Author Archives: admin


By Terry Garchinski, B.A., R.S.W.

Terry  is the Co-owner and Therapeutic Counsellor for Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc., in Millarville, Alberta.

Emotions are like sign posts along the road of life: they let me know where I am at, what to expect ahead, how to get to where I want to go and even where I have been.

How dangerous and confusing it would be to travel down the highway to High River and not read the road signs. During road construction, a bridge may be out requiring me to take a detour. If I don’t follow the signs, I might drive into Sheep River!

What a risk it would be not to slow down and be vigilant  when I see signs of moose droppings on the highway to Bragg Creek. I could end up with a moose on my lap and a  major bill to replace the window on my truck.

As obvious as these examples may be, many of us take similar risks by not paying attention to our emotions. This happens when I tell myself  that my emotions are not important or pretend that they do not exist. I believe it is especially dangerous if I bury my emotions and not let them out by expressing them.

Boys and men, girls and woman cry if they want to remain emotionally healthy and balanced.   Those of us who want to remain emotionally healthy and balanced also laugh, get angry, express fear, frustration, loneliness, and joy. It is important to let my emotions out by naming them and expressing them.

If I don’t let my emotions out, they can build up over time and  become unmanageable.

I like to compare emotional management to household garbage management. If I don’t take out my household garbage every day, it will eventually build up and take up space in my home and start to stink. I may even have to cook my pancakes outside of my kitchen because it is too messy with garbage.

The same can be true with my emotions. If I don’t express my emotions, they can start taking up a lot of space inside of me and start to push me outside my own self. When this happens, I may find myself uncomfortable or unsafe being alone. I may seek comfort and escape in the use of drugs or alcohol. I may tune out by watching TV for hours on end. I may find myself attempting to control others and feeling totally out of control myself. Gambling may become more important than feeding my family. I may lose interest in my relationships. I may be constantly irritable and angry.   I may find myself doing things that are against my own values. I may sense that there is something missing in my life. I may feel that my life has no purpose or direction.

Healthy emotional management can be especially difficult for boys and men who have not been taught basic emotional literacy. Because boys tend to develop slower verbally than girls, boys tend to express their emotions with their bodies through physical  movement such as constant activity, rough housing, and sports. This emotional expression is not generally validated or approved of during school class time, around the dinner table or at bed time. Boys learn early that it is not OK to express themselves emotionally. Many are even teased, laughed at, punished or medicated for expressing themselves emotionally through their body movements. All of us need to be emotionally validated and to learn a variety of ways of expressing ourselves emotionally.

When children are stifled emotionally at an early age, they do not learn how to read their own or other people’s emotions, how to acknowledge them, how to name them, how to express them or how to respond to them in appropriate, healthy way. They do not ask themselves, “what are my emotions telling me right now?”  Their emotional vocabulary is limited to “happy, sad or mad” or “I don’t know how I am feeling.”

When emotions build up over time they can explode in an angry violent outburst or they can implode in a severe depression. Before either of these things occur, I can choose to take preventative action by developing a healthy emotional management plan. The following are some things a plan can include:

  • eat well, sleep well and partake in daily physical activities
  • talk about how I am feeling to a healthy, non judgmental friend or partner
  • play or listen to music
  • choose healthy sex in a committed relationship
  • write a daily journal
  • meditate and pray
  • cry, laugh and get excited
  • go on the land:  hunting, fishing, camping, golfing
  • be creative:  write poetry, paint, garden, fix an old vehicle
  • ask myself, “what are my emotions telling me right now?”

Emotions are like sign posts along the road of life: they help me to safely reach my life’s destinations.


By Terry Garchinski, B.A., R.S.W.

Terry  is the Owner and Therapeutic Counsellor for Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc. in Millarville, Alberta.

Understanding boundaries is one of the most useful concepts for people who want to make positive changes in their own lives and to have healthy relationships with others.

A few years ago, when I was hitchhiking alone down a country highway just outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, two German Shepherds and a Doberman Pincher helped me to understand boundaries. I was walking backwards on the side of the highway with my thumb out watching vehicles go by. When no more vehicles were coming, I turned around and to my shock the three dogs were sitting at the edge of their master’s driveway no more than 50 metres away from me. The dogs seemed to be licking their lips as they smiled at me.

My immediate reaction was to cover my throat and crotch with my hands. I rationalized that I would give the dogs two bites each before I tried fighting back or running away. Already being so close to the dogs, I thought that if I turned and walked back in the direction from which I came, they would know how terrified I really was and they would attack. My only option was to cross to the other side of the highway and walk by them no more than 8 metres away. I did not look at the dogs directly. With my head down, I occasionally glanced at them from the corner of my eye.

They were well trained dogs: they practiced boundary maintenance behaviour. They operated on the premise, “If you threaten our space or cross our boundary uninvited we will defend our territory. But if you respect our boundaries we will let you go on your way.”

By me respecting their boundary, they allowed me to freely walk past them. When I was a certain distance away, they walked back to the farmhouse. I no longer was a concern to them.

In the same way, individuals, couples, families and even workplaces need to practice respectful boundary maintenance behaviour if they want to continue on their healthy life’s journey.

In healthy workplaces, employees are guided by job descriptions, written policies and procedures, defined goals and expectations, defined roles and responsibilities and contractual agreements. Each of these help to define the boundaries.

Individuals must ask themselves the following questions to clearly define their own boundaries:  What is my stuff and what is not my stuff? What is in my authority, power and control, what is not? What am I responsible and accountable for and what am I not? The answers to these questions define the boundaries.

In healthy relationships, boundaries also need to be clearly defined and negotiated in agreements because there is overlap. For example, a married couple both have roles and  responsibilities for chores around the house, for childcare and for contributing to the sexual and financial well being of the relationship. The exact division of responsibility and authority depends on the couple’s agreements. These agreements need to be revisited from time to time as people or their situation change. The terms of the agreement need to be communicated and explicitly defined or else assumptions are made, boundaries are unintentionally crossed and people feel hurt.


Terry Garchinski, B.A., R.S.W., is a therapeutic counsellor and workshop facilitator with Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc.

Family violence and abuse begins with not dealing with our own hurtful thoughts and feelings.

If we don’t take responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings, then it is a short but pain-filled step to blame others: “You made me feel this way!  It is your fault!  You are to blame for my hurt and pain!”

If we use this unhealthy pattern to avoid our own hurt, then we are setting ourselves up, and those closest to us, to experience even more hurt.  This crazy-making merry-go-round is like a hurricane increasing in intensity, just waiting to hit something and release its pent-up, destructive force.  From this comes the choice, “I hurt, so now, I am going to hurt you!”

In an attempt to get control of ourselves, we act out by trying to control others – usually those closest to us.

We may explode outwards through anger, yelling, swearing, pushing, punching, judgements, manipulating, sexual assault, spiritual abuse, or put downs:  “You are not worthy of my love.  You are nothing.”

Or, we implode inwards through depression, isolation, high-risk behaviour, cutting ourselves, hitting walls, alcohol or drug abuse, suicide attempts, compulsively playing BINGO, not valuing ourselves as precious human beings, or put downs.  “I am not worthy of being loved.  I am nothing.”

As human beings, we need to protect ourselves and keep ourselves safe from hurt.  But the need to control others is nothing more than an outer false sense of safety, which disregards our own responsibility and authority to first create inner safety, make responsible choices and take appropriate action.

As adults, regardless of how we were hurt or who hurt us, we are each responsible for our own healing, safety, and choices.  When we are hurt, or when we are reminded of the hurt from our childhood, it is more helpful to respond to that hurt in responsible ways and with good words.

Here are some of suggestions of some good words that we might say to ourselves or to an abusive family member: “I am worthy.  I don’t deserve to be hurt.  I love you but not your behaviour.  I love you but not your drinking.  I will support your good choices but not your bad choices.  I will not carry your pain any longer.  I forgive you.   If you hit me again, I will charge you.  Hitting is not love.  Your hurtful words are not funny.  When you put me down, you are being disrespectful to yourself and to me.  You are responsible for your behaviour and choices and I am responsible for mine.”

When a family member continues to refuse to take responsibility for his or her violent behaviour, sometimes, the most loving word we can say to that person is “Good-bye.”


by HC Miller, Alberta Native News, November 2004

Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc. offers a variety of different workshops to help their Aboriginal clients deal with many of life’s problems, and one common reason for those difficulties keeps surfacing. “The residential school experience is the dysfunction in which many families live today,” explains Elaine Woodward, Executive Director. “In the services that we provide a lot of our counselling is around the trauma of the residential school abuse, and that carries right into family violence issues,” she says. “Often entire communities have concerns around abuse, so we’re not just working with individuals or even families.”

With offices in Yellowknife and Millarville, which is a 25-minute drive southwest of Calgary, counsellors travel to clients on a regular basis. “They may be in a community once every four or five weeks, especially in the northern settlements which are more remote, with counsellors flying in. Or they may be able to attend more often,” she adds. “It all depends on availability of our trainers and counsellors. We already have bookings extending well into the winter.”

Counsellors work with individuals and families to heal the abuse, within their community, once their leaders have engaged the services of Life Works. “Part of the healing process is bringing us in, and then doing as much as they can on their own as well,” she says. “Everyone wants this common goal of healthy lifestyles for healthy families, and together they are working to achieve it.” The answers to the problems lie within the people themselves, and Life Works facilitates the process, she adds. “They know what they want but don’t always know how to bring themselves to the solution, so we help with getting the answers out into the open so they can work on them. We use different techniques and approaches in order to find those answers.  We often find people saying they have carried grief or unhappiness throughout their entire lives, maybe forty years or more, and finally, they are releasing it and beginning to heal.”

Traditional healers and Elders are a welcome addition to the training team as well.  “They do traditional ceremonies and travel willingly to communities,” says Woodward.

Woodward is a Métis, originally from Anzac, Alberta.  “I lived in the Northwest Territories for over 30 years, and my husband and I established our business there in 1994 before expanding southward.”

No matter where they conduct workshops, they find the same problems are often at the root of the dysfunction, but the willingness and ability to heal themselves are also common to all participants, she says.

Life Works has numerous other workshops which they deliver as well, including: workplace services, stress management, healing with music, dealing with grief and loss, strategic planning, suicide prevention and teambuilding.  Well known names amongst Life Works facilitators include George Tuccaro, Lea Bill, Rita Chretien and Terry Garchinski.  Most counsellors and facilitators are of Aboriginal descent and the business is Aboriginal-majority owned. All are highly qualified.

“We hope eventually to provide a full range of services through northern and western Canada,” adds Woodward.

With November being the month that Albertans focus on the issues surrounding family violence, she urges everyone who needs help to reach out and begin the path to healing. “No matter where you are coming from, you can reach a respectful and happy lifestyle, full of dignity and love, and fulfilling relationships,” she says. “But you have to take the first step yourself.”

Circle Strong Song

Circle Strong is a song that Terry Garchinski wrote with youth at Northern Addictions Youth Inhalant Program in September 1995.  Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.


© Terry Garchinski 1995

Looking in your big brown eyes

Can’t hide the tears or the lies

So much pain it’s been there too long

And now you are here and you’re so strong

I take your hand and walk with you tonight

We’ve walked in darkness but now we’re in the light

I feel your pain I’ve walked this road before

Let’s raise our voices and walk through that door.


Let’s keep the circle strong:  I’ll be me and you be you

Together we’ll sing: “We will all be true.”

Let’s keep the circle strong:  I’ll be me and you be you

Together we’ll sing: “Keep the circle strong.”

Looking at the eagle in the sky

Signs of hope, the elders cry

Words of wisdom, the healing has begun

And now it’s time to come together as one.  (chorus)

And now you are gone I hold you in my heart

One thousand miles we journeyed from the start

I’ll pray for you, please pray for me

You’re a beautiful butterfly born to be free.  (chorus)


Terry recorded Circle Strong on his CD Healing Ground.

For more information or to order this CD, contact:


The Healing Circle Prayer

The following prayer was written by the youth and staff at Northern Addiction Services Inhalant Abuse Treatment Program.  March 1996.  It was written in a healing circle which was facilitated by Terry Garchinski.


Please God,

Help my family, friends and the treatment clients,

Help us to go through rough times,

–to be strong and healthy,

–to keep the circle strong,

–to follow direction and keep us away from harm,

–to make good choices,

–to heal our illness,

–to grow,

–to be true,

–to forgive.

Help people who are in jail or prison.

Help people who are suicidal.

Help free our spirit.

Heal me from the hurt of my anger,

Clean me from all unrighteousness,

Keep me safe while in treatment.

Give us the strength and power,

Keep evil spirits away from us,

Forgive those who are not well,

Deliver us from chemicals.

Create in us a new clean heart and renew our spirit.

Please God give us encouragement to take it one day at a time.

God, let us be with you and please stay with us.

Bless us.

Take care of us.

Thank you for your love and for giving us life.


Keep the Circle Strong!


By:  Terry Garchinski, Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc.

Submitted to the Yellowknifer, Northern News Services Ltd., July 2, 2004, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

When someone dies, we are left reaching out and that person is not there to reach back. Instead of shaking that person’s hand or hugging that person, there is no one there. There is no hand to shake. There is no body to hug. We are separated, disconnected, detached, apart. We are left hanging. We are left in emptiness. We are left with thoughts, feelings and experiences that hang in the air like broken telephone lines. Where once we were connected, now the connections are broken. We are alone.

The loss can be overwhelming. We can go into shock. Our thoughts can be confused and our emotions can be extreme or we could feel nothing at all.

In the short term, we might respond by being alone, pushing everyone else away, being angry with God, being angry at the world or particular people or situations, seeing the world as a scary, hurtful place. We might be very afraid of someone else close to us or ourselves dying. We might respond by drinking until we are drunk or pass out or black out. We might use drugs to push the hurt and pain down deep inside of us. We might gamble or do some other activity to distract us. We might blame, judge or fault others or ourselves.

But if we continue to do any of these things as a way of coping over a longer period of time, we are killing ourselves. We are dying inside. We are killing our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our spirits. This is not grieving in a healthy way. This is running away from our own responsibilities to ourselves, our families and our community.

To grieve in a healthy way is to face death and to sort out our own loose ends.

To grieve in a healthy way is to make sense of the death.  To the best our ability create the story of life and death, describe what happened, how did the person die? What was going on before, during and after the person’s death?

To grieve in a healthy way is to sort out our thoughts. What was my first thought when I learned that the person had died? What did I think about the circumstances of the death? What do I think about the inevitability of my own death or the death of those I love the most?

To grieve in a healthy way is to sort out our feelings. What did I first feel when I learned that the person had died?  What did I feel the next day? What did I feel when I saw the body?  What did I feel at the funeral? What is my anger telling me? What is my fear telling me? What is my sadness telling me? What else am I feeling? How do I respond to these feelings?

To grieve in a healthy way is to reconnect with oneself, to reconnect with the person who had died on a spiritual level through ceremonies, memories, songs and stories  about the person. To grieve in a healthy way is to reconnect with the land. There is a bigger picture. There is a higher power. To regain balance in our life again we need to connect with the Creator: the One who gives, maintains and takes away all life.

Healthy grieving happens over time. We make choices and we follow through with action. Ultimately, each person is responsible for his or her own grieving but we don’t have to do it alone. It is more effective to grieve with others: within the  relationships of friends; family and our community.

The choices and actions that can aid us to grieve in a healthy way are unique to each person. Because our relationship with the deceased person is unique, therefore,  our grief will also be unique. We need to grieve in our own way – in a way that is beneficial for us to accept the reality of the changes that death brings. A way to help us to move to the new reality: life without the deceased person. These are some things that may be helpful:

  • Participate in a wake and a funeral;
  • Pray (in your own way with sage, sweat grass or a Rosary);
  • Cry;
  • Talk to an elder, counsellor, spiritual leader;
  • Participate in ceremonies (Feed the Fire Ceremony);
  • Sit with a medicine person;
  • Go out on the land (hunting caribou,  fishing, having a picnic);
  • Tell stories to friends and family about the person who died;
  • Participate in a Sweat;
  • Visit the grave site and talk to the person who has died;
  • Set a plate for the deceased person on special occasions (birthdays, Christmas, Easter, anniversaries);
  • Participate in a feast;
  • Write in a journal;
  • Write a letter to the deceased person, say all the things you want to say, and then send it to the person by burning it in a fire.

Grieving well is to experience and make sense of these broken connections, and to reconnect the loose ends that the death has left with us.

If we grieve well, we can better appreciate our own life and the lives of all living things. Grieving well invites us to walk with respect, honour and love. Grieving well invites us not to put our own hurt and pain on ourselves or on other people, but to use it as an opportunity to live more deeply with greater awareness. To grieve well is to live well.

STORY WITH A PURPOSE: Parable Meant To Help Others Deal With Loss

by Jennifer Greens, Yellowknifer, Northern News Services Ltd.

Counsellor Terry Garchinski has been using stories and parables in his Healing from Loss and Grief Workshops for years.

Now Terry has set one of those stories down in print, the book, I Believe.

The book is  a compassionate story about a raindrop’s life, losses and loves.  Events of the raindrop’s journey from birth to the ocean symbolize life events. Characters appear throughout the book to offer advice and comfort to the raindrop as he deals with the challenges and obstacles in his way.

“It’s a parable or an analogy for people to address their attachments and their losses,”  said Garchinski.

He wrote the original manuscript two years ago and has not only used it in his workshops, but also with clients in personal sessions.

“I sit down beside them and I read it,” he said. “It’s different when someone else reads it to you.”

Autumn Downey created the colourful illustrations for the book, and based the characters’ caricatures on Garchinski’s friends and family.

The young raindrop was based on Garchinski’s four-year-old son, and as the raindrop gets older, he looks first like Garchinski’s dad, then his grandfather.

“Dad, why am I getting so old?” Garchinski’s son asked him when he first saw the manuscript.

Garchinski told him that’s what happens to everyone eventually.

The raindrop’s mom and dad take after Garchinski and his wife.

Overall, the book is meant to be used as a tool to help people accept loss and grief as normal events that happen to us all.

“It’s a very good message that loss is a part of life, “ said Garchinski.

“We begin every workshop by saying, “I have some good news and I have some bad news.  The bad news is we’re all going to die.  The good news is we’re alive today.”

The book costs $12.95 plus GST.

To order this book, contact:


GRANDMOTHER by Elaine Woodward

GRANDMOTHER by Elaine Woodward


A wonderful and meaningful gift!

Grandmother is a collection of poetry and short stories that speaks to the readers about native traditions and spirituality, beliefs and values. It is about death being a part of the circle of life, mourning and rejoicing in the gift of life, treating all life with reverence, and believing in dreams, visions and spirits. It is about learning to love and understand with our hearts as we walk on this earth, despite the many difficulties that challenge us to grow. It is about learning to heal from loss.

It is a book written for Elaine’s little granny, Victoria Bloomstrand. Her Grandmother died in December 1995 at the age of 100. Whenever her little granny was leaving to go somewhere, she would say, “I’m going now.” She did this so her spirit would not be left behind. She taught Elaine that all things have a spirit and must be treated with gentleness and respect – and through her stories, such as “Travellers of the Night”, that death is only a spiritual transition that brings one closer to the Creator.

Elaine Woodward is a Metis woman, born and raised in Anzac, a small community in northern Alberta. She is the granddaughter of Victoria Bloomstrand. After finishing highschool, she moved to Fort Smith, Northwest Territories (NT), to live near her grandmother. Elaine lived in the NT until 2004, then moved to Millarville, AB. 

To order this book, contact:

Millarville, AB, T0L 1K0
Tel: (403) 931-1094

or visit their website

Take Charge of Your Life!



Take Ownership and Manage Your Life,
Reconnect With Your Core,
Release Negative Emotions,
Walk Without Addictions,
Heal Your Self and Live Well!


“ If you only attend one workshop this year, this is the one to attend.”

“An excellent workshop for youth!”

“This workshop provides a holistic approach to dealing with addictions.”

“ Wonderful tools for helping my self and others.”

“This workshop gave me a chance to face my fears in a safe circle.”


During this 4-day workshop you will learn about:

  • Identifying the filters through which you view the world;
  • Identifying your values, beliefs, perceptions, assumptions, projections, judgments;
  • Identifying social masks and roles;
  • Evaluating your life: with self and others, job/career, family life, emotional, spiritual, social, physical life;
  • Your positive and negative characteristics and behavior patterns (ie: emotional patterns/cycles, attitudes);
  • Acknowledging and accepting accountability for your life (choosing better so you have better);
  • Confronting and understanding your pain and addictions, and finding the addictive payoffs;
  • Setting boundaries: teaching people how to treat you, and treating others in the same manner;
  • The power in forgiveness (of self and others);
  • Good words: identifying goodness in self;
  • Your power to choose to liberate yourself and be the manager of your life;
  • Taking the path of being accountable, committed, doing what it takes, and having what you want;
  • Utilizing hands-on exercises and techniques for self-awareness, acknowledgement, growth, spiritual awakening and change;


In Take Charge of Your Life Workshop each participant is invited to explore the journey of his or her own life. This will be done in a very interactive group setting, in the context of the Medicine Wheel, which is a traditional symbol of life and healing. It is also a powerful tool for self-awareness, reconnection, growth, spiritual awakening and change. It is the story of each of our lives, and how we can take charge of our lives.

Participants are also invited to examine how each gives power away through fear, anger, addictions, and not valuing self. A Medicine Wheel is created in the workshop using 36 stones. The process of constructing the Medicine Wheel will direct and empower the participants to awaken and act on their innate wisdom, power and life direction.

The Medicine Wheel creates a field of knowing, of safety, and of direction that is unique to the group of participants involved. Therefore, every workshop is different.

The purpose of Take Charge of Your Life Workshop is to awaken the awareness of power in each person so that they can act on it, take charge of their own lives and use their own power in good, creative ways.

There are many “hands on exercises” that are done in the workshop. These exercises can be “taken home” and immediately used to empower one’s own life on a daily basis.

This is a powerful, life-changing workshop. Once you enter the circle, you will no longer be the same. Young people (12 years and up) and Elders (70’s and 80’s) have participated in this workshop. You will get as much as you put in. You will take home as much as you choose.

This Workshop Will Include:

• Group Discussions and Diads
• Analogies
• Demonstrations
• Writing
• Storytelling
• Using the Medicine Wheel
• Music
• Life Maps
• Brainstorming
• Personal Interactions
• Prayer and Meditations
• Sharing Circles
• Traditional Medicines
• Humor


Upon registration, you will receive confirmation and detailed information regarding location, accommodation listing, etc.


• $470.00 plus GST per person;
• Includes a 4-day intensive workshop, materials, I Believe by Terry Garchinski, certificate of participation, coffee break refreshments/pastries;
• Does not include travel expenses: transportation, accommodations, meals and incidentals.
• Payment must be made 10 days prior to the workshop by cash, cheque, money order, purchase order, or direct billing authorization;
• Due to the sensitivity and interconnectedness of the workshop, partial attendance is not advised, punctuality is essential, and cell phones are to be turned off.


To arrange an on-site workshop in your community, please call Elaine Woodward at 1-403-931-1094.


Facilitator Fees for Workshop Delivery $1,000/day x 4 days $4,000
Facilitator Fees for Travel Days $500/day x 2 days $1,000
Materials $700
Report (participant list, evaluations, recommendations, photos) $300
Sub-Total $6,000
GST 5% $ 300
TOTAL $6,300


  • Travel, meals, incidentals and accommodations will be arranged for and paid by community organization(s).
  • Quote may vary pending travel distance, time and flight schedules, and weather conditions.
  • Pending organization needs, this quote may vary slightly.
  • Quote based on a maximum of 20 participants and 1 facilitator. If moe than 20, then we require a co-facilitator, and we charge additional costs.


Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc., established in 1994, is a business specializing in:
i) Therapeutic Assessment, Counselling and Referral Services;
ii) Contracted Face-to-face and Telephone Counselling Services, On-Site in Communities, upon request;
iii) Counselling services for a broad range of issues;
iv) Critical Incident Stress Management Services;
v) Employee and Family Assistance Programs and Services;
vi) Workshop delivery across Canada;
vii) Services utilizing Elders, translators and interpreters of client’s choice, if required.

The Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc.’s office is located in Millarville (Calgary area), Alberta.

Their services have been extensively provided to individuals, families, communities and organizations. Their work with Aboriginal people and communities throughout Canada has helped them develop a high level of respect for the diversity of peoples, cultures, languages and traditions.

Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc. provides the highest possible level of services to their clients. They have a reputation for being mindful of the position of trust, confidentiality, and responsibility in their work with clientele. Integrity, honesty, confidentiality and fairness are essential to the way in which they conduct business.


Terry Garchinski, R.S.W, is an experienced and dynamic trainer, facilitator and speaker, in areas such as, (but not limited to): loss and grief, ending abuse and violence, trauma recovery, suicide prevention, life mapping and cycles of abuse, self-harm and healing, conflict resolution, team building. He has designed and facilitated numerous workshops and programs for various groups, First Nations, governments, industries, and non-government clients, in communities throughout Canada. Terry is founder and President of Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc., and owner of Bag Man Productions.

As a trained professional with education in Social Work, Philosophy and Counselling, he works as a Therapeutic Counsellor, providing services such as: loss and grief counselling; palliative counselling; youth inhalant abuse counselling; comprehensive psycho-social community assessments following suicides and traumatic events; Employee and Family Assistance program services; counselling to children-in-care and to their natural and foster families; working with youth in a secure custody facility; and family counselling.

This work requires him to travel to communities to lead Critical Incident Stress Defusing and Debriefing sessions following suicides, murders, tragic deaths and other traumatic events.

Terry was the Recipient of the 2005 Social Work Distinguished Service Award; recognized by the Association of Northern Social Workers in Northern Canada for his compassionate and creative therapeutic work in counselling and workshop facilitation throughout the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.

Terry completed the 2007 Facilitator Training: Family, Community and Organization Constellation Program.

He brings with him a life-long passion in music, a deep spiritual base, and an interest in complimentary healthcare.

Terry’s life and cultural experiences include working in aboriginal communities throughout Canada’s North, teaching English in Peru; working as a volunteer for Hogar Belen, a children’s orphanage in Peru; and living the life experience of a homeless person on the streets of numerous cities throughout Canada and United States. Terry is also author of the book “I Believe”, and in 2010, he released his CD “Healing Ground”.


Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc. contracts various co-facilitators, pending workshop requirements.

Sometimes we are asked to provide a female/male balance; sometimes, we are asked to bring a third co-facilitator, who will provide massage, Reiki, Meditation, and other healing services.

Often, the host organization chooses a co-facilitator/counsellor from the community to assist the facilitator.

Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc., Millarville, AB, T0L 1K0
Phone: 403-931-1094

Name: ________________________________________________________________

Employer: ______________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________

Work #: ________________Home #: ____________________ Fax #:______________

E-Mail Address: _________________________________________________________

Indicate Workshop Date & Location:_________________________________________

Method of Payment: Cash ____ Cheque ____ Money Order _______

Purchase Order#______________

Authorization to Direct Bill __________________________________________________
Printed Name of Person with Authorization/Organization
Signature of Person with Authorization

Advanced Registration Is Required – Workshop Size Is Limited. Please Register Early.

Cancellation Policy:
o Registration fees are refundable provided we receive notification of cancellation twenty (20) days prior to the workshop date. Refunds are subject to a 20% deduction for our administrative fees. Cancellations less than 20 days are non-refundable.
o Life Works Counselling and Training Services Inc. reserve the right to cancel the workshop at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or insufficient registrants; liability is limited to refund of workshop fee only.
Tax Deduction: Receipts provided.