Life is good for Anne Morrison. And helping others to lead more productive lives remains a top priority for the Chemainus counsellor/therapist.
At 74 and 50 years since her first job in the profession, Morrison has no intention of stepping away from her private practice of counselling services anytime soon.
“I think I’m good for another 10 or 15 years,” Morrison assessed. “That’s the way I feel.
“As long as I feel I’m effective and it’s fulfilling, why would I stop? I feel like I’m called to do this. It doesn’t feel like work.”
She enjoys such a great balance of business, pleasure and community involvement that there’s no need to even consider disrupting the apple cart, as it were.
Husband Hugh Morrison has become quite adept at conducting the men’s choir at the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre the last four years and Anne sings with the women’s choir under the direction of Ola Sage. They’re fully supportive of the centre.
“I think it is one of the best kept secrets in Chemainus,” noted Anne. “Such a huge array of activities to choose from every week and it is a really fun group of people to connect with.”
Hugh and Anne also are big supporters of the arts in Chemainus.
“We are so blessed to have the crown jewel of the Chemainus Theatre Festival right at our doorstep and all the offerings of the arts community right here in our own village,” Anne noted.
“When we lived in Port Alberni my husband and I were in many musical theatre productions and are big fans of everything musical.”
To set the stage for her career, we must go back in time to point out Anne was born in Kansas and grew up in San Jose, California.
Her extensive educational background includes: a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Psychology) from Pomona College in Claremont, California in 1965 and a Master of Social Work at the University of Washington in 1967 where she met her husband who’s from New Zealand.
Morrison came to Canada as a landed immigrant in 1970 and spent 22 years in Port Alberni before going to Langley for another 16 until her husband retired.
After that, “we realized we needed to get back to the Island,” she noted.
“We picked Chemainus because of the location and we had come through Chemainus many times when we lived in Port Alberni. I thank Chemainus for welcoming me. I love this community.”
That’s been almost 10 years ago already and Morrison’s numerous integrations into the community included writing a monthly column on a variety of topics related to her profession, Wings Unfurled, that ran in the Chemainus Valley Courier for eight years.
Along the way, Morrison has added numerous Satir Institute of the Pacific credentials to her resume, including a graduate of Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy, Levels 1 & 2, 1997-98; a graduate of the Advanced Residential Therapist Training Programme, 1998 (Dumas, Washington), 2001 (Hong Kong), 2002, 2004-06 (Surrey, B.C.); and graduate, Training for Trainers, 2001.
She’s a Registered Social Worker for private practice with the B.C. Association of Social Workers and the B.C. College of Social Workers and attained Master Therapist Training this year for the Satir Institute of the Pacific.
“I have spent at least 25 years steeped in the whole field of Family Systems training, which is based on the Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy Model,” Morrison noted of the true base of so many years of her additional training. “I then took their training to train other therapists in this model.”
She has a Satir Iceberg Metaphor board in her office that is part of that model.
Morrison’s career has included work within family counselling, mental health, education, hospice and various community settings. She now provides individual, couple and family therapy services, wellness and counsellor training, and clinical supervision to an international client base that includes Canada, the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand through her home office in Chemainus.
The focus is on helping people become more congruent (inner harmony), confident, better choice makers, and experience their worth and competence. She helps people to connect with their inner core, discover their strengths, and experience renewed vitality, inner peace, and freedom.
That includes work within family counselling, mental health, education, hospice, and various community settings.
On top of everything else, she offers services as a Unitarian Lay Chaplain to officiate at weddings, memorial services and other life transitions.
There’s information about Morrison’s deeply held beliefs and much more on her website at www.annemorrison.ca or she can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this day and age, Morrison has also found conducting sessions via Skype, Facetime or even over the phone are quite helpful and more comfortable for some clients.
“I never would have imagined I would have been able to do this work remotely,” she conceded.
Over the phone, “I can sense what’s going on energetically,” Morrison added. “You pick up on cues and you still do the work.”
She takes great pride in attaining confidentiality for clients she otherwise could meet on the streets in a small community.
“I run into people all the time I could be working with,” Morrison noted. “People trust me and come to me knowing they will run into me in different settings.”