Launched in 2017 as a community and resource for parents, teachers, social workers, and psychotherapists to develop knowledge and skills necessary to build children & family resilience. The world climate today has created significant challenges for our children to grow up with a sense of safety and the ability to manage their own stress. Families are also experiencing greater stress and adverse experiences. If you are looking to support today’s children and families as they journey through the difficulties in life with maintaining your own clarity and minimize stress, then you are in the right place.
Hi! I’m Dr. Barbara Woods
I’m a psychotherapist specializing in supporting children, teens, adults and families as they navigate the difficulties of daily life. My private practice, Willow’s Bend Counselling Centre, Inc. is located in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. I have been blessed to work with so many various groups of people including children, adolescents, adults, teachers, and Indigenous communities in private practice. I have also provided multiple trainings to support therapists, teachers, and parents in understanding children of trauma. My clinical work tends to gravitate towards children who have experienced trauma or attachment disruptions. I love to crack the code on their behavioral difficulties and support the adults in these children’s lives too. When there is a clear path with guidance to avoid the pitfalls that parents, teachers, and people experience supporting these young people becomes so much easier.
My experience in treating childen of trauma didn’t start in the graduate school classroom. It actually started on a gravel road during 4th Grade. I was waiting at the end of my driveway for the bus when a stranger drove by and then turned around and drove by again. When he saw that my bother had joined me, he threw gravel all over and sped away only to approach the neighbor. Unfortunately, this man was terrorizing communities by attempting to abduct young girls who were waiting at bus stops. As a result of my witnessing this crime and ability to identify the car and man, I was frequently taken out of school to identify vehicles pulled over by police and to attend police line ups. So, in caring for your child, I don’t approach it from a text book. I appoach it from what I learned that day when my own safety and security were shattered. I lead them from a path of trauma to resilience as I follow alongside their journey.
I am hoping to bring the knowledge and skills I have developed through training and working with my clients to the important adults in these children’s lives. The impact of one supportive adult in the life of a child can make a huge difference in the future of a child who has struggled with difficult life events. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher for just one year, a foster parent for just a few months or a therapist working with a child for just a few sessions. You can impact and influence the life of a child in a brave, authentic, and magnificent way. You just need the skills to cultivate beauty in the chaos and tame the painful past some children have experienced.
Throughout my clinical experience, I have been committed to providing cutting edge interventions and information to parents, foster parents, teachers, social workers, and psychotherapists. I have also worked extensively with Indigenous clients, communities, and agencies in North America. These services included attending Indian Residential School (IRS) hearings, receiving a grant for Residential School Survivors following their hearings, and serving Indigenous clients in private practice. In addition, I was recently recognized as an expert witness in the local family courts related to childhood trauma. I am also involved with a group of psychotherapists who are advancing the use of essential oils to support emotional and mental wellness.
My commitment to the healing process doesn’t end when I leave the counselling room. My vision is to provide a supportive educational environment for parents, foster/adoptive parents, teachers, social workers to enhance their work with children and build resilient families. The solid foundation of current research in trauma, attachment, and interpersonal neurobiology provides a way for caregivers to understand a child’s behavior. An emphasis on mindfulness for caregivers (ie., parents, foster parents, teachers, social workers, and psychotherapists) provides a sense clarity and calm for dealing with problem behavior. The best ways of supporting any child is an inclusive system of caregivers that resonate the child’s worth and value even during the hard times.
Together we can build resilience in even the toughest child! Let’s get started on this journey!