About Judy: Trauma Therapist / Addictions Recovery Therapist

I bring a rich balance of education, professional and personal experience to your counselling sessions. While I value my knowledge and experience of current theories to promote healing from trauma and addictions, I also encourage you to respect and honor your inner wisdom to guide your unique individual journey.

My Counselling Training and Experience

I have a wealth of experience and education in therapy accumulated over 20 plus years working as a counsellor in healthcare and corrections; residential and outpatient addiction treatment settings, and in my private therapy practice. My experience has taught me that while clients may share similar feelings or experiences, recovery and healing is definitely not ‘one-size fits all’. Each client brings with them an often untapped resource of unique strengths and capabilities.

Degree/Certifications

  • Master of Arts in Leadership and Training: Royal Roads University
  • Langara College: Yoga Teacher Certification
  • Langara College: Therapeutic Yoga for Trauma, Resilience and Emotional Well-being
  • Addiction Counsellor Certification: Vancouver Community College
  • Problem Gambling Counsellor Training: Level 1 & 2. Province of BC
  • Focusing-Oriented Complex Trauma Therapy Certification: Pacific Centre for Focusing
  • Focusing Certifying Coordinator: New York Focusing Institute

Memberships

  • Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (# 1085) and also hold Master Therapeutic Counsellor and Registered Counselling Supervisor designations with Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada
  • Yoga Alliance: Registered Yoga Teacher Designation (RYT-200)
  • Member of the New York Focusing Institute of New York
  • Former Board Member of the Women’s Addiction Foundation, Vancouver

Publications

  • Integrating Treatment of Tobacco with Other Substances. Becoming Trauma Informed (2012) Poole/Lyon
  • Bridging the Gaps: A Case for Integrated Trauma Treatment (2007) RRU Thesis
  • Focusing on healing: disordered eating, trauma and addictions. Visions:Women (Winter 2004). Vol. 2, No. 4
  • PTSD and Focusing. International Focusing Journal: Folio (1998)

Accomplishments

  • BC Mental Health and Addictions Award of Excellence (2011)
  • Presenter at iTag Annual Meeting: Community Focus – Women-centered Tobacco Interventions (April 2011)
  • Working Group Member of BC Society of Transition Houses Reducing Barriers Project (2009–2011)
  • Presenter at Women’s Substance Use Treatment: Celebrating and Moving Forward (2003), National Conference in honor of Aurora Centre’s 30th Anniversary Conference
  • Presenter at Eating Disorder Awareness Week Public Presentations (EDAW 2002 and 2003)
  • Interviewed for CKVU TV during Eating Disorder Awareness week on comorbidity issues (2002)
  • Co-developed and co-facilitated a 12 week Trauma group for the Aurora Centre Aftercare Program

My Story of Healing

As a young girl I had a dream of being a nurse or a teacher. Life circumstances didn’t unfold as I had planned resulting in my dropping out of high school at 16 years of age. I held a variety of jobs as a cashier and sales clerk, telephone operator, car rental manager and bank loan collection officer. I was insecure, struggling and miserable on the inside, but always presented a smiling face to others. I felt as though I was just existing and struggling to even do that.

I was anxious and terrified all the time and I coped by developing a disordered pattern of eating; using alcohol, drugs, and became a workaholic. I used these unhealthy behaviors to feel, to not feel, to have fun, or to provide me with the ability to feel good about myself or the courage I needed to socialize.

Judy LyonI experienced numerous health issues that seemed to have no specific causes or lasting solutions. I was on a slow, lonely, painful road to death. While I didn’t know it at the time, the day in 1987 when I woke up overwhelmed and no longer able to cope or contain my emotions, was a precious gift. This awakening led me to seek professional counselling and begin a journey of rediscovery.

I learned through therapy that I had never developed a relationship with myself, which made it almost impossible for me to be in a healthy relationship with anyone else. I discovered how I had let others control or guide my decisions about what was best for me, ignoring my own needs and intuition. Before counselling I had no awareness of the impact earlier experiences of abuse had on my ability to respect or value myself. Nor had I been aware of the influence of intergenerational trauma experienced by my parents and grandparents on my life outlook and expectations.

After a challenging yet rewarding therapeutic journey, I felt hopeful about my future possibilities. With continued support, I remained abstinent from all mood altering substances and from a recurring childhood eating disorder. Over time, even my health drastically improved.

I felt inspired once again to pursue my childhood passion to become a nurse or a teacher with a bit of a different twist. I believe finding the knowledgeable counsellors who understood the impact of childhood trauma and my own willingness to look at the darkest, most painful parts of my past saved my life and it seemed like a natural evolution to be drawn to the helping professions.

Being accepted to school to begin my education as a counsellor was the perfect balance between my original vision of nursing and teaching.

I no longer need to look outside of myself for my own happiness and success. I lead a fulfilling life and am a committed lifelong learner. I love to explore creative outlets such as photography and writing, appreciate quality time spent with family and friends, and enjoy spending time in nature.

I want you to have your own journey of healing. I would be honoured to help you along the way.

It is possible for you to change… the wisdom you need is already within you!

Contact me today!

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