John Walker | Staff Profile

JOHN WALKER is a Pastoral Counselling Specialist, certified by CAPPE. He has post-graduate education in trauma focused therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Myers-Brigg’s Type Indicator (MBTI). John is also pursuing social work education at the University of Calgary.

As a holistic relational psychotherapist, John draws upon his knowledge of ecological, spiritual, and physical health to support and guide his clients towards greater well-being and authenticity. His areas of interests include: recovery from abuse/trauma/neglect, dissociation, couple counseling, addictions, spiritual growth, parenting, men’s issues and the role of Nature in healing and health.

2 Responses to “John Walker | Staff Profile”

  1. Cassy Says:

    Hello,

    I am in the process of learning more about counselling, specifically in the area of nature, and using the natural environment for healing. I am not having a lot of luck identifying or locating individuals that are practicing this type of counselling. Could you tell my more about your practice and your experience?

    Thank you for your time.

    Cassy

  2. John Walker Says:

    Hi Cassy,

    Sorry for my slowness in responding to your post.

    The use of Nature in counselling is a complex topic.

    For me it starts with a philosophy and spirituality grounded in Nature. I look to Nature as the context within which everything else is situated – and if it is going to be healthy, then it needs to be congruent with Nature and its principles. So for example it is evident in Nature that everything is inter-related – that an effect in one part of an ecosystem is felt throughout. Organisms do not exist in isolation but in relationships. So I take from this that individual humans do not exist as separate organisms. Many of us live with the illusion of separateness but this invariably leads to suffering. So recognizing and living in accordance with this intrinsic relatedness – of us all being family- would be a principle learned from Nature that I apply personally and professionally as a therapist.

    Spiritually I look to Nature on a daily basis for inspiration, rejuvenation and learning. This means that I design my life in a way that prioritizes Nature and makes this possible. If Nature is central to your life and healing then I think you need to organize your life around it.

    Practically speaking, if I place a high value on Nature and I believe it is central to my life than I must work to care for it and protect it. One of my favorite activities is backpacking. So I have become involved in an organization that works to protect and care for wilderness areas where I backpack. This makes practical sense but it also supports my spiritual and mental health by working actively with others to care for wild places.

    I have mostly given you examples of what I do personally, but I would apply these same principles in counselling with someone who identified Nature as central to their healing.

    Hoping this gives you some idea of how I would pursue Nature-centred counselling Cassy.

    Thanks for the question.

    John

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