Barb Leigh, MA, CCC   Anxiety, depression, relationships - 301 - 220 Brew Street    Port Moody  V3H 0E5      604.992.1914
Photo of Barb Leigh, counsellor in marriage/relationship issues, depression, anxiety, stress, anger management.
  Calm anxiety.  Elevate your mood.  Improve your relationship.

Is anxiety or depression keeping you from living the kind of life you would really like?  Did you know that just a  few sessions of counselling can give some relief on a stressful life?  That time out from busy, goal-oriented activity is a way of becoming more efficient and reaching those goals?

It may seem counter-intuitive to make time for an hour of therapy when your life is already so busy, but my clients tell me that their hour is a haven of peace where the focus is on them, and the insights they garner in session continue to help during the following week or weeks.  

When people gain insight into their own behaviour and thought patterns their lives often improve.  You can change your thinking, change your relationships, change your life. 

 If you have been dealing with  anxiety, depression or unexplained irritability, I can help you explore your thoughts and find out how to change them: from anxiety to confidence, from depression to peaceful acceptance, from conflicted arguments to loving discussions. 

Thanks to an extensive 4-day workshop on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy by David D. Burns, MD, I discovered a variety of ways for addressing depression and anxiety.  

 Hand-outs explaining specific techniques such as cognitive distortions and roadblocks to communication are available at end of sessions.

As well as CBT, I work with clients via EFT, or tapping, and find that this offers much relief. 

For those clients who wish to go deeper, we use Lifespan Integration to discover the roots of the problem, work to dismiss the emotional charge and live life more fully and peacefully in the present.  

Here are some insights clients are willing to share

"My anxiety level went from 10 to 2 in just one session, and I learned how to do the tapping technique myself at home in case it occurred again."  C.B., 41 

"I realized I was a people pleaser all my life.  Communication techniques helped me set boundaries and assert my own needs in a respectful way."  S.C., 44

"I came in feeling a lot of resentment, and by end of session, I had reduced it to almost nil. "  R.G. 29

  Is it time to do something about your stress?  your anxiety? your irritability?
Call 604.992.1914 for a brief consult and/or to make an appointment. 

                                                 Improve your relationship.
Perhaps you are sensing a disconnect with your spouse/partner or conflicts are escalating into shouting matches and hurt feelings.  Many couples say they feel safe and fully heard and understood after just one session - and not just by me, who is fully trained to do just that, but by their partners as well. 

"The counsellor is the voice of reason, a sounding board, and she validates both speakers."  R.H., 53

" I learned that we were both prone to being defensive and counter-attacking and how best to change to communicating in a more productive way."  P. L., 33.

It is not always necessary for both partners to attend couples or marriage counseling.  Sometimes  male clients call, asking for help in how to communicate with their female spouses/partners.  What a good idea!  And it is an equally good idea for women to do so - the truth is we do communicate differently, and this is simply a learning strategy to help you improve your couple closeness and understanding of each other.  

 "I have to say, I feel so good and empowered and hopeful right now. Thank you!" K.N., 27

On the other hand, when couples argue, it is sometimes not about their communication skills, but a reaction to unhealed childhood hurts that are triggered by something said in anger.  Again, individual counselling can uncover and heal old memories, and thus make way for a more peaceful relationship.

"We started to connect more in sessions - we realized it was about the hurt, not just moving on."       J.L., 40

As a couples counsellor, I help you investigate the positive aspects of your life together.  Using latest methods for marriage/relationship counselling developed by top therapists in Canada and the U.S. I work with you to develop better relationship skills and to get out of crisis mode/negative cycle if this is what is happening.   This includes a detailed 5-step map to improve communication and conflict resolution - this has proven to work well even for those who are conflict-avoidant!

The communication skills package also helps those who have shut down and those who have been shut down.  Little by little, partners who go to marriage counselling learn how to really listen and respond without blame, without criticism, without denial and thus get to the root of the problem and reconnect with the love, respect and admiration they felt at the beginning of the relationship.

As a couples counsellor, this is one thing I say again and again to my clients:

"Remember that you are not the enemies of each other!   It is your stress, or your financial situation or your heavy work load that is the enemy."

Once couples realize this, they can go on to learning ways to support and love each other despite these obstacles. 
"If we hadn't come to see you a year ago, we would probably have been divorced by now.  We learned so much about good communication and still have your hand-outs posted on our fridge!" 

I also help newer couples who are not in crisis, but want some relationship counselling on how to enhance their partnership and how to nurture and accept each other.

Marriage counselling is NOT just for couples in crisis!  

 If your spouse or significant other suggests that the two of you need some couples counselling, listen to her/him.   This is vitally important.  

 Too many couples come in AFTER one partner decides he/she has had enough and moved out.   They may have lost hope that the relationship can still work, they may have found someone else who will really listen or they may have found that independent living suits them better than living as roommates.  It is much more difficult to repair your couple relationship if this happens.  

Call 604.992.1914 for a brief consult and/or to make an appointment.

                                                              Defeat depression.  

Did you know there are 42 different strategies to change your way of thinking to bring yourself out of depression and on to a more fulfilled life?  Depression can deplete your energy; depression can make you feel that you are at the bottom of a big dark hole and that there is no way out; depression can make you feel utterly useless and alone.  

Who wants to live that way?   Who does not want to find a better, happier way to live?  

Call 604.992.1914 for a brief consult and to book an appointment.   Just taking that small step may put you on the road to a more fulfilling, happier life

Within the  counselling sessions, we can work on rediscovering your positive strengths, overcoming  depression and learning better coping skills.  You can learn how to set small goals for yourself that will permit you to lead a happier, more fulfilling life.  You can start paying attention to what you want in life and stop getting hooked by what you don't want. 

New techniques, scientifically researched for effectiveness, are based on mind-body connections, often made in childhood.  These connections may be at the root of  depression or even relationship/couple issues.

Whether you are dealing with depression due to work, family or relationship issues, the act of taking an hour for yourself with a counsellor can be seen as a first step in self-care and self-awareness which leads to an improved sense of contentment with life.

"Just knowing I had someplace to go where I could talk in an unguarded way gave me comfort."   K.T., 57

Sometimes the very act of making an appointment motivates people to get out of their lethargy and start moving.  Going for a daily walk, no matter what the temperature is, can improve mood, and being accountable for just this one small goal between sessions has proven beneficial.  And there is an added benefit if you want to lose weight!

Here is what one client said after two months , 5 sessions, and a 19 lb weight loss:

"Being able to talk with someone who is neutral clears the mind.  The handout on coping statements lowered stress level at work."  R. U., 30

And another client had this to say:

"Knowing that I would be seeing you the following week made me accountable.  I managed to complete one small goal every day and that was so helpful in lifting me out of my depression."  C.B., 48

Call 604.992.1914 for a brief consult and/or to make an appointment.

Repair family impasses.  Find peace within.

Sometimes family members just stop talking to each other, usually as the result of an argument that escalates out of control.  Taking time-outs is a recognized way of calming down and tapping into the rational brain, but when the time-outs last for years, something needs to be done to kick start the process of making up.  And what better time to do this than now, so you can leave the uncomfortable low feeling of something not being quite right in your past? 

Just a few sessions of communications coaching may lead to healthy repairs.

                                       Lifespan Integration

     I am passionate about my work and make a practice of keeping up with the latest research, whether it is for marriage counselling, anxiety, depression, stress or communication.    I have recently trained in LI, or Lifespan Integration, a wonderful new method whereby painful childhood memories are processed to bring peace and closure and thus enable the adult self to go about their life more calmly and purposefully.  Already, present clients are telling me that they notice a difference, and equally wonderfully, their nearest and dearest are telling them that they too notice a difference!

      "Thank you again for the powerful session recently.  It was amazing.  THANK YOU!"   L.R., 32

     "A thought occurred to me in our L.I. session today:  I am allowed to relax! "  N.B., 33
    "The anger towards my parents changed and I was able to see many more positives in my life history."  S.P., 34

     " Both my wife and daughter say I am much less irritable since I dealt with my abusive childhood through Lifespan Integration.   And I feel like all the anger has just gone away. "





Here is a summary of what we might focus on in therapy using a variety of counselling methods for both individuals and couples:

  • Step-by-step coaching of communication skills with your spouse/partner/teen/colleague
  • How to go from reacting angrily to acting peacefully
  • Skilled practice in asserting your own needs and emotions in respectful, non-judgmental ways
  • Scientifically researched and statistically proven tips  in couples counselling to improve relationships
  • Strategies to overcome depression and anxiety, geared to your  personality
  • Techniques for stress reduction
  • Exploration of how childhood memories impact your life now. 

     Together we explore your inner strengths, beliefs, and values and with your specific input as to problems disrupting your life, set goals and determine the best therapy. You will recognize and be able to follow your life path with confidence and courage.

Couples in counselling sessions say they improve positivity and understanding of negative cycles after just one session. The communications handout gives a workable guide between sessions and helps immediately to lower tension between partners, or between parents and children. 

     Please call 604-992-1914 for a consultation and/or to set up an appointment.  Currently accepting new clients. 

                                                Find my office.
My office is easily accessed either by car or by public transit from anywhere in the Tri-Cities area, whether Port Moody, Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam, or from Burnaby, Maple Ridge or Mission.    

Page 3 of this site offers a map for exact location. 

Suite 301  220 Brew Street
Port Moody
V3H 0E5

T: 604-992-1914

Individual or Couple Counselling for Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge and surrounding areas.

"Walk life's path with easy grace."

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