“Terry Garchinski has been involved with the Cambridge Bay Community Wellness Centre for two and a half years. He has been facilitating a wide variety of workshops and doing one-on-one counselling. Terry is the centre’s main facilitator because of the skills he brings with him and his ability to interact effectively and respectfully with people. His capacity to listen, interpret and react is unparalleled.”  Marie Ingram, Executive Director, Cambridge Bay Community Wellness Centre, Nunavut (NU)


” Terry Garchinski is an extraordinary counsellor with excellent experience with cross cultural and intergenerational counselling, supervising, teaching and mentoring.

As Executive Director of Ilisaqsivik Society, a community-based wellness organization in the community of Clyde River, Nunavut, I have had the privilege of working with Terry for 7 years. Our organization has contracted Terry to facilitate group counselling sessions and workshops on topics including Sexual Health, Grief and Loss, Suicide Prevention and Intervention, Life Skills, Critical Incident and Stress Management, and Parenting. We have also contracted, and continue to contract Terry to provide supervision, training, mentoring and counselling for our 20+ counselling staff at Ilisaqsivik Society. Finally, we have been working together with Terry and the Elders Committee of Clyde River to develop and teach a Counsellor Training Program and a Facilitator Training Program for Community Based Inuit Counsellors. Both of these programs are intense, 2-year programs that are taught in 2-3 week long modules with mentorship and practicum between sessions. The objective of the program is to combine Inuit and southern/academic’ counselling techniques and theories in order to train community based Inuit counsellors to provide high quality and culturally grounded therapeutic services in their home communities. Both of these training programs completed in January 2011. Terry has co-facilitated both programs, and has written a counselling manual for the counsellor-training program that is grounded in the oral histories and testimonies of many of the Elder co-facilitators of the program.

Terry has many exceptional qualities and experiences that make him an excellent counsellor/supervisor/trainer. He has a tremendous amount of experience utilizing participatory research methodologies with comparative analysis of group processes within cross-cultural, intergenerational, and often contentious settings. He is very skilled within oral traditions and specifically with the Inuit. He is also skilled using applied comparative systems analysis especially with Inuit versus academic approaches, demonstrating cultural and historical context, and multiple perspectives.  Issues analysed in this way include, among others, conflict resolution patterns, conflict improvement with a perspective of techniques used in the past and what is effective in the present. Terry works well, with the use of interpreters, in order to facilitate clarity of meaning and interpretation of concepts in Inuktitut.”  Jake Gearheard, Executive Director, Ilisaqsivik Society, Clyde River, NU


“Just a quick note to let you know that all is really great here.  We are enjoying a whole new level of communication supported by love and trust that was just not possible before. The best part of all this is I have “rediscovered” me and now am experiencing happiness and joy that are solely to do with me. I can share this with my family or friends easily and it is completely fulfilling. There is such a balance in my life now – with my marriage, my family, my friends – nothing seems overwhelming anymore. I feel stronger and more confident than ever and that brings with it a real sense of self security and peace.  Thanks again for your help at such a critical time in my life and assisting me to help myself get to where I am now.”  Client in Haida Gwaai, BC


“The counselling services that we received from Terry rebalanced our family dynamics as our children transition from childhood to young adult. Terry has an extraordinary gift of insight and compassion as well as vast experiences to draw upon. He was able to quickly identify and resolve underlying issues while guiding us to make lasting changes toward healthier ways of interacting. “  Client, Calgary AB


“Thank you so much for assisting me in this beautiful self-healing and self-care work. What a wonderful opportunity!”  Client, who completed a one-week counselling retreat


“Elaine, I was very impressed with you and Terry. I have had a few phone calls from clients remarking on how they enjoyed the training. I want to thank you again.”  Organizer, on-site Anger Management workshop, Saskatoon, SK


“I promote Life Works Counselling and Training Services because I truly believe in the programs that you offer, and work so hard to achieve.”  A Business Owner


 “Terry is a professional and thorough listener who does this work with compassion. He has a credible, knowledge base of ethical issues and is well respected in the communities in western Canada, particularly with the Aboriginal communities.” A Co-facilitator, Yellowknife NT


“I appreciate everything you have done for me; this journey could not have been the same without you.” Client


“Thank you. You are great facilitators!”  Workshop Participant


“Thank you so much for the tools you’ve provided me with, so that I LOVE ME.”  Workshop Participant


“Elaine, thanks for taking such good care of me these past few years. I will miss our Reiki sessions, our talks, and all of your good counsel and words of wisdom. You have helped me become a happier person – thank you.” Client, Turner Valley, AB


“I took one of Life Works sessions a few years ago. I am very thankful that I took the opportunity, for me and my family. I am able to be more balanced, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.”  Workshop Participant


“Thanks for all your supportive help and counseling. There are so few people who really have this gift. You’re one of the gifted people. I might have gotten lost on the path had you not shown up with a “map” – now I can continue on.”  Workshop Participant


“Mahsi. May God continue to pour out his blessing on your wonderful work. You showed us how to cope with our loss in a good way.”  Participant, Healing from Loss and Grief Workshop


“I have been associated with Mr. Garchinski for two years in our shared work on the family project of the Diocese.  The family project conducts retreats for couples in communities and at the Trappers’ Lake Spiritual Centre near Yellowknife. The vision of the project is “families fully alive”. Our goal is to help couples develop the skills and understanding of each other that will enable them to build truly life-giving relationships for themselves and their families. In the past two years, 140 couples have completed retreats. 95% of the couples have been aboriginal.

The family project provides follow-up services to couples in the form of follow-up encounters for groups, individual family counselling, men’s and women’s gatherings, a newsletter, an d other efforts.

Terry has assisted this project for the last two years. He is present at the meal breaks during the retreats to provide one-on-one or couple counselling, and the slots are usually booked up. He has also done the intensive family counselling that occasionally follows a retreat. Furthermore, Terry has co-facilitated the session “Forgiveness” at the Building Love for Life Follow-Up retreat.

In our feedback from couples, Terry is often mentioned as a source of “breakthrough” for them.We have done informal assessments of his work to find that there is a high degree of confidence in him among the aboriginal couples we polled, including those community-based aboriginal couples who work with us in our project.”  The Family Project of the Diocese of Mackenzie, Yellowknife, NT