Photo 8
June 4, 2015
Experience Freedom
March 24, 2016

Healing is Possible

Growing up in a family that has battled problem gambling for three generations, I was brought up in an environment where there was a lot of distrust, guilt, toxic emotions, and misconceptions about what a healthy relationship looks like. I experienced the ill effects of such upbringing in my 20’s while I was in graduate school. As the drama in my family escalated, I started expressing my pain through making poor decisions in my relationships and life in general. I had no understanding of addiction, and absolutely no control over the circumstances and people who exerted the most pain.


A friend recommended that I seek counselling. Being a student at the time, my resources quickly ran thin. I also wasn’t getting the right type of counselling, until someone connected me with a problem gambling counsellor from a provincially funded program. The healing process was long. I was in counselling for three years and learned about addiction, addictive behaviours, self love and setting boundaries to protect myself. My counsellor worked with me to understand the stages of grieving, deal with abandonment issues, and create a healthy understanding of how personal and family relationships work.


Counselling gave me the courage and skills I needed to stop the downward spiral, overcome depression and put my life back together. The three years of support I received would not have been possible if it was not subsidized. Mental wellness is a topic that touches everyone. Someone in our lives, may it be a family member, friend, co-worker or neighbour, may be suffering from anxiety, depression, abuse or addiction. I’m joining the fundraising hike hosted by Burnaby Counselling Group as a testimony that healing is possible when there’s support. I was helped by accessible and subsidized counselling and my hope is through this hike, I’m able to help others as well.


Sandy – Former client of counselling

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