Airdrie Counselling Centre opened in 2011 with three clinicians expanding on the mental health resources in Airdrie. Two of them, Dianne Federation and Clayton Falk, formed a partnership. After Dianne’s retirement in 2018, Dason Harker joined Clayton. Together they continue to grow the practice by welcoming associate psychologists and social workers. Throughout the changes in management and growth, the goal of the Centre remains the same – to provide a professional, caring option in Airdrie where highly skilled mental heath workers help people reach their goals.
When asked how therapy can help people reach their full potential, Dason says, “People tend to cope in ways that aren’t actually helping and fall into patterns that can be detrimental to their health. Therapy helps people not go there automatically, increases motivation, and helps push them along in a direct way.”
Clayton adds, “We are in the business of helping people change what is going on in their mind, to look at their own thoughts. Everyone has their own resiliency; we help them find the strength within themselves.”
These days strength and resilience are even more important as the economic, pandemic, and political climate impact us all in varying ways.
“We are seeing heightened levels of anxiety, as the pandemic continues” Clayton said.
“People are also more concerned about their relationships as they are working from home and are around their partners more,” Dason adds.
Some of the tools they recommend are to prioritize your well-being by taking care of yourself and connecting with others. “We are in a culture where we feel we have to give and give, then give some more. First help yourself, then help others. Use technology to keep from becoming isolated. Research shows when you reach out in whatever way you can, you create a positive support network,” say the psychologists.
Both encourage everyone to reach out as needed to any of the supports in the area, be it Airdrie Counselling Centre, public covered options, or employee assistance programs (EAP).
“People don’t realize there are options, not just for those with benefits; and those with benefits don’t often realize how much can be covered. We encourage everyone to be aware of their options so they can get the help they need.”
Airdrie Counselling Centre accepts most benefit plans and can work with you to help you understand your coverage.
In addition to being invested in your mental health, they, and their team, are invested in the community. Airdrie Counselling Centre has given back to numerous charitable organizations over the years and helps facilitate connections. Some may struggle with being referred to or connecting to places that can help, such as the food bank and we often assist this process.
As Airdrie Counselling Centre comes up on 10 years in practice, Clayton and Dason reflect on those that have helped them grow along the way.
“I’d like to thank my original partner, Diane Federation,” says Clayton, “and all our past and present associated members. We thank our clients that have committed to our services, and our community and the City of Airdrie for welcoming our practice and giving us opportunities to give back.”
“Looking forward, we have our eye on growth to increase the support system people need in Airdrie,” Dason concludes. “We aim to do more and more as a support system.”A 10th anniversary celebration will take place on October 1st., where anyone can stop in, say hi, have some treats, see the office, and ask questions. Learn more about Airdrie Counselling Centre online, or on Facebook.