Walk & Talk Counselling For Women

Val Warner BA MSW RSW
Counsellor - Speaker - Writer
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Val Warner


What Qualifies Val To Provide Counselling

Work, Training, & Education

Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Toronto with clinical training at the Board of Education
Social worker for 2 years, Toronto Family Court Clinic
Psychiatric Social Worker for 6 years, Ottawa General Hospital
Group Leader for 2 years at the Winnipeg Child Guidance Clinic, teaching the Systematic Training of Effective Parenting Program
Field Instructor for 2 years, University of Manitoba School of Social Work
Small Group Leader, Contemporary Women Course, Calgary

Over 50 Years of Life Experience

Highlights Include:

Two "heavenly" daughters-Jana (heaven in Arabic) and Lani (heaven in Hawaiian).

Molokai mule ride down 1700 feet of the highest sea cliffs in the world to the Kalaupapa leper colony

Five days on horseback for the Hooves of History 2000 cattle drive
Solo skydiving at the age of 50
Hydra Broncing on the Bow River
Allowing my girlfriend's husband to take me up in the two seater plane he built and living to tell about it
Horseback riding in Maui, Italy, Serbo-Croatia, and Sarcee Reserve
Mastering (downhill skiing) the sheerest slopes in North America
Dog team with Inuit to Fort Prince of Whales (lived two years in Churchhill Manitoba - the polar bear capital).
I have lived in Ottawa, Fort Churchill, Madison Wisconsin, Toronto, Winnipeg, San Diego, and best of all Calgary
Over twenty-five trips to my home away from home, at Maui Sands, Hawaii
2nd place in the Austrian Club Alpine Ski Race (only 2 entered in the 50-60 age group!!!)
Bareback riding at EagleFeatherRiding.ab.ca
Swimming with the dolphins in Cuba

Val's daughter Lani swimming with the dolphins in Cuba.





De-Mystifying Counselling

Val Warner, BA MSW RSW

When I graduated with my Masters Degree and found my first job in an Ottawa psychiatric clinic, I admit I was terrified. I was part of a 'team' approach - the others being a psychiatrist, family physician, psychologist, and a nurse. It was bad enough that I felt intimidated by the experience, age, and expertise surrounding me. What made it worse was that I was convinced that every term bandied about - psychotic, neurotic, paranoid, inadequate, etc. etc. - referred to me, too! I acted confident on the outside, but inside I was scared someone would see through my acting and discover the insecure little girl who lurked below the surface.

As time passed, and after getting to know my colleagues better, it slowly dawned on me that all of us - male or female, young or old - were hiding our true selves behind a mature 'know it all' façade. What was hidden? The longing to be liked for who we really were, with our imperfections and frailties. In fact, this is the very essence of counseling - helping people to like themselves with their own unique flaws. Only then can we be more accepting of others and their idiosyncrasies.

Good counsellors see themselves as equal, not superior, to those who come to them for guidance. In my own case it wasn't until I had counseling myself, provided by our clinic director Dr. Erwin Koranyi, that I started making headway in the area of self-acceptance. Unless we face, and overcome, similar struggles it is hard to help others in difficulty.

Parenting provided an amazing learning experience. Until I had my first child I thought it would 'come naturally'. My first hour home with my brand new daughter convinced me it wasn't going to be so easy, and by the time she was 2 years old I was desperately in need of a good parenting course. Not only did I enroll in one, I went on to teach the course in the following years, giving validity to the old expression "you teach what you want to learn." I laugh (and shudder) at some of the advice I gave to parents before I had kids of my own and found out it is the best, and definitely the hardest, job in the world!

Historically our society has preached independence and self-reliance when it comes to family problems, however we can all benefit at times from the help of others. Dentists need dental work themselves just like everyone else, but the right one can still fix your teeth. The same holds true for counselors. Good ones are honest and will admit they never have their lives under perfect control. No one does. But a counselor may, through his/her own personal growth and professional development, be able to help you find more fulfillment in your life by sharing some of their insights.

For a print ready version of De-Mystifying Counselling click here



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