When a person makes the decision to improve their mental-emotional health, courage is required. Our team at The Resilient Mind project would like to thank those who have allowed their stories to be shared – it provides encouragement to those who are beginning or continuing their journey to build-up their resilient.

I began working with The team at The Resilient Mind Project at a time when everything in my life was unravelling. Marriage, family, career, were all in broken pieces around me. It was mentoring  that cut through pain and confusion, providing some light to the path ahead. My Mentor Vic has a tremendous ability to really listen, to understand the uniqueness of a situation, to embrace the complexity, and boil things down to the simple core truths, that become anchors and navigation in the storm of confusion and turmoil.

His mentoring is characterized by humility, intelligence, “real-life” experience, authority, and deep care for the individual he’s working with. He is well-read and knowledgeable in the academic side of counselling, business and human behaviour, he applies it – and yet it’s always customized to the individual, practical and “down to earth”. I would highly recommend The team at The Resilient Mind’s Project – I have personally benefited from it and I continue to rely on it.

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I completed the The Resilient Mind program to help me overcome chronic stress that was beginning to turn into mental health struggles. I worked with Vic for mentoring during this time and found his skills combined with his dedication to my health to be the impetus that allowed me to not only regain a strong state of mental health, but have recently gained strong leadership competencies with employee in a new phase of leadership training pertaining to my work as a business owner.

Currently, my partner and I retain the team at The Resilient Mind’ mentoring to continue building resilience. I want to thank The team at The Resilient Mind for their dedication and the support they have provided.

I first started working with The team at The Resilient Mind Project to help my husband both in his personal and work life. My intent was to be there for support. My husband was dealing with a lot of stress, so our marriage was suffering in every area and his business was about to go under.

I felt that if my husband received the help, he needed everything would work out. I had done a lot of work on myself in the past years and thought that I was fine in dealing with all the stress around me. Well, I was so wrong. It didn’t take long for The team at The Resilient Mind to see that I was shut down, I was angry and blaming my husband for the situation we were in, I was also gaining a lot of weight and not taking care of myself, I was surviving but not by much. Looking back, I can see now that I had given up on being in a loving nurturing relationship with my husband. I was settling, this was affecting the relationships with my children, my friends and my co-workers.

The mentor starting working with us one on one and as a couple, looking at what was important to each of us in our relationship and as individuals. He put a strategy together providing me with tools that helped to regulate the anger and deal with the stress, taught us to check in with each other when things aren’t going right or if one of us is having a bad day. In the past we would be upset and take it out on each other because we did not understand how to communicate what was really going on to one another.

Working with my mentor at The Resilient Mind Project help me realize that I needed to be committed to changing the way I lived my life otherwise nothing was going to change.

The team at The Resilient Mind Project has given my marriage the love and tenderness it was missing, I enjoy being with my husband, we communicate, we have more intimacy, life is fun again. I was held accountable in a positive nurturing way providing me with examples of ways to deal with my stress, it taught me how to communicate with my husband so that he would understand me. I continue to work with the team at The Resilient Mind because I want to be the best that I can be.

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I was introduced to The team at The Resilient Mind Project  when I showed up at a group session Vic was conducting-which in essence was a group of men who mostly attended to regain mental well-being or restore relationship fractures. I felt so worthless and undeserving of anyone’s attention and love because I was filled with shame and self-loathing but Vic began pursuing a relationship with me.

Words like” why is he spending time with me, or does he not know how worthless I am “, filled my mind. Yet he continued to pursue me and sharing his personal struggles and failures to bring equalization in the relationship. If he could make it so could I.

I had a hard time relating to this Demi-God. I was a victim and he was a victor.

On the Christmas holidays I went to the theatre to watch Avatar. As I was coming out, I ran into Vic again. He asked how I was doing. Very depressed I replied. He offered to take me out for coffee. I was surprised that he would give up going to the movies to spend time with me. John Gottman from the book ‘ The Science of Trust ‘ describes this as a sliding door moment.

When you are willing to sacrifice your desires for another this creates huge trust bonds, as Gottman says. Over coffee and a meal which he generously paid for( as usual), I shared my story and my pain.

I asked if he knew anyone who would be willing to mentor me. I never conceived of him offering to do it, because of my victim mentality and self-loathing. He agreed to mentor me as long as I got signed up for the full program to deal with some of the core drivers causing my struggles. I would have done anything! I was so desperate for change.

For a few years Vic was like a father to me. My dad rarely spent time with me, and I was starving for validation. We would meet once a week and stay connected with me via email and tex. Vic weekly sessions occurred while we hiked but little did I realize the importance cardio played in my recovery.

Had The team at The Resilient Mind not poured their life into me and kept believing in me, I would not be a man who replaced mental health struggles with confidence, peace, contentment and most of all the skills to have healthy relationships. The team at The Resilient Mind helped me realize even in this state – I still have worth . I learned how to love myself, by realizing I am not defined by my last worst behavior. I am no longer a depressed alcoholic with no purpose to my life. I am now a beloved father and friend to many and recently mentor to others.

My visit to The Resilient Mind gave me the same feeling you get when you’ve come home for the holidays to your parents’ place. You find yourself nestled inside a healthy hush of glorious scenery, surrounded on all sides by tall trees covering rolling green hills.

What we have here is an honest-to-goodness retreat: a place one goes to reflect on whatever it is their dogging in life.
We also come to disconnect from e-mail and phones, or, more precisely, from the entire outside world.

Phil, a facilitator encouraged me to place my chemical-laced body into the capable, holistic hands of the small, committed staff.
He loves the stuff he’s learned about living longer and feeling better so much that he wants to give it away, as though it belongs to everyone. The team at The Resilient Mind’s mission as clinical director was much the same as Phil’s: teach guests how to increase awareness of your psychological function in order to optimize them to reduce stress and increase quality of life. So Phil and The team at The Resilient Mind combined their forces, in such a way that I was the perfect person to visit a place like this. Not young, but not exactly old either. Not dying, but on the other hand, I could never be accused of living well. Having been a substance-abusing, smoking person with way to much stress. I’m everything the good people at Alive want to help heal. To that end, after I arrived and put my bags into my room, I was rushed in to have a consultation with the resort doctor as he scanned my medical history. “I see here you take rather a lot of medications,” he said, looking up quizzically through wire-rimmed glasses. I exhaled deeply. “Perhaps the people here can find you some healthy alternatives to one of these mood stabilizers.” Before the first of my day was over, I got word that The team at The Resilient Mind was determined to have my daily session; I had been earmarked for a visit. Somehow I managed to successfully avoid a one-on-one with The team at The Resilient Mind for a few more days-but eventually it happened and to my surprise it was friendly and good.

Each day The team at The Resilient Mind or Phil, would guide us through the trees, around rocks, or up to a small alpine clearing and by waterfalls. And the group would talk (visit!) as we meandered there. The purpose of this was both physical and mental and I certainly can say that daily cardio did relive stress and help me see things more positively . In the afternoon, we’d either attend a group session or have one of those tempting detoxifying European treatments on the spa menu.

“Today, we are going on a rafting jaunt down the beautiful Shuswap River,” The team atThe Resilient Mind said over breakfast on the second morning. “Who’s ready for it, eh?” Most of us were eventually rounded up by The team at The Resilient Mind’s boundless enthusiasm and then herded into two blue rubber rafts to float slowly down the clear, cold river. The sun broke through the overcast sky every so often. We even spotted an eagle soaring over the trees. It was like summer camp as a child – It was even joyful.

Another day, we all gathered in an upstairs room for a group session with a local therapist. “Are you ready to have fun?” she asked. She pulled out a bag of plastic clown noses and passed them out to us. I rolled my eyes and groaned. “We’re going to begin with a simple laugh,” she told us. “And then we’ll move on to something a little more challenging.” Kim and I looked at each other, baffled. Challenging laughter? That’s not even an oxymoron. It’s just oxyoddness. “Now do what I do.” Suddenly serious, she filled her diaphragm with oxygen, breathing through her nose. After holding a beat she exploded in measured, artificial laughter. “Now you try,” she cheered. “Sure!” roared Wilbert, ready to jump on the happy wagon (one of my favorite haunts, as it happens). “First we inhale deeply,” she advised. “Here we go! Now hold it and release.” “HAHAHAHOHOHOHEHEHE.” I am sitting on a couch in the Canadian hinterlands, I thought, wearing a plastic clown nose, learning to fake laugh from, presumably, Lumby’s only accredited artificial laugh therapist.

After a few tries, most of us were laughing in earnest. I had never felt like that big of a, well, I suppose the word would be dork. The rest of my memories of the evening are a bit hazy, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we danced around the room with our red noses firmly on. There may even have been some hugging. You have to love a bunch of people long past the blush of youth dancing around a room wearing red noses and noisily chanting “HAHAHAHAHA,” some slick with sweat, acting like special-needs kids. We all collapsed in exhaustion, flushed, most of us wondering what had just happened. Whatever it was, it was sure fun to do and it had a lightening-up effect on me that made me sleep like a baby.

So, yes, eventually I let The team at The Resilient Mind have more visits with me. We talked about self care, stress and how my phycology is much like my physical body and capable of change.

What I wanted from The team at The Resilient Mind and the The Resilient Mind staff was some sort of epiphany that would blast me with an all-powerful light and make me a changed person—with little effort. In the end, I can’t say I’m a transformed person since my visit, but, more than ever, I plan to be, and that counts for something, doesn’t it? I drink a little less caffeine and a little more water and I have a standing appointment with a Pilates instructor and aim to make improvements to my mental health .

So, though it wasn’t exactly a success, it was a failure in the right direction. And that’s all because of The team at The Resilient Mind and Phil and the The Resilient Mind for Wellness.

Over the past 3 years I have received great benefit from the wisdom and guidance The Resilient Mind provided for me. As the President and CEO of Unlimited Contracting Inc. I have come to see the close relationship between my personal growth and development and the success of my business and team. Vic’s mentoring has anchored me with practical results-driven advice that is suited to my needs and built on his experience in the corporate world and behavioural health.

The strong personal connection that The team at The Resilient Mind has established with me personally as well as our team is the driving factor for the continued success in our working relationship. My trust in The team at The Resilient Mind and his professionalism has been built in the trenches of growing our company through a tough recession. The Mentoring and guidance that The team at The Resilient Mind has shared has helped us double our corporate revenue for the past 3 consecutive years!

I am thankful to have met The team at The Resilient Mind Project, who has helped me evolve as a person and a leader. I would not be the leader I am today apart from Vic’s guidance – and I can also say, that neither would my relationship skills be where they are without his mentoring.

Without hesitation I recommend The team at The Resilient Mind as a High-Value asset personally and for my professional life.

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My husband and I began The Resilient Mind project to make improvements in our business and to deal with our stress. The first thing that occurred was for me to realize that I struggled to assert myself. The first thing I learned was to increase my confidence and as I did, the respect from my husband and employees increased. It was a powerful experience to see my self-confidence and emotional intelligence increase. Thanks to all of you at The Resilient Mind for your support.

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I began The Resilient Mind program back in 2010 because I believed my business and my marriage were on the rocks, and somehow the whole thing was connected. Vic my mentor taught me how to handle my stress so that I could focus my mind to the difficulties in front of me, and find solutions not wallow in despair. Since then, I have right-sided my business and we are moving forward with a much better plan for the future, and much happier employees. My wife and I are also moving in a much more cohesive and loving way. By regulating my emotions, I communicate much deeper with my wife and clearer with my employees.

The experience working with the team at The Resilient Mind, I believe, has saved my company and my marriage. The team at The Resilient Mind was nurturing as I discovered my pain, and direct in letting me know when it was time to take action.

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I have completed the The Resilient Mind in-house and after-care program. It was an amazing experience. I feel extremely confident that now as I continue the after-care program each week i will be able to continue my progress. The team at The Resilient Mind has a way of making certain feeling surface in me that I obviously need to look at.

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When I began the The Resilient Mind program I was not really sure what what to expect – but I knew I needed to make changes in my life and take action but was not sure how to start or where to get support. Very early into the program I was challenged to observe my thought and emotional process as to how I perceived myself and my circumstances around me. The fact that the challenge was given in empathy and gentleness allowed me for the first time in my life to receive this brutally candid feedback… I was enlightened. I was then left with the decision to stay in this place or move on. Working with The team at The Resilient Mind my mentor has been a powerful experience for me as an Immigrant lower social economic 35 year old women. I am in my 3rd month of aftercare and a summary statement to share my experience would be: my self confidence has been significantly increased and I don’t fall into the hole of discouragement as often, but when I do – I have the strength, skills and support from the team at The Resilient Mind to climb out. My next step is starting my own book keeping business which is a new wall for me to climb- but being I have climbed so many other walls in the last 3 months I am confident I can climb this one. Thanks to all the staff at the The Resilient Mind for my new lease on life.

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I am a Manager at a Downtown Eastside non-profit and was invited by senior management to attend a seven week resilient training course created by Health Masters. I was profoundly impacted by this course as it was a catalyst for personal and professional life transforming change. Through the course I was given exercises that helped me to develop tools to deescalate when faced with emotional challenges. I for the very first time reached out and asked for help while escalated. I was always aware of my escalation but had no idea how to deescalate. Because of this course I had a profound shift in thinking. I began to acknowledge my needs instead of handling toxic emotions all on my own. I didn’t have to fear my emotions anymore because I had a plan of action to move through them. I created a mantra that changed the way I viewed myself. “I am an emotionally wise woman. When I become escalated I will choose to employ a healthy tool from my tool box to bring me back to a place of wellbeing. Once I am regulated I can move forward from a healthy place.” My experience at the Alive Wellness Centre was just as fruitful. During my stay I became aware of a pattern of distrust with others that caused me to isolate from others. This exasperated my ability to create healthy relationships. I have suffered in the past from persistent depressive disorder. I believe the tools and breakthroughs I received from these two programs contributed to my remission from this disorder.

Resiliency at Work – east end Vancover

My Partner and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. . It’s been so nice and peaceful.
I am doing much better these days. I saw Judy in Van a couple of weeks ago and she is doing better too. That’s always encouraging to see.

I’m keeping myself busy with lots of fun summer activities planned.
When I start to feel down I find I am a lot more aware of it and try to understand the root of it, and if I can’t make myself feel better to just go with it.

I starting taking an online classes through Yorkville university. Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. I have always been fascinated by psychology, and to turn a negative into a positive, I have learned so much through my mental health struggles, especially with PTSD and the The Resilient Mind program. So thanks for all your support along the way. It makes a big difference! I have been focusing on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression and finding this is the most powerful approach for me (depression wise). My PTSD symptoms have decreased so drastically that instead of PTSD taking control over my life, I have taken control over it. Sure, symptoms arise here and there, but I am much more aware of it, and am usually able to deescalate quickly. It’s pretty amazing. I am def on the healing path, but damn I wish it wouldn’t be so slow! I can see the little glimpses of hope that I have now that I didn’t — and making more solid plans for Participant in the The Resilient Mind PTS recovery program.

Participant of the PTSD recovery program