My name is Gwendolyn Chappell, but you can call me Gwen.
I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor (#7590) through the
Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
and an Associate Certified Coach through the
International Coach Federation (https://coachfederation.org/).
I am passionate about helping individuals create a meaningful, joyous life, which takes the shape of mental fitness training and career counselling - or as I prefer to call it, work / life design: we humans thrive when we know our purpose, know we are loved, and have many satisfying experiences
with people we love and love us.
Why am I so passionate about helping individuals reach their full potential?
In my work as a counsellor and coach, I've encountered many people who are desperately unhappy - unhappy in their work, with their life choices, with their life in general. They may be in a job that doesn't match their interests and strengths; they may be stuck in a dead-end job; they may have a boss or colleagues that don't appreciate them.
Or they might long for something better, something totally different,
but don't know how to get there.
They may have lost their belief in their ability to do anything about it.
They feel overwhelmed. They may feel helpless and hopeless.
They doubt their value, and wonder,
"If I don't believe I can do it, why would anyone believe in me?"
Sometimes, people can be stuck and unhappy
with themselves and their lives for years.
All totally preventable.
I want to stop this unnecessary suffering and help people get past the blocks that are holding them back and reconnect with their values
so they can be the person they want to be,
do the work they're meant to do,
and create the life they want to live.
I have an undergraduate degree in English
and a certificate in geology (the equivalent of a 3 year B.Sc. degree).
I have two master’s degrees,
an M.A. in English and an M.Ed. in educational psychology,
majoring in counselling.
From July 2001 to January 2005, I worked at the University of Saskatchewan, first as a career counsellor and academic counsellor,
and later as an academic counsellor and coach.
From 2005 to 2008, I worked for an Employee Assistance Provider as a personal and career counsellor,
while continuing to work as an academic coach.
Since 2008, I have focused on developing my skills as
an executive, career, and life coach.
In April, 2015, I completed a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from the University of Texas at Dallas.
From September, 2017 to June, 2020, I was employed as an
Accessibility Counsellor and Educational Counsellor
with Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
From October, 2022 to April, 2023, I was working as a part-time career counsellor with Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
Currently, I offer online counselling and coaching in private practice.
Issues that I've helped my clients resolve include:
work related stress and anxiety
overwhelm and difficulty focusing
managing time effectively
negative self-talk, self-doubt, and low self-esteem
I know what it's like to be consumed by self-doubt.
For years, I struggled with writer's block. All through my undergrad English courses, I would procrastinate on writing those English essays until the last possible minute.
I had all kinds of tricks to get myself past the fear of the blank page. I managed to get through the undergrad and even the graduate courses, but when it came time to write the thesis, it was more than I could handle on my own. It didn't help that I just had a baby, and that I was overwhelmed by worries about money and struggling to find childcare and - although I didn't know it at the time - was struggling with fibromyalgia, which left me exhausted, aching, weary, with chronically ill with colds and ear infections and struggling to think and function because of cognitive fog.
Eventually, I got the help I needed and completed my master's in English. But I was still uncertain what I would do with this degree. I had a few contract positions teaching business communication and oral and written communications, but these short-term contracts did not provide the security I wanted, and even though I enjoyed my students, I found teaching stressful! Plus, I wanted to learn more about psychology and how people learned to get past the blocks that hold them back from succeeding in life.
These factors lead me to a degree in educational psychology, focusing on counselling adults, specializing in career counselling. Later, I realized that I was really more interested in meaning and purpose than only career choice, and started calling what I did Life/Work Design, helping people get clear on their values as well as their strengths and interests, and then helping them develop the internal resources and other skills to live aligned with their goals and values.
Currently, I work online, offering counselling and life coaching,
as well as the Positive Intelligence® Program (www.positiveintelligence.com)
I've always been a bit of a misfit - a farm girl who hated gardening and the typical domestic chores that girls were supposed to do. I was a female with an interest in art, carpentry and architecture
with a passion for learning and academics at a time and a place where academic achievement was not fashionable, and women were expected to marry, become a homemaker, and
devote themselves to their husband and children. If an appropriate partner was unavailable,
a woman could study to become a secretary, teacher, or nurse until the "right man" came along, but then a woman was supposed to focus her energy and time on her family.
So here's me, with my diverse interests, intense curiosity, love of learning,
and a love of exploration. I entered university as an anthropology major -
at a time when there were very few opportunities for anthropologists.
My pathway to become a counsellor and coach took a lot of twists and turns,
with a lot of bumps and detours along the way, including an adventurous summer working as geological assistant in a fly-in bush camp in northern Saskatchewan - way out of my comfort zone!
It took me a while, but I found my way to a profession - and a lifestyle - that I love.
And if I can do it, so can you.
You can book a brief, complimentary consultation (no obligation!) here: