The Art of Asking Good Questions

Luke Whitmore

“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

How to Engage Dads in the Counselling Process

Luke Whitmore

father, dad, dads, counselling, counsellor, therapist, therapy, counselling process, therapeutic process, family, families

“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

Counselling Couples: 4 Challenges and 4 Strategies

Luke Whitmore

couple, couple relationship, communication, pattern, counselling, mental health

Relationships are one of the most common topics people focus on in counselling. Adult couple relationships in particular are a frequent focus, and counsellors often discover there are unique challenges when we have two people as our counselling “client” rather than just one. I teach and supervise many counsellors who work with couples, and there are some common themes that … Read More

Vicarious Trauma to Vicarious Transformation

Hello Websites

Photo of trauma, vicarious trauma, anxiety

A big part of my clinical work with people is focused on trauma – helping others respond, individual healing, and relationship repair after a traumatic event. As a result, I am frequently asked about how I stay positive and hopeful in the work that I do. People will hear that I support others who have experienced really horrible things, or endured hurtful … Read More

“John is a Good Guy.”

Luke Whitmore

therapeutic relationship, values, stories, identity

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

Turning Complaints into Connection: Couple Relationships

Luke Whitmore

Winter can make me grouchy. Living in Manitoba, Canada, means winter holds many days of harsh, biting winds, and long nights of cold temperatures. Because of this, a recurring thought often runs through my mind: “When will this end and why do I live here?” As I sit with a couple in my office in the middle of winter, I … Read More

Tips For Working With Resistance To Change

Luke Whitmore

If you work in the helping field, you likely encounter the struggle and fear people often have toward change. It’s ironic isn’t it? People seek support when there is something they need to change or others want changed. Then they put great energy into avoiding, fighting off or procrastinating making any steps toward change. Why do people struggle with change? … Read More

5 Pathways for Healing Compassion Fatigue

Hello Websites

Photo of compassion fatigue, helper, counsellor, health care professional, helping, self-care, well-being

If you are a health care professional, healer, social worker, therapist, counsellor, change agent, or any other kind of helper, chances are you have heard of or experienced some form of compassion fatigue during the course of your career. Compassion fatigue is considered an occupational hazard, or a cost of caring, within high-care occupations where empathy, caring for others, and … Read More

Tips for Using Laughter in Counselling

Hello Websites

happy psychiatrist with pencil

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

How Do You Look After Yourself?

Hello Websites

Photo of resilience, self-care, trauma, trauma-informed, helper, helping profession

Awhile back, a new client asked me an important question (a question I encourage all people to ask their counsellors): “How do you look after yourself”? He then proceeded to tell me that if he was to work with me regarding his experience of trauma, he needed to know I was healthy. As helpers, we often ask our clients about … Read More