“In all kinds of ways – if we are willing – our children take us into places in our heart
we didn’t know existed”. – Dr. Shefali Tsabary
Wrestling With Many Emotions: Juliana’s Story
As a teenager, life for me was full of overwhelm, fear, anxiety and depression. I struggled to articulate any of my feelings to my parents. My feelings felt enormous, I did not understand them and I did not know how to communicate them.
As I transformed into a teenager, friendships from my childhood faded away and I began hanging out with kids who did drugs and drank. I found relief in these friendships that focused on numbing and escaping. But the overwhelm, the fear, the depression… they still existed. And I felt alone even though I was surrounded by people.
Expression and Connection: My Path to Joy and Peace
I found my way into nature and working in the forest which slowed life and my mind down for me. This then led me into a yoga practice which helped me to connect to my body. Connecting to my body helped me to begin to trust myself and I began to make connections with people who also were searching for peace.
These people opened my world to connection that didn’t involve drugs and alcohol. I was taught that there is a language for my feelings. I began to trust my emotions and use my words to express myself. And as I found ways to express myself while being heard, my depression, my fear, and my sadness lightened.
I began to experience joy, connection, and peace. My relationship with my parents became one of real connection and honesty and my friendships felt truly supportive and loving.
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Support is Here: Both Teens and Parents Deserve Compassion and Tools
My hope for all teens and parents is that there is support available while moving through this transitional time. It is a pivotal time in both parents’ and teens’ lives and everyone needs a safe place to express themselves, learn about themselves and to be heard. My belief is that no one needs to go through this time alone.
I am a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (RTC) with the Association of Cooperation Counselling Therapists of Canada (ACCT). I draw on my own personal experience, my extensive training with Clearmind International and my 10 years’ experience as a yoga practitioner and teacher.
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Meet Leanna Madill
Surviving Teenagehood: Leanna’s Story
For me, being a teenager was a stage in my life to survive. I struggled in my relationships at home, from painful arguments with my dad and mom, having trouble connecting with my sister, and painfully losing friendships. All the while, I worked hard to achieve everything I could while still feeling down deep that nothing was really proving that I was good enough. Under my smile – or sometimes my hidden anger – hid confusion, fear, and loneliness that I didn’t know how to express.
As a parent I recall my own moment of anger swelling inside of me as I thought about how my daughter had just behaved, the secrets and lies. My body tightened and my jaw clenched. Inside I was panicking as I fearfully wondered, “Who is this child? How will I ever learn to trust her again? How could the gap between us get so big?”
Less Struggle, More Thriving: My Healing Lessons
I didn’t want to continue living out these same painful patterns for myself or for my children. My healing involved giving a voice to that teenage part of myself that never got to express herself. I began bringing awareness to the beliefs and values that held me back from stepping closer to my daughter. These shifts began by being right where I was, exactly who I was, with my struggles and imperfections. With guidance and support and my own willingness I was able to get to know myself better and learn how to share myself more with the people I love. Most importantly, I learned that my struggles don’t have to continue. There are options available in every moment. I just needed to learn the tools, strategies, and possibilities.
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Importance of the Now: Helping Parents and Teens Transform Crisis
During this stage of life, youth and young adults make major decisions that are based on how they understand themselves and the world. These decisions can affect the rest of their lives. If their unhealthy perspectives and understandings are left unaddressed, these beliefs and values can leave a profound impact on their lives and generations to come. As parents we might be tempted to close our eyes and hope these upsets and choices go away with time. However, I can’t stress how critical it is for youth and families to address these issues today.
Teenagehood is not a crisis with irreparable consequences. It is instead a time of opportunity, for teens and parents to get to know themselves better and gain more confidence, trust, and closeness. Parents and teens have huge potential and invaluable gifts within themselves. This includes the inner resources to know themselves deeply, consider new possibilities, and make choices that will lead them to enjoy a purposeful life, and engage in meaningful relationships. This path can begin now.
Always Learning and Growing: Leanna’s Background
I am a Registered Professional Counsellor with the Canadian Professional Counsellor’s Association (RPC #3618). I draw on my background of high school teaching and coaching, my PhD in Education, and the transpersonal, experiential counsellor training from Clearmind International. As a mother of teens and a wife, I continue to nurture my own family relationships with the same pivotal work that I share with individuals and families. I have also assisted International Leadership Workshops, and have mentored pre-service counsellors. I continue to stay current with the latest cutting edge counselling practices by teaching for Clearmind International’s Counsellor Program.
“Leanna’s many gifts include: enormous compassion and presence, insight that reveals itself very naturally and organically, creative processing and an amazing ability to integrate my struggles over the course of several sessions. I feel ‘seen’ and supported on my journey. I am seriously grateful for my sessions!”
– Parent, Portland, USA
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Sessions offered online or
locally in Langford, B.C.
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“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson