Katie Israel’s first patient was herself. Immersed in the internal wounds from major losses and moral injuries, Katie believed there was more beyond the brokenness from these experiences.

Her journey towards working with those experiencing not only psychological trauma but the effects of it such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and other behavioural and personality difficulties, began when she worked in a mental health treatment program as a Support Worker in the Yukon. Her connection with those seeking support, the wisdom she imparted and her humility, sparked constant feedback and recommendations from them, and she embarked on a pursuit to get qualified and certified to do this as a Counsellor.

Tranquil Pathways Counselling & Therapy Services initially launched in Whitehorse, but after moving to Airdrie, Israel opened a clinic to serve the residents of her new home community as well. Through virtual visits, she is able to continue working with her Yukon-based patients, and her virtual services are available to everyone else as well.

“People can access my service from the comfort of their home,” she explains, adding that patients comfortable with in-person appointments will appreciate the person-to-person connection within a safe space.

Through Tranquil Pathways, Israel provides a range of therapy services, serving patients experiencing depression, anxiety and PTSD. At the core of her work is a focus on addressing trauma – something she’s experienced first-hand.

“When you look at other mental health conditions or situations, there is often an element of the impact of trauma a person has been through. It’s at the core. So I work towards healing the trauma and building back the capacity of people, which results in increased wellness, functionality and quality of life.”

Sometimes, says Israel, people just need a bit of coaching.

“Sometimes people feel like they can’t find their way forward; they feel stuck,” she says. “They don’t know who they are, and they’re trying to find an alignment. They notice the character they’re presenting is not the character they’d like to be. I try to coach people to move from where they are to where they desire to go, no matter the goals they have.”

AirdriePhoto of Israel having a conversation with a client.

Acknowledging the stigma that sometimes surrounds therapy and counselling, Israel points out that she takes a somewhat different approach at Tranquil Pathways. Sessions with her are part of a relationship, which she describes as human-to-human exploration.

“My service is more about exploring the condition of humanity than eradicating symptoms of conditions. It’s more about understanding the core essence of human life and helping people navigate it,” she says.

For her own part, Israel’s journey from Botswana to Yukon to Alberta, and through the immigration, professional licensing and academic systems in Canada, helped her understand her own core, and her past trauma.

“It truly feels like I’m doing what I came here to do,” she says. “This doesn’t feel like a job. I feel like I’m just expressing the purpose of my life, which is helping the other lives in front of me.”

Katie Israel, GN, MA, RCC, Clinical Traumatologist, can be reached through her Tranquil Pathways office by calling (867) 334-9524 or emailing katie@tranquilpathways.ca. Prospective patients can also visit her website, where they’ll find a form to book appointments.

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