Alanah Woodland BSc, MSc, MSW (she/her)
Holistic, Integrative, Culturally Inclusive, Trauma-Trained Therapist and Facilitator/Consultant, Artist, Helper, Listener, Intuitive, Storykeeper
Ámham Therapy (Ucwalmicwts: to make something better) is Alanah’s business. Ámham offers culturally inclusive, and anti-oppressive counseling, consulting, and facilitation, incorporating creativity, body, and land-based modalities from an understanding and training in trauma and resilience. Alanah meets clients where they are, inviting curiosity and courage to look at the place or space they want to grow, understand or heal. She keeps an eye to look and help identify and work with the strengths within individuals, families and organizations.
Alanah is an Indigenous (St'at'yemc) registered social worker-psychotherapist who works online in two provinces (British Columbia, and Ontario) and in-person in her workspace in Lillooet, British Columbia, or the gorgeous green spaces nearby.
This flexibility with meeting spaces is one of the ways Alanah incorporates land-based modalities helping people on their healing journey. She walks beside clients on their healing journey finding ways to support oppressed and excluded people to find and receive what they need, creating a better wellness environment for her clients. Alanah’s business utilizes Indigenous ways of engaging, which positively disrupts the current prevailing business environment created and structured by Colonialism. The way of being and work includes facilitating training for organizations, especially those in the community service or education fields, helping them to understand the impacts of trauma using Indigenous lens and stories that link traditional teachings and western psychotherapy.
Alanah holds a BSc, an MSc, and an MSW. Alanah’s first Master degree was in Community Health Sciences and Population Health sciences. Later she retuned to another Master degree focused on Indigenous trauma and resiliency, the combination allows Alanah to move from the individual experiences to the macroscopic, wide lens required to weave the bigger picture of how things like “income, different social statuses, history, and gender come into play, whether you’re Indigenous or not.” Her initial work in community health laid the groundwork for her enjoyment and creative integrative approach to facilitation and training.
The foundation of Alanah’s approach is built upon the cultural and spiritual work she’s done with her elders which has guided incorporating the land and water and spirit ;there is a cultural vein that runs through everything Alanah does in her business. She augments this foundation with expressive play, somatic body work , Indigenous focusing oriented therapy, land-based therapy and humour to help bring lightness and fluidity into the work of healing.
Alanah’s approach is best described through water, joining the flow within each client’s river of life, meeting them where they are and helping them navigate the often turbulent waters, with upstream impacts that can last for generations.
ámham (to make something better, Ucwa̓lmicwts)
My intent is to be a helper as you work to make something better in your life. It can so many things..it can be your understanding of what's happening inside of you, healing from childhood or intergenerational trauma, a relationship with your family, co-parent, or partner, caring for yourself, parenting, spiritual growth, strengthening cultural connections, changing your career, etc. It takes time but little by little we can make things better, we can make ourselves better. As each of us improves ourselves and our lives, our families and communities get better, stronger, healthier.
As a counselor/therapist I offer to walk beside you and help you to improve relationships, create more self-awareness, navigate life transitions, figure out how you want to parent, go thru grief, or do some deep work in childhood or other trauma. We work together at your pace and comfort level offering gentleness as we invite curiosity and courage to look at the place or space you want to grow, understand or heal. I do counselling work with individuals, couples, families & I also work delivering creative expressive or land based embodied wellness workshops, for professionals, students, or other groups focused on their own wellness. I have a soft spot for children and youth and dedicate some of my practice to providing services to them and their families.
I have a strong commitment to helping people work through recent, past, or intergenerational challenges, traumas, and losses to help them reconnect to their hearts and improve their overall wellbeing as individuals and family members. My personal experiences with extensive trauma and my own healing work have given me great compassion that helps me work with clients with care and understanding. I work from a holistic culturally inclusive trauma-based practice perspective respecting and honoring the whole of the mind/body/spirit/heart of each of my clients.
I often draw on the healing strength of the land and my own cultural traditions and invite clients to use the land and their culture as part of the therapeutic process.
My first teachers of healing and wellness were my elder uncles. Their teachings and my connection to spirituality form my foundation of understanding and living. I also trained with Jane Middleton-Moz and Rebecca Martel at the University of Toronto's unique MSW Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency Program and also previously with Shirley Turquote at the Indigenous Focusing-Oriented Therapy Certificate Program. I have also completed the Expressive Play Therapy Certificate through the Justice Institute of BC and am currently enrolled in Somatic Experiencing courses. I am person-centered and community-centered; I see all clients, including children and youth, as the leaders in their own healing and the experts in their own lives.
Prior to my MSW I worked in Health Research, Health Leadership, and with Community Health Initiatives often with a focus on Indigenous Health and Wellbeing. I enjoy working alongside individuals, families, and communities in their wellness work. I have frequently worked with communities to improve their access to health services that meet their needs. Much of my decision to return to graduate school came as I witnessed many of the communities I worked in had a shortage of holistic and/or culturally connected Indigenous therapists and very few therapists that worked with children and families.