I have almost thirty years of experience working as a teacher, librarian and counsellor using a variety of approaches depending on the needs and wishes of the individual. I have worked collaboratively and creatively with hundreds of children, teens, and adults in public education and private practice over the decades. Regardless of circumstance, in the words of O'Donohue, "One of the deepest longings of the human soul is to be seen."
I enjoy helping with all everyday life issues at any age or stage of development, including: anxiety • depression • anger management • conflict resolution • grief and loss • self-regulation • mindfulness • trauma • bullying prevention and reporting • relational aggression (‘frenemies’) • assertiveness, body language and boundaries • family systems and structures •self esteem and self-care • social skills for kids • developmental assets for individuals and families • motivation, affirmations and locus of control • courage and resilience • life changes and challenges • coping and caregiving • GLBTQ support • goal-setting • multiple intelligences • emotional intelligence • passion and purpose •study skills, organization and executive function • empath grounding and energy • creativity and self-expression • journal writing and reflection • habits of mind • belief systems and spiritual traditions.
I am an avid researcher and reflective practitioner who creates visuals, poems, stories and personalized protocols as individual client needs and wishes dictate. In the words of Jung, "I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become." Whether a single session of coaching, shorter term counselling or longer term therapy, this is fostered through authentic and trust-based relationship.
As an eclectic practitioner, I am informed by many approaches and techniques which must always be tailored to the age, stage, needs and wishes of the client. They include: Client-Centered • Adlerian • Strength-Based • Solution-Oriented • Analytical/Jungian • Cognitive-Behaviour • Dialectical-Behaviour • Positive Psychology • Expressive Arts • Play • Narrative • Existential • Contemplative • Integrative. As Jung says, "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” And, as I once saw on a fridge magnet, "We are all just stumbling along between the immensities of birth and death." Let's move forward together, doing the best we can at this time. :-)
For me, the beauty of humanity and the process of therapy is in expanding awareness, deepening understanding, and expressing who we are in ways that serve the continued evolution of the mind, heart, body and soul. As Kierkegaard states, "Once you label me, you negate me." In a fast-paced, multi-tasking world with instant access to mountains of information, it can be hard to embrace the bigger, wider , deeper and more universal truths that make us human. In fact, we are always growing and changing despite sometimes feeling stuck in our everyday problems, perceptions and personalities that can seem to teeter like a tower of Jenga blocks! JENGAAAAA! :-)
PASSION & PURPOSE: My CALLING as THERAPIST, EDUCATOR and HUMAN BEAN . . .
I am a cheerleader for wisdom, wonder and wellness through the joyful practices of creativity, connection and counselling. I believe that literacy, imagination, awareness and understanding are key to who we are and all that we may aspire to become as ‘human beans.’ Although 'perfectly imperfect' and a 'work in progress' in so many foibled ways, the spirit of my life’s work is expressed best via Mr. Marquis' Mascot Mania (aka, Kwil.Club). Click here to join the movement (KWIL=Knowledge, Wonder, Imagination, and Learning/Love).
“Thank you for an incredible year. You are amazing to watch in action and bring such a passion to your job. Your ability to connect with children is a gift.”
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“The painting on the front of this card was done by a five-year-old girl with autism. The title is “Story of the Secret Seahorse.” I chose it because I like to think that painting is her way of telling stories–the way you inspire every child to tell their story. I want to say a very deep thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being so open and willing to help every child. No matter how many times we came to you with a story or a situation of need, you were always open and willing to take it on. These kids need you and your gentle, honest touch. We needed you to be that landing place for them and their safety net was always there. Thank you so much!”
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“I hope this little book inspires you to fill the pages with stories of others around you who sparkle as bright as you do. I have loved working with you and I am so excited for what your very bright future holds. You are one of the special ones, Kalen. I will never forget you and the outstanding work that you do.”
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“The care and support you provide our students and staff is amazing. I love seeing you connecting with everyone who gravitates toward you. I will miss working with you.”
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“I feel so fortunate to have found such a wonderful and knowledgeable expert like yourself to help guide us through this challenging time. In the end you will have made a difference that will last a lifetime and be remembered for a lifetime. I don’t think there is anyone quite like you on the planet. You are a gem.”
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"Thank you for always putting a smile on everyone's face."
“I don’t know how many times I have thought thank goodness Kalen is here today. You support the staff and students in so many ways. Your energy, enthusiasm and positivity are contagious. You have done so much in the time you have been here.”
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“You surrendered and let it all unfold and look how well you have landed. I am absolutely thrilled that after everything you have been through and how you have been tested that you are now on a new path doing what I believe you were destined to do and be.”
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“I enjoyed the class meeting and seeing how you work your magic–always inviting participation and always allowing an out. You made it fun, engaging, safe and an opportunity to learn. Thanks for sharing and having such a positive impact on our school community.”
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“Thank you for all that you have done for me in my time of need. When I’m stressed you encourage me, when I’m depressed you comfort me. And even when I’m happy you seem to cheer me up!”
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“Kalen breathes his work. He is one of the most caring, giving, dynamic teachers I have ever met. A diamond in the rough of education.”
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“Thanks for being so positive when I’m with you; every time I leave our sessions I feel upbeat and ready to tackle my day.”
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“A long time ago I made it a rule for myself not to single out any student in a public discussion forum, in either a positive or a negative direction. I want to make an exception now and congratulate you for your outstanding contributions to the class discussions in this course. Your posted messages are always informative and insightful. And, as icing on the cake, if I may use that phrase, you write so beautifully. That is such a precious and rare gift these days.”
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"Thank you for being the happy face of our school. I'm thankful that we have you. Whenever I say hi to you, you always fill my bucket of happiness. That is why you are one of my favourite teachers. Thank you so much."
“I just wanted to say that on so many levels I have enjoyed your postings so far. I am very happy that we have a chance to work together. You appear to have a very intuitive sense of humanity and your empathy is duly noted.”
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A long time ago, I had this amazing friend/spiritual mentor who taught my son. Unfortunately, I lost touch but never forgot him. At Christmas, I bring out a story that has always touched my heart especially since this inspirational friend dedicated it to me and the story has always resonated and galvanized my feelings about Christmas. I have often wondered where he has traveled down life’s road and I’m so reminiscent to have magically found this thread to him. Years have gone so fast and sometimes memories fade but if he remembers me, I’d like him to know how deep his presence inspired my life….Thanks Kalen/Kwil.
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“You, Kalen, are a person of paradox; someone whose gifts should make proud, but someone pride would not become.”
BEFORE YOU GO . . .
Please feel free to download and share a copy of "Kwil's Happy Healthy Habits" for all ages and stages of life.