Who am I?
- My name is Amy Godderis, MA (Counselling), BEd, BMus.
- I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor certified through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
- Please look at my About page for more.
Who are my clients?
- I specialize in working with teenagers, particularly ‘at-risk’ youth. Many have been involved in the justice system and have been mandated by the courts to attend counselling.
- I do some family counselling and have worked with individuals ranging in age from 5 to 70.
Why do people want to see me?
- I come to you! I take away the need for a lengthy bus ride or drive through traffic by coming to you in my motorhome office.
- I focus on building relationships first. How can you share your personal stuff with someone you don’t trust?
- I use a wide variety of activities to support the counselling process including animals, music, art, and games.
Why a motorhome?
I have a good friend who is a small business advisor who suggested I be mobile and go into people’s houses, there were 3 issues with this:
- Often there is a lack of comfort or feeling of safety for everyone when a stranger enters a home.
- Confidentiality can be a huge issue as there are typically family members or friends around.
- I like to have my ‘tools’ (animals, books, activities) available to me without having to cart them into someone’s home.
Before I opened my private practice I was invited to a brainstorming session during which someone suggested I use a motorhome for an office. As I thought about it the idea of a motorhome made more and more sense. Since offically opening my private practive I have discovered that it not only dealt with the 3 issues mentioned above but there are more benefits to working out of a motorhome then I could have ever imagined:
- The youth I work with are more willing to attend appointments as they don’t have to take a lengthy bus ride to get to their appointment.
- Parents don’t have to take time out of their busy schedules to transport their child to their appointment.
- If meeting during school hours, students miss only the hour of the actual appointment not an extended period of time to accomodate transportation time.
- The motorhome provides a more welcoming space for a youth to come to than the apparent formality of a professional office.
- I am able to use animals as a part of my practice.
The short answer?
- Animals are amazing!
The long answer?
- When given respect, animals are non-judgemental and give unconditional love.
- The presence of an animal can help build rapport between a client and their counsellor.
- Animals listen without interrupting (most of the time).
- Animals are known to be good for your physical health by reducing stress.
- Animals are good at demonstrating positive and appropriate relationships.
- Animals can teach us lessons we’re not ready to learn from humans.