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Lindsey Thomson | Ottawa | Growth Is Uncomfortable

Updated: Sep 24, 2021


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Instagram: @my.momentum.mind


Registered Psychotherapist

Owner, Momentum Mindset

My name is Lindsey and I was born and raised in Toronto. I moved to Ottawa for university and then I never left. Since I was in middle school I struggled with anxiety, depression, perfectionism and a fear of not being good enough. I wanted to be the best I could to make my parents proud, like many of us. Unfortunately my anxiety got in the way and led me to experience a high level of stress throughout my academic journey and for the first few years of my career.

I attended the University of Ottawa and had the privilege to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology during my undergraduate years. During this time I was active on campus and joined Delta Delta Delta International Women’s Organization. Joining an international sorority truly catapulted my passion for learning and leadership. While in the sorority I had the opportunity to take on a number of leadership roles and was President of the Canada Delta chapter in my final year. This experience was my first attempt at learning how to separate business from personal matters. In my role as Vice President Chapter Development one of my responsibilities was to be in charge of discipline if members were struggling with their behaviours or were not meeting the academic requirements to remain a member. It was extremely difficult to enjoy all the wonderful aspects of the organization like philanthropy and fundraising, social events and member bonding time, while also having to put members on academic probation, for example. I know I made a lot of mistakes during this time, and lost some friends along the way, but looking back at it now I can see that it was a formative time in my development and has been an incredible learning experience in my leadership style today.

Prior to starting university I knew I wanted to help people through talk therapy. At first I thought I wanted to be a Clinical Psychologist but then through a research assistant position in undergrad, I learned that I like to read about research, not conduct it. On top of this, I didn’t have high enough grades to be able to get into the stream of education to become a psychologist. I then had to readjust my expectations. After undergrad I completed a Bachelor of Education, thinking that I wanted to be a teacher. I quickly learned that I love to teach, just not kids. From there I went on to complete a Masters in Counselling Psychology and knew that I was on the right path.

After graduating my Masters I couldn’t find a job in my field, so my now husband encouraged me to start my own business. It was a very scary idea, considering I have no background in business and math is one of my weaknesses. I was nervous and had a lot of worry and doubt, but I didn’t let that stop me. I took the time to network and build relationships in the Ottawa counselling community and I was able to find a mentor to help me to start a private practice.

Fast forward 4 years, I am now on my second business and have created a schedule that works for me. I now provide psychotherapy, have gone on to become a Clinical Supervisor for counselling students and novice therapists and also provide clinical training to other psychotherapists and counsellors.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?

My biggest hurdle has been managing my many mental health challenges while trying to be a leader, be successful in my field and also support the mental health of my clients. I was able to overcome them by asking for help even when I didn’t believe that things could change and challenging myself to do things that scared me. I’ve been able to do this by the support of a handful of different therapists over the last 10 years.

What books are you currently reading?

Behind her eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Principles and Practices of Sex Therapy by Hall & Bink

Your body is not an apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?

That being hard on myself or critical of myself when making mistakes will not lead me to push myself harder and achieve more. I believed in the past that when I’m anxious, if I increase the expectations I put on myself this will lead me to have more control and ultimately reduce my anxiety. This is not the case and it took me many years to see that this way of thinking simply backfired and made things more challenging for me. I’ve since learned through Self-Compassion therapy that self-kindness in response to pain or making mistakes is much more forgiving and effective and self-judgement.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?

Don’t be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right to you. To listen to your gut or your knowing. To ask for help when needed. To consider working with a therapist when you’re struggling. Talking through problems with a professional and finding solutions that fit your values can change your life if you want it to and if you’re willing to put in the work. Growth is uncomfortable but it is all the more rewarding when we can come out on the other side and see how resilient we are. Resilience Conquers All.


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