“John is a Good Guy.”

John Koop Harder

counselling, counsellor, therapy, therapist, mental health, mental illness, anxiety, depression, self-care

My career as a counsellor and trainer has taught me a lot. In fact, some of my greatest teachers have been the people I have worked with. One teaching I have been reflecting a lot on lately comes from Dave. Dave is a former client I invited to co-present with me at a training for working with men who have … Read More

Tips for Using Laughter in Counselling

John Koop Harder

laughter, humour, counselling, counseling, therapy, mental health, well-being

Dave always begins and ends with a joke. However, the conversations between such bookends are anything but funny. In our meetings, Dave talks about his experiences of the chaos he survived growing up, and the intense effort it takes to leave this in the past. As I get to know Dave, he tells me humour is his way of dealing … Read More

Tips for Supporting Others Through Grief and Loss

John Koop Harder

grief, loss, death, suicide, supporting others, counselling, therapy, helper, mental health, grieving

When someone experiences a loss, it demands their attention. It is all they can see, hear, and feel. That is why counsellors and helpers need to support others with self-compassion and explore “What has been lost?” “What has changed?” and “What remains?” Helping others reflect on these questions is an important part of learning to sit with grief. Throughout the … Read More

How to Improve Your Relationship With Work

John Koop Harder

relationship with work, workplace culture, mental wellness, well-being at work

I love being a counsellor and trainer, but at times my appreciation for the work influences me to overextend myself. This impacts both myself and my other relationships. As a result, I need to beware of this so I can continue to be healthy in my relationship with my work. A while back I had a dream in which a … Read More

5 Tips for Connecting From a Distance

John Koop Harder

connecting, covid-19, covid, pandemic, relationships, self-care, communication

“I’m sick of being sick; sick of being tired; sick of being alone. I’m sick of COVID-19!” This is how a conversation with my recently widowed mother began prior to the holidays. Many of us can relate to her frustrated declaration because the pandemic has affected us all. It’s hard enough on its own, but for those already struggling with … Read More

Ideas for Engaging Dads in the Counselling Process

John Koop Harder

The following excerpt comes from our upcoming book, Counselling in Relationships: Insights for Helping Families Develop Healthy Connections. The chapter, “Engaging Fathers,” explores the importance of fathers in families and how counsellors can involve dads in the counselling process so they can get to know themselves better, improve their relationships, and feel empowered in their role. Dads need support for both … Read More

3 Tips for Working with Grief

John Koop Harder

“How do I work with people who are stuck in their grief? You know, those people that are just not able to move on.” This is a common question people ask during my grief workshops. To tell you the truth, I don’t like the term “stuck” – especially when it comes to grief. The language of “stuckness” is rooted in … Read More

The Art of Asking Good Questions

John Koop Harder

“So John, what ideas have been important to you these last few years?” My first response was, “What a great question!” This was asked of me by my old friend Hektor when we recently reconnected after almost 20 years. I was stopped a bit short by the question and its depth, and I continue to reflect on it – to … Read More

4 Effective Ways to Help Children Cope with Loss

John Koop Harder

child coping with grief, grief and loss, well-being, mental health

Years ago our family took a trip. Four of us left for Toronto. Three of us returned. My son Nicholas’ (age 2 at the time) favourite stuffy – Tbear – unexpectedly found a new home after he was accidentally left behind in the twisted bedding of our hotel room. So began Nicholas’ relationship with loss. He was devastated. Flowing tears … Read More

How to Engage Dads in the Counselling Process

John Koop Harder

“Anyone can be a father (well, almost anyone). It can be as simple as having a bit of fun on a Friday night because being a father is merely being a part of creating life. However, there is a difference in being a dad. For me, being a dad means being involved, active, and engaged in the child’s life. The … Read More