About Karis Counselling Services
Hello. My name is Karen Wells and I trust you will find help from Karis Counselling Services. I understand that painful past experiences can keep women from moving forward in their lives. Although I may not have experienced your exact story, I have learned that the road to healing is similar for all of us.
I am passionate about encouraging women to fulfill their dreams. If you are letting a tragic story from your past own your present situation, I want to give you HOPE. You can change. Life is too short to be stuck. God has exciting plans for you, yet you may be allowing past hurt, anger, or guilt hold you back. You can be free!
FAQ: An Interview With Karen
Please read before hiring Karen
How long have you been doing what you are doing and how did you get to be a therapist?
To answer this question, I should probably share a few of the defining moments in my life which have lead me to where I am today, teaching and counseling women on how to achieve freedom from their past painful experiences.
I was feeling worn out, very disappointed in myself, and embarrassed. I mean, here I was, a fairly well-rounded woman, yet being held hostage by the affects of my past experiences. I look back now and wonder how I ever made it. God must have had His hand of grace on me for He put people and positive circumstances in my life, which has been a catalyst that has brought me to where I am today.
The biggest changes came when I started acknowledging that my past experiences had indeed, impacted my life. Before I began to do this, I tended to deal with my pain in three ways… ignore it (by pacifying it with “things that made me feel good”), explode into fits of anger and blaming, or slip into a depression.
It’s not even that I was some "off-the-wall" woman (although I often told myself I was). I mean, I was a mother, a wife, a student, an employee, and yes, a Christian (since 1982). I could run the affairs of my life fairly well, until “boom”, I’d get stuck in my tracks by overwhelming depression, self-hate, anger and despair. I’d somehow manage to “pull myself together” for a while, and then “wammo”; it would reappear in my life. There were times in my life when I even felt suicidal.
Yet, acknowledgement opened the door for me to re-evaluate my reactions and feelings about my life. As it turned out, I eventually found myself attending a seminary, and majoring in marriage and family counselling. It was through my own counselling journey that I experienced freedom! This is one major reason I am certain counselling works… I have been there too! The therapist met up with the therapy!
Since then, I have committed myself to helping women gain freedom from their past pain. I have counselled numerous women who were just like I used to be. I soon recognized that I tended to counsel specific strategies over and over again, and women were being freed! Their story of struggle did not have to be the exact same as mine, yet I discovered that the steps towards healing were almost always the same.
Because of this, I decided it would be beneficial for women to have these strategies laid out for them in a step-by-step formulation so they could work on their issues and struggles. That is why I developed, Unhooked!7 Steps To Emotional Freedom. My one-on-one counselling services, support groups, and teachings all support these foundational strategies.
Tell us a little about Karis Counselling Services
Karis Counselling Services was founded in 2001 with the intention of providing emotional, mental, and spiritual healing to those in need. It is founded on Isaiah 61:1b which states, "[The Sovereign Lord] has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted [and] to proclaim freedom to the captives."
The word charis (although I spell it Karis) comes from the Greek language, meaning "grace". I wanted this word to represent my style of counselling. The purpose of counselling is not to cause someone to feel bad for what they have done or what they are going through. The purpose is to offer a listening ear, words of hope, and a gentle (as much as possible) challenge for change.
Why do you primarily provide telephone counselling?
I am a globally-minded woman and have always had a desire to reach the world with the message of hope and freedom. When I first began formulating the direction of my counselling services I had the motto, “Have counselling, will travel”. And I did just that. I would often travel up to two hours one way, just to be able to offer counselling services.
Over time, I realized that if I kept pursuing this mode of service I would wear out. Plus, I still felt a passion to reach into those areas where women were isolated or just unable to access face-to-face counselling. For these reasons, I made the decision to also provide counselling services by phone and internet.
This way, women who live in rural communities, or who have numerous obligations that make it difficult for them to take the time to go into an office and meet face-to-face, or even live in a larger community, yet have no specific services available (childhood sexual abuse, post-abortion stress, or healing from a psychologically abusive relationship) can now have an option for help.
I desire that all women, everywhere, will know that God has a purpose for their life and that the past should not have the right to keep them back from pursuing this purpose. I believe that this can be accomplished through telephone counselling, telephone support groups, tele-seminars, and self-help material that provides positive teachings and God-inspired hope.
What are your qualifications?
I hold a Masters of Divinity, majoring in Marriage and Family Counselling. I interned for two years for the seminary counselling services and then founded Karis Counselling Services in 2001. I also was the Director for a Pregnancy Counselling Centre for two and a half years. As well, I have worked in different positions with Mental Health and Addiction Services for about four years. Overall, I have thousands of hours of counselling experience.
Along with individual and marriage counselling, I have developed and presented numerous workshops. I have been able to be a speaker at many women’s functions throughout the years, and if I look back in my life I can honestly say I’ve been providing emotional and spiritual support to women for many, many years.
Who are your clients?
I work with women just like you. These are women who take their life and responsibilities seriously and who desire to be great wives and loving mothers. These same women want to do their best, yet find themselves getting “tripped up” by a past life experience that still holds them down.
What if you haven’t worked with a woman who has my story?
I have worked with many women in the past years, and most likely, I have helped women with similar stories – not exactly your story, but likely similar themes. What I have discovered is that people generally heal from their story in the same way. Maybe not at the same pace, but almost always the same emotional needs require healing.
How are you different from other counsellors?
I, like a majority of counsellors, present in an empathetic, caring, and responsible manner. The difference, though, is in my focus. I only counsel women who struggle with post-abortion stress, childhood sexual abuse issues, or those who have been affected by relational abuse. This allows me the opportunity to become an expert on these themes, so women can get positive results.
I am not sure my problem is big enough to need counselling.
Karis Counselling Services believes no problem is too small, if it is a problem for you. Women are often fearful or embarrassed to seek help for something they feel others might think is "terrible", "silly", or "not a big deal". This keeps them from seeking help early in their struggle, often waiting until the situation is unbearable for them.
This is your life and you have the right to own it, not it own you. If you are struggling, seek help early, or by default you may find yourself in great emotional, mental or spiritual pain.
What exactly is "Unhooked! 7 Steps To Emotional Freedom" program?
Gaining freedom from a past painful experience begins with a woman understanding what her losses are, what beliefs she holds, and how she grieves.
Here is what the program covers:
Step 1: Acknowledge past experience: Too often a woman, unknowingly, lives in denial of the full impact of her story. Stepping out of denial begins the healing process.
Step 2: Recognize and feel feelings: Acknowledging emotions (whether you feel they are good or bad) will help you to begin clarifying your thoughts and feelings. Feeling them, will often teach you not to be fearful of emotions in general.
Step 3: Name the loss: A major step toward healing is to determine what was “taken away” because of your experience. You may already know the primary loss, yet there are numerous secondary losses that have not been acknowledged. You will be able to define these and learn to unhook them from your life.
Step 4: Understanding the grief cycle: You will learn the common components of grief, which may help normalize some of that emotional roller coaster you feel you are on.
Step 5: Challenge your beliefs: You bring the beliefs you held as a child into your present thinking and believing. Some are faulty. You will learn how to recognize and challenge the lies, and embrace the truth.
Step 6: Forgiveness: There are many reasons why it is hard to forgive and to take steps to choose forgiveness. You will be able to discover what may be holding you back and then be able to take the steps towards forgiving.
Step 7: Let go and live in today: You will be implementing strategies to keep you on track and stay living in the moment, so the past can no longer pull you back.
The primary goal of these 7 steps is to allow you be UNHOOKED from your past.
Why use a 7-step strategy instead of just “going with the flow”?
Over the years I have realized that the women I counsel inevitably proceed through these 7 steps before they find their full healing. The strategic 7- step process used sets the initial direction for counselling, yet does not limit the client-centered outcome. Within the steps, your personal story will be explored, and you will uncover the answers you need to move forward.
What if the other emotional things come up for me while I am in counselling?
It is possible that as you begin facing the story of your past you may begin feeling depressed, shameful, or anxious at times. This is normal to an extent, but if you are concerned about your responses, please inform me so I can help facilitate further assistance.
What results can I expect?
You can expect to: Get answers to your problems. Achieve healing from your past. Gain a greater sense of self-worth. Have a heavy burden lifted. Establish healthier coping skills. Have an opportunity to grow in your spiritual life. Empathetic, non-judgemental counselling. Find hope, acceptance and change!
How quickly can I expect results?
I cannot guarantee the rate of your healing process, but I can guarantee that if you are faithful to your healing process, you will move towards freedom and see a change in your life. The number one way to guarantee the quickest results is to be committed to the sessions and do all your homework assignments.
Is this a faith-based counselling service?
I am a Christian and my teachings are founded on biblical principles like love, self-worth, forgiveness and hope. You do not have to be a Christian in order for the counselling to be effective, although I do include scripture in my materials. I also have a web page dedicated to spiritual questions, so you may read further on my beliefs if you would like to.
What type of woman is this counselling not going to work for?
There may be some women who are not ready to access counselling services at this time. Some reasons could include:
- If you are not determined to carve out the time it will take to faithfully attend the sessions and do the assigned homework (homework is imperative to your growth because this is the time when you can be introspective and get those “ah ah” moments).
- If you begrudgingly pay the costs for the services, calculating each session to see if it was “worth it”. Healing cannot be calculated in dollars and cents, but I guarantee once a woman experiences freedom, she unquestionably states that her healing is “priceless”.
- Perhaps you are just too maxed out with family, work, or community commitments and know that you will often feel rushed and restless during the sessions. Perhaps holding off until you have been able to clear the decks of other commitments makes sense. This does not mean you wait until you have nothing on your plate (what women do?) but you know in yourself that if you add one more thing to your life you will not be able to give it your all.
- If you are struggling with severe depression/anxiety. You should still be able to process your counselling sessions if you struggle with mild/medium depression/anxiety symptoms. Yet, since the topics we cover are very personal and painful, it is advisable that you stabilize your severe depression/anxiety first. (Note: if you are suicidal please reach out for help right away. Call your local mental health clinic or go to the nearest Emergency Room).
More specifically, you may not find this counselling will work for you yet if...
- You are presently in a physically abusive relationship. It would be my concern that you find a way to gain safety from your situation first, and then begin these counselling services.
- You have had an abortion in the past three months. You are still in the early stages of physical healing so you need to be certain you are healthy before you begin the deep emotional journey.
Although you may not be ready for the live counselling options, feel free to sign-up for the bi-monthy Woman to Woman ezine for the time being, as they are filled with helpful ideas and strategies to work towards your freedom.
Do you offer any discounts?
I do have set rates for my counseling services, yet offer different types of package prices in order to accommodate the financial situations of those who are wanting my services. Do not hesitate to contact me for further clarification.
Also, be watching for upcoming resources in the form of CD’s, MP3’s, e-books, tele-seminars, etc at low-cost prices.
Do you accept cheques and credit cards?
You can pay by credit card through Paypal (you do not have to have a Paypal account to pay this way).
I also accept cheques. Once the cheque has cleared the bank our services can begin.
Are you covered under EFAP’S? (Employee and Family Assistance Program)
Each individual case is different so be sure to ask about your EFAP to see if your counselling can be covered that way.
I am not sure I am ready to access counselling services just yet. How can I sample your work to see if counselling with you is the right solution for me?
You are more than welcome to sign up for my FREE Woman to Woman bi-montly ezine. There you will get a better understanding of how I think and support women through the healing process. When you sign up you will also receive my FREE audio entitled, “The Biggest Lie Women Believe”.
Also be watching for my upcoming blog, Youtube videos, and podcasts.
I would like to work with you. How do I get stared?
You can call me directly on Skype at karenwells1 to confirm what service most suits your needs. From there we can set up appointment dates.
You can also email me at Karis Counselling as an initial contact and we can begin making arrangements for counselling services.
I am ready to access counselling, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I contact you?
Yes, you can call me on Skype at karenwells1 or contact me at Karis Counselling and I will be happy to answer your questions.