Joanne Onerheim, MA, RCC
Deciding to engage in therapy is usually a result of suffering painful emotions, indescribable anxiety or being stuck in a life pattern that is destructive to relationships or oneself. I have the experience and skills to help most clients navigate the most challenging circumstances life presents. These challenges may include difficulties in relationships, overwhelming emotions, addiction, a sense of hopeless and regret or grieving the death of a loved one. People seldom seek therapy unless they have tried to work through things on their own and decide they need help. I can help you.
For a free phone consultation call (778) 388-9241
I have worked successfully with clients who suffer with anxiety including panic attacks, obsessions and compulsions, crippling self-consciousness or relentless insomnia and rumination. I find the best plan of attack for anxiety is targeting negative thinking, first and foremost, and understanding the patterns and biases of negative thinking that pit us against ourselves. Most often the thinking patterns are routed in negative Core Beliefs, established early in life or in adolescence, which no longer serve us (well, never did!) Cognitive restructuring is the therapeutic term for this process.
Depression can feel like we are at the bottom of a well, with no way out. Setting small goals and being accountable can help us begin the process of re-engaging in life and healing. Reconnecting with a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life is essential to overcoming depression. An exploration of values and a reconnection to others is part of the process I help clients navigate.
Addiction is a complex mental health issue and varies with each individual. I like to do a thorough assessment to understand the roots of the addictive disorder whether it’s substances, shopping, food, sex or internet addiction: What are you medicating? For some it may be numbing difficult emotions like grief and loss or disconnection from self. For others, it may be an attempt to dissolve an overly critical voice or social anxiety. For others, what began as fun and “partying” has become an out-of-control obsession that has led to the destruction of relationships and health. I help clients set goals to minimize the harm that addictive disorders have on their lives. Changing addictive patterns means relearning ways of being that have been lost and reconnecting to our authentic self.
Relationships are the litmus test for our mental health and are usually where we find difficult emotions are triggered resulting in interpersonal problems. Learning to be mindful in our communication, using wise mind rather than emotion mind takes practice. Learning how to be effective in our communication, without judgement, is the first step in navigating relationships in a more positive direction. Becoming more tolerant and accepting of the people in our lives, enjoying their uniqueness is possible and can result in greater fulfillment in our relationships.
Joanne Onerheim is one of the best cousellors I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a few!), including psychiatrists and psychologists). I first saw her at one of the lowest points of my life when I was suffering the effects of alcohol abuse and bipolar disorder. She soon made me see it as a turning point and, over the course of a year and beyond, I improved steadily. She inspired me to work on all areas of my life: relationships, health, spirituality, and, most importantly, self-acceptance. Even though I am no longer her client I am still aided by her words of wisdom and encouragement.
When I first met Joanne, I was a 43 year old struggling with a substance use disorder and an anxiety disorder. I had also suffered with bouts of depression all my life. I had recently left a 10 year profession that may have left me with post-traumatic stress disorder as well.
I tried to resolve these issues on my own to no avail. I had also sought the assistance of several professional counsellors who were quite helpful, but it wasn’t until I met Joanne that things started to change for the better.
The very first time I met Joanne, she was extremely warm and empathetic and I instantly felt comfortable sharing my story with her. Over the course of our first few sessions, I realized that Joanne was interested in working with me, rather than simply telling me what to do. Instead of taking a one-sized fits all approach, she listened to my likes and dislikes and helped me develop a very personalized plan that worked for me. I believe that we are all different and I was so impressed with Joanne’s ability to treat me as an individual and develop a strategy that suited me perfectly.
What impressed me the most however was that Joanne went well above and beyond what I would expect of any counsellor. I have been involved in a very difficult situation over the past couple years and Joanne has been a genuine life-line for me. She offered to assist me over the phone and by email, even after our counselling sessions had come to an end.
It’s been over 2 years since I first met Joanne and I have been sober ever since. My anxiety and depression remain in remission and I am dealing with my difficult situation with a lot more tranquility.
I credit Joanne for helping me turn things around and I will forever be grateful for her assistance.
Words that come to mind when I hear the name Joanne Onerheim. Without a doubt, kind and compassionate. I ‘ve been blessed and honored to have been counseled by Joanne. In my personal opinion Joanne has a unique approach, I’ve been to many other counselors who seem to use the same cookie cutter approach with most of their clients of which I’m not a huge fan of their almost robotic. Joanne brings a sensible down to earth approach of which I find soothing. Joanne always greets me with a sincere and warm smile which sets a wonderful tone for our sessions. Joanne stays on point and tells me what I need to hear and not want I want to hear. Her sincerity relaxes me and ensures me I’m in a safe place to discuss my issues and allows me to open up. Joanne’s knowledge and wisdom has benefited me greatly. Joanne equipped me with many useful coping tools for my many issues and more importantly helped me to implement these tools in an effective manner. Joanne always stayed on top of my progress and whenever I started to slip back into my old behaviors she made me well aware of it and I’m grateful for her doing so. Joanne helped me to grow as a father, son, friend and overall better individual. The world is a better place because of intellectual and kind hearted woman such as Joanne. Joanne in my opinion is changing lives with the work she does. My life has improved ten fold largely due to the splendid works of Joanne Onerheim.