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 almost 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.

EVERY HUMAN HAS A TRUE AUTHENTIC SELF. TRAUMA IS THE DISCONNECTION FROM IT AND HEALING IS THE RECONNECTION TO IT.”​

— 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
  • Family Therapy for Addiction and Mental Health Issues
  • Faith/Spiritual Integration

I can also help with:

  • Addictions
  • Anger/Rage
  • Anxiety/Panic
  • 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 Soul.

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 the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, 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 your symptoms function in your system, 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 because of the behaviours of other parts in the system and because they don’t trust that we’re capable of dealing with pain.  We then merely try to control or battle with these undesirable behaviours or thoughts instead of dealing with the pain in other parts that they protect.

A few random examples of what I mean…

  • 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. The resulting numbness isn't the perfect solution so a self-harming part does what it does to counteract the depression and help the person actually feel something again. All of these parts are fighting with each other over the best way to disconnect the person from the part of them that carries (for example) the pain of shame and rejection (the heart of the matter).

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 that they protect, 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 Core Self or Soul.  I know how to help you find healing and connection with yourself and others.  I meet you right where you are at and from there is a natural progression to the therapy.  I know how to help you heal.  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 instead of disconnections between our brain’s neural networks.  Your nervous system heals with new connections and I can help with that!

Connect.  Heal.  Live.

Connecting with ourselves. 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:

IFS

Internal Family Systems Therapy

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. As of now, I am the only level 3 (the highest level) trained IFS therapist in Alberta!

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

A psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the emotional distress and symptoms that are the result of traumatic and disturbing life experiences. Clients often appreciate that the therapy does not require talking in detail about what happened.

EFT

Emotionally Focused Therapy – for couples and families

Okay dudes, this isn’t as bad as it sounds! The intention of this 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.