I have over 28 years experience in group facilitation, individual counselling, and program development. I specialize in addressing issues of anger, addiction, and relapse prevention.
I have also trained in Mindfulness Integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as developed by Dr. Bruno Cayoun at the MiCBT Institute, University of Tasmania. This therapeutic approach teaches people to develop self-awareness and self-control, and to change unwanted patterns of behaviour.
I personally embrace a daily practice of yoga and meditation and share the benefits of this practice with others. I am a certified yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance (RYT 200 Hours) and a certified teacher in Peaceful Weight Loss Through Yoga, a program developed by Brandt Bhanu Passalacqua of Massachusetts.
I am committed to working with people to achieve optimum well-being and greater balance in their everyday lives.
For more information, please refer to my website at www.heilsaholistic.ca
My yoga and recovery classes can also be found at www.mindwithmatter.com/product/yoga-for-recovery
My professional journey began when I stopped drinking and using drugs in 2003. My experiences inspired me to pursue a career in the field of addiction recovery and I have been working in the field since 2006. My background allows me to connect with many clients in a way that enables them to feel understood and hopeful.
I am comfortable working within a 12-Step approach as well as other abstinence based therapies. I operate from a strength-based perspective that supports and expands on clients’ abilities. My approach to counselling is eclectic and I incorporate many theoretical viewpoints into my philosophy. These include CBT, person-centered, behaviourist, existential, and other points of view; I can therefore tailor my approach to the individual needs of each client.
Dr. Anastasia Barbopoulos is a Winnipeg-based clinical psychologist licensed to practice in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Her graduate education, including numerous practical experiences, was obtained at Boston University and University of Manitoba. Since graduating in 2000, Dr. Barbopoulos has provided psychological assessment and treatment in hospital, community, and forensic settings. She has expertise delivering psychological services at a distance, most often via Skype. Such E-Therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy for many conditions, and benefits clients who must travel some distance to an office, find it more convenient given their busy schedules, or simply prefer that mode of communication. Whether in-person, e-therapy, or some combination, Dr. Barbopoulos bases therapy primarily on a cognitive-behavioural orientation and the assumption that people have the potential to change problematic ways they think, feel, and act, leading to emotionally and physically healthier lives. Such treatment has been shown to be effective for a variety of psychological difficulties, including anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The cognitive-behavioral approach helps people to strengthen their motivation to control substance use; to recognize, avoid, and cope with situations likely to result in abuse; to deal with a range of personal problems associated with abuse; and to avoid relapse. Such treatment involves various techniques, including: using mindfulness and relaxation strategies to cope with urges and negative emotions (e.g., anxiety), appropriate self-talk to control rationalizations (e.g., “one drink won’t hurt”), setting goals and identifying rewards (e.g., engaging in an enjoyable activity when targets are met), and rehearsal of appropriate behaviours (e.g., responding to invitations to have a drink).
I began my career in the helping profession by working with mentally challenged offenders in the community. From there, I became a Probation Officer for sexual offenders in Community and Youth Corrections. Substance abuse is often a factor in problematic patterns of behaviour. While working as a Probation Officer, I discovered the Family Therapy program at the University of Winnipeg. I was instantly enamoured by the unique way family therapy can help people. After attaining my degree in Family Therapy, I worked at The Family Centre of Winnipeg and went into private practice. I have experience in many other therapeutic domains including mindfulness and dialectical behavior therapy. I bring a well rounded skill set and experience from which I think the clients of Whispering Pines can benefit.
I have been involved in the social service industry for more than 40 years, specializing in addictions counseling for almost 20 years. I have been extensively trained in Family Systems Theory, Social Work Group Practice and individual counseling using a Motivational Interviewing approach.
Prior to working as an addictions counselor, I worked exclusively with families, utilizing a Systems Theory Approach; this approach helps to understand the family as a whole and the integral role of all family members.
My approach to addictions counseling is holistic in nature initially approaching addictions by using traditional cognitive behavioral techniques coupled with a mindfulness approach to relapse prevention.
Since 1999, I have been a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) both training individuals in this approach and utilizing the skills in my professional practice.
I graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Education and have worked teaching adults throughout my career - either through Red River College or helping them set up child care programs in centres or their own homes. I currently work full time for the Department of Families for the Province of Manitoba and I am an art therapist here at Whispering Pines one evening each week. I have been involved in art classes since I was very young and continue to challenge myself with many types of art forms and projects. I am excited to share my enthusiasm and love for art and I believe that exploring our creativity is an essential part of being human and having healthy outlets to express ourselves. Addictions have touched my life in a number of ways and I understand the complexity of it and the compassion needed to work through developing a healthy lifestyle.
I have worked at Whispering Pines for over two years where I have created and developed a strong knowledge of addictions. In relation to my own life, I've had family members struggle with different addictions where I've had to help on a personal level. As a support staff, I help clients deal with their physical and mental concerns in their free time and help them create a positive solution for their problems. I'm currently a university student which is helping me develop a stronger understanding of human behaviour.
I have been employed at Whispering Pines as a night staff since 2011. I attended Red River College in 1997 and gained experience working in different hotels and restaurants like Gull Harbour Resort and the Blue and Gold Room (Wpg Blue Bombers). I also worked as a Chef in Stony mountain Institution. I earned my Red Seal as a Chef. Since 1999 I have also been employed with Addictions Foundation of Manitoba in Food Services.
I completed my Bachelors of Health Sciences in 2018 from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. During my university career, I took courses focusing on mindfulness, additions, mental health and chronic conditions. Additionally, I managed an on-campus club which promoted health and wellness by educating individuals on the social determinants of health. I have also conducted research funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and been a volunteer youth softball coach for five years.
I have over two years’ experience providing targeted job search support. I specialized in helping individuals create resumes and cover letters that highlight their skills and experiences. I also taught individuals how to shine during interviews, network professionally and how to utilize LinkedIn to its fullest potential.
I aspire to pursue my Masters in Occupational Therapy. As an Occupational Therapist, I hope to approach health holistically and empower individuals. Ultimately, I hope to improve individuals’ quality of life through effective therapeutic interventions to reach goals beyond what originally thought possible.
Rebekah has a psychology honours degree from the University of Winnipeg. She has first hand experience dealing with addictions, both through the 12-step lens, as well as alternative treatment methods specifically related to traditional indigenous practices.
I am a Métis man who was born and raised in the Interlake/Selkirk area – a country boy at heart. I like to play guitar and sing and ride my bicycle and stay fit in whatever way feels best to my body. I have worked with, and for, Corrections Canada for twenty years at the medium, minimum and community levels where I worked with some really great people and learned a lot about dysfunctional behaviour and how it affects the entire family, community and society as a whole. I earned a Counseling Certificate from Red River College and a Chemical Dependency Intervention Certificate from the AFM and have worked with Relapse Prevention Programs throughout my career. I believe in the holistic nature of Healing and that it’s a great goodness for each of us to help each other grow and change for the better. I believe that the power of Positive Energy can change lives for the better. I try every day to remember to be Grateful for all of the good things in my Life and to give back to the world in whatever way that I can. I believe in the connectedness of everything and in the idea of Ubuntu… an African word that means ‘I am because we are’ or ‘the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity’… I like that. I have also been involved with Aboriginal Ceremony for over twenty years and I am a Pipe Carrier and a Sweatlodge Carrier.