When, on the advice of a physician at the West Coast Women´s Clinic in Vancouver, I began seeing Christie Dakin in January 2008 I was in dire straights both physically and emotionally. I had major digestive issues that were often severely limiting my activities - IBS that was becoming so severe I was often afraid to leave the house in the morning. I was also diagnosed with situational depression which was leaving me feeling increasingly despondent and feeding an already low self-esteem. There was little joy in my life; I was filled with anger and fear and suffering with a profound level of fatigue.
I immediately liked Christie and her approach of attitudinal healing. This approach made sense to me. I knew that I had to deal with myself, that I could not hold people or events outside of myself responsible for the physical and emotional symptoms that were hampering me. But I was struggling with how to work towards healing and pulling myself out of a downward spiral.
Christie is warm, loving and energetic. Her energy and enthusiasm for the work that she does is infectious and kept me coming back. Christie has a sharp mind, is no nonsense and has a delightful sense of humour. She is very knowledgeable and perceptive. She also shares her own stories where appropriate, allowing the client to feel a bond of understanding. Christie uses a number of techniques to assist the client in making breakthroughs.
I have attended weekend workshops with Christie and have found them to be invaluable. I also regularly participate in the weekly group sessions that Christie facilitates and find her to be an outstanding leader. Those sessions have also been invaluable to my recovery. One of the most healing aspects of the individual work and group sessions is the laughter, a laughter that we all share
while recognizing that we are, in fact, not alone. These sessions are, as are all sessions with Christie, filled with love.
My health has been a big concern over the last 5 years or so; nothing life threatening but a gradual and steady decrease in joy and quality of life. These health issues were starting to negatively affect my emotional state, restrict activities and decrease my enjoyment of life. As I work with Christie I find that I am becoming more and more connected to myself and the world around me. My health issues have improved immensely, the IBS is 99% gone and my days are filled with joy. I used to feel awful with fleeting moments of joy now I feel joyful with moments of challenge that, if I follow the process, are readily dealt with.
I would recommend that anyone struggling with negative, self-limiting issues see Christie. Working with Christie is just that - work, but it is so worth it. Thanks Christie, for being such an important part of my life.
Through most of my life I suffered from depression. I tried many things, including many drugs (both legal and illegal) and several Psychologists and Psychiatrists. Nothing worked and my depression got progressively worse. A year and a half ago I stayed at the Choose Again center in Costa Rica. There I knew I had found a way out. Attending follow-up sessions with Christie I saw progress. I was moving forward, with many moments of peace and happiness. This has been the only place I have found any relief from my depression in a decade long search. My search is over and I can now truly say I deserve to be happy. I AM happy! I cannot put into words the love and gratitude I have for Christie. I would recommend Christie to anyone and everyone. Everyone could use a little more peace in their lives. With a little willingness and the right tools, anyone can have a life of peace and happiness.
When I started I was very depressed. I was on an antidepressant, a mood stabilizer, and an attention deficit disorder medication (I do not have ADD). I had few friends, and the ones I had I did not see. I had a jerk of a boyfriend who was a compulsive liar (I stayed with him because I openly thought I deserved it), and I got stoned several times every day. Most days I sat at home doing nothing. It seems like forever ago.
Now, I am going to school and tutoring math part time. I am happy, and I can honestly say that I love myself. You´d never guess I use to suffer from depression! I am free of all street and pharmaceutical drugs, and every day I consciously make decisions that give myself the message I deserve to be happy.
I was very low when I started. I didn´t like who I was and I was constantly trying to be someone else. I was very hard on myself and expected a lot; if that requirement was not met, I would get extremely stressed. I would stress to the point where I would not go out with friends or family, I wouldn´t eat, or I would turn to bulimia. I always seemed to be confused about why things were not working and I was extremely cynical of others, which is probably why I didn´t want friends around. Now, I am able to accept, and furthermore, love, myself for who I am. I still strive for successful, but in a smarter way. I set goals and manage my time appropriately. I cook full meals for myself and balance my friends and family. I am now able to accept people for who they are instead of judging them based on how I their actions make me feel.
The most helpful aspect in the sessions is looking at the way things make me feel and why. Looking deeper into my opinions and asking why I felt the way I did and what it really said about me is what changed my view. I usually blamed others for the way they acted and saw it as them trying to act out at me. With the sessions, it became clear to me that it was myself who was making me feel that way because of the associations I made with those actions or words. I also always felt better talking about how I felt rather than blaming the other person (no matter how hard that really was!).
Being able to look at myself and other in another way was the greatest benefit in my counselling sessions. Knowing that the beliefs I had about myself being worthless and a failure and unlovable were so wrong, and on the contrary that my worth is intrinsic and that I am whole, no matter what grades I achieve or what level of athletics I reach.
I am much calmer, more easy-going, and more understanding. I have more fun now and appreciate both the small and the big things in life. I´m also open to new ideas and other people´s opinions and views, and I have gained confidence that I never thought I would, or could, have.
There is no loss in asking for help. You don´t have to change who you are, your values or your morals in these sessions. They teach you to look at things differently, mostly by asking what it says about yourself, and shows you all the beauty that you are already granted with; not that you have to earn. I whole-heartedly recommend therapy with Christie as it allows you to be who you are and recognize how and why you feel what you feel, why the negative things you think about yourself are not true, and how you can look at the situation differently.
My life experience has led me down a path full of challenge, self doubt and discovery. Along my journey, I have benefited from the teachings from a number of counselors, but couldn´t help but feel there was always something missing. I could never clearly articulate what that meant, but I´ve had this inescapable sense there was a deeper meaning, some completely different understanding, that I was blind to.
Serendipity led me to Christie Dakin. The first time we met, I knew my life would change. Understanding how my life would change had yet to crystallize but Christie brought a new and exciting approach that was leading to sustainable change.
If life is a mountain climb, Christie is my Sherpa. Today, as I continue on life´s adventure Christie continues to lead me from one break-though to another, challenging learned wisdom, offering a new safer path - all the while letting me find my way.
The sun rises in the east, it sets in the west - the rigors and chaos of everyday life haven´t changed. The people in my life haven´t changed. I´ve changed and I´ve changed for a lifetime.
Christie, I will be forever grateful our paths crossed.
I initially spoke with Christie by phone and was immediately aware that this was a philosophy based on love, acceptance and kindness. I wanted that contentment, and peace of mind for myself, so I decided to begin therapy. With each successive meeting together, our sessions became a source of joy and greater self understanding for me. I was given the life skills and tools to help me when I met with various challenges in my day to day life.
May I say for the record, that this is not a utopia of dreamlike, fuzzy, feel good, positive thinking therapy. At times, actually the majority of times, it was very difficult to go where Christie showed me the answers were, but go I went, and was rewarded with so much insight, which led me to the ultimate forgiveness and freedom. It is a path to greater self-understanding, and therefore greater understanding of others around me.
Christie´s patience and thought provoking questions led me to the answers within myself that were always there, but I was unable to see them. It can be compared to cleaning your windows and finally seeing the beauty beyond them that was always there.
This was so healing for me. I have been able to throw away old untrue beliefs about myself and others that can only be described as a re-birth. I now see my life and the world around me completely differently and wake up each day looking forward to what joy and good the day will bring. (And it always, always does) I had no idea that I was living in such a sad state in my own mind.
In my studies as a Holistic Nutritionist, I know the undeniable truth that our state of mind and heart is tantamount to our state of general health. This attitudinal healing is truly life-giving. If anyone wants to know how to gain the treasure of being at peace with yourself and others who touch your life, I recommend you reach out and avail yourself of the help that Christie offers.
With much gratitude and love,
I would like to share the great experience I´ve had, in with speaking with Christie Dakin.
Most of us are rather apprehensive to expose our emotions and most personal feelings. We don´t want to be judged or feel humiliated. When I went to speak to Christie I had reached a point of needing someone else´s guidance, so I could cope with my broken heart and devastation. It was amazing to me, how Christie´s approach and questions helped to bring incredible awareness and freedom to things I´ve carry throughout my life and attached so many beliefs to. I´m far more open to change the things that have governed my bad decisions and beliefs, and am becoming more and more aware of who I really am. Christie and her counselling have both added such a big impact to my life, and how I hope to continue to grow from her incredible teachings of who I am.
It is my opinion that Christie brings a wonderful talent to the counseling profession combined with genuine compassion for her clients. She is committed to teaching her clients techniques and processes which greatly enhance the opportunities for healing limiting core beliefs.
20 years ago I saw a little girl who was weak, helpless and filled with guilt and wondered to myself “What happened to her?”, “How did she end up this way?”. I could tell she needed help but when I reached to her my arms remained at my side as if paralyzed, unable to move. I didn´t know what to do so the frustration built and the anger grew stronger and stronger. The anger got so strong I couldn´t see the little girl anymore or myself. I was lost and unable to control the emotions that I held inside me. Close relationships took a huge hit when my communication became short and annoyed. I didn´t know where I wanted to live or work, or who I wanted to love or hate. The control was gone and there I was halfway between possible breakdown and complete destruction.
In my first session with Christie I didn´t know where to start but it didn´t take long before the she was able to tap into some of my core issues. Having those out in the open made me feel vulnerable but I was comfortable to do so. Christie taught me how to be gentle with my emotions and to not be so hard on my judgment of myself. She reminded me to forgive myself for the beliefs that I had made up and brought me back to reality where I was strong and capable of love.
I started counseling just having bought an apartment but wanting to move back to Kelowna to be part of an emotionally abusive relationship. I was prepared to drop everything I had worked hard for because I so badly needed evidence that my negative beliefs about myself were true. Today I am settled in my home and my work with no distractions pulling me otherwise. My relationships are ones that reinforce love and strength around me. I continue my counseling to battle upcoming conflicts and to help continue my growth towards loving myself.
The most important thing I´ve learned is how to wrap my arms around the little girl who needed help and to tell her (myself) that her innocence is untouched and her spirit remains whole and strong no matter what.
I think the biggest success I have witnessed in myself is that I can contain my feelings when I am triggered. I started out certain that it was "the other guy" at fault, the problem was "him". If only "he" would grow up or become responsible, at last. Now I know I am accountable and the other person is merely a reflection of how I´m feeling about myself.
I love that you hold me accountable, that you are supportive while showing me where I have gone astray in my thinking and in my beliefs. I appreciate that you see ego so clearly and have the ability to bring clarity, understanding and compassion into my understanding of my ego. Your humour and ability to keep me on track are invaluable tools. I feel completely safe in your therapeutic care, I trust you absolutely. Maybe that is your greatest gift to me; you laugh with me, not at me and I know I can trust you.
The greatest benefit to me is that I can be honest with myself, I know I need to take care of me, I can trust myself and I know that I can do these things alone, when you are not there holding my hand.
If someone else was in my place from last year, I would say "Do it for yourself. Knowing yourself and loving yourself is a blessing. It is a gift that is beyond price and Christie will help you get there."
Christie supported my courage to face myself, challenge myself to open and grow, and allow myself to love me. Often it is difficult to assess ourselves. And yet, when others force us to re-evaluate who we are and what we do, it becomes fight or flight. Most often we fight. We defend ourselves and only prop up our misguided illusions of truth. After all, we all truly believe we are doing the best we can.
Christie´s main message and most challenging request of me was to face myself without the stories. Simple I know, but without a guide to push and support, it is often a challenge too big to face alone. Most people seek a counsellor because there is no one in their life to talk to; really talk to. Christie has helped me talk with myself and discover my worth without the stories. The flight is now the soaring of spirit and potential. Thank you Christie for the guidance to being open!
In a Buddhist sense, ignorance is not, not knowing. It is being closed to learning
and experiencing what is life - being open. My life, my relationship with my wife and son are not fixed, but I now have a path to get there.
I have been referring patients for specific counselling tools, to Christie for the past few years. In my experience the patients have returned with greater insight, effective tools that empower them to work through difficult emotional situations and more importantly clarity and peace of mind. I found her to especially helpful for patients that were motivated to improve their coping skills, ready to take responsibility for their behaviour and expressed a willingness to change. Christie has a very kind and approachable manner yet is mindful of boundaries thus complements the services we provide at the Westcoast Women´s Clinic.
My work with you in both weekend workshops and the Wednesday night Circles have been life changing and following my week at the Choose Again Centre in Costa Rica a year ago, your Circles have been a significant force in helping me change my life for the better.
Your ability to create an environment of safety, acceptance and forgiveness in Circle has been awe inspiring and watching the transformation in my life and other participants in the weekly group, certainly gives credence to your skills. Whether that be alcoholism, eating disorders, drug addiction, depression, anxiety or just living in the absence of joy, I have seen you deftly deal with it all. Combined with just the right amount of empathy, a generous amount of humour, a fearless exploration of the false beliefs and the ability to show how these beliefs can be corrected, your leadership in Circles has been exemplary and have always left me feeling so much better about who I am.
As an adult child of an alcoholic, I recognize the ramifications on the life I chose as a result of my upbringing and the negative decisions I have made throughout my journey to confirm my false beliefs. Thanks to my work with you, I am able to see the joy in life that has always been available to me and realize it is my birthright.
In closing, I would like to thank you again for the extraordinary effort you have made in transforming the lives of others and for being such a positive force in my path to happiness. I hope that anyone considering therapy with you as their counsellor will seize this wonderful opportunity, as I know it will be life changing. I know it has been for me and countless others who have had the opportunity to work with you and I am so grateful.
CHRISTIE!!!!! I AM SHOUTING YOUR NAME WITH JOY!!!! LOL!!! That´s how I am feeling inside : )
Since beginning therapy with Christie, my feelings of fear, self-doubt, anxiety, and guilt have greatly dissipated and I feel much, much more at peace within myself. I have experienced genuine feelings of JOY that I haven´t felt since I was a child. After all my years of training as a singer I finally have FUN when I sing! Imagine!
I could not understand why certain relationships and parts of my life were not flowing they way I would like. I was working so hard and not getting anywhere fast. I was very concerned about the future and was continually trying to get to some point in my life where I would feel like “I have arrived,” all the while recognizing that I wasn´t fully experiencing my life “now.” By letting go of old fears I am experiencing a much-appreciated feeling of love within and toward myself that I am able to share more readily with those around me. As a result, my relationships are continually growing more deeply and genuinely loving.
Christie has helped me to take my happiness into my own hands by having me see that blaming others for my negative feelings will not bring me the love and peace I am looking for. Passing guilt back and forth is an endless cycle and I wanted out of it. Only I am responsible for the way I think and feel. This is very empowering because whenever I am feeling fearful I can stop and check-in with myself to see what it is that I am believing about myself that isn´t true, such as beliefs of feeling like a failure, not good enough, or weak and powerless. Changing my mind about these ideas of myself has allowed me to get out of my own way. Forgiving myself in the past has freed me in the present and enabled me to move forward from a place of peace and love. A much better experience than from that old place of fear!
Christie´s approach is kind, free of judgment, focused, effective, and very beneficial. Her compassion and experience allowed me to be completely honest with my thoughts and feelings, for that reason we could easily get to the root of my upsets and heal them.
The greatest benefit I have taken from counseling is the wonderful sense of peace I feel and the growing love I feel toward myself and everyone else.
What would I say to others who were in same circumstance I was when I began therapy?
Go! Counseling with Christie is such a wonderful, loving gift to one´s self. The benefits you will take away are truly infinite. We all deserve it!