Dwight Holmen

To my prospective clients

My path to becoming a therapist has been an exciting adventure. But with adventure, often lies obstacles and challenges.

I first became aware of mental health issues while competing in university swimming. As an individual and an athlete who strives to achieve my best, I found myself struggling with the pressures of performance, not from anyone else, but myself. This anxiety led to many struggles in competition that were not aligned with the countless hours of effort being spent training and preparing. I found myself needing to use mental health strategies such as mindfulness and relaxation to gain control. But, just as things were finally seeming to settle in and I was in control, I suffered a series of physical injuries that ultimately ended my athletic career. This experience was a devastating blow, one that taught me a great deal about the impact external factors (even physical pain) can have on mental health, mainly in our inability to control all facets of life. As the injuries and surgeries piled up, I found myself becoming more restricted in what I was “allowed” to do or “not allowed” to do. I was being more cautious, increasingly avoidant of activities, feeling more intense emotions, and was persistently annoyed by the self-defeating thoughts. I noticed longing for a life before injuries and even struggling with a new identity, one that didn’t involve athletics. I came to a fork in the road and was faced with a choice. Do I choose to continue living my life struggling with pain in the driver’s seat? Or do I find a way to adapt for me to be in control?

I chose the path of adaptation and although I have never regretted taking this path, it has involved hard work, commitment, and a complete shift in mindset. I treated my values as my new competition in life, despite pain. I became quite persistent in trying to find new activities and new ways to live. As time has gone on, I learned a valuable lesson from pain and suffering, which is that when we endure the struggle and adapt, we find our ability to be resourceful and eventually regain control. This allows us to value ourselves and our life in a way that is more meaningful and authentic.

The experience led me down my path of wanting to help others through their own struggles to regain control. Throughout my athletic and professional career, I learned that no two people are alike and the road to recovery will look different for everyone. I strive to offer each individual a safe space to explore their path to recovery.

I am a registered psychologist and a professional member of the College of Alberta Psychologists in Calgary and offer a unique approach tailored to meet the needs of each client.