Dr. Meaghen Johnston, RSW
I am a strength based and person-centered counsellor who provides support to individuals who are seeking emotional support in dealing with various life challenges. As a social worker, my practice began in hospice and palliative care, and extended into examining identity during times of change and transition. With this generalist approach I work across a wide variety of issues, with specialized training in the areas of identity, vulnerability, shame, self compassion, and grief and loss.
In my academic work I have focused my research on the concept of identity development, and the importance of future thinking. In 2012, I completed my PhD in Social Work at the University of British Columbia. Drawing from my clinical experience working with youth in palliative care, my Doctoral dissertation was a narrative study that explored the future thinking of adolescents living with a life-threatening illness. In 2012 I was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Society for Research on Identity Development. I was a Professor of Social Work for six years with a teaching focus on Family Social Work, Assessment Practices and Counselling Skills.
I am passionate about understanding the importance of identity development across the lifespan, and in particular, during times of life transition. Recognizing commonalities in shared struggles and connecting individuals to themselves and to one another is a key goal for me in my work with individuals and groups. I strongly believe that living each day with renewed energy to connect to the joy or struggle that presents itself in life is part of our shared humanity. This belief led me most recently to complete facilitator training for The Daring Way ™ and Rising Strong™ and I am integrating this work into both my counselling practice as well as by offering groups based on this experiential method.
My training as a Social Worker combined with my experience as a Counsellor provides a solid foundation from which I provide support to clients. The perspective of social work that situates the individual within their social context offers a unique framework for understanding the challenges, strengths and resources that exist in our social contexts.
So, who am I really? I am curious about all people, and always have been. I see my greatest strength as the ability to really “see” people on a level where I can appreciate their struggles and work with them to optimize their potential. I am intuitive, caring, and I am not afraid to “dig deep” to promote healing and self-discovery. I believe in accountability, and surround myself with people who I know will hold me accountable for showing up in the world as my best possible self. I like strong coffee, music, and laughter, best combined…and then repeat. I thrive on “real” connection, believe that we all need a tribe of support, and am grateful each day that I found this amazing work.