Hi! I'm Lise Leblanc
My Interest in Mental Health
I am intrigued by mental health. I’ve always wondered why some people are anxious and depressed while others are happy and at peace. Why certain conditions create extreme resilience in one person while breaking another down. Why some have good mental health while others don't, even if they are facing similar stressors?
I was interested in these things mainly because I'd struggled with my own mental health as far back as I could remember. As a little girl, I felt sad, confused, anxious, lost, scared, angry, and alone. Because of certain traumatic early childhood experiences, I truly thought I was bad, broken, unworthy, and unlovable.
Problems early in life.
I won’t get too deep into my childhood trauma, but I will say that by the time I was nineteen, my life was a total mess. I’d been in trouble with the law, I was anxious, depressed, I had an eating disorder. I was drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. I was two years into an abusive relationship and I was seriously considering suicide because I had no hope that things would ever get better.
My first turning point.
One night, in a moment of intense suffering, I was laying on my bed, thinking about all of my problems. I was coming up with a plan on how to end it all when suddenly I had an out-of-body experience. In this moment, I separated from myself and all of my problems floated away. I could still see them in the distance but from this detached state, it was as though none of it mattered. In this short flash of insight, I got a glimpse of how it felt to be free from the heavy burden of the disempowering thoughts and “stories” I had about myself. I immediately started to question whether my problems were real, or whether it was all just a fabrication of my own mind. I wondered what would happen if I didn’t believe all the things I’d been told about myself, and about how the world works.
Once I had this a-ha moment, I instantly pulled myself together and lived happily ever after.
Just kidding! It wasn’t that easy. Not even close.
My search for happiness.
I ended the bad relationship two days later, moved back home, and started cleaning up my act. But, despite my new insight, I had no idea how to be happy. I still had a lot of mental and emotional pain. So, I did my best to block out my troubled past and I went on an intensive search for happiness. And boy, did I search. I spent the entire decade of my twenties trying to do everything society told me would make me happy. I thought I’d be happy once I found a good man, had kids, got a higher education, a great career, a big house, cars, clothes, a new computer, more money, lost 10 pounds, you name it. I kept trying to prove my worth by piling on external forms of validation but I still felt empty inside. No matter what possessions or accomplishments I obtained, I found that happiness did not follow, at least not for long. Like a mirage in the desert, every time I got “there”, it was gone.
I was "successful".
By the time I was thirty, I was married with two beautiful children. I had a master’s degree and was working full-time as a clinical manager. I was travelling and my life was filled with many luxuries. From the outside, I appeared happy and successful. Yet, on the inside, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. I still felt empty, alone, and anxious. No one would know I wasn't happy though because I was good at faking it.
Everyday I’d get up, get dressed, go to work, have the same conversations with the same people, then go home and try to keep my kids entertained while I numbed out on TV, wine, food, social media, or whatever else. Even though I seemed okay on the surface, on the inside I was barely surviving. I was eventually diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Medication was prescribed. For a while, I was hopeful that it would make me feel better, but it didn't. In fact, things continued to get worse. I started to think maybe it was normal because when I'd look around, I would see other people rushing around, striving, and stressed out too. They didn’t look any happier than I was. Whenever I'd mention I was on medication, I'd find out they were on meds too. I started to think maybe this is just the way life is. Maybe happiness is just an illusion that doesn't really exist in real life. But then I’d remember that glimpse of peace and freedom I had when I was nineteen.
The perfect storm.
I was 30 years old. My kids were young. I'd just finished my master's degree. My new born baby girl had a medical condition. There were major problems at work, then my grandpa died and I became the primary caregiver for my grandma who had Alzheimer’s disease. I was highly stressed. I wasn’t sleeping. I was repeating the same self-destructive stories in my head and getting caught up in all of the gossip and negativity at work. At home, I'd complain incessantly about how stressful things were and even the simplest things felt complicated and overwhelming. I was struggling to get through the day and I started to rely on old coping mechanisms. Before I knew it,I was spinning out of control and heading for a breakdown.
I hit rock bottom.
I was seven years into my career as a therapist, and by this point, you'd think I'd know how to manage stress, but I was so caught up in the rat race and so depleted that I couldn't get a handle on things. Even though I knew what I needed to do to recover my mental health, I didn’t want to do it. I didn't have the energy or desire to deal with the emotional stuff I'd been carrying since childhood. I still thought I could avoid it. Block it all out. I really didn’t want to start digging up and dealing with my childhood crap. I just wanted the quick fix solutions. So, I ate spinach, did yoga, went to the gym, made appointments for massage, hair, and nails. I tried to do more "self-care", but it turned out to be more things to do. More appointments and more obligations. Don’t get me wrong, these are all great self-care strategies, but they were barely scratching the surface. And I realized that as helpful as these things were, they weren't going to clear out the mental and emotional baggage that had been weighing me down and holding me back all these years.
I continued to get more stressed, more exhausted, and more burnt out. I hit ROCK BOTTOM. That’s when I FINALLY came to realize that no pill, product, or prize was going to solve my problems. I couldn’t run away from myself any longer. Finally, I was coming to terms with the fact that if I wanted out of this suffering, I was going to have to dig down deep to the root cause of my suffering and start reconditioning my mind and my nervous system.
I made the decision to heal myself.
Almost seventeen years ago, I decided to heal my life. I honestly didn’t know if it was possible, but I was desperate for change. My healing process started with a decision and a commitment to start taking the steps I needed to take to heal myself mentally and emotionally. And I was on a MISSION! I dove into self-development like it was an addiction. I read all the self-help books I could get my hands on, took courses, went to conferences, traveled to energy centers, did counselling, hypnosis and more drastic things like ayahuasca and other psychedelics. I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and climbed mountains, all in search of healing and peace within myself.
The good news is, I found it... it was buried under a lot "stuff". For me, it took a few years of dedicated effort to clear out the painful emotional experiences from my past. But as I healed my nervous system and learned to harness the power of my conscious AND subconscious mind, some interesting things started to happen. It was like I was waking up to myself and to my life. As layers of self-depreciating, self-sabotaging, and self-destructive beliefs were removed, I started to experience genuine peace, freedom, and happiness. My inner world started looking and feeling really good.
The Real Problem
For the first 30 years of my life, I suffered with anxiety, depression, and problems with my self-worth and confidence. But, there's only so many times you can ask: "Why is this always happening to me?" before you start to realize that there is something in you that's creating (or co-creating) the recurring problems you're experiencing.
Facing all of the painful experiences from my past was hard, but even harder was realizing that I had been carrying all of my past pain into my current day "reality". I was actually creating my reality (and my future) based on my painful past. For the longest time, I truly thought I had nothing to do with my problems. I thought they were all just happening TO me. But, perhaps the most powerful insight of my entire life was realizing that I was subconsciously reflecting and recreating the unresolved pain from my past which was causing me to live it out over and over again. When I took responsibility for what was showing up in my life and recognized where it was coming from, I was empowered to make the positive shifts I needed to make inside of ME to make MY life different.
I know what it's like to look like a powerful and successful woman on the outside and yet feel insecure, needy, and scared on the inside. I know what it's like to feel anxious, depressed, lost, empty, alone, and to hide it from everyone. I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling this way because I could see the people around me struggling too. Not just my clients. I’m talking about my friends, family, and the people I worked with. Like me, many of them were helping professionals with all of the markers of a successful life. They were married with kids, they had good jobs, big houses, nice vehicles, and so on. Yet we were all rushing around, stressed out, striving, caught up in the same destructive cycle of stress. We would collectively attribute our high stress levels to the boss, spouse, kids, finances, and whatever. It took a long time for me to realize that these things were not the real problem.
The real problem was my own mind!
When I realized that 99% of my problems were being created by my own mind, it was a MAJOR a-ha moment because it was then that I understood that there was no way my life was ever going to be different unless I changed.
I had to dig down deep. Yes, into my childhood crap. All the stuff I'd spent years trying to avoid and repress. Urghhhh....
I won't lie, it was a BIG inside job! But once I hacked into the subconscious programs that were running in me and shifted those old stories, my whole reality changed. I went from stress and survival to creativity and freedom.
Over the past 20 years, I've counselled and coached thousands of people on their healing journey, helping them set themselves free from the prison of their own minds. This is done using a variety of techniques, including hypnosis which allows you to tap into your subconscious mind and reprocess emotional experiences and reprogram the faulty beliefs systems that were formed as a result of these negative experiences. Once this happens, the fight-or-flight response is no longer triggered unnecessarily and your nervous system is released from survival mode.
The best part is that it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money or years of your life. While it’s true that your healing journey can last a lifetime, a big chunk of this healing can happen quickly.
My online healing programs will give you the insights, information, and tools you need to heal yourself. But, here’s the thing. No one can do it for you. No one. As much as you may need support and guidance, this is something you, and only YOU, can do.
Not everyone is ready for healing. Not everyone is ready to create something new and meaningful in their lives. That’s just a fact. For whatever reason, some are going to stay stuck exactly where they are, repeating the same painful patterns for the rest of their lives. But that doesn't have to be you. You can decide to start your healing journey today, RIGHT NOW!
In the end.
When I healed my past and reconditioned my subconscious mind, I woke up to life. MY life! But I needed the motivation to do that. I needed the intense suffering to get me to a point where I even wanted to change. However, I don't believe you need to wait until you're in the depths of despair. With a solid decision, the right strategies, and some disciplined practice, you too can learn to harness the power of your own mind and start spinning outside the boundaries of your habitual thinking and feeling patterns. Once this happens, you will discover a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities. People will look at you and wonder what you're doing differently. But best of all, you will feel good on the inside.
When I made friends with my own mind, integrated painful parts of my life, and shifted my negative memories and subconscious beliefs, I created a life of freedom and happiness. My results have been AMAZING! Not only did I eliminate my mental health issues and need for medication, but there were also many other benefits that I experienced as a result of healing my nervous system. Physically, my digestive problems and back pain resolved. Almost like magic, many of my unhealthy behaviour patterns ended as they were being used to repress and cope with painful emotions. In my personal life, I am happier than ever. I quit my 9-5 job and am now doing work I'm passionate about. I look and feel better than I did 20 years ago!
Fortunately, my struggles brought me to a place where I can pull people through the faulty mental and emotional conditioning that's keeping them stuck in a repetitive loop of stress and suffering. I am ruthless when it comes to helping people take responsibility for the quality of their lives and freeing them from the guilt, shame, fear, and the destructive patterns that are preventing them from experiencing peace and happiness from within themselves. I know this is possible and it can happen quickly which is why I've dedicated my life to helping people learn how to do heal their nervous system and get their subconscious mind on their side.
I want to help as many people as possible experience happiness and freedom from the inside out, including YOU!
Degrees & Certifications
• Honours BA – psychology, Laurentian University
• Master of Education, Nipissing University
• Third-Party Neutral certificate, CICR
• Certified Coach Practitioner, CCF
• Certified Master Coach Practitioner, CCF
• Clinical Supervision certification
• Several therapeutic courses and certifications (i.e. CBT, DBT, Play Therapy, Trauma-informed care, Suicide Intervention, Hypnotherapy & Hypnosis, Clinical Hypnotherapy Master Certification etc.)
Lise Leblanc Counselling & Consulting
Life Coach and Author - 2018- present
• Offer individual and group coaching/counselling services
• Deliver training, workshops, and key note addresses
• Provide online courses on topics related to mental health
• My published books in the "Wish I Knew" and "Mental Health Recovery" series also available.
Program Director and Mental Health Therapist
Alliance Centre - WNGH 2008 – 2018
• Responsible for the management of several programs including Mental Health Counselling and Treatment; Adult and Youth Substance Abuse, Crisis Intervention, and Case Management.
• Ensure quality treatment within approved best practices, accreditation standards, and policies/procedures.
• Provide clinical supervision to a team of clinicians.
• Budgetary and human Resources responsibilities include hiring, training.
• Provide therapeutic services to clients with mental health issues.
Mediator, Facilitator, Life Coach
M. Thorpe & Associates February 2012 - 2018
• Deliver workshops, seminars on a variety of topics including stress management; conflict resolution, interpersonal skills, and communication.
• Provide workplace restoration sessions, facilitation, mediation and coaching services.
• Provide keynote addresses at conferences.
Manager of the School Support Program – Autism Spectrum Disorder Algonquin Child and Family Services Aug 06- June 2008
• Responsible for the leadership of a team of ASD Consultants who deliver services to School Board personnel in an effort to enhance knowledge of ASD and evidence-based practices used to treat children and youth with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
• Budget and human resources responsibilities include hiring, training.
• Performance management aimed at optimizing team processes, motivating employees and enhancing morale through performance appraisals and regular supervision.
Manager of Clinical Services and Behaviour Therapist
Community Living West Nipissing 1995-2006
• Responsible for the management of several programs including Clinical Services, Family Home, Transitions, and Residential Program.
• Provide consultation to and assist primary caregivers with behavioural
assessment, planning, and implementation of behavior management programs. for children, adolescents and adults with a dual diagnosis.
• Conducted psychometric testing.
• Counseled and provided group therapy to individuals with a developmental disability (i.e. self-esteem, relationships, social skills, etc.).