Sensitivity to bright light, sounds and strange tastes and smells.
Tension in head and neck
Tingling/numbness/cold hands and feet
Vision problems (seeing dark spots, eye fatigue, going cross-eyed)
and many more
Stacey Ellertson interview with Jim Folk - Part 1
Stacey Ellertson interview with Jim Folk - Part 2
Stacey Ellertson interview with Jim Folk - Part 3
Jim Folk's interview with Adam about Adam's recovery - Part 1
Jim Folk's interview with Adam about Adam's recovery - Part 2
Jim Folk's interview with Adam about Adam's recovery - Part 3
Stacey understands the despair and
challenges of severely debilitating anxiety. His struggle began
almost immediately when he spent the first year of life in the
hospital, and the next nine years in and out of hospital due
to multiple surgeries.
Because of these early life experiences, Stacey’s childhood,
adolescence, and early adulthood years were filled with fear,
loneliness, and a sense of loss of control and inferiority.
Consequently, he learned to live anxiously, expecting that
bad things would continually happen to him.
Stacey did his best to try and feel better, by trying harder
and harder to be better and better, however, the persistent thought
of, "It's never enough," continued to pervade in his
To relieve the "gloom
and doom" he was feeling, Stacey began to sleep excessively,
because he found that his dream life was safer than his real
life. As a result, he often slept sixteen hours a day. Nicotine,
caffeine, and immersing himself into his work also became his
drugs of choice, all in an attempt to relieve the heaviness and
fear he was experiencing.
In 1991, Stacey experienced excruciating panic attacks, social
anxiety, and deep depression. It was during this time that
he seriously considered suicide.
That same year, Stacey sought counselling for his anxiety
and depression, which began his journey back to normal and
lasting health. Today, Stacey lives a life completely free
of debilitating panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.
Stacey has a Bachelor of Theology degree from Gardner College
in Camrose, Alberta; a Master of Arts degree in Christian Ministry
majoring in Marriage and Family Counselling; and a Master of
Arts degree in Leadership and Management with a major in Organizational
Because of Stacey's personal experience with anxiety and depression,
he is passionate about helping others. Stacey specializes in
offering support to adults and teenagers who are experiencing:
Debilitating anxiety, stress, and/or depression
Conflicts in the family, blended-family or marriage
Separation or divorce
Loss of meaning in life
Loss and grief
Fear, anger, or rage
Confusion or low self-confidence
And may find it difficult to:
Be in healthy relationships
Be satisfied and productive at work or school
Make good choices
Engage in appropriate parenting
Cope with life's stresses
Stay committed to a recovery program
Stacey is an Associate member of the Professional Association
of Canadian Christian Counsellors. He owns the Southwest Family
Life Centre in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
Stacey and his wife, LeeAnne, reside in Swift Current, Saskatchewan
with their two daughters. They attend the East Side Church
In April of 2012, while researching the symptoms of Lyme's disease, which I feared I had contracted, I found anxietycentre.com. The symptoms of Lyme's disease and anxiety disorder were almost identical.
I had been through a bunch of medical tests, including CT scans, blood test, lung X-rays, speriometry, heart ultrasounds, etc. I was sure I was dying from some mysterious undiagnosed disease. I was prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. The world had become a desolate and sinister place back then, and I felt like my days were numbered.
After reading the biographies of the counsellors on the website, I chose to set up an appointment with Stacey. He was a reassuring voice and enlightening presence during those dark days. Between our phone sessions, reading the website materials, and some lifestyle changes, I slowly began to regain control of my life. I learned that anxiety disorder didn't happen overnight, that it had been brewing all my life. I had been taught to be fearful and anxious as an infant by my parents, who were just doing the best they could at the time.
I was able to start working again. My physical, emotional, and financial health slowly began to improve. Bit by bit, my experience began to shift. Every month I felt a little stronger, a little more confident.
A little over a year has passed, and it's hard to even imagine that I couldn't sleep without taking an Ativan. I am no longer at the mercy of a negative inner dialogue, and respond to life's ups and downs in a more effective manner. I feel optimistic about the future now. I am much happier, and am able to appreciate all the things I have in my life. Although I still experience some anxiety from time to time, I am no longer thrown into turmoil by it. I know I have more work to do, but I can enjoy the process and am grateful for it. I am able to count my blessings these days...
I would say that the biggest benefit of my sessions with Stacey is that I learned not to be afraid of my symptoms. By learning not to be afraid of my symptoms, my anxiety began to subside. I learned that anxiety and fear are inside jobs, and I was given tools to change that. Being armed with this knowledge, and putting the techniques into practice, was very empowering. As the anxiety subsided, so did the symptoms. My physical, mental, and emotional health improved, as I learned to be more self-accepting.
I didn't think I could afford to pay for therapy, but in retrospect, I could not afford to continue without it. Therapy was probably the best investment I have ever made.
In August 2011, the peak of my anxiety roared like an angry lion with no relief in sight. It had been such a long time since I had experienced this level of intensity that I panicked when my prayers seemed to go unanswered.
I found a counselor, and after that session, I thought there has got to be someone better who can help. While surfing the Internet for anxiety websites, I came across anxietycentre.com. What a blessing and lifesaver this has been to me! I can't even begin to explain how much this website, combined with the counseling from Stacey, has helped me make huge strides in moving forward.
An illness with my dad in 2010, along with other stresses, triggered my anxiety again. Going through anxietycentre.com’s program, I now better understand all of this - the belief systems, underlying factors, and behaviors/habits that contribute to anxiety.
For anyone out there, I highly recommend counseling. If you can't afford it, contact a counselor anyway, as they are willing to work with you. The fact that Stacey and others have been through this really makes a difference.
I must admit, I haven't been as diligent lately and I can tell because my symptoms have increased. However, I now have the tools to just go back and start over. It may not sound good, but believe me, it is because now you will have the tools and info always at your disposal. I know a lot of folks fear rebounds, setbacks, and such. But Stacey helped with that immensely, and now I just go back and re-read them. I know where to find him if I need him. At least now I don't have the level of fear that I can't do anything about my anxiety. I know that's not true. It does take time, but more importantly, consistency. Even with the increased symptoms, it's a long way from where I was a year or so ago.
I am SO very thankful for Jim Folk and everyone that commits their lives and time to helping the rest of us. There is hope folks! Always!
I have suffered off and on with anxiety for most of my life. I did lots of therapy, read all the books, tried different remedies but never learned how to manage my thoughts and feelings effectively. This last bout of anxiety I experienced was by far the worst. I was a mess.
I have to honestly say that that I was truly blessed the day I found anxietycentre.com; and I am sure it was “Divine Intervention” that brought Stacey Ellertson into my life. He was the light of hope at a very dark time.
My experience working with Stacey has been nothing short of extraordinary. He has a way of explaining what goes on physiologically in an anxious person’s body that helped me to better understand how my thoughts and reactions to my feelings and sensations were feeding my fear. He listens and hears what you are saying. He has a way of tactfully calling you on your “stuff”. His demeanor is calming and compassionate.
I really looked forward to our sessions and although I miss talking to him, he is always with me each day as I apply what he has taught me.
What I know for sure is that recovery from anxiety is an ongoing process. Applying what you learn doesn’t stop just because you feel better.
I thank Jim Folk for creating the anxietycentre.com website that is such a comprehensive and valuable resource for all anxiety sufferers. And, most importantly, I thank you, Stacey, from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and facilitating my growth to become more whole. Thank you!
To anyone suffering from anxiety in this fast paced world full of stress and pressure, I highly recommend seeking the advice from the true professionals at the anxietycentre.com and their fantastic website.
Being a former marine and patriarch of my family and business, I would never have thought of counseling or seeking advice from strangers! So when I decided to visit their website and signed up for personal coaching with Stacey Ellertson, my life was changed!
I learned that I was living a toxic lifestyle and discovered my underlying issues that were causing a lot of my anxiety!
We all need an oil change and Stacey was a fantastic resource during this difficult time in life! I highly recommend their program to others and am happy to say I feel wonderful and look forward to a life free from anxiety! Thanks again, Stacey Ellertson, for the great work you do!
Cheers, Doug, USA
Struggling with anxiety and all that it entails sucks. There are no two ways around it. It festers and grows like a fungus. For me, it started off with a panic attack about 7 years ago. Terrifying would be an understatement. I continued to bear the brunt of an illness I didn’t understand which added to my life of panic and uncertainty. The weeks of anxiety turned into months and quickly the years passed by. Life had, seemingly out of the blue, become a painful struggle. The good times didn’t seem that good and the bad times sure were awful and often scary. I was an emotional mess when I found the Anxiety Centre in 2010.
Initially, I felt I could read every word on the website and train myself into getting better. The website was a huge help but unfortunately, wasn’t to be my only route. I made an appointment with a local psychologist who told me, “Chris, you need to get in touch with my philosophical side.” Was he joking? Seriously? About a month later, I made one of the finest decisions of my life. I contacted Stacey for an initial phone discussion.
Stacey gave me the ability to breath again (literally) after our first appointment. My continued journey to recovery has been long, windy, exciting, frustrating, beautiful. I’ve learned more about myself in the past 15 months than in my 35 years prior. This journey would have been impossible without Stacey, my trusted advisor. Stacey has shown compassion when needed and held me accountable at all times. He has provided me with all the tools needed to move forward with confidence and balance.
I highly recommend Stacey, without ANY reservation, to anyone who struggles with anxiety.
I worked with Stacey for 18 months, and from the first
meeting I was so relieved to talk with someone who listened
and understood all the thoughts and symptoms I was experiencing.
Working with Stacey was an answer to my prayers. Stacey was
kind, compassionate and very professional in teaching me
about the reasons behind my anxiety symptoms, helping to
learn to contain my emotions, and make positive changes in
my thinking and actions.
Stacey incorporated a strong Christian faith perspective,
and used the Bible and teachings of Jesus as a basis for
his therapy. My experience of working with Stacey brought
me closer to the Lord, and what I believe His plan is for
my life. Thank you Stacey for your gifts of healing, ministry
and love. I am so happy to be symptom-free, and no longer
fearful of anxiety. These are the verses I will carry forward
Matthew 11: 28-30 "Come to
me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give
you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for
I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest
for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Suzanne Murphy, USA
Like many who suffer from anxiety, I was convinced that I had something wrong with me. I had every test performed and consulted with every type of doctor and received nothing but healthy results. I was adamant that they were missing something so (like every great worrier) I took to the internet to diagnose myself. Usually this is an extremely self destructive way to go about things but fortunately for me, my mindless browsing led me to Anxietycentre.com.
It was there that I began working with Stacey Ellertson. I immediately found comfort in the fact that he had once gone through the same trouble with anxiety that I had. After just a few weeks of working with him I began to notice improvement and as a result I started to really believe I could overcome this for good. I worked with Stacey over the following 7 months until he felt I was ready to graduate from the program.
My experience with the Anxiety Centre and Stacey Ellertson was life changing. I can’t thank him enough for the support and help he gave me during a difficult stage of my life. The program that was set up to help address my anxiety helped me realize what exactly it is and how it works. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that working with someone who has gone through anxiety and depression in their own life and overcame it, is far more beneficial than working with anyone else.
Thank you anxietycentre.com and thank you Stacey!
Daniel R., USA
Speaking from experience gave Stacey credibility that my previous therapist lacked. Stacey?s knowledge of how anxiety works and his encouraging coaching comforted me that I could beat it. His advice and techniques proved effective in calming my nervous system, allowing for confidence and rational thinking to set in. Thanks Stacey and the Anxietycentre.com.
At long last . . ..
When I started working with Stacey in the summer of 2009, my life was a toxic combination of dread, stress, unrealistic expectations, and chaos. Although there were no overnight miracles and a few setbacks along the way, I was able to slowly dig myself out of this dark hole with Stacey's advise, encouragement, and support.
My life has changed dramatically and I am excited about my future for the first time in a long while. Stacey was an active partner in my recovery whose own experiences wrestling with these demons gave me the knowledge that recovery was possible and that no setback was insurmountable.
The compassion of someone who understood what it was like to walk in my shoes who could help me celebrate my small victories and put the next set of challenges into their proper context made me feel like I was never alone in this struggle. Stacey genuinely cares and his practical, common sense advice, coupled with honest feedback, was a huge part in my recovery.
Three and a half years ago, I found myself in a situation
where I felt completely stuck!!! It was my mind, so how was
I ever supposed to escape it? My life haulted, and although
I was physically going through life, emotionally, I was not
there. I knew this was not right, so I sought out counseling.
I was temporarily feeling better, but still did not feel
like myself. I found anxietycentre.com on-line towards the
end of 2007 and signed up. The information was realistic!!
It sounded hopeful!! I became to feel like myself again.
Still, though, something was missing. I decided I wanted
to feel like myself again and not have horrible thoughts
about myself and life in general. I was sick and tired of
feeling sick and tired. In the summer of 2008, I decided
to try the counseling from anxietycentre.com. THIS WAS THE
BEST DECISION I'VE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE!!! Stacey Ellertson
is AMAZING!!! He is knowledgeable about anxiety and depression,
and everything he told me throughout our sessions was true!
There were days I'd still feel hopeless, but I would just
trust the process. Sure enough, the process worked!! I started
thinking differently and my life has turned around!!
Granted, I still have days where I may be down or anxious
about something, BUT THIS IS NORMAL!! What has changed is
that I no longer obsess over feeling this way, so those days
are few and I quickly bounce back!!
I am so grateful to Stacey and anxietycentre.om. Their program
and kind hearts could be improving and saving many lives!!
I pray many are able to find them, TRUST THEM, and get back
to living life to the fullest :-)
It has been a long time since we last chatted. I just
wanted to let you know that I'm feeling great again. My anxiety
condition came on fast and left me fast. It was a struggle,
but you gave me the counseling and tools that I needed to
get through the rough times. I learned anxiety is a very
scary and real thing, but can be beaten if you just realize,
to let it go, it doesn't have to be scary, just ride out
the scary moments like surfing a wave...it will pass and
I'll be ok!
Since our meetings, I've been helping others and passing
on the wonderful advice that you have shared with me. You
have been the world’s largest help to me. You helped me get
through my hard times when I thought there was nothing I could
do. I can't offer enough thanks to you! It's been a tough two
years but my condition has been beaten and I'm now back to
loving life’s precious moments.
Thanks so much.
Logan M., Canada
I decided to seek counselling through
the Anxiety Centre in May of 2008 and it was the best decision
I could have made. Stacey is a true professional who has "been
there". He is easy to talk to and listens for what the
real issues are. Then we work together to address them.
I feel as though Stacey and I are
true partners in my recovery. I honestly don't think I
would be feeling as well as I do without him. Thank you
Stacey, and the Anxiety Centre, for making my life a whole
lot happier, and me a whole lot healthier!
Stacey has been wonderful over the past year while I struggled
with the lowest point of my life. He was always there to
remind me that I wasn't going crazy, that this was just anxiety
and depression, and he helped me find my way to much better
days. While I'm not 100% recovered yet, Stacey helped me
get to the point where I could return to work and return
to the outside world.
When I first started working with Stacey I was an absolute
wreck and was quickly become suicidal. Stacey reminded me
that he had been through this and had come out the other
side with a much brighter future, and that this path could
be mine also if I would practice patience and believe it
to be true. I am much happier and peaceful today than at
anytime during the past year and a half.
Thank-you, Julie, USA
For nearly a decade I struggled
with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. For seven
and a half years, I coped by taking medication, but became
disillusioned with the prospect that I would have to take
meds for the remainder of my life. During that time I never
fully understood what was happening to my body. My psychiatrist
at the time told me I needed to accept that I would need
to accept this "illness" just
like someone with diabetes.
Needless to say, even with the meds, I just got by.
Anxietycentre.com and Stacey Ellertson came into my life,
and I discovered the truth about what I was experiencing.
Stacey, with his compassion and understanding, helped me
greatly. I am now three months into recovery, thanks to Stacey
and anxietycentre.com, and have no plans to look back.
Nick M, USA
By the time I encountered Stacey,
I was at my wits end. I had been to countless specialists
and read every book and there was no improvement. That gentle
and understanding voice at the end of the phone became my
Stacey has a great combination of deep
experience mixed with compassion while also not accepting
any excuses. I am almost recovered from what was easily the
worst period in my life.
Six months of counselling are coming to a close. Six months
of looking at my past, pausing in my present and gazing toward
my future - six long months of gut wrenching discovery and
light-bulb popping realizations. If I could, would I change
what lay in the dust behind me? You bet! Will I use that
dust to mold the future diarama ahead - Yes!
Decade after decade I was whatever "you" wanted
me to be. I set you up in the control tower and said, steer
my ship; direct my path; and, make my decisions - and, you
did. Now I say "Stop!" I breath deeply, I open
my eyes and I see all around me as the traffic in my life
grounds to a halt. I move into the control tower and I start
finding the pieces that are me - attitudes, values, belief
"Go", I say. In unison,
the wheels begin to turn once more. I am gathering data
like a software program might conduct a search when you
type in the right word. I am compiling and analysing and
storing so I can be truly me in the middle of all the decisions
I will make over the next decades of my life. My path may
be a little imperfect and the scenery may change along
the way but it will be me choosing which fork in the road
that I will take and what lies ahead will be my discovery
as I set my compass on true north - my wise old-woman's