with Tina Antrobus MA CCC
WE WELLNESS combines the transformative healing power of counselling, connecting with nature, and the practice of mindful photography. Tina shares a vast experience as a Canadian Certified Counsellor supporting individuals, couples, and families for over twenty years. Her areas of specialty include; anxiety/depression, grief/loss (including pet loss), understanding and supporting neurodiversity (FASD, ASD, ADHD, trauma), parenting through trauma, compassion fatigue/caregiver burnout, healing attachment trauma and fostering healthy relationships, and coping with life transitions.
Tina combines traditional and non-traditional therapeutic approaches to help others explore a deeper connection within themselves, their relationships with others, and with the natural world. She holds space that empowers people to recognize their strengths, develop compassion and understanding of their personal and relational challenges, and encourages practical steps toward healing. Incorporating a MINDFULNESS practice and NATURE BASED THERAPIES can provide an added sense of grounding, safety, and connection; and can be helpful in supporting physical and mental health and improve one’s ability to cope with many of life’s challenges. For more information about counselling services and support, or to schedule a consultation, CONTACT Tina.
Through her own journey of healing from grief and loss and compassion fatigue, Tina developed a wellness practice that includes MINDFUL PHOTOGRAPHY, and has come to understand the value of this expressive medium and the immense physical and mental health benefits derived from connecting with oneself and with nature in this way. Tina shares HER STORY, a personal journey of healing and finding a way back to herself through the transformative process of connecting with NATURE through a lens, with the hope that others may find understanding and validation in the shared experience and be encouraged to begin their own healing journey.
Providing accessible and flexible online/telehealth counselling services and support to residents of British Columbia and Alberta.
Connecting to the healing power of Nature. Providing individual and group therapeutic support and guidance online or in Nature-based settings incorporating mindful practices.
Guided instruction in the use of photography as a therapeutic tool. Includes basic camera instruction, guided mindfulness practice, and connecting with yourself and the world around you through the lens.
A Journey of Healing through the lens
It was in the shadow of my grief that I found mindful photography, or maybe it found me. My grieving process was sudden, dark, and consuming. I struggled to move forward with the normal activities of life, going to work, seeing friends and family, even the basics of eating, sleeping and bathing were a struggle. Being a counsellor, I understood that grief was a process, that my sense of normal had been shattered and that feeling the feelings, giving myself space and time to move through the web and flow of grieving was the way forward. What I didn’t know was what to do next, how to get through each day, each moment with these thoughts and feelings that would flood my heart, mind, and spirit.
I had received a red Nikon Coolpix camera as a gift some time ago but had rarely used it. I had an interest in photography, a fleeting yearning to connect with my creative side, but I hadn’t really pursued this interest in any meaningful way. Little did I know, this little red camera would become a lifeline during the darkest days of my grief. One day, at one of my lowest moments, when the darkness of my grief swept over me, when I could barely find the strength to get out of bed or brush my teeth, I made a decision. I needed to force myself to get outside, be in Nature. I had always felt a sense of peace and calm in Nature. There was something about being amongst the trees, the plants, even the moss on the ground that I felt understood and supported somehow. It was a place I could be alone, but not feel alone if that makes sense. So, in the darkest time of my grieving, I decided, today I was going to take my little red camera, get on my bike and ride the woodland trails near my house. I was going to feel the wind on my face, take a deep breath of fresh air, ride my bike until my body ached, and just allow the tears to flow for as long as they needed to. Thus it began . . . my journey back to myself through the lens. Each day, I forced myself to do this . . . and each day I felt my mind/body/spirt reconnect with the healing power of Nature and with my little red camera in hand, I started to explore the Natural world through my lens. This was life changing in more ways than I even realized at the time. In my reflections, this was the lifeline I needed to keep moving froward, with my grief, with my loss, and the way I discovered myself again, or maybe rather, a truer sense of myself, then I had known before.
Today, several years later, nature photography has become not only a huge passion of mine and something I share with my partner, but it has become a vital part of my wellness practice. It has offered me a way to explore my relationship with the natural world and mindfully connect with Nature and wildlife in a transformative way. It has become a source of grounding, safety, and calm for me during my hardest of times, and a way to connect with my thoughts, feelings, and my senses, instilling hope and a way forward. It has helped me connect with something greater than my sorrows and personal challenges, offering an expansive perspective and awareness through the pain and hurt, through the fatigue and exhaustion, through the depression and the anxiety.
What is MINDFULNESS?
AWARENESS and ACCEPTANCE are main components of mindful practice. Some might mistakenly assume that mindful practice is about shutting off the mind. On the contrary, mindful practice is about expanding and focusing your awareness and attention, and connecting with that which is within you (breath, bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings), and that which is outside of you (the environment and the natural world) in an intentional way. As you expand your awareness and connect with yourself and with the world around you with complete acceptance and without judgment, expectations, or demands, you can connect with feelings of calm, clarity, compassion, and a sense of well being. This in fact, helps one learn to “declutter” the mind so to speak, and can have many positive physical and mental health benefits:
Reduced symptoms of distress, such as depression/anxiety, chronic stress, trauma symptoms
Improved body awareness and ability to manage physical and emotional pain
Improved heart function, immune system response, sleep
Improvements in memory, attention/concentration, processing speed, cognitive function
Greater satisfaction in personal relationships
Greater feelings of “happiness” and satisfaction with life and goals
Improved ability to adapt to stressful situations and cope with stress
Greater compassion and empathy for self and other
MINDFULNESS IN NATURE offers extraordinary benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. Research has shown that being outside and taking therapy into nature has inherent benefits as Nature itself is an environment of healing properties, fresh air, trees, calming sounds, limited noise and air pollution, all of which have inherent benefits for both the mind and body.The pace of nature slows down the mind and body, the heart rate reduces, breathing become rhythmic. This quiet connection with the mind and body creates a perfect instance for being fully present and aware. Developing a mindful connection with the natural world can be healing in ways that many believe are innate and instinctual, but we have lost in the fast-paced, technologically driven, disconnected and fragmented world we find ourselves in today.
MINDFUL PHOTOGRAPHY is a unique way to experience and connect with yourself and the world around you, through a lens. Using the camera as an extension of the senses . . . we can slow the fast pace of life, we can open our awareness, and connect with the present moment. We can connect with what is happening inside of us, with non-judgment, and we can extend ourselves and our focus on our environment and our inter-connection with all that surrounds us. The goal of mindful photography is to move beyond sight and skill, to connect with an embodied experience, as the camera and lens become a tool to expand one’s present awareness and explore our interconnection with all that we have become aware. MINDFUL PHOTOGRAPHY IN NATURE has added benefits as you can imagine, as we explore our interconnection with the natural world and its unique healing benefits.