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As a Marriage and Family Therapist, Kevin works with individuals, couples and families to find solutions to the many pressing personal challenges that arise in our lives at any stage of development, from childhood to advanced age.

Kevin has broad experience with presenting issues of depression and anxiety in many forms. As a couple therapist he received Level 1 & 2 training in the Gottman Method. Kevin is also a Prepare/Enrich premarital and couple enrichment facilitator. As a family therapist he has the qualifications and experience to work with the whole range of issues that present in the family context with children and adults.

 

Kevin MacDonald, MA, MMFT
Counsellor/Psychotherapist
 

Kevin has specialised experience in the area of traumatic bereavement, having worked with relatives of homicide victims for the past five years. He also has specialised experience in the new and growing field of ambiguous loss, having worked with relatives of missing persons.

It is a courageous step to venture into the counselling/psychotherapy consulting room and open up about personal challenges in dialogue with a complete stranger, whether one does this as an individual, as a couple or as a partial or whole family unit. Please allow me to tell you a little about myself and my approach by way of some encouragement.

I have been talking supportively with people about their personal challenges for decades, first in a pastoral context, as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and more recently, since 2010, as a Marriage and Family Therapist. As I am well embarked now on my sixth decade, I believe I can say that I have acquired considerable life experience as a husband, father and grandfather. I have known many joys and sorrows in these roles. I have encountered many of my own challenges in my personal and my working life. I have had my own battles with depression and anxiety. In short, I believe I have had the experience to begin to understand on an experiential level what you might be going through.

I received my psychotherapy training in the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree program at the University of Winnipeg. I am currently a full Clinical Member of the Canadian/American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and have received the RMFT (Registered Marriage and Family Therapist) designation. This profession is oriented to working directly with relationships, between parents, grandparents and children, siblings, couple relationships of all descriptions, and relationships among friends. It is sometimes known as the Family Systems Approach. Although it concentrates on the quality of close relationships, Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT’s) may work with individuals one-on-one as well as directly with any combination of people in relationship.

Please allow me to highlight some characteristics of the Family Systems Approach:

It is SYSTEMIC, meaning that all participants in a relationship system can be influenced by factors impinging on that system at any point in the system. A relationship system can be likened to a kind of force field which holds all its parts in relationship. Just as with the parts of a mobile, when you set one part in motion all the others will be affected. This means that solutions may often come from unexpected quarters.

It is NON-BLAMING. While holding people accountable for unskilful behaviours, the Family Systems Approach prefers not to lodge blame in any one individual or in the system in general, viewing problems as the result of causes arising from a plurality of sources historical and present. Blaming tends to be counterproductive to healing as it creates strong defensive emotions in opposition. All symptoms are well-intentioned efforts on the part of the system to seek relief according to the best wisdom it can muster in the moment.

It is NON-PATHOLOGIZING, meaning the Family Systems Approach does not like to label participants in a system as “disease-carriers,” resisting the all-too-frequent urge to confine their identity to that of a disorder. Such labels tend to lodge problems within individuals and create immobility. By refraining from such labelling the Approach preserves the freedom of all the parts to pursue change.

It is CONTEXTUAL, meaning the Family Systems Approach views problems as situational, rather than granting them any permanently fixed presence in the system. It is possible to alleviate the problem by making adjustments to its context.

Finally, it is fiercely OPTIMISTIC. There is no limit to the power of relationship systems to grow and adapt to change. I never cease to be astounded by the ability of human beings to adapt to any challenging situation I have encountered with them. I have reason to be optimistic, and I would like communicate this optimism to you.

For more information on the MFT profession, please consult the following links:
Manitoba context:
http://www.mamft.ca/about-us/
Canadian context:
http://camft.ca/about-us/
American context:
http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/About_AAMFT/About_Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx

Finally, I should say a word about my religious background. Although I am ordained as a minister in a traditional Protestant denomination, i.e., the Presbyterian Church in Canada, I received my psychotherapy training in a secular context and it is entirely secular in nature, drawing on human psychology rather than on theology for its insights. Within this secular context, however, religious convictions are viewed as a strong resource, and I am certainly open to and interested in a client’s religious sensibility, whatever its nature. My point is that I welcome such discussions if this is the client’s interest, but will never seek to impose them on you or proselytise you in any manner.

For clients who are interested in a faith-based approach to counselling, I am happy to provide this in a way that is formed by my theological and pastoral training.

 

 

 
Hours: Day time and evening appointments available
Fees: Speak to Kevin to discuss your options
 
 
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The Harbour ...a recovery group
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Our Address
9 - 1110
Henderson Hwy.
Wpg, MB  R2G 1L1
Ph: 204-334-4801

Fax: 204-338-9180
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RIVERBEND COUNSELLING & WELLNESS
Phone: 204-334-4801 Fax: 204-338-9180 Email: contact@riverbendcounselling.ca
9 - 1110 Henderson Hwy Winnipeg, MB.  R2G 1L1
website: Beth Neufeld