We provide trauma-informed counselling services, ADHD/mental health assessments and medical care, workshops, and training for other therapists.
Tell us about yourself?
I’ve worked in mental health for just over 11 years now and have experience in hospitals, college counselling centres, the justice system, and not-for-profit community mental health. I was drawn into work with mental health given my own experiences with trauma and healing and also witnessing the important role mental health care played in the lives of people important to me. I wanted to be the safe and effective therapist I knew people so desperately needed and weren’t always able to find.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Always trust your instincts. I’ve been fortunate not to have made too many missteps along the way, but when I have, it’s because I’ve wavered on what I knew was the right decision. When this happens, it’s usually because I’m getting into people pleasing or doubting myself, and it’s always a mistake. Ironically, no one ends up pleased either.
What problem does your business solve?
The need for quality mental health care offered by relatable therapists, who are at their best because of excellent working conditions.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Prior to starting my own business, I worked in mental health care in the public and community service sectors. While I valued the affordable access those sectors offered, I often found resource limitations compromised the quality of care. I also recognized in my efforts to try and compensate for resource limitations, I was going through consistent cycles of burnout. I saw this in my colleagues as well.
So I decided Blueprint would be a place where we could provide the high quality of care I desired for my clients, still offer some capacity for low cost/affordable care through a social enterprise model, and offer good work-life balance for our team of professionals.
What is your magic sauce?
As a queer, neurodivergent therapist, I know how important it can be to find a therapist with a shared identity. I wanted Blueprint to be a space where folks could find counsellors with a deep understanding of their experience that comes from shared identities. Our team is comprised of folks with a number of intersecting identities and experiences so that everyone can find a counsellor who reflects important aspects of their identity. It also helps us learn and grow as we consult with one another about client experiences and identities of which we don’t have first-hand knowledge. This leads to a space where people feel the fullness of their identity and experience is seen and affirmed. It also leads to very little turnover in our team, which provides consistency for our clients.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Part of our ongoing growth has been centred around building a team that can meet a variety of needs for a diverse client population. It’s hard to find the right therapist, and we want to have the right people on our team so we can make that easy for folks. So, my first goal is to fill a few of the skill/knowledge gaps we still have on our team. We’re almost there.
We’re also seeing amazing results with our clients, and we really want to help other therapists, particularly those new to practice, see the same results. So, the next few years will see us really growing our training and consulting (often called supervision in the therapy world) programs.
Finally, I’ve spent the last two years training in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and I’m just beginning to train other members of the team in this promising area of practice. As the legal avenues for offering these treatments continue to open up, I expect the demand for these services will grow considerably over the next five years. We’ll be well-positioned to lead the way with access to safe and knowledgeable providers.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I think the biggest challenge is really fostering a supportive and connected organizational culture, given the complexity of our hybrid model of care. Some of our team members don’t live locally, and even those who do tend to just come into the office for their appointments and then leave. I think this flexibility is one of the things that makes it a great place to work, but we’re also trying to find ways to be intentional about building community amongst the team.
The other issue we’ve run into is with regard to space. Commercial landlords often don’t understand the complexity of our work and are not necessarily as committed to accessibility and inclusion as we are. Ensuring we have an office space that works for all our clients as we continue to grow has been a challenge.
How can people get involved?
We’re always looking to partner with organizations that are interested in the mental wellness of their teams. We offer workshops and executive coaching on self-compassion, becoming a trans-affirming workplace, self-leadership, feedback resilience, equity and inclusion in the workplace, and relational intelligence. We’re also interested in exploring offering customized employee assistance programming for organizations invested in their team’s wellness. Visit our website at www.bpcounselling.com to learn more.
With our rapid growth, we’re also often looking for new members for our collaborative team. We’re particularly interested in folks who are trauma-informed and trained in evidence-based whole-person models for trauma healing and resolution. We welcome applications from both new and experienced clinicians who reflect the diversity of the clients we serve.