Karen Gibson M.A. (Counselling) - Registered Therapist
Karen specializes in therapy for:
- Anxiety disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Stress management
- Marriage and family counselling
- Relationship repair after infidelity
- Discernment Counselling for couples
- Navigating separation and divorce
- Communication issues
- Cross-cultural relationships and communication
- Family of origin
- Faith Crises
- Pastoral counselling
Karen has experienced the following symptoms:
- Deep discouragement
- Difficulty with focus and concentration
- Fear of judgment by others
- Fear of losing control
- Feelings of impending doom
- Guilt and shame
- Imagining/expecting the worst
- Negative/obsessive thinking
- Obsessive thoughts
- Social anxiety/withdrawal
Karen grew up in a stable, loving home surrounded by a supportive extended family. Despite this, she struggled with low self-esteem throughout adolescence and most of her adulthood. She often felt overshadowed by others who she perceived as more talented, attractive, or skilled. As a result, Karen developed negative, self-defeating thought patterns and narratives which affected her ability to live with clarity and confidence.
As a young adult, Karen was involved in a variety of cross-cultural volunteer experiences. While volunteering in the West Indies, she met her husband. They married and lived on a small island for several years, where they raised their two young sons. It was during these years of cultural adjustment, parenting with minimal family support, marital challenges, and suffering from extreme loneliness that Karen began to struggle with depression. While she was generally able to keep up with her daily duties as a wife and mother, her mood, energy level, and ability to embrace life were deeply impacted.
In 2002 Karen returned to Canada with her family, where she experienced more change along with new stressors related to parenting, finances, professional and academic pursuits, and the loss of significant friendships. Her depression continued, and daily anxiety became a reality. It was only through faith, determination, and the ongoing support of family and friends that Karen has been able to experience healing in her heart and mind.
Karen has always enjoyed making deep connections with people, which is what inspired her to earn a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her own struggle with self-worth, depression, and anxiety have shaped her to become an empathic and caring counsellor. She finds deep joy in helping people experience healing and wholeness in their lives.Karen continues to enjoy developing meaningful relationships with people from other cultures. Through her faith community, she is actively involved in sponsoring and welcoming refugees, and helping these newcomers begin a new chapter of their lives.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder coach, counselor, or therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Signs and Symptoms; common Anxiety Attack Symptoms; the symptoms of panic attack disorder; anxiety Recovery Support area; information about Anxiety; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate link or graphic below:
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated January 1, 2019.