A Conversation with Eric Hadley
Our student counsellor Eric Hadley comes to us with prior experience as an accredited music therapist. He has worked previously with individuals of all ages with concerns such as grief, anxiety, depression and life transitions. His research focuses on how mental health treatments can support individuals experiencing the negative effects of our changing world. Eric is working toward a master’s in counselling under the supervision of Registered Certified Counsellors Emma McClellan and Abby Chow.
1. What made you decide to go into counselling?
Prior to pursuing a career in counselling, I worked as a music therapist in a variety of mental health focused contexts. In that role, I found that the work of helping others to be the most meaningful work of my life. To this end, I decided to become a counsellor to increase my capacity to help others and do the work that brings meaning into my life. It is an honour to be in this profession, witnessing people’s stories and helping where I can.
2. What areas interest you the most in your practice?
My research in my master’s degree is primarily focused on how climate change and other growing sources of instability affect our mental health. I am keenly interested in exploring the ways that our changing world can affect our mental health and how we can meet these changes with acceptance, dignity, and compassion.
3. What is your approach to helping?
Change often comes out of discomfort. It is rarely easy to make changes and we are often forced to adapt to things that are out of our control. To me, my primary role is to work alongside people as a witness, ally, and support as they go through this process of change. If there are therapeutic techniques, strategies, or tools that I can share that will help, I will not hesitate to do so. Above all, I see my approach to helping as supporting and assisting people through their ongoing process of change.
4. How should I prepare for my first session with you?
There is no right or wrong way to show up for counselling. Regardless of how you show up for your first session, I will be there to help and support you. There is no preparation necessary. If you are someone who likes to prepare for things, it can be helpful to write down some quick thoughts about why you are seeking therapy and make note of any information you feel you would regret not mentioning in your first session. It is normal to be nervous about a first counselling session. My priority is to provide a welcoming environment and guide us in a conversation that feels natural and comfortable.
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
In my free time, you’ll likely find me hiking a local mountain, spending time with my family, or playing spontaneously invented, improvised music at the piano.