A podcast from Family Services of the North Shore

Join us as we chat about the issues, big and small, we’re all facing together. From heightened anxiety to parenting to finding joy in unexpected places, we’ll laugh and share relatable stories about what we’re learning – and our challenges along the way. Grab your walking shoes or fill up the sink and tune in for a lively discussion, including concrete tools and coping techniques you can apply across your own life.

Episode 10: How Validation Builds Self-Compassion for People with Eating Disorders

Our Director of Community & Provincial Programs including the Embody Eating Disorders Prevention and Awareness Program, Laurie Kohl, leads us through an insightful and informative conversation with Dr. Josie Geller, Clinical Psychologist and Director of Research in the Eating Disorders Program at St. Paul’s Hospital. Together they explore how validation builds self-compassion for people living with eating disorders, referring to Dr. Geller’s research focused on individuals with lived experience. Specifically, they look at levels of validation, the building blocks of self-compassion as well as the barriers to self-compassion. Their conversation is anchored in the ways parents, caregivers, and professionals can provide support, along with examples of how to do this.

Episode 10

Episode 9: Transition

In this informative and heartfelt episode, Valerie is joined by Beckham and Sheila, an adult child-parent team who share their journey navigating conversations around Beckham’s gender identity, and trans journey. Each share their experience; how it felt, the supports they found along the way, and where they are today.

This episode brings to life the importance of validation, acceptance, and unconditional love through the lenses of both parent and child. This tenacious team worked over many years to maintain and ultimately grow their relationship, while expanding understanding of themselves as individuals, and becoming involved in the issues facing LGBTQ2S+ communities.

Episode 9

Episode 8: Youth Mental Health

Valerie is joined by Taylor and Venus, both members of our Youth Leadership Advisory Board (YouthLAB) 2021-22. Each year Family Services of the North Shore invites 12 youth from across the North Shore to learn about mental health issues, and create a public awareness project to share with peers.

This episode is for youth and adults alike. If you’re a young person, you’ll get some good tips on managing stress and talking to the adults in your life. If you’re an adult, Taylor and Venus provide insights on what it’s like to be a teenager these days, as well as ways we can interact in meaningful ways with the young people in our lives.

In this wide ranging conversation, we talk about such things as social media, post-secondary education plans, and tools and ideas for taking care of your mental health. We also talk about the realities of their lives, and the complexities of being a teen in our world today.

Episode 8

Episode 7: Living with an Eating Disorder – A Hopeful Journey

Val is joined by two guests, Vicky and Joanna, both experts on eating disorders and disordered eating. Together they talk about the ways people of all genders can be pulled into this difficult experience, the stages, characteristics, and myths, and how family and loved ones can provide support.

Vicky, a social justice practicum student working with Embody, shares her own lived experience. Joanna Zelichowska is a Registered Clinical Counsellor  working in the field of eating disorders for over a decade, and manager of Embody Eating Disorders Awareness & Prevention Program. which supports youth, families, educators, and professionals across BC.

Episode 7

Episode 6: Grief and Loss

Valerie’s guest is John Dube who has specialized in bereavement work for the past couple of decades and is a Senior Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor at Family Services of the North Shore.

In this conversation Val and John talk about the stages of grief, John’s concept of the triple burden of grief, how friends and family can best offer support to a bereaved person, and how we can help ourselves when we experience a loss. Val and John talk about the important role of rituals such as funerals and memorials in the bereavement process, and they offer the comforting notion that every expression and individual experience of grief is normal.

We hope this episode provides comfort if you are in need of it, along with insights into this very common and often painful part of life.

Episode 6

Episode 5: Family Caregivers

Valerie’s guest is Janet Quenneville, the manager of our Caregivers Connect and Caring Connections for Seniors program.

In this episode Janet and Valerie talk about something that millions of Canadians are engaged in every year; taking on caregiving for an older friend or family member. Whether its driving your grandfather to his doctor’s appointments, or providing full time care for an aging spouse, the role of caregiver is often overlooked and sometimes under appreciated. We’ll discuss the many tasks a caregiver might take on as well as the symptoms of and remedies for caregiver exhaustion, and also, so importantly, some ideas about where to turn to for support.

If you are currently a caregiver for an older adult or realizing you could be stepping into this role at some point soon, we hope you’ll recognize yourself in this conversation. Our Caregivers Connect program is a way for you to reach out and meet others on this same journey. Ultimately, we want you know that you are not alone, and that there is help and support available.

Episode 5

Episide 4: Love Letter to our Volunteers

Valerie is joined by Michele Varley, our Senior Manager of Volunteer and Community Engagement, together they talk about the power of volunteerism not only to enhance our communities, but also to enhance the lives of volunteers.

We’ve referred to this conversation as a Love Letter to our own volunteers, and to all people who volunteer across the globe. This pandemic year has made clear the importance of seeing ourselves as part of a collective, and acting as if we are all responsible for each other. Nowhere has that been more evident than in the joyful, creative, passionate work of our Family Services of the North Shore volunteer team. This mighty group of over 600 people does work that is essential. In 2020 our volunteers gave over 10,000 hours of service and helped us raise more than $50,000 to buy groceries for hungry families!

Without our volunteers many of our programs would be impossible to run. Volunteers are an integral part of this agency’s team, and every day we are amazed and inspired by their commitment to compassionate, enthusiastic service.

If this past year has left you feeling anxious, lonely, sad or just plain unmotivated, we hope this podcast will leave you feeling energized and encouraged to reach out to us or to another local organization to volunteer. You will be providing an incredible service to your community, and some of those feelings of worry, loneliness, and sadness you may be experiencing will be lifted through your service to others.

Episode 4

Episode 3: Coping with Anxiety During a Pandemic

Valerie, our regular host, is incredibly passionate about the topic of Anxiety. For this reason, Val is the guest in this episode and interviewed by Julia Staub-French, clinical counsellor and Executive Director of Family Services of the North Shore. Together, the two explore the topic of Anxiety, specifically as it relates to the times we are living in now, with the pandemic.

They talk about how anxiety is impacting people’s lives now, people who may never have noticed anxiety before, and how it has escalated for those who were already dealing with Anxiety before the pandemic. They define anxiety; what it is, the good and the bad of it, and they distinguish the difference between anxiety and panic.

Finally, Val shares some tools and techniques that can be used wherever you are, to help ease your Anxiety.

Episode 3

Episode 2: Loving Your Body, Loving Yourself – During a Pandemic

Our guest is Joanna Zelichowska, a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has been working in the field of eating disorders for more than 10 years.  Together Val and Joanna talk about the ways the pandemic has affected many people’s relationship with food and body image, and some of the reasons why.  

We describe eating disorders as something much more than how many calories a person is eating in a day, and Joanna will offer ideas on how to start a conversation about disordered eating with someone you are concerned about.  We also talk about some of the ways we can be more at peace with our bodies during this very strange time.  

Joanna and the Embody team serve the province of British Columbia by providing eating disorders prevention education, resources, and support for youth, families, educators, and professionals.

Episode 2

Episode 1: Parenting During a Pandemic

Valerie’s guest is Julia Staub-French, clinical counsellor and Executive Director of the Agency. Together they explore the idea that while circumstances have changed, the basic principles of good parenting have not.

They talk about the concept that parents don’t have to be perfect, and in fact, attempting to be perfect parents often means not attending to the unique needs of ourselves or our children.

Parents are asked to consider how they are connecting with their kids during this time. Are we “checking out” with too much screen time or other distractions or are we authentically engaging with the lives of our children?

Parents are invited to be honest with kids about challenging circumstances while maintaining their role as problem solvers and adult leaders in the family.

Finally, Val and Julia talk about the silver lining of pandemic parenting, the opportunity for children and their parents to experience resilience.

Episode 1

About our Podcast

Join registered clinical counsellor Valerie Dolgin and her guests as they chat about the issues, big and small, we’re all facing together.

From heightened anxiety to pandemic parenting to finding joy in unexpected places, we’ll laugh and share relatable stories about what we’re learning – and our challenges along the way.

Grab your walking shoes or fill up the sink and tune in for a lively discussion, including concrete tools and coping techniques you can apply to your own life.