Hi, my name is Nick Graziadei and I'm the founder, owner and principal counsellor at Path Forward Counselling. I have been working in the mental health field for 10 years and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology from Simon Fraser University. I have also completed my Master in Counselling Psychology from Adler University. I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC ) with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC).
In addition to the above, my lived experience has given me insight into the realities of mental health. Twelve years ago, I was struggling with my own mental health. Outside of the symptoms I was experiencing, I felt an enormous amount of guilt and shame. I constantly asked myself "why me", ashamed to be in public. I share this now as someone who was able to turn it around. I know what it's like to sit with intense emotional pain, not knowing where the way out is.
I was driven to create Path Forward Counselling because I experienced the fear of not knowing where the first step forward was. Fortunately, I came across some amazing mental health professionals throughout my struggles. The ones that were able to connect were the ones that passionately worked to understand my unique experience rather than pushing me into a standardized approach. They were able to walk beside me when I had no idea which direction to go in. I still remember the nurse that held my hand while asking me, "how can I be your advocate?" This professional understood the artistic balance of respecting the clients' knowledge, moving away from the "normal" intervention and the power of creating therapeutic relationships. I learned from these professionals and apply these lessons to my work every day.
This experience has left me with a passion to walk with clients in a caring, respectful and collaborative way. My belief is that through creating a therapeutic relationship with a counsellor you can begin to understand and accept your authentic self. Removing the metaphorical masks that society has pushed you to wear can be both terrifying and liberating. When you do this, you can begin to feel a reduction of emotional and physical pain. This movement toward congruence and authenticity may not always be easy, however it is worth it.
As I was once lost, hiding behind many masks, my goal is to walk with you while taking those first crucial steps. We all hold such amazing strength and there are moments where we need to be reminded of these very beautiful aspects of our humanity. The human condition can be difficult, appearing like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. I hope to help lift some of the weight you are carrying. It is normal to go through ups and downs, and asking for help is a beautiful sign of strength!
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