Sometimes I am asked if it is hard to work in a counselling agency. The people that I meet wonder if all the sad stories of loss, pain, and confusion wear on me. Surely, the constant flow of people coming in with their problems, day after day, must be discouraging. After all, they reason, happy people don’t come for counselling.

While this may be true, I have to say that I find more joys than sorrows at work. Firstly, we have a lot of fun at our agency. Although our actual work may be challenging, we discover ways to find laughter and comradery in the small, everyday moments. Like when we show up wearing the same colours or we all have our hair up and we declare it “Bun Day”. I agree these things are silly and trivial but finding blissful moments in tough places recharges us.

Secondly, I am honoured to work with a group of people who are united in the aspiration of making healing and health available to everyone. We all share the belief that broken can mend, lost can find their way, and fallen can rise. This passion for helping people become all that they can be gives us a common purpose and focus.

Lastly, I love working here because of the absolute exhilaration I feel when I find out that a client has been set free from something that has long been tormenting them. When clients send thank you notes, make phone calls, and share stories of success, it feels like the warmth of the sun on your face after a long cold winter. It fills me with hope and lets me know that I am where I am called to be. It is enlivening, renewing, and energizing.

It’s not always easy to work at a counselling agency and we don’t always see a complete turnaround, but life is a journey and it is enough to walk alongside someone for a while.

Blog post by Sheila Stauffer, Executive Director

Feature image: In August 2019, we celebrated Dr. Landor Liddell’s dedication to our agency and 40 years of service.