Addiction Counselling has come in handy

Jul 24, 2017
Ashley Ann Lawrie

Danielle Lithwick

Our trainers come from a variety of backgrounds and bring different life experiences with them. For Danielle at our Wellington Village location, she brings years of experience counseling teens through drug addiction. That experience helps her be more empathetic with her clients.

“When you’re counselling addicts you need to be empathetic, you need to listen and you have to understand that everything isn’t as black and white as we’d like it to be. With addiction counselling, small realistic goals and a patient centered approach is the most effective form of therapy.”

It’s those same principles that Danielle brings with her to physical training.

“I have a lot of clients who deal with chronic pain and who are trying to lose weight. Each client is different and listening to them, understanding where they are physically and helping them with small realistic goals over time is what leads to results. Being happy and healthy isn’t about quick fix solutions it’s about a process of healthy diet and exercise.”

Danielle transitioned from a counselor to a personal trainer because she finds that physical health and mental health are closely linked and that a whole body approach is more rewarding.  

In terms of her personal fitness goals, Danielle focuses primarily on bodyweight strength progression and control skills. She’s working on a being able to do a free handstand and enjoys core exercises such as bear crawls. “For me, I’m not looking to be able to lift a certain weight; it’s more about the process and enjoying it. I was a yoga instructor for years and I was probably too flexible. That took some strength away, so now I’m building strength up.”

In terms of lessons that she has learned from her clients, she understands the importance of not being too hard yourself.

“Sometimes clients will apologize for being out of breath after they’ve finished a difficult exercise and it surprises me how hard they are on themselves. I put myself in their shoes and I can relate to them and it reminds me not to be too hard on myself.”

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