Meet The Westwind Staff - Tresa Clemmensen
In this edition of "Meet The Westwind Staff", we are asking five questions of one of Westwind's Directors, Tresa Clemmensen.
1) WHAT LED YOU TO WESTWIND?
A) When I was completing my undergraduate studies I knew I wanted to work in the field of eating disorders. I grew up in Brandon and was aware of the treatment center and was hoping I would be able to join the team once I had completed my Masters degree. I felt very fortunate to start working at Westwind shortly after I received my Masters degree and returned to Brandon. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandon University and completed my Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. I am registered with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and I am member of the Eating Disorders Association of Canada. I had been working at Westwind as a therapist for ten years and when the opportunity arose to expand my role at Westwind I was thrilled.
2. WHAT HAS INSPIRED YOU ABOUT WORKING IN MENTAL HEALTH?
A) I feel that our mental health is as important as our physical health. Working to decrease the stigma associated with seeking support with our mental health is very important to me. Every day I am amazed by our clients' strength and willingness to better their lives by improving their own mental health. I feel that my own mental health has also benefited from the field of work I am in. By helping our clients learn skills such as mindfulness, positive coping, vulnerability, open communication, positive body image I too have also been able to actively practice these skills in my own life. Skills learned in recovery benefit all aspects of life and this is so valuable.
3. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR WORK AT WESTWIND?
A) Westwind’s philosophy allows our team to work individually and collaboratively with each client in their recovery journey and I value that. Every day I am inspired by our clients’ incredible courage to pursue recovery and feel honored to participate in their journey. I am also very fortunate to work with passionate team members in a practice that I enjoy very much. I also love coming to work to our beautiful heritage home and the positive atmosphere that is created here.
4. IF YOU COULD SAY ONE THING TO SOMEONE SEEKING TREATMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A) We want you to know that an eating disorder is not a choice but recovery is and we want to support you in that process. We believe in full recovery and believe in each clients’ ability to recover. Our clients are usually hesitant and fearful about coming to an unknown place but once they arrive and settle in and become familiar with the supportive positive environment they feel very 'at home' at Westwind.
5. WHAT'S ONE THING YOU PRACTICE TO MAINTAIN POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH?
A) When I am not at work I am enjoying time with my husband and two boys. My boys keep me busy so I also appreciate my own time to practice mindfulness, reading good books and enjoying time with friends. I also enjoy spending time at the lake.