What prompted you to move from giving corporate workshops into counselling?
It was a combination of two things. Firstly, I’d become tired of the corporate structure. It was unsatisfying in the sense that you’d walk into work and leave at the end of a contract. You would see great changes, but it was capsulated. With the company running the agenda, I found working with people’s personal lives to be much more fulfilling and satisfying.
The clients themselves are invested in their own process of growth and the changes happen on a much more intrinsic level. It is great to be involved in this and see the results.
The second reason was that Dr. Stephen Sacks approached me after taking some of my workshops. He asked if I would be interested in working with herpes patients at his clinic. Dr. Sacks is an internationally renowned expert and opinion leader on viral infections, such as herpes, and their treatments. He was director of Viridae, a research organization and clinic in Vancouver, BC, which specialized in the prevention and treatment of these viral infections. In speaking with him, I became fascinated by herpes and the psychological effects that it has on people. It was amazing to me that this skin virus has such a powerful impact on people’s lives, and I wanted to help. So I said “yes” and did a practicum with Dr. Sacks, thereby launching my own private counselling practice.
You have also become a Life Coach. Why the transition into Coaching?
It seemed to be a natural progression of my work. Within my private practice, there has always been a coaching element, in that once people have healed, they then want to progress into actualizing their lives. I help them do that. Coaching expands my means of interacting with people, allowing me to connect with my clients on a more personal level. As a Counsellor, I am an “authority figure”, whereas, as a Coach, I am on equal footing with my clients. The client leads and it is more of a partnership. I find that very liberating
What is your favourite part of the work you do?
Seeing people actualize their own unique place in the world. By this I mean that when mind and spirit are in alignment, and can stay in alignment, it is the most beautiful thing to witness. People come to therapy, or coaching, for that matter, with dark clouds hanging over them. To watch them reach out into the light and start to live in accordance with their own uniqueness and dreams is an amazing transformation. I feel honoured to be able to witness and participate in this process on a regular basis. It’s awe inspiring, amazing — like watching a beautiful sunrise unfold.
If you had to choose one thing as a universal challenge, that people face, what would it be?
A) Learning that the mind’s thoughts are not, in fact, all knowing. And that B) the mind is a tool that needs to be trained to facilitate one’s desires and inspirations.
How do you help people do this, teach them to use their mind to facilitate their desires and inspirations?
First, by showing them the difference between their authentic self and their intellectual, programmed self. For example, when somebody enters into a relationship and they live by society’s rules, they end up giving up things they need and desire because they were taught that is what they “should” do. Like giving up their friends of the opposite sex, for example. These compromises only succeed in creating resentments, not long lasting relationships. I teach people how to stay in touch with their authentic selves and negotiate win-win solutions in all areas of their lives.
How quickly does this process happen?
Generally, within the first 6 weeks, people are starting to feel an improvement in how to deal, emotionally, with their lives. After that, everybody has their own personal journey — their own “mountain to climb”. Everyone’s mountain is different. The terrain is different. Some will traverse a cliff quickly, fuelled with lots of adrenaline and desire. Others will go about it more carefully, taking more deliberate steps. Some people hit a plateau and just want to stay there for a while. They all come with their own backgrounds and histories, belief systems and values. Everyone is different. Their journeys are different. Generally speaking, it takes around 100 hours. This is not fast food. Change takes practice, time, instruction and energy. It takes us years to learn language, never mind the human condition.
You have a thriving private practice with a full client roster. This is something many coaches and counsellors seldom achieve. To what do you attribute your success?
I think, that in everything, a person achieves success. If I had to put my finger on it, I would have to say that there is such an improvement, such a noticeable improvement, in the ways in which my clients deal with their lives and achieve success, that their friends and loved ones become intrigued. Also, my clients get really enthusiastic about wanting people to come see me. They have experienced such great successes that they want their friends and loved ones to experience the same. 99% of my private practice clients have come from referrals.
Why have you decided to branch off into holding Telecourses?
I like the workshop environment on many levels. Universally, people sharing ideas and feedback give each other more resources. People can see what works and what doesn’t. They learn from one another’s experiences. This applies to many topics, be it relationships or health-related matters.
It is particularly useful for herpes clients, in that people with herpes often feel isolated. I’ve always wanted to do workshops with herpes clients, but given the stigma of the virus, and the need for anonymity, the traditional workshop setting (i.e. face to face) wouldn’t support this. The Telecourses allow people complete anonymity, yet offers them the chance to witness other people living a healthy, happy “life beyond herpes”. This promotes faster healing from the stigma that this virus carries with it.
A couple of personal questions for you, Jocelyn. Do you have any first- hand experience with Herpes?
I am in the 80% of the population that has contracted herpes. Yes, I have the virus.
And are you currently in a relationship?
Yes. I am in a relationship that I have been in for over 13 years. It’s an awesome experience. We are very much in love and it is a life partnership. My partner and I are as opposite as night and day. The challenges in our relationship push us both to keep growing, learning and experiencing the world. It is an extremely healthy relationship, full of intimacy, respect, and integrity. We both live our individual dreams and the ones we share as a couple. It is a work in progress. The same tools that I use, myself, in my relationship, I share with others so that they too, can experience the ultimate relationship.
I notice you didn’t say you were married?
No. It’s a designer relationship, all the way.