The OSRP is proud to present Student Stories, a blog series that spotlights Student Members and their journeys to becoming registered psychotherapists. In this edition, we hear from OSRP Student Member Lauren Jeffery.

By: Lauren Jeffery, RP(Q), MA, CEA, CTDP

There comes a time, in everyone’s life, that they reach a point. A point where a shift is required, whether that be personal or professional. A shift that is yet unknown to you. This point in your life may seem unmanageable, overwhelming/underwhelming, or down-right out of control-scary.

Welcome to my 2019.

In January of that year, I finally admitted to myself, with the help of a few folks, that I was physically disabled and needed help. Through a total hip and knee replacement and hours of rehab, not to mention the significant reduction of physical pain and discomfort, I decided to further my education by applying for the MACP (Master of Counselling and Psychology). The way I saw it, I needed something to do while I was figuring out the rest of my life.

I also did a lot of dreaming and fantasizing during that time. It is incredibly humbling to have to teach yourself how to walk up and down stairs properly or to get back on your beloved bicycle for the first time in seven years. The one thing that kept resurfacing and became a mantra for me was, ‘What type of life do I want to lead?’

The answer is that I want to lead an authentic life that allows me to do what I do best –– help people. The best way I can help is through education, consultation, and counselling. When I started my master’s program I struggled terribly with feeling like a fraud –– hello Imposter Syndrome! At that point, many of my classmates were already actively employed in some sort of “helper” field and I was in Financial Services. As the program progressed, I started to realize that I needed to draw upon my experiences to somehow reconcile all the new knowledge that I was putting into my head, and I’m so glad I did.

Fast forward six months, countless essays later, COVID brought the world to a halt. For a moment, we all were suspended in a strange place where nothing made sense to anyone. The markets didn’t know how to act, everyone learned about the importance of supply chains, and suddenly, our lives were forced to pivot. It was then that I decided to lean in. I recognized that some of my friends, family, and acquaintances had hit their limits, and so I took a deep breath and pushed through offering a non-judgmental ear if folks needed one. I sent emails, made phone calls, and simply listened.

It was a scary time. It still is for some, and I can appreciate that.

Here is what I have learned thus far; financial advisors, and adjacent professionals (CFP, Insurance, etc.) are in a unique position as they have a duty of care to ensure they manage their clients’ financial affairs appropriately. However, appropriately looks quite different today. As such this requires us to really know and understand our clients in a deeper, more holistic way. Realizing this is when my personal shift took place.

When it comes right down to it, I’m a solutionist. So, although it took 20 years in the brokerage industry, a master’s in counselling psychology, a fromager certificate (yes, I love cheese), and a pandemic to really put my finger on it, I’m now using my outside-of-the-box skillset in psychotherapy, consulting, and compliance, to run a practice that helps finance professionals get through shifts of all kinds so they can live better lives, run better businesses, and mitigate risks.

I am here to help.

To get in touch with Lauren, please contact info@point-shift.ca