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Connor McFadden

About me

My goal as a counsellor is to help you find sustainable ways to care for yourself so that you can build the most fabulous life possible. Since we all go in and out of wellness for our whole lives, my hope is to equip you with the confidence and skills to be your own best ally on that journey.

More about me

My educational background is in Social Work and I have worked in many roles supporting folks who are struggling for the last 15 years. I was drawn to the profession after my own experiences of coming out as a queer youth and getting involved in community education and activism to support other LGBTQ+ youth in my hometown (in rural Vermont, USA). I’ve been lucky enough to keep this connection to activism and education in my career as a guest lecturer at the UBC School of Social Work and as a Clinical Instructor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine (Dept of Psychiatry).

After witnessing so much human suffering in my social work jobs, I decided to complete my Masters of Social Work from UBC. I specialized in counselling because I feel passionate that no one should have to suffer alone and that everyone has a right to wellness, safety, and connection. My belief is that we become the best humans we can be when we are able to feel seen, accepted, and supported by others…and eventually ourselves!

I utilize theories and techniques from CBT, DBT, ACT, Narrative, Trauma-Informed, Existential, and Mindfulness therapies. No matter what approach I am using, I will often encourage you to reflect on and provide comfort to the somatic (or body-based) experience of your mental health so that you can be as comfortable as possible in our work together. And since I believe in consent-based, collaborative counselling, I will also often check-in with you about what is feeling helpful (and not helpful) as well as if it is aligning with your current goals for yourself. If we need to recalibrate our work, I welcome this feedback- I’m happy to evolve in my approach as you evolve in your personal life! My approach to counselling is what I would call “heart work.” In other words, counselling doesn’t have to be about problem-solving or figuring the “logical” solutions (though this is often a part of it). To me, counselling is about connecting to our most human parts (like our emotions) and learning to nurture them. In my work, this looks like cultivating self-compassion, radical acceptance, and mindfulness as tools for learning more about and caring for our present experiences, no matter how painful. In my experience, learning to provide this care for yourself when you’re hurting often can give you valuable insights on how to heal painful experiences of the past as well as prepare for difficult experiences in the future. Additionally, in the context of my work with women-identified clients at Dear Eliza, this also looks like empowering you to witness the personal effects of sexism and gender-based violence and reclaim any power you’ve felt has been taken from you from these types of oppression.

What feels most overwhelming and what could lessen that feeling? What values do you want to centre in your decision making? Who are the people you want to be a part of your “team”? What fills you with a sense of pleasure and joy? These are some of the questions I hope we can work on answering together.

Specialities

  • Trauma
  • Grief & Loss
  • Clients feeling lost – existential work
  • Self Compassion
  • Anxiety
  • New to mental health
  • Depression & Suicidal Ideation
  • Neurodiversities – ADHD, ADD
  • Mood disorders
  • Life transitions

Let’s fill your bucket

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