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Lani El-Guebaly

BA, BEd, MEd, Registered Clinical Counsellor #11597, Registered Teacher # L198396

What experience or background do you bring to your counselling and supervision practice that is uniquely yours?

I enjoy dispelling the myth that counsellors need to be infallible and serious, and delight in showcasing my quirky and vivacious personality. I've been told I'm rather approachable and believe my personality helps put people at ease (which, given quality counselling relies on being able to form a bond, I always take as an utmost compliment!). Therapy can sometimes be a bit tough, so the ability to offer some levity, when appropriate and supportive to a situation, can be everything.

What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?

I am in awe of clients who take the risk to trust me with their struggles, because it takes so much courage to be vulnerable. I also love being surrounded with people who were smart enough to override the myth that seeking counselling means they are broken. Instead, they recognize seeking support is a marker that they are strong enough to create the breakthroughs they know their lives deserve.

What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?

I began to struggle driving on highways and over bridges. I downplayed the severity of my increasing discomfort until I learned what a panic attack was while driving B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway (with no passenger to take the wheel, and with over 100km left to drive, I might add!). I had been proudly "highly-efficient" for so long (at the time, full time work and full time school) that it wasn't until my body began to manifest this cue that something wasn't right that I clued in that I needed support. A counsellor helped me appreciate my challenge for what it was: anxiety. The moment I began embracing, versus denying this anxiety, I felt a shift.

What have you learned from your work?

I learned how sharing one's story in the presence of an empathetic witness can, in itself, create a profoundly positive stride toward healing and cultivating self-compassion.