SpiritFirst - Terry Folks

The decision to begin your healing journey, to start taking care of yourself, can be a scary one. I understand this, so I offer a safe, comfortable space to begin. My style has been described as “gentle but strong”. I will be your advocate but I will also gently challenge you. Personal healing is strangely both exhilarating and calming, but not always easy.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Lao Tse

The two Greek words, psyche, which means ‘soul/breath of life’, and therapeia, which means ‘servant/attendant’ together designate the psychotherapist as “servant/attendant of the soul” (Miller, 2003). I believe our time together and our conversations are sacred. I bring my own life experience and exceptional training when I begin working with you as you take those first steps. I commit to staying with you and/or ensuring that you have the support you may need to continue if your goals are outside my areas of competence.

I have chosen to be bound by the codes of ethics of the Canadian Psychological Association (2000), the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (2009), and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (2007). This is an important decision because it provides me with clear direction in my work, and protects clients on several levels. First and foremost, I am committed to respectfully remaining open in curiosity and wonder as you share.

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy considers your Higher Self’s longing for what is best for you and your unique life circumstances. I am not interested in converting you to my way of thinking. It amazes me that many people are more comfortable talking about sexuality, a clearly private matter, than they are talking about spirituality. This taboo generates ignorance, misunderstanding, and defensiveness. Asking spiritual questions, considering life’s meaning, and drawing on spiritual resources in a safe nurturing environment is my specialty.

Having said this, I also respect that exploring your spirituality may not be important to you or comfortable for you at this time. I have training in other modalities so I offer these as well. I have adapted Narrative Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy within the Person-Centered Therapy model. What this means for you is that our work will be goal-directed (even if we re-visit these goals as the work evolves) and we will explore the stories that inform your life. Person-centered means that the quality of our relationship will determine our work together.

The People I Serve

I offer individual counselling and facilitate groups for adults, particularly those in significant life transitions such as beginning or ending relationships, grief and loss, questioning orientation, menopause, leaving home, recovery from addictions, healing from trauma, immigration, and career change.

I understand these transition points as challenging but also as invitations for deep healing and personal growth.

I offer walk & talk therapy, spiritual exploration, ritual design, meditation, contemplative prayer, psychodrama group projects, and art therapy. I may also accept contract work if your organization is interested in my skill set.

Credentials & Certifications

  • Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology with Presidential Honors
  • Internship at Comox Valley Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Comox Valley Transition Society, and the North Island Adult Survivors Healing Society – Counselling Centre for Adults Affected by Abuse
  • Registered Clincial Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (www.bc-counsellors.org)
  • Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (www.ccpa-accp.ca)
  • Registered service provider with the Crime Victim Assistance Program
  • Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) counselling provider for Homewood Health, Arete, as well as a number of other employers in the Comox Valley.
  • Reiki Master under the tutelage of Reiki Master Sister Eileen Curteis, Queenswood Holistic Healing & Spirituality Society, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Knowledge in Action

For my Master’s thesis, I created a Masters level course for counsellor-trainees in spiritual competencies. “Spiritual” in this context is not necessarily connected to “religion” (although it can be).

I used the American Counselling Association’s competencies in four major areas:

  1. knowledge of spiritual phenomena
  2. awareness of one’s own spiritual perspective
  3. understanding clients’ spiritual perspective
  4. spirituality-related interventions and strategies (Hage, et al., 2006).

These competencies are not specific to any one spiritual tradition so my work is syncretic, ecumenical and global. I am respectful and sensitive in acknowledging that spirituality may not be salient for individual clients, and my rigorous training in a variety of psychotherapy modalities allows for other avenues for healing.

I am also a Master Teacher with over 30 years experience teaching young adults in Psychology, English, Drama, and Musical Theatre. I was also a Career Counsellor for a segment of that time. I envisioned large musicals and wrote the books to accompany music revues so up to 65 students could have parts. Our shows typically sold out to full houses and the process was always both challenging and rewarding.

In my “spare” time, I directed social action dramatic pieces for the Walk to End Racism or for anti-violence projects. For example, I mounted a dramatic version of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and by donating my director’s fees, raised over $13,000.00 for a women’s centre on the North Island.