Derek Thiessen

Counselling & Coaching

Healing starts from within and with another

Counselling Principles

person's hands forming triangle
person's hands forming triangle
man in white sleeveless top
man in white sleeveless top
spiral concrete staircase
spiral concrete staircase
white ceramic coffee mug filled with black liquid
white ceramic coffee mug filled with black liquid

We are designed for connection, yet life experiences often send us in the other direction. In order to "retrieve our soul", it is essential we find ways to reconnect with our human needs in ways that benefit us both in the short and long-run.


Being balanced involves acknowledging our extreme tendencies and finding a way to return to a state of equilibrium. Whether we tend to be overly emotional or intellectual, too busy or too idle, the ability to recognize and regulate these tendencies is essential for well-being.


Life is complex. We live with paleolithic emotions, medieval rules, and super-human technology. Our minds and bodies are not fully equipped to handle it. Therefore, we need to find flexible ways to be our best even when the conditions are not ideal.

Personal Patterns

Our lives are often lived on the surface with little reflection of what is happening beneath. When we create space to go deeper into what is playing itself out in the background we might be able to resolve the unintended and persistent problems in our lives.

Ideal Self

We all hold within ourselves an ideal of who we would like to be. Yet, often there are invisible scripts for our lives that tell us who we are supposed to be rather than who we truly are. The key to reaching our peak performance is working through the barriers that keep us from accessing this ideal self.

Undoing Aloneness

Life circumstances can place us in states of emotional isolation wherein we feel unsafe expressing ourselves - often in fear of how others might react. Our emotions are guides to our well-being, therefore it becomes essential to create the conditions in which we can learn to feel them again, especially in the presence of another.

man standing in front of the window
man standing in front of the window
snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime
snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

Our lives are often spent trying to find solutions to problems outside ourselves. We search endlessly for answers in the hopes that we might find something new. Yet, much of this soul-searching seems futile, because most often the very thing we seek lies within and has simply been lost amidst the noise of life. When we can learn to come back to our innate capacities and reconnect with what was born into us, we often find there is something authentic and real. The following quotes summarize this thinking:

Moving Towards "Soul Retrieval"

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own soul. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes."

-Carl Jung-

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."



Derek’s therapeutic approach is rooted in the belief that every person has the innate potential to lead a gratifying existence in harmony with their true values and deepest yearnings. As a therapist, he endeavours to cultivate a bond of trust and safety with his clients, encouraging them to strive for these values and embrace growth even amid discomfort. By providing attuned and empathic responses, Derek helps clients explore and process their difficult emotions and validates their experiences. He also encourages clients to access and express their positive emotions, such as joy, gratitude, and love.

Simplified explanation:
Let's create a space where you can safely explore and experience what you're going through so that you can move towards something of meaning rather than getting stuck on the same thing.


yellow flower
yellow flower

To create a customized approach that meets the unique needs of each client, Derek incorporates a blend of therapeutic modalities. He places a strong emphasis on a trauma-informed approach, recognizing the impact that past experiences can have on one's mental health.

For those curious souls out there, his approach draws primarily from Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). His therapeutic experience extends across different age groups, and he has supported clients experiencing diverse concerns such as anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, identity, trauma, addiction, life transitions, relationship issues and mental performance.

In other words:
My approach draws upon therapies that develop your ability to experience connection, balance, flexibility, growth, meaning, and insight.

Athlete Counselling

As a former high-performance volleyball player, I have a passion for working with the unique needs and demands of athletes. Since hanging up my shoes, I have been drawn towards helping athletes develop their mental skills as a means for reaching their physical goals. In recent years this has meant building a bridge to fix the gap that exists between mental performance and mental health psychology. I believe that athletes can be incredibly gritty, hard-working, perfection-seeking, and relentless, yet also can maintain a healthy relationship with themselves, their bodies, and those around them. But finding this balance often comes with its own internal conflicts and tensions that need to be resolved first.

If you're interested in working with me as a hybrid coach and counsellor, book a session today.

Ready to get started?

Book a Session

Counselling Session

A 50-minute in-person or virtual counselling and/or mental performance appointment tailored to your unique needs, presenting concerns, or goals.

  • Cost: $135 + GST

  • Sliding scale available upon request

yellow rolling chair near window
yellow rolling chair near window

Have any questions?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


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