Vancouver Campus graduate Tricia-Kay Williams, M.A. ’18, a registered clinical counselor and owner of Metamorphose Counseling, created the Meta Transitions interview series and podcast to share honest and open conversations, tips, and hope for resilience and transformation. She shares her story and why she felt called to help people navigate transitions.
I am a butterfly. I see myself as a butterfly because I have gone through transition and transformation in my life. From the bullied tomboy with no feminine shape to a beautiful Black queen. From a teen tormented with low self-esteem and a negative sense of self brought on by my rapist, that was once a trusted ally, to a confident, purpose-driven woman helping others overcome past traumas and affliction.
During my own healing, I realized just how important past experiences impact and inform the present, and then dictate the future.
In my practice I primarily help emerging adults, couples, and families going through a transition to gain an understanding of their past then provide them with the skills, tools, techniques to live fully in the present, so they can make the best decisions for the future.
Becoming a Clinical Counselor
I am Jamaican and I grew up in a loving family that cared deeply for me as the only girl of three children. It is this loving family system and a close community that helped me to overcome feelings of inadequacy; they always encouraged me which later gave me empowerment.
The traumatic event that occurred during my teen years was devastating not only to me but to my entire family system. They also took me to see a social worker to talk about my experience. This was my first encounter with a mental health professional, and it was positive.
I went to see an advisor during my second year of undergrad, and they identified psychology as my best subject. I decided to give it a try and I fell in love with it. I recognized that I would be following my life passion of helping people. I would be helping people to change their perspective. Rather than to heal the physical body, I would help to heal the human mind.
When I was searching for graduate schools, I found that Adler University stood for social justice and community engagement, so I applied. Adler University inspired me to be more engaged in the community. I still remember serving food and working the pop-up clothing shop for the homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside during a day of community volunteering.
There was also the Social Justice Practicum that was part of our requirements. I did my practicum at The Children’s Foundation; it opened my eyes to the challenge’s children face whose families are broken. It was valuable because it gave me behind-the-scenes information about how a not-for-profit organization is run and inspired one of my goals to one day open a nonprofit for individuals and families going through a transition.
After completing my Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, I wanted to work with individuals, couples, and families who are going through a transition in their life. I help emerging adults identify their purpose, couples realize how they can make their relationships last a lifetime, families manage conflict to co-parent after a separation, and couples transition to becoming new parents.
I established my private practice Metamorphose Counselling in January of 2018. I learnt a lot from the youth and families I worked with during my clinical practicum and wanted to create a practice that would assist individuals, couples, and families to gain the skills and tools they needed to transition well.
Navigating Critical Transitions
My key successes have been to create a platform to normalize seeking help and reduce the stigma of mental health, creating a business that is known in British Columbia for transition services. I am living out my dream of helping others heal mental wounds and live out their purpose.
A few things individuals should remember when going through a transition:
- This is normal – it’s supposed to be challenging and different.
- Seek help – this can be from your support systems, educationally, socially or professionally.
- Practice self-care – this is so important, find things in your day-to-day to reduce anxiety.
I take self-care very seriously. COVID-19 made it difficult to stay on track, but I love yoga, cooking food and hosting friends, hiking and exploring BC, taking a hot bath, getting mani-pedis and just laughing with my husband on date nights. I have one day out of the week that I do not work, this is my Sabbath, I just spend time with God and family. I also take a vacation once or twice a year.
Meta Transitions video series
I started my YouTube channel because I wanted to normalize the challenges transitions bring and provide a sense of hope, community, and resilience to those who are feeling stuck and alone in their experience. So many individuals feel isolated in their stories of transition. While everyone’s story is unique it’s important to share the similarities to reduce the stigma of seeking help.
I allow each guest to share their own story of transition. Some guests wanted to talk about how Black Lives Matter (BLM) impacted them and how we can make a difference. I also reached out to a couple of the guests to talk specifically about BLM and how we can share tips to help the Black community with trauma care.
I am a Black Woman living in a predominantly white country with white normative standards that I fight daily. It became more important to me after I realized the vast difference growing up in Jamaica where the opposite is true. In Jamaica, everyone has a chance to be successful if we are thinking only in terms of race. Then I thought about other barriers, outside of race, prejudice and discrimination still exist in both countries. The idea then is to help individuals to have a change of heart and mind that can then translate to a change in behaviour.
I hope the stories will positively impact individuals globally and will spread hope and resilience. I think it also shares the message that we can be inclusive and diverse in our sharing as well. That equality is possible if we all choose to work together and embrace difference.