Jennifer Dawn Watts is the Founder/CEO of Living Well Counselling Services Inc. She is also an Ordained Minister & planted two affirming faith communities based on the 12 Step model in Calgary (2012) & Los Angeles (2016). She currently speaks on podcasts/live events, hosts retreats & has recently recorded The Six Types of Emotions course with Dr. Steven Brownlow based on his 40+ years developing an emotions based understanding to human development.
I’ve completed my BA in Psychology with Distinction (University of Victoria), MA in Counselling (Providence Theological Seminary), an 18-month post-graduate personal mentorship with Dr. David G. Benner, world-renowned speaker/psychologist and author of 26 books. I founded Living Well Counselling Services Inc. in Calgary, AB & then later founded Q Faith Community, an LGBTQ friendly/12 Step inspired alternative option to those seeking to understand faith outside of a traditional church environment. Although I am amazed by where my God has taken me, the identity I feel most comfortable with is as His Beloved struggling toward Him & His Way.
This is too long to cover in a quick bio, but it’s been a hard, messy road. Although I don’t know you, I have felt a great deal of pain, and because of this, I care about your pain. I have also found steps out of my own stuck-ness.
This is why I counsel, am part of Q and now speak and write. Over the years as I talked with all different kinds of people, I’ve found myself repeating many of the same things, some of the very same truths that set me free in the past over and over again. So I started speaking & writing. I sincerely hope you find one more life-giving piece that you need here, to carry you forward on your journey.
Q Faith Community started in my home in June 2012. Although it started as a response to the overt and subtle oppression toward our LGBTQ brothers & sisters in the city of Calgary Alberta it has become so much more. To find out about Q, or to attend a meeting/Skype in, please go to qfaithcommunity.com
I began my journey as a therapist by working with an organization well known in the world for their expertise in anxiety. As such, I have extensive experience in the most severe forms of anxiety disorder including GAD, panic disorder, hypochondria, social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. Some of my other areas of strength include relationship concerns, addictions, codependency, emotionally abusive families, healing mild to moderate depression and recovery from past abuse.
Although I am speaking more, and continue to run Living Well, I do see some clients as it is absolutely work that I love. To see if I have openings, or to obtain a referral to a therapist I recommend, please go to: livingwellcounselling.ca
I speak on topics within progressive Christianity & the field of Counselling Psychology. I am a Gottman Approved Seven Principles Program Instructor & I also host an event called A Night About Compassion, helping Christians and the LGBTQ community move from gridlock to dialogue, and develop more compassion along the way.
I believe in experiential learning more than simply listening as a means of transformation. I typically explore topics from multiple dimensions (biological, psychological, social and spiritual) and draw upon my experience as a therapist as well as a faith community leader. And I also use many stories from my own broken, and partially healed life.
For more information or to book me for a speaking event, fill out the form below and someone will be in contact with you shortly.
The length of these seminars range from 3 hours to a full weekend depending on a congregation or organization’s needs. The content can be treatment focused for a group looking for practical resources, or professional training for those in the field of mental health or church leadership. My approach stems from a combination of CBT, Psychodynamic Theory, Gestalt and Client-Centered Principles. The principles can also be applied to mild to moderate cases of stress and anxiety/depression.
Content typically includes:
» Holistic Understanding of Anxiety including Prevalent Biological Causes
» The Difference Between Anxiety vs. An Anxiety Condition
» Various Positions on the Chemical Imbalance Theory
» Short Term Strategies & Long Term Goals
» Practical Tools for Healing
» Remaining Well/Anxiety Condition Free
» Therapist Strategies*
» Case Consultation*
Dr. John Gottman is one of the leaders in marital therapy and has based his approach with couples on 40 years of research. One of the reasons most couples therapy does not work is because therapists used what they thought would be helpful for couples, rather than discovering what really makes relationships strong. Dr. Gottman became famous after using his research to be able to predict with over 93% accuracy if a couple would divorce. Since then Dr. Gottman has used his information to help couples avoid tactics of the “Disasters” and become “Masters” in relationship through couples therapy and training seminars.
The Seven Principles Program is an innovative way for couples to strengthen their relationships and, importantly, learn new scientifically grounded tools that work in helping couples navigate tough gridlocked issues, and repair after arguments.
This course is appropriate for those simply wanting to strengthen their relationship, and also those facing tough times in their relationship. It is a valuable as a companion to premarital counselling as well.
For more information on the Gottman Approach, go to Gottman.com
I offer a limited number of seminars each year. To work together to host an event, please fill out the contact form located in the Speaking section of this website & either myself or a staff member will contact you regarding availability.
I offer retreats for those looking for a quiet place for rest, connect with themselves and others & enjoy all of the beauty Creation has to offer. Retreats are typically held at King’s Fold Retreat & Renewal Centre. King’s Fold is located 35km northwest of Cochrane, Alberta Canada on 166 Acres next to Ghost River with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. Additional retreat dates and locations may open throughout the year, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the current retreat schedule & pricing.
A few kind words from former retreat participants:
I look back on my retreats with Jenn as a place where I could safely face into myself along with others doing the same. This has always led to a strong bond between us participants where I’ve felt understood and supported. I feel the retreats have always struck a balance between time with others, time with God and just plain rest in a beautiful and relaxing place.
The retreat was a wonderful time of solitude but yet connection with others. It was a place that fostered stillness to allow me to hear my Heart. I felt safe to go through that because I was not alone. Others were there for that same purpose and there was freedom to share as much or as little as I wanted.
“I had an enjoyable, relaxing and reflective time learning about myself and my Creator. It’s the perfect place to soothe minds that are overwhelmed with the demands of life and to nourish the soul. I’m so happy that I overcame my fear, stepped out in faith and attended. I am returning back to Monday work life, I feeling refreshed and grateful. Looking forward to the next one!”
“Conversations that matter with people who care in a setting that is the most spectacular place on Earth”
I found the retreat to be a very enlightening experience. The planned sessions were interesting and nothing about them felt forced or unwelcome. Jen is a talented nice person who does a fantastic job at leading and facilitating the retreat. Kingsfold is an amazing property and the food and accommodations are first class. Even though there is an itinerary there is still a generous amount of personal time to use as you wish. If you’re looking to unplug from your hectic day to day and are exploring some of the bigger questions in life surrounding faith or your life’s purpose Id highly recommend you get out there!
A beautiful, quiet space for an encounter with God, fellow retreaters, and nature . A time to hear what is tugging at your heartstrings. A place to rest.
I have attended a few of Jennifer’s retreats and each time I learn something new about myself. The place it’s held at is absolutely beautiful especially if you love nature. You’re always free to take time by yourself without any pressure to do the group work. Jennifer makes herself available if you need someone to process with what you’re feeling as a lot of emotions usually come out on a retreat. It is definitely a great way to invest in yourself spiritually.
The retreat experience at Kingsfold with Jenn leading was inspiring, through its safe environment and encouraging an open hearted approach to my life experiences… The community of sharing and support made such an investigation and open approach seem healthy and meaningful. Jenn’s ability to personalize sessions in specific ways further created a positive yet very ‘real’ space. If you desire to grow, this experience should not be missed.
What I appreciated about past retreats, was coming in for a landing from my regular day to day routines (when to be honest, I just want to soar on past the experience), into a space where I can declutter my thoughts so that I could be receptive to being open to openness; which then allowed me to pause and see things from a different angle.
I find in life, there isn’t too many opportunities which that can happen naturally without uncomfortable discipline; but within the time confines of the retreat, I was able to find that mindset inside a sense of comfort and support; which came from no hidden agendas, and a freedom to be fluid throughout my time there to either relate to something, or not relate to something and feel genuinely supported either way.
I had a lot of apprehension about going on my first retreat with Jenn as I wasn’t sure what to expect and I had some fear that perhaps I wasn’t ready to “unplug” and spend time in communion with my soul. From the moment I stepped out of my car a sense of peace washed over me and I could feel my heart opening up. Time spent with Jenn, and the other retreatants as well as some breathtaking walks in nature all helped restore the pieces of me that had gotten lost in the busyness of my life….I am forever grateful that I didn’t let my fear keep me from this amazing experience. I continue to go on these retreats and am always amazed at how they always get me back in touch with me.
I hope this site, and the related sites of livingwellcounselling.ca and qfaithcommunity.com have been helpful to you. If you would like to stay connected I recommend following me on twitter. I post there more often than on this site, and I try to answer questions as you write. If you would like to connect beyond these platforms, please leave a brief message as to how I can help. I will do my best to be in contact with you and, if I cannot, I will connect you with someone who I think can.