The Grounding Stone was birthed in response to the isolation that many folks have been feeling in the rapidly evolving landscape of Vancouver. As the cost of surviving and feelings of alone-ness are on the rise, The Grounding Stone strives to support both individuals and the community as they connect with and support one another.
Megan Jespersen is the Founding Director of The Grounding Stone. She is a protege of Christine Waymark, Co-Founder of Dragonstone Counselling in Kitsilano. With forty years between them, Christine and Megan share a special relationship as they both experienced trauma at the intersection of religion and queerness. Megan and Christine have combined their energies in supervision of intern counselors at Dragonstone Counselling, and they both specialize in supporting folks who are both experiencing and have survived oppression, discrimination, abuse, and trauma related to non-acceptance.
Christine has been a significant force in shaping Megan’s therapeutic approach and in shifting the way that Megan is able to relate to ideas and challenges that may seem insurmountable. Megan describes this approach as one that seeks to move away from defining experiences, and rather, to find new ways of relating to experiences.
In the Summer of 2018, Megan moved her practice out of Kitsilano and opened The Grounding Stone in East Vancouver, in order to provide counselling services and to build community in a space that can be sustained and maintained for the long term.
At The Grounding Stone, we strive to engage with both ourselves and with our fellow humans from a place of compassion. We believe that compassion is rooted in wisdom and strength, and we view this way of being as a lifelong journey.
We view our experiences of life and identity on a spectrum. We strive to find balance in the extremes, and to engage with both the light and the dark. We believe that your experiences are valid, and that you have a damn good reason to feel everything that you feel. We believe that by engaging with the entirety of the spectrums on which we travel, we are more easily able to dismantle feelings of shame, and to engage compassionately with ourselves and our stories.
We value age and texture, and we strive to live conscious of our impact on the earth, on ourselves, and on one another.
Our Therapeutic Approach
At The Grounding Stone, we work with you at the pace that you set. We will sit in the darkness with you, and we will listen to you. We will develop safety in that place with you, and when you are ready, we will help you to find your center from which to stand. If you would like to go deep, we will go there with you. We will hold space for you in that place that you feel afraid to go, and afraid to show.
We are able to help you to evolve your relationship with the trauma that you have been carrying, and to let go that which is no longer yours to carry. When we come back from the depths together, we will help you to learn new ways of relating to your journey, your pain, and your survival.
Our Counselors at The Grounding Stone are a diverse group of folks with non-traditional histories, lives and approaches to counselling and witnessing.
The folks who will hold space for you at The Grounding Stone have come together very intentionally. We are witnesses who have met organically, and who have decided that we want to be a part of something intentional. We believe that this coming together has the capacity to offer our community a connection far beyond our own private individual counselling practices. As colleagues, we witness the process of one another, and we support one another in our creative discoveries and expressions. We value community, and we believe that we are capable of far more, united.
We feel more comfortable, ourselves, outside of clinical settings, and we approach our work with heart. We are non-conventional folks with a combination of training within the systems that surround us, and lived experience that sets us apart from these systems. We bring our selves into our work with you, which means that each of us offers a like-minded, yet distinctive capacity to hold space for you and to connect with you. Check out our stories below to learn more about our distinct capacities to witness.
Megan Jespersen, MCP, RCC (she/her)
Megan is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who specializes in working with non-traditional networks and individuals who have experienced trauma and/or abuse related to identity, religion, and expression of self. Megan works from an anti-oppressive framework and offers sex-positive, kink-friendly, non-monogamous and polyamorous relationship counselling.
The foundation of most of the therapeutic work that I do is rooted in my personal life journey. My biggest struggle has been navigating ways to be my authentic self in environments where my authentic self was not welcome.
I spent my first career living out of a backpack, part professional tour guide, part parched and wild culture-seeker. In hindsight, I see that there was a strong driving force below the surface of my eager ventures; not only was I journeying as myself, I was also journeying both with and through myself. After fifteen years of international travel, I surfaced; grounded, intentional and clear – I was queer, and that was okay. I also have a big heart, a heart that has the capacity to love many people, simultaneously and deep. And, I don’t wanna wear high heels anymore. I was okay, and I could just love, and I could just be, and I didn’t need to try to deny that any longer.
Perhaps the greatest awareness with which I emerged, was that there are metaphors all around us. Our emotions flow as the tides, and we experience loss just as consistently and predictably as the seasons. The presence of change is the only consistency that this life offers. A foundational part of my therapeutic work is supporting people in developing personal, natural ways to flow through the turbulence.
Here’s to our flowing, connecting, and growing.. In solidarity.
I am an Approved Counsellor for the Crime Victim Assistance Program through the B.C. Ministry of Justice.
More on Megan at: www.meganjespersen.com
Nadia Neely, MCP, RCC (she/her)
Nadia is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has extensive experience supporting folks who are experiencing challenges in their relationship to others, or in their relationship to their selves. Nadia works from an anti-oppressive framework, and she offers a very personal understanding of the complexities present in experiences of racism, marginalization, and limitation.
My journey in life has taken me through various experiences of racism, marginalization, oppression, discrimination, and other limitations where I felt that I had no voice. I want to help you find your voice. We all have the need to be seen and heard; we want our pain, hurt and challenges to be recognized. I want to hold a space filled with compassion, love, and trust for you, where you will experience deep respect and genuine care. I would love to help you to see the possibilities even when you are surrounded by limitations. I strongly believe in the power of hope and encouragement.
Since my teenage years I was fortunate to be able to create deep connections with people around me. I had the privilege of being the trusted and the safe person whom friends were drawn to, especially when dealing with life’s challenges. I loved supporting others and I found great contentment from it. We need each other; I realized.
I am fascinated by the possibilities and opportunities that insight and self-exploration provide us. My life, studies, and relationships have given me a deeper insight and awareness. I believe that through self-exploration and through becoming more mindful, we can develop a deeper sense of presence in life.
Every day, I am humbled by the courage and resiliency I witness in my clients despite the deep pain that they are feeling. I have confidence that my authenticity facilitates a collaborative space where you can draw on your inner strengths and resiliency to continue your journey towards healing and fulfilment in life.
Nadia is an Approved Counsellor for the Crime Victim Assistance Program through the B.C. Ministry of Justice.
Islai Rathlin, MA, MSW, RSW (they/them)
Islai is a registered social worker who specializes in working with queer, trans, and genderdiverse folk who are struggling to connect with themselves and others. They also specialize in supporting neurodiverse individuals experiencing life transitions. Islai works from an anti-oppressive framework and offers sex-positive, kink-friendly, non-monogamous and polyamorous relationship counselling.
My therapeutic work is heavily influenced by my lived experience. My personal journey has led me through poverty, marginalization, violence, and some really bad experiences with counsellors. I have spent a lot of time feeling different in spaces where I didn’t see anyone else like me, and I had trouble connecting with people because I was struggling to understand my own identities in spaces where my queerness was silenced and my transmasculine gender was misunderstood. Finally, in my twenties, in the process of figuring out how to just be me I learned the necessity of creating connections with folks who see you as you are and value what they see.
My lived experience has taught me the importance of chosen family, the strength and courage it takes to be your authentic self, the skills and self-awareness necessary to engage in ethical relationships, and the integral necessity of speaking your truth.
Gender affirming care is an important focus of my practice. I will provide you with the space to just be you, to speak your truth, and to support you in making the connections you need to thrive.
Where to Find Us
5446 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5P 3V8