Author: Joan Schultz

Joan has provided counselling for marriage, family and individual concerns for over 25 years.  She provides guidance and support for relationship difficulties, reconstructing marriage after an affair, conflict resolution, problem-solving and parent-child relationships.  Joan works with individuals who are dealing with depression, anxiety, loss, trauma recovery and/or experience with assault and abuse.

Joan’s approach depends upon the situation presented, and includes a variety of therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Family Therapy, EMDR and Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Client strengths are emphasized with personal insight and responsibility for growth is encouraged.

Joan’s doctoral dissertation research focused on resilience factors in adversity. She received her master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan, followed by two years of specialized clinical training in Chicago.  She is a member of the B.C. College of Psychologists and the B.C. Psychological Association.

Joan enjoys teaching in community, retreat and university settings on topics related to her areas of practice and experience.  Having been married for over thirty years, with four adult children, her approach to relationships and life problems is both realistic and practical.

Five Habits of ‘Anxiety Resilient’ People

Why are so many people struggling with anxiety? This was the question posed to me by a good friend over coffee this week, who was concerned about the levels of anxiety she was seeing in her workplace colleagues. With all that is happening in the world around us – natural disasters, immigration crises, worldwide political unrest, political shenanigans, housing affordability issues, ethical and moral failures-a more appropriate question might be – Why wouldn’t we be anxious? According to the Statistics Canada

Posted in General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Getting to Optimum Health

There are many books written about overcoming depression and anxiety, most of which are excellent companions to helping us move forward out of these difficult experiences in our lives. However, if we learn to practice proactive habits of self care and life engagement, we can inoculate ourselves against these debilitating conditions and build resilience for life’s adversities. Here are a few of the daily life habits I recommend to anyone wanting to move out of depression and create a physically and

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The Problem with Pursuing Your Passion

Christine was a 24 year old university student graduating with a liberal arts degree from a nearby university. She was in a state of anxiety over the need to urgently make decisions regarding her future career. At times her anxiety was so pronounced she felt quite panicky, with frequent insomnia, digestive upsets and continuous worry. Although she had been successful academically, she was uncertain about how her education would translate into the “real world”. Christine had been given the advice

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5 Tips for Successful Self-Sabotage

We don’t intend to sabotage ourselves.  But if we take the time to observe how we are living our life on a daily basis, we might catch glimpses of how we seem to thwart our own best interests by the habits we keep, the attitudes we hold or the behavior we extend towards others.  Based on over twenty-five years of “professional” observation, I’ve noticed there are common themes in “self-sabotage”.  We can easily sabotage our lives by not attending to

Posted in Depression, General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Cultivating Our Best Relationships

How we communicate on a daily basis with the significant people in our lives is more predictive of a strong relationship than anything other single factor. We likely underestimate the potential our daily interactions hold for helping us create great relationships with the people we care most about. When others tell us about positive happenings in their lives, our response can either be a step in building our relationship with them, or a step in undermining it. Although we may

Posted in Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth

A Lasting Relationship: Not for the Faint of Heart

“Life is difficult”. This is the first sentence of Scott Peck’s book “The Road less Travelled”. He then goes on to say that life is a series of problems, and our natural tendency is to want to avoid problems rather than face them head on. This tendency to avoid both the problems and the emotional suffering they bring is the primary basis of all human mental illness. Mental health on the other hand, is “an ongoing process of dedication to

Posted in General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth

The Law of Unintended Consequences

If we could look into the future, we might be surprised at the consequences our present actions would have on others. We may not intend the results that occur. Robert Merton, a well-known sociologist in the early 1900’s, stated that the phenomenon of all human actions having at least one unexpected result was so common it could be labelled the “law of unintended consequences”. This “law” operates politics, societies and relationships. A recent example of this occurred in a country

Posted in Family & Parenting

Sabotaging Your Marriage 101

Sandra and Ben had anticipated getting married after their university graduation. They were looking forward to setting up their own home, being able to spend unprecedented time together, establish their own lifestyle, raise a family and continue to work in their chosen careers, supported unconditionally by the other. However, the reality that followed did not meet their expectations. Over time they became disillusioned, growing increasingly resentful of each other. They doubted their decision to marry. They blamed each other for

Posted in Marriage & Relationships

Under-estimate Your Willpower

Okay, I’ll admit it. I did have small private chocolate caches hidden away for times of desperate need. There was the dark stuff from a Finnish friend stashed high in the cupboard with the goblets that no one uses. The Skor bars were hidden underneath receipts in lower right desk drawer at home. The tri-chocolate Lindt balls had found a home tucked in the corner of my filing cabinet for emergencies. Resisting chocolate has never been a struggle for me.

Posted in Personal Growth

The Conflict Habit

Some people like conflict. There is something almost addictive about the adrenalin release that occurs when pent-up frustrations are vented, arguments are won, and another is proved wrong. Yet in all my years of working with couples and families, I have never heard anyone say “We want more conflict!” or “Could you help us create more chaos in our life?” Consistent patterns of frequent or high conflict result in damaged relationships with those closest to us. Yet even though people

Posted in Personal Growth