Fifteen years is a lengthy period of time. For someone in an abusive relationship it can feel like an eternity. Nicole endured this eternity, and her mental health paid the price. Each year her self- esteem dwindled as she kept telling herself she couldn’t leave. Finally she mustered the courage to get out. But to what? Her mental health had deteriorated, and she felt like a shadow of the woman she once was.
The effects on her self-esteem and adjusting to her abrupt change in lifestyle all lead to one thing: depression. Nicole found it hard to leave her house and lost interest in things she had once enjoyed.
There was a faint recollection in her mind of a place she heard of that could help, a place that starts conversations and changes lives, and after being referred by Discovery House where she was living, she decided to give this place a try. Calgary Counselling Centre.
Upon her first steps into Calgary Counselling Centre everything began to change. “I feel I was really blessed to be given the counsellor I had,” she says. “She was excellent, I felt respected and not at all like I was being judged.”
After individual sessions, Nicole entered into the group: Break Loose from Depression, where potential relapses were kept at bay due to the support of fellow group members. “It was exactly what I needed and so well organized,” Nicole states. “I was scared to go out and make changes, but we were all in it together.”
One such occurrence Nicole recalls as a significant step in her recovery was the assignment to embark on a pleasurable activity between sessions. At first, Nicole thought this was a bit silly, but when she actually did it she was reminded that there was life beyond depression. She could enjoy life once again.
“I remember saying ‘Oh yeah… there is more out there.’”
The outcome measurements incorporated into the Centre’s Feedback Informed Treatment model helped Nicole see the progress she had made from her initial interactions with her counsellor and her closing session after the groups. She found herself looking forward to interacting with people instead of dreading it, and using the tools she learned to manage her anxiety more proficiently. Nicole is happy once again.
During their last session Nicole and her counsellor talked about life goals, instead of past burdens.
“Life was opening up… “ says Nicole. And it is.
– Nicole, age 37