A brief personal biography:
My interest in counselling psychology evolved through my practice as a chiropractor (registered since 1984). It became apparent to me that perhaps two thirds of the issues people were presenting with as physical pain, had their origins or were strongly influenced by emotional issues. The other 2/3 of issues I would deal with was physical in origin (that extra third being the overlap between the two). Practitioners who do body work intuitively know there is a different feel to a person’s back when the issue is more emotional than physical stress. A parallel would be looking at a person’s face and knowing by their expression that they are bearing much emotional stress.
If a patient’s low back pain was in part due to a short leg on one side or poor posture, understanding the origins of the problem empowered the patient to get ahead of the cause, rather than simply chasing the symptoms. On a similar theme, if it seemed a person’s neck pains and headaches had an emotional component, helping the patient understand the connection would provide them opportunity to deal more effectively with the underlying issues.
Often, when relieving the physical component of stress patterns, the emotional component would start to flow. Within the context of a healing relationship, a patient may feel safe enough and would appreciate the opportunity to vent a bit of their concerns. As a health care professional, and having an aptitude for counselling, I would offer what insights I felt qualified to do so, and/or help direct the person to a more qualified professional. I was also able to offer insights I had gained through my own life’s journey and education from the School of Hard Knocks.
Many patients offered their appreciation for what assistance I was able to provide.
Recognizing that there is a need for counselling assistance and my own aptitude, I pursued formal education to further my insights and gain qualifications through the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology program via Yorkville University. This an on-line university, under degree granting charter from the Department of Education of New Brunswick. The head offices of Yorkville University are located in Fredericton…the campus is world wide via the internet. The MA program offers the same faculty, readings, resources, assignments, seminars, and grading rubric as a traditional geocentric institution. If the MA program is lacking in any aspect, it is the casual conversations with professors and other students in the hallways, offices, and pubs that often enrich the formal education programs. However, the Yorkville student is able to pursue an advanced degree without severely disrupting family and life obligations.
As part of my practicum experience, I was privileged to co-facilitate Pastor Don Lindsay’s anger management program, which has heavily influenced the development of my own program. The material covered in this anger management program is also applicable to life, relationship, and career skills.
In addition to a general psychotherapy - counselling practice, my ongoing interest is to develop a speciality in counselling for men’s issues: to help men better cope with the ordeals of separation, family court, and divorce; and to help men be better life partners and dads.
I wish to express my appreciation to Pastor Don Lindsay of Wasaga Beach, and Anne Gillies PhD (candidate) of Dundalk for their support and mentorship in pursuing my goals.
Wayne Coghlan, B.Sc., M.A., D.C.