As an avid reader, Phyllis Chan has always enjoyed reading biographies, especially those that conclude with a happy ending.
And in her professional role as a clinical counsellor, she views her work as a way of “reading” through a person’s life story, that, with her assistance, can also have new chapters written that are filled with happiness.
“Since I was young, I’ve enjoyed reading stories,” Chan says. “Now, as a counsellor, I find my job is like being a co-author of someone’s biography, and it’s my goal for them to create the ending they deserve.
“I find the opportunity to help someone that way a privilege.”
Chan has her own practice in Richmond, Horizon Counselling, where she offers services for clients dealing with addictions. She also provides family counselling, helps with depression, anxiety, trauma, and guidance with career changes, job losses, and education choices.
“I help my clients identify their courage, their strength and other assets to help find themselves again,” adds Chan, who holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from UBC, has more than 15 years of experience in the field.
She is also a contract counsellor with the BC Responsible and Problem Gambling program.
Chan says she knew from an early age that she was sensitive to others’ emotions and feelings.
“I was empathetic. I could read into what people were feeling and understand what they were going through,” she says.
“Those are essential attributes for a counsellor to have, to be able to see the story behind someone’s emotions.”
Chan started on her road to becoming a counsellor after being a teacher in her native Hong Kong.
“I always enjoyed helping people, and part of that was when I was in the classroom,” she explains. “Then it was said to me that since I enjoyed teaching and was good at that, why not consider being a counsellor and start helping people differently - assisting those looking to return to their previous values so that they can reach their true potential.”
For more information about Chan’s practice and how she can help write positive passages into your life story, visit horizoncounselling.ca. Appointments are available for in-person visits (using strict COVID-19 protocols) or through Telehealth and online sessions.