Because you’re not really feeling like this guy today

Brendon Olson, RMFT, CCC

Canadian Certified Counsellor, Speaker

You’ve come to the right place.
Each part of you is welcome here.

About Brendon

  • Born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta.
  • I graduated in 2008 with a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’ve been doing this for a while! Since graduating I’ve invested a lot in additional advanced trainings for working with trauma, addictions, depression, anxiety, burnout, eating disorders, couples, and families.
  • I have many years working with adult mental health issues, youth addictions and mental health, addictions in the family, and law enforcement professionals.
  • I've been married for 25 years and have two awesome boys. In my spare time I love to camp, mountain bike, play sports, read a good book, laugh, have meaningful conversations with people, and cheer for the best hockey team in Alberta.
  • Clients find me to be calm, curious, compassionate, and a wee bit funny.


— Dr. Gabor Maté

Therapy Services I Provide for teens, adults and Families

Serving these special populations:

  • First Responders
  • Spiritual Leaders
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Law Enforcement
  • Regular Imperfect People (like me)

My Specialties:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Family Therapy for Addiction and Mental Health Issues

I can also help with:

  • Addictions
  • Anger/Rage
  • Burnout/Caregiver Fatigue
  • Couples Therapy
  • Depression
  • Disordered Eating
  • Family Conflict
  • Parenting
  • Self-Criticism/Perfectionism
  • Self-Harm/Suicidal Thoughts
  • Traumatic Sports Injuries
  • Workplace Conflict

Many parts. One TRUE SELF.

Historically, having a divided mind was seen as mental illness/pathology. Many like me, now see that all of our minds and personalities are naturally subdivided into parts that form our internal system. More importantly, each person – no matter their background, quality of their parents, their mistakes, nor their traumas – has at their core, an authentic Self that isn’t one of those parts.  Some call this our Core or True Self, God Image, or Soul.

This authentic Self, when not constrained, is by nature calm, curious, compassionate, confident, courageous, creative, connected, and has clarity. It is meant to be the active, compassionate leader of our parts but it is often constrained by parts of us that have taken on protector roles to prevent, numb, or escape pain.

I can help you bring calmness and compassion to your mind when your authentic Self leads your parts, instead of your protector parts taking over YOU.

Non-Pathologizing Approach

Symptoms of mental health and addiction (and many physical symptoms!) are most often coming from parts of us that are functioning to help us avoid or disconnect from pain. My approach is non-pathologizing – not defining our problems as illness. The symptoms of mental health and addiction problems are very real but they are rarely the most important issue. Most symptoms are actually just coming from well-intentioned parts that are attempting to find a solution to pain. There are no bad parts in your internal system – only bad roles that they take on to help us prevent or escape pain.  This approach is called Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz.

I can help you get to the heart of the matter.

Heal the System, Not Just the Symptoms.

The best way to understand problems we experience in our lives and relationships is with a systemic lens. Without seeing how our mental health or behavioral symptoms function in our systems, the tendency is to miss the positive intentions of our parts that are behind those symptoms and miss how parts are stuck in their roles to help us deal with pain directly or to counteract the actions of another part intending to help us deal with pain.  Parts can get extreme and take over from our Authentic Selves to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed by pain.  As a result, life is mostly an experience of inner conflict between parts and their undesirable symptoms, behaviours or thoughts instead of actually dealing with the pain underlying the symptoms and leading our parts from our Authentic Selves.

A few random examples that illustrate the importance of working with the whole system, not just the symptoms…

  • – A part in one’s internal system that brings a person to use substances functions to prevent another part’s use of suicidal behaviours.
  • – A part that uses depression may be trying to counteract an anxious part by trying to help a person shut down and not care and worry so much. A self-harming part does what it does to counteract the numbing depression to help the person actually feel something. All of these parts fighting with each other over the best way to deal with a part that carries shame.
  • – A Caretaker part helps a person distract from her own loneliness by focusing on what everyone else needs, while an Angry part of her helps her not give any more and instead demand that others care for her so she doesn’t feel alone.

I can help you by working with the system of parts in your personality.  The parts that protect the system (and show up in problematic symptoms) can change their jobs when when the authentic Self is in the lead and when the vulnerable parts in the system are healed and unburdened from their pain.  

Soul-centered work grounded in cutting edge science.

I am passionate about and skilled in helping you connect with yourself, or more accurately, connect from your Authentic Self or Soul.   I meet you right where you are at and know how to help you heal as you make new connections with yourself and others.  There is a natural progression to the therapy – I’m not just winging it.

From a neuroscience perspective, a healthy person has a well-integrated brain with well-travelled connections between neural networks in our nervous system.  When we experience pain and suffering in this life, our nervous system and mind changes to prevent or escape from that pain – creating internal disconnections and conflicts between our neural networks.  Your nervous system heals with new connections and I can help with that!

Connect.  Heal.  Live.

Connecting from our selves. Connecting with others.

Welcome to a shift from thinking about ourselves to listening to and connecting with ourselves.  Often my sessions involve less talking between myself and the client and more supporting you to talk and connect with the different aspects or parts of yourself.  My approach is less about giving direction or challenging you to try harder, think differently, or gain a new skill, and more about helping you compassionately remove the constraints to the authentic YOU leading your parts.

Relationships are healed from the inside out – my approach with couples and families focuses less on the content and more on the process of what happens in and in between family members.  I provide a safe place to say what’s important to each other and take responsibility for what you do that contributes to a cycle of disconnection. I guide you on how to heal so those barriers only come out when you know you really need them.

My Main Therapy modalities:


Internal Family Systems Therapy

IFS therapy is a paradigm-shifting, non-pathologizing way of understanding people and a powerful means to a Soul-led life which brings us what we need to heal: new connections.  I am an IFS therapist and am currently one of only two level 3 (the highest level) trained IFS therapists in Alberta and have using this increasingly popular mode of being and therapy for almost 20 years.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Both ART and EMDR therapies use guided eye movements and dual attention to enable people’s minds and bodies to heal from the emotional distress and symptoms that may be the result of traumatic and disturbing life experiences. Clients often appreciate that these therapies don’t require talking in detail about what happened nor do they require the repeated return to the traumatic material.  Significant results can occur in only a few sessions.  I am trained in the use of both.


Emotionally Focused Therapy – for couples and families

The intention of EFT therapy is to create and solidify relational connection, increase trust, communicate relational needs and fears, talk about your experiences of the relationship and to make changes to behaviours because it improves the bond.  EFT has been shown to be the couples therapy with the highest evidence for success in treating couples.  I am an EFT therapist.