Jill Zimmer

Jill Zimmer

B.A., M.A., CPCS
Counselling Therapist/Anxiety Coach
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Jill's areas of focus in counselling:

  • Depression vs Sadness
  • Anxiety vs. Stress
  • Complicated Grief and Loss
  • Ambiguous Grief and Loss
  • The “Myth” of Closure
  • Life Transitions
  • Trauma and Resilience
  • Relational Issues (family, friends, co-workers)
  • Pre-marriage, Marriage, Separation, Divorce and Re-marriage.
  • Identity Issues (Individual, Family/Community, Place/Circumstance)
  • Spiritual Issues (Questions, History, Integration)
  • Existential Questions and Experiences (Living well, Dying well, Forgiveness, Reconciliation)
  • Young Adults (23-30), Mid-Life Adults (31-60), Seniors (61 plus)

Jill experienced the following symptoms:

  • Inability to turn off thoughts
  • Distracted
  • Mental Gymnastics (or “Tennis Match” thinking)
  • Rumination
  • Pre-occupation with ‘getting it right’ or intense feelings of guilt when I don’t
  • Perfectionism (noticing what’s not ‘right’ vs ‘good enough’ thinking)
  • Identity disturbance and questioning
  • Anger, frustration, irritability
  • Inability to stay asleep
  • Uncontrolled crying/inability to cry
  • Racing Heart
  • Muscle Tension and Headaches; Poor Circulation
  • Imbalanced internal vs. external responses to stress and responsibility
  • Sensitive to environment changes in weather, sound or mood
  • Digestive Issues

Jill's Biography

Professional Qualifications:

Jill holds the highest level of certification with the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Jill is a Certified Professional Counselling Supervisor ‘CPCS” with “PACCP” – 20140110). In late 2021 the College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta (CCTA) will be opening and will regulate the field of Counselling Therapy in Alberta where Jill currently resides and practices. Jill’s official title as a member of this regulatory college will be Registered Counselling Therapist (RCT).

Jill holds a Master of Arts Degree in Counselling and continues to gain valuable certifying experience in several fields within the counselling/psychology realm. Jill’s most recent trainings have been focused in the areas of anxiety, neurobiology and online therapeutic support. Jill holds Level 2 Training in Gottman Marriage Therapy and continue to update her learnings through regular Gottman certified trainings; Jill is a certified Taylor Johnson Temperament Analyst and has extensive training in Enneagram theory. Jill has also completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and currently serves on her professional association National Ethics Complaints Committee as Chair. Jill spends time support churches in providing mental health referrals and provides supportive care to help them integrate their spiritual supports alongside caring well for their local community. Jill has been an insured private practice mental health provider for over 15 years.

Jill’s Anxiety Story:

As a young girl Jill distinctly remembers laying in her bed consumed with thoughts around ‘how would I solve ‘x’ if it happened?” Jill’s body would then begin to respond physically to these ‘perceived’ scenarios with various feelings and she would map out actions for what she might have to do should these scenarios actually occur. Of course, most of the time nothing of what she ‘thought’ would ever happen but her mind began to be shaped by this rumination. Jill never shared these worries, concerns and fears with anyone and subsequently developed a pervasive habit of internalizing all of her stress. She was constantly plagued with stomach aches, headaches and digestive issues as a child but for all anyone ever knew she was a quiet, unobtrusive, responsible and mild-mannered kid with not a worry in the world.

This became so much the experience of Jill’s life, living almost exclusively in her head, that she rarely chose to actually ‘live’ her own life on purpose. Jill would become so paralyzed by making decisions that might lead to failure, embarrassment or disappointment that she often just didn’t do anything that couldn’t concretely affirm to be ‘fine’. So, the answer to “Should I?” was usually “No.” This became her script of choice till about mid-way through her college years when she had a ‘break-down’ which in turn became Jill’s first ‘break-through’.

For many of us relationships – whether successful or not – become ground zero for some of the most fertile learning experiences of our self. It was in these places Jill first began noticing that how she was living and what she was thinking – and HOW she was thinking – were beginning to cement harmful beliefs about herself and the people in her life. Jill started recognizing everyday experiences were becoming more difficult to navigate and find peace within. In turn, she started to see these changes were not only affecting her ability to love well but perhaps even more destructive, her ability to receive Love.

Today, as a result of perseverance and faith, Jill finds herself more able to embrace the daily ‘gift’ of using the tools she was given to support re-orienting herself successfully to balance. Jill recognizes that her ‘doing’ was easier to manipulate because of her innate sense of responsibility but it was her low access to ‘feelings’ and her distorted ‘thinking’ that she struggled most to find healing and once she did, the ‘doing’ of what she was learning finally began to make a difference. Jill now helps individuals find their own unique integrative balance between their body, heart and mind that helps to reduce their anxiety symptoms and find for themselves a life that feels full and whole.

Jill knew from a young age that her delight in hearing the stories of people around her would play a significant role in her future. After tragedy hit in early adulthood she was forced to ‘change’ life direction and moved fortuitously into becoming the Counselling Therapist she is today. With a strong sense of truth-telling and need to give empathy she delights in the stories people courageously tell and how they have survived. She is blessed and amazed everyday by the resilience of the human spirit and can’t believe she gets to do this ‘work’ on purpose.

Virtually an empty nester now (are we ever?) she is transitioning from a dynamic family life to one of more vocational freedom. Mom and Wife to a large and delightful motley crew of a family she continues to work out of her residential office in Calgary, Canada. Born and raised in Alberta Jill delights in being surrounded by both the Rocky Mountains and Prairies. She has lived in both Canada and USA and has travelled extensively both ‘home’ and abroad – very interesting considering Jill is an introvert who likes a stable, non-changing life!

Friends, discussions about faith and politics over meals (two things allegedly never to be discussed with food involved!), eclectic volunteering, rest/retreat and learning are the other ways she chooses to fill the spaces of her life left over from that above.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including anxiety psychotherapist Jill Zimmer.