• Mission

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    The Mission of This Practice ~ By: Miranda Rylance MSW, RSW, Founder and Owner

    Some years ago I wrote a children’s story about a magical, womb-like, grove of willows that provided the compassion and tools necessary for a grieving young person struggling with her identity to transform her grief into growth. It is an image that has stuck with me through the years and is the impetus for my business name.

    People often enter counselling with the hope to overcome difficult emotions and events, to remedy conflicts in their personal and interpersonal lives, to achieve personal growth, or with the desire to connect and feel understood and heard by another person. Our journey will be to identify and address the goals you wish to achieve by softening or removing constraints that prevent you from self-actualization.

    The flexibility of willow trees enables them to withstand the force of changing seasons and weather patterns with grace. Similar to the willow tree we humans require flexibility of body, mind, emotion, and spirit in order to remain healthy as we weather the transitory nature of life. At Willow Grove, our goal is to provide you with the best care possible in order to meet your needs. Addressing your needs and goals holistically we will work together to enhance your well-being by transforming concerns into opportunities for growth.

    Our role is to work with you, to provide you with the compassion, acceptance, and empathy necessary to achieve the changes and growth you hope to see in yourself, and to facilitate you in achieving your goals.

    Holistic treatment

    At Willow Grove Counselling we believe in treating people holistically—by taking into account the multiple facets of your well-being be they physical, spiritual, mental, psychological, or environmental. We, at Willow Grove, are quite accustomed to caring for people alongside other practitioners and are open to collaborating with your other care-providers if that feels helpful for you.

    Anti-oppressive practice 

    Social justice is a thread woven through the fabric of this practice and our being and is part of our mission as people. 

    Through my travels I met many people who sought help in our mental health system only to leave it feeling they had been harmed more than they had been helped. These experiences led me to question how it could be that a profession aimed at helping could produce so much harm in the world. I have explored that question throughout my journey to become a therapist, analyzing all of the many systems I interacted with along the way in search of answers. 

    During my schooling I learned that the grueling process and rigour of education can produce a sense of entitlement in graduates that can later be harmful to the people they work to treat. Further, I learned that forced-answer method of University testing can sometimes lead practitioners to be less critical in their thinking leading some to treat people with a cookie-cutter approach.

    As I commenced my career in mental health I learned about the ineffectiveness of many policies in addressing the concerns of the unique individuals they aim to help, how systemic constraints facilitate burnout and compassion fatigue in mental health practitioners, and how burnout and compassion fatigue can contribute to worse client outcomes as a trickle down effect.

    My lived experiences and learning have informed the mission for my practice and for all practitioners employed by Willow Grove: to provide trauma-informed psychotherapy with awareness of our own strengths and shortcomings, to work collaboratively, respectively, and anti-oppressively, and most importantly to provide compassion, understanding and safety to each person we work with. It is an absolute privilege to do the work that we do and we look forward to working with you soon.