Stories from Individual Counselling Clients
“My Drinking Problem Almost Ruined My Life”: A Journey with Ruth (& Lucy)
“After years of heavy drinking my life was collapsing. I was on the verge of completely losing my health, family, friends, and livelihood. I was the owner of a small business, and my staff had given me an ultimatum to stop drinking. How embarrassing!
With Ruth’s help and guidance, I was able to face my alcoholism and establish a program of recovery. I felt very lucky to have her regular support, as I was not in a position to enter a rehab facility. Ruth also suggested a meeting with my staff. This proved to have immediate and lasting positive results. This would be the first of many occasions where I would benefit from Ruth’s business acumen. And then there was Lucy, Ruth’s dog…always there, always happy to see me, always non-judgemental.
Now with more than ten years of sobriety, I have been able to rebuild my life. With my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health restored, I am now able to give and receive help with family and friends. My business began to thrive again, enabling me to sell it as a profitable enterprise and realize my goal of retirement. This process of recovery has not always been easy, but Ruth has been an integral support on every level. She runs the gamut! Her long time business experience was extremely helpful. From the early days of advising the staff of my recovery program to planning an exit strategy when I sold the business, her insight was invaluable.
Ruth continues to help me forge a life of deliberate action, honesty, patience, kindness, curiosity and acceptance. At this point, I am working with Ruth to develop a daily mindfulness practice. I can already feel the calming benefits.
To be continued…more to be revealed.
Thank you to both Ruth & Lucy – always on my gratitude list.”
Compartmentalizing my Anxiety
“I wanted to write you and let you know that I most likely will not be coming for any individual sessions. I have managed to deal with my anxiety on my own! During our last couple’s session, you pointed out that I will often ask my husband “what are you going to do to help me with my anxiety?” You suggested that the anxiety is my own problem to deal with. That really hit home. I am now able to compartmentalize the anxiety and it does not rule my decision-making or any other part of my life. By owning it, I have been able to take control of it. By no means is my life anxiety free but I am able to manage much better and I realize that the anxiety is a part of my life that sometimes rears its ugly head. Thanks for your insightful comments regarding this matter.
Thank you for all you have done for us. You are a truly gifted person and your assistance has made a HUGE difference. Thank you for being so kind, compassionate, and wise.”
Hard-Working Lawyer Discovers New Meaning in her Life
“My time with Ruth has been invaluable. Ruth has helped me to discuss and come to terms with significant life events. For me, working with Ruth has been an enlightening experience and has enabled me to understand my strengths and vulnerabilities. I have been able to let go of an all-consuming work ethic and achieve a more rewarding professional life. I know that I am now more open to understanding other people on their own terms. This has improved some of my personal relationships considerably. I recommend Ruth without hesitation.”
Freedom from a Life of Anxiety
“Several years ago, I had to take a stress leave from work. My doctor diagnosed ‘panic disorder’ and gave me several medications for my depression, panic and sleep problems. I was nervous about taking so many medications. He suggested I consider counselling to explore the underlying issues that were causing my anxiety and referred me to Ruth Shell. Having never been for counselling before I had no idea what to expect, so of course I was anxious about the process!
In the very first session with Ruth, she put me ease. She taught me several simple techniques that helped immediately. I learned how to use my breath to control my anxiety. And I learned how to pay attention to what I was feeling. Soon I was able to track my internal experience and manage my reactions to what was happening around me. I discovered that I am a very sensitive person. My family didn’t understand this about me and often made fun of me. Therapy has taught me how to appreciate the gift of who I am and manage my anxious moments with understanding and acceptance.
I went back to work and now perform my challenging job without wearing it home with me.”
A Search for what was Missing
“I have been fortunate to have success in my professional life; however I knew something was missing. Until I began working with Ruth I struggled to identify the blind spots that were creating issues in my relationships and personal life. Ruth’s patience and ability to simplify complicated emotional issues gave me confidence that I would make it through those challenging days and find balance and happiness again. I now enjoy a calm, supportive relationship with myself, friends, colleagues and young family. I am very appreciative of the time I spent with Ruth (and her dog, Lucy) and know that without this personal investment I would still be living in those complicated patterns. I have recommended Ruth’s expertise to many friends going through similar situations and know that she will have an impact on any client who enters with a goal to share, listen and see positive change”.
Sales Executive Overcomes Addiction and Starts Loving Life
“Over the years that I have worked with Ruth Shell, I have been able to come from a very dark place in my life, to being on top of my world and loving life. From overcoming my substance addiction to helping me with my marriage, Ruth taught me to understand where things in my life were going astray and how to correct them. I was not always a very good listener and often a sceptic, but Ruth skilfully got to know who I am. She was then able to relate to me so that I could understand what changes I needed to make. Our sessions have taught me about myself, giving me the tools to accept any challenges life throws my way. I would recommend Ruth to anyone that is serious about improving their life.”
Flying on my own Now
“Ruth said that one day I wouldn’t need her anymore. This was hard to believe when I was getting by week to week only because of the support I received in our precious sessions together. My husband was dying, I had to learn how to take over the family business and my kids were all away launching their own lives. It was a dark time indeed. Ruth’s patience, support and encouragement was unwavering. She believed in me until I began to believe in myself. Long after my husband was gone, I would see Ruth occasionally for a ‘check-in and update’. One time… I totally forgot about our appointment…She laughed when I told her that I forgot and reminded me of the day, several years before when she reassured me that I wouldn’t need her at some point. That day did come and now I am flying on my own.”
I found a gift in Life’s Storms
“I have consulted Ruth Shell many times over the years… prior to getting married, being stuck in my professional life or when any area in my personal life was too much to weather alone. The process and methods by which Ruth helped me move through some of my biggest challenges led to transformational change and the healthy and happy life I lead today. Her calm style, honesty and skills are truly amazing.
I was a young woman when she asked me the question “Who is responsible for your choices?” it was an interesting discussion and started me on my path of life changes, improved relationships, greater personal accountability and ultimately greater acceptance of others. It helped to have someone set the foundation and framework to work within, asking the hard questions while providing encouragement and support. I did not have a family system that was able to do this, so I’m grateful to know I have a trusted counsellor I can always turn to who won’t judge me.
Life sometimes gives you more than you can bear and life also provides the gifted people that cross your path to help you rise up and get you through life storms. Whenever I need objective support in my life Ruth is who I choose. . I consider her to be an extremely gifted therapist. You can never thank a person enough for helping you; it is an honor after all these years to put these words onto paper.”
Flying without Fear
“Yikes – my daughter was getting married in Hawaii and I hadn’t boarded an airplane in 10 years!” Well, I guess you can say that I was motivated to finally deal with my fear of flying.
Over the course of 10 weeks Ruth Shell took me through a process of understanding my fears and teaching me breathing and relaxation techniques that helped me conquer this problem. My whole family is grateful that I can now travel to places I wouldn’t otherwise have considered. Every flight I take gets easier; Good news because my daughter is now expecting our first grandchild – in Toronto.”
A Reprieve from My Busy Life
“I have had the opportunity to know Ruth as a compassionate and skilled counsellor and therapist for over a decade. During that time she has provided support through life’s changes, both big and small. Ruth has the rare ability of blending both sincerity and candidness. Recently, she has acted as guide in my learning and understanding of mindfulness meditation. Her meditation CD – The Mindful Enneagram has provided a welcome reprieve from the busyness of my life as a working mother and wife.”