Youth Counselling

Barb has a special interest in working with adolescents as she recognizes the unique frustrations and challenges they face.  Caught between the demands of parents, teachers, and friends; trying to fit in socially while establishing themselves as individuals; dealing with daily drama at school and in their social lives; and needing freedom while earning responsibility, the teen years can be very difficult.  Barb offers current information for youth and provides mentorship to help them learn important life skills.

Barb specializes in working with teens and parents, and has a particular interest in mentoring youth through the challenging adolescent years. Barb found her own adolescence to be a challenging and confusing time in her life, and has often wondered how different things might have been, had she had the opportunity to connect with the right person. It has long been her dream to mentor youth and provide them with that guidance.

For information on Barb’s teen workshop “Survival Tips for Teens: 8 Weeks to Find Your Fabulous” please see her section on groups.

Dealing with drama

“Any problems that may occur have ultimately been caused by you, because you are responsible for where you are and what you are doing there.”
~Enzo (Garth Stein) from “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

Did you know that… you have a lot more control over things that happen to you than you might think you have?

Barb can help you:

  • gain control of what happens to you
  • learn how to deal with different situations
  • be assertive and stand up for yourself
  • avoid getting involved in the drama of the day
  • develop more effective ways of talking to friends, teachers, and parents
  • learn how to constructively express your emotions
  • care less about what other people think
  • learn the impact your behaviour has on others
  • let others know how their behaviour impacts you
  • understand cliques and other social monsters

Building Healthy Relationships

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
~Oprah Winfrey

Did you know that … there are few things more valuable in the world than a good friend?

Barb can help you:

  • figure out what you need from your relationships
  • find your voice and express your needs
  • recognize and eliminate dynamics involving power and abuse
  • develop relationships based on mutual respect
  • nurture relationships that make you feel good about yourself
  • understand other people’s needs
  • explore negative patterns of behaviour
  • learn how and when to deal with an issue
  • explore new communication techniques
  • gain insight into how your behaviour affects others
  • learn to be more tolerant and compassionate of others


“When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl. Then I say, bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.”
~Lady Gaga

Did you know that… the value you place on yourself has an effect on the value that others place on you as well? Having a positive opinion of yourself can have a positive effect on all kinds of other things as well.

Barb can help you:

  • feel comfortable and confident in social situations
  • focus on your inner strengths and resources
  • be less influenced by what other people say and think about you
  • find your voice and get your needs met
  • set realistic goals and achieve them
  • learn how to say no
  • establish satisfying relationships based on mutual respect
  • stand up for yourself
  • manage your insecurities
  • worry less about your performance
  • accept your mistakes as learning opportunities and move on
  • try new things without a fear of failure
  • have a positive outlook
  • be able to laugh at yourself
  • establish a healthy body image

School Issues

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
~Mary Engelbreit

Did you know that…you probably share a lot of the same concerns with other kids your age? (Yes, even the really popular ones!)

Barb can help you:

  • feel like you’re not alone
  • learn how and when to approach different situations
  • feel more in control
  • stand up for yourself
  • deal with bullying
  • communicate with teachers
  • get along with peers
  • understand what’s going on in cliques
  • find positive connections
  • manage performance anxiety
  • deal with procrastination
  • develop better study habits

Peer Pressure

“We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.”
~Author Unknown

Did you know that… you don’t have to do things you don’t want to just to fit in?

Barb can help you:

  • stand your ground and make your own decisions
  • discover the truth about sex, drugs, and other topics
  • be confident in who you are
  • discover what things might put you at risk
  • not worry about what other people think
  • be familiar with your own values and boundaries
  • think things through to the end
  • understand the effect your behaviour has on others
  • build on your personal strengths
  • recognize ulterior motives
  • know who your real friends are
  • make decisions based on the right reasons

Anxiety and Depression

“The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.”
~Author Unknown

Did you know that…there are many ways to manage anxiety and depression and many ways to make yourself more resistant to them?

Barb can help you:

  • learn to recognize and change destructive thoughts and patterns of behaviour
  • manage stress before it becomes overwhelming
  • understand what’s going on in your body
  • know that you’re not alone
  • uncover the hidden cost of keeping things inside
  • recognize early warning signs
  • set realistic goals
  • reframe your problems as opportunities for growth
  • learn how not to take things personally
  • find ways to boost your resilience
  • get support and learn to manage your symptoms
  • gain insight into the purpose your behaviour serves
  • find healthy outlets to express your emotions
  • connect with other resources


“It’s so hard to communicate because there are so many moving parts. There’s presentation and there’s interpretation and they’re so dependent on each other it makes things very difficult.”
~Enzo (Garth Stein) from “The Art of Racing in the Rain”

Did you know that… being a good communicator can solve all kinds of other problems before they start?

Barb can help you:

  • learn more effective patterns of communication
  • talk with your friends
  • settle disputes
  • avoid conflict
  • find your voice and express your needs
  • be a better listener
  • learn not to be so reactive
  • get along better with parents and teachers
  • recognize the importance of body language
  • explore different styles of communication and why some are better than others

Anger Management

“Speak when you are angry–and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”
~Laurence J. Peter

Did you know that …the way we manage and express our emotions is in large part learned?

Barb can help you:

  • recognize destructive behaviour patterns
  • learn new ways of managing and expressing anger
  • be more in tune with your body
  • communicate effectively
  • find out why it’s not a good idea to keep everything inside
  • recognize the effect your behaviour has on others
  • discover the origin of your behaviour patterns
  • explore what is beneath your anger
  • connect with other resources
  • learn relaxation techniques