Sheila O’Byrne, Ph.D. Psychologist
Counseling Services, #1939

Office: near Fort Street and St. Charles, Victoria, B.C.
Phone: 250-886-7353
Updated: July 25th, 2016

I assist people with a variety of challenges
  • Anxiety
  • Stress Management
  • Self-Development
  • Grief / Loss
  • Depression
  • Divorce or Separation
  • Insomnia, Sleep Issues
  • Burnout
Therapeutic Approaches Used In Counseling
  • CBT (cognitive behavior therapy)
  • EFT (emotion focused therapy)
  • Gestalt Psychology
  • Intuition Development
  • Guided Imagery (hypnotherapy)
  • Positive Psychology
  • Spiritual Psychology
  • Dream Analysis
  • Relaxation Exercises
  • Meditation
  • Belly Breathing Biofeedback

Client Population - Adult Male or Female.

Modality - Individual Sessions.

The focus is on short term counselling where the purpose is to do some problem solving and to teach clients tools for healthy self-management. 

Next is a story of my life experience and how I use tools for healthy self-management. If you like this story go to 'Solutions' for more examples. 


The Benefits of Spiritual Practice

“J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, spoke and traveled almost continuously all over the world for more than fifty years … At one of his talks in the later part of his life, he surprised his audience by asking, ‘Do you want to know my secret? … I don’t mind what happens.”        (E. Tolle, A New Earth, 2005, p.198)

The Eye Experience. I was 57 years old when my eye doctor’s business card fell out of my address book and fluttered to the floor. As I bent down to pick it up I took this as a sign to get my eyes checked. It had been 3 years since my last visit. The office had called a year before and I had been putting it off. My eyes seemed fine but I followed the sign and booked an appointment.

At the check up on the following Monday my eye doctor showed me a picture of my eyes, one was pinkish red - healthy tissue. The other looked as if green moss covered two-thirds of it, an abnormality he said. He told me that I needed to go to the hospital now. My stomach clenched. I was nervous. He made a phone call to the hospital but was told to send me to a specialist first. An appointment was made for the next day.

As I processed this event I found my intuitive Self saying that this tight stomach felt like the tightness I had when my family and I flew to Paris a year ago to visit our sister there. Interesting I thought - excitement and nervousness for Paris and anxiousness about my eye, hmmm. So when I felt the tightness in the stomach about my eye I thought about going to Paris. This helped a lot.

Another time I found my intuitive Self saying this event isn't me (as in my intuitive Self, the part that lives on), it is the human self going through this.

That afternoon I reached for my file folder on liability insurance as I was checking some details on my professional insurance. However in that moment I pulled out the disability folder. “That is interesting and intense. Source is either wanting me to really go into this event and everything is fine or I am really going to need to go on disability,” my intuitive Self thought. I actually thought about how nice the rest would be, to read fiction and watch movies for a few days, since the eyes heal quickly. I also looked at the possible outcomes for example if I were to die my sister Mary Jane would be a mother to my son. If I had cancer I would go through the treatments such as chemotherapy. And finally maybe I just needed some surgery or antibiotics. My sister did a search on the specialist I was seeing and he was an ophthalmologist and not an oncologist. We thought that was good news.

Later that night I thought about watching a funny movie so that I could have a good laugh. Since I have used movies, television and fiction to avoid myself in the past, I (my intuitive Self) decided that I would meditate instead and be with what was happening. I also watched some Eckhart Tolle and Abraham-Hicks videos on my ipad.

I slept well that night. I woke up to meditate and then remembered that I had the eye thing to deal with. My body tightened some. Another sister Keltie drove me to the appointment for support in addition to my needing a driver. Drops are used to dilate the eyes and driving is not recommended. After an hour of waiting and the assistant administering the drops and doing tests, my name was finally called. I sat in the examination chair and my sister sat nearby. The doctor examined my eyes thoroughly and then proceeded to recheck the notes the first doctor had sent and then to type his own findings. I sat there wondering what the news would be. My adrenalin was pumping. I looked over at my sister and she was peeking at his notes. She gave me a thumbs up. “Could it be that I am okay?” I thought.

Finally the doctor turned around and said that the eye had a pigmented lesion, an abnormality and that it was benign. He said that he was not sure how it was missed three years ago at my last appointment. Later I wondered if perhaps it had not been there and was a recent appendage. The doctor said that sometimes the eye can have this and that it is normal. He recommended seeing my eye doctor once a year to monitor the eye. I felt relieved and happy. When I got home I called my eye doctor and thanked him for his attention and that I would see him in 6 months.

What a profound experience. For the most part I had been able to be present. I was proud of myself that there was an awareness that the anxiousness I felt about my eye was similar to the excitement of going to Paris. Also I had been more able to decipher the difference between my small self - ego and fears, and my wise Self - the deep wisdom that connects to Source, for example when I thought ‘this isn’t me’ and later as I held the disability insurance. I was distressed but at peace when I examined the three possible outcomes of the abnormal eye of death, cancer treatments or needing some surgery or antibiotics. I was open to facing whatever outcome occurred, willing to go with the flow of life.

In hindsight I see that to be that present was a culmination of daily meditation, practicing awareness, working with teachers and reading books on self-development. I have a new appreciation for the benefits of spiritual practices. The fact is we cannot make ourselves be present. Awareness is developed with spiritual practices. Themes like being in the flow of life are explored by many master teachers. In the written and video recordings of Jerry and Ester Hicks for example, they talk about being in a canoe with no oars as a metaphor of going with the flow of life. I find the ride can be bumpy but one way or another everything works out. Also as I searched my books for a quote for this eye event and found the above story about Krishnamurti’s secret to his level of consciousness, I realized that I didn’t mind what might happen. Tolle describes this state of not minding what happens as being internally in alignment, a state of inner nonresistance with what happens. When we are in this state, he writes our actions become empowered by the intelligence of Source. (A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle. 2005). How profound this is, to not mind what is happening, to be in the flow of life, and how in this state there is an inner alignment and deeper connection to Source. And so it turned out that the eye incident was an enlightening experience. I feel grateful.

A More Extensive List of Tools for Healthy Self-Management
  • Doing daily Meditation or relaxation. (5 minutes a day is a good start.)
  • Practicing awareness and kindness to self.
  • Managing mind-talk
  • Feeling feelings
  • Listening for the Inner Guidance.
  • Eating healthy foods and cutting back on junk foods. (ie/ eating three balancd meals a day.)
  • Exercising moderately.
  • Reading books on self-development.
  • Listening to audiotapes on self-development.
  • Watching a sad movie, which helps us to cry and thus release feelings.
  • Opening up to a friend or partner.
  • Looking for the positive in oneself and in others.
  • Writing in a journal.
  • Analyzing dreams.
  • Addressing addictive use of smoking, drinking and taking drugs.
  • Cutting back on television.
  • Laughing.

See Meditation Made Easy for a tool that's simple to do, but also hard to get done.

(Updated July 25th, 2016)

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