, and connects with us thoughtfully. She is transparent with us, in a way that gives us permission to be authentic with her.|
|Sarah Murray has just been around for a few months, but her friendliness has made her a loved member of the team very quickly. She asks lots of questions as she is becoming familiar with our organization, which isn’t always easy as the new one around. Her attention to detail and desire to do a good job just tells me that she cares about the work she does…her integrity oozes out!|
|Shanna Kelly is with us for the year as an intern. Her desire to learn, and her intensity in doing the best job she can for her clients is energizing for the rest of us. I think being an intern around a bunch of therapists can be intimidating, but she cheerfully comes to all the meetings and parties and jumps right in, like she’s always been around–that feels so comfortable for the rest of us.|
|Melanie Thiessen…I think of her as the centre of Bergen and Associates. She anticipates what needs to be done, follows through on the smallest details, and has such a heart for others that our office just feels warmer when she is in it. My life has changed for the better in ways that are literally indescribable when she started working at Bergen and Associates. She is the glue that holds us together.|
|Del Gatherum is quiet and gentle…with a fierce eye for detail. She often gets things done before I notice that they need doing. She goes above and beyond her job description in little ways that just have me feel like she really really cares about us.|
|And then there’s me…Carolyn Bergen. Blessed and honoured to work with this team. These people support and encourage me when I’m doing some new venture that terrifies me. Our work with our clients is challenging and significant…and to take a quick mental break between clients to change gears and just enjoy each other is amazing. To work with such a team that cares about each other and our work is something that I find incredible–and I don’t take it for granted. I’m filled with profound gratitude.|