About Karyl Pope - Marriage counsellor, family counesllor, individual counsellor in Burlington and Hamilton, Ontario
Karyl has 35 years’ experience working as a psychotherapist, group therapy leader, and consultant for business. Most of that 35 years was in Burlington but her clients came from Prior to that profession she was a nurse. Before marriage she ran an Outpost Hospital for the Red Cross in Northern Ontario. It was a challenge because there were no roads and no phones, just small towns &villages all along the CPR main line. Later she also worked in both Public Health Nursing and VON Nursing and taught nursing for Hamilton General School of Nursing. She also taught Psychology and Sociology for Mohawk College.
When her marriage broke up in 1974 she felt an intense need to understand how a 21 year relationship which for 15 years was so full of dedication, love and hope, could morph into something so cruel, small and ugly. She was unable to find what she needed in Canada but felt a huge sense of relief when she attended a workshop led by a leading American Therapist. From then on and for many years after that, she travelled all over the USA, taking workshops and courses. She studied Transactional Analysis, Psychodrama, Psychosynthesis, Gestalt and Bioenergetics extensively. She read voraciously and could not get enough of this new psychology. She had been very ill when she left her marriage and everyone who knew her was astounded at the amazing recovery she made as a result of the psychological work she was doing. In two years after she left, her blood pressure had droppedfrom 190/120 to 110/70 and her 12 year old chronic infection in both kidneys was totally healed. Her migraines had stopped and she was no longer vomiting all the time. Her weight came back from 95 pounds to a normal 120. She gradually began to offer some of what she was learning, to the Continuing Ed departments of the Colleges. As she began to work more with her own material, a mix of all she had gathered, in both academic and experiential learning, she began to offer courses and workshops for churches, libraries, organizations, and businesses. She wanted to share what had helped her so much.She taught courses and workshops in the Continuing Education departments of University of Toronto, McMaster University, OISE, and several Community Colleges. In addition she was often called on as a consultant for businesses and organizations that were having problems with inter staff relationships.
She became well known for her courses in Assertiveness Training at Mohawk College, a subject that had been an important factor in her own healing. In 1978 she opened a private psychotherapy practice called Karyl Pope & Associates which later was established at 192 Plains Rd in Burlington and remained there for many years.It developed out of her Assertiveness Training classes and began with 10 week courses. Four were filled the first time she advertised. But people kept asking for a part two and a part three until it became clear that they needed to just make it open ended. People then began to stay anywhere from one to 3 or 4 years. In that time they made huge changes in their lives. As soon as they accomplished one goal, they would set another one and another when that one was reached.
Newspaper articles about Karyl and her practice began to appear in the Spectator, Burlington Post, Hamilton magazine and other places. She was invited to appear on many radio and television shows throughout the 80’s and 90’s, and numerous reporters were calling for her ideas on a topic they were doing an article on. The practice drew clients from many other cities including, Scarborough, Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Brampton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Niagara Falls, London, Brantford. Today most of her clients come from the Halton, Wentworth, Burlington, Hamilton area.
Since she had read many hundreds of books, and kept them all, she now categorized them and opened a lending library with three books for people to search in, one by category (eg. marriage, abuse, sexual problems etc), one by author, and one by book title. Karyl’s keen sense of curiosity and excitement about the work kept the energy high. She was constantly learning exciting new ideas and sharing them. She has never stopped her constant studying and learning to this day. Her studying has included Philosophy, History, and English along with her former Nursing degree, Theology diploma, and Psychology courses.
In more recent years she has worked mostly with individuals with personal problems, a few of which include:anxiety, depression, jealousy, anger, low self-esteem, guilt or shame, childhood abuse, sexual abuse, relationship abuse,trauma suffered in childhood or later in life, which has never been resolved, (post-traumatic stress disorder), chronic pain, power struggles, a need to learn more assertiveness, and/or negotiating skills.
In addition she works with anyone who has unresolved issues with someone that they would like to build a closer relationship with. It might be a sister, brother, father or mother, son or daughter, an old friend, or several people who want to improve their relationship. This may be in a family or in the workplace.
Because we all need others, and because relationships are perhaps the hardest thing any of us have to do in this lifetime, marriage counselling or couples counselling are always popular. But Karyl is well aware from her own experience as well as from her extensive training, that it is important to see why we have invited this situation into our lives, and what we will need to change in ourselvesin order for things to be different. For example, if you choose a partner because he or she makes you feel needed, you should not be surprised if you end up feeling used.
Karyl enjoys solving problems. It is in her blood. When she worked for the VON many years ago, she had a handicapped patient who needed help at home and none was available. She ended up starting the Red Cross Visiting Home-makers in Burlington. When one of her three children needed help at school that was not available, she teamed up with another frustrated mother and started an organization called The Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and within a year they had the help their children and many other children, needed.
While she was in the north her long time sweetheart graduated from Pharmacy College. They eventually married and he worked for his father in an old fashioned store. She watched her husband’s boredom and lack of excitement in his profession, and saw an opportunity for both of them. She wanted to see him excited about something more important than bridge, poker or pool, all of which he loved and excelled at. She had been hearing from nurses and doctors she worked with, stories about a new medical building coming into town. She had her own opinion about the medical profession as a whole, seeing it as rather top heavy, authoritarian, and overly masculine. She also had an opinion about the pharmacies of that day. The pharmacist looked down on the patient/customer from a little cubby hole up high in the wall. He could call the patient by their first name but they would never do that with him. He would not put any information on the prescription except the directions. He would answer the phone with the name of the pharmacy but not with his own name. To make a long story short, they did end up with a pharmacy in a medical building. The pharmacist stood face to face with the customer, to explain the medicine. They answered the phone with the name of the pharmacy first and then their own first name. There was no higher level and whatever was going on in the pharmacy was open for all to see – no secrecy. Each pharmacist wore a name tag with both of his names on it so that people could call him by his first name if they wished. The prescription had the name of the drug on it and the possible side effects. The store was open till 11pm and weekends. These were revolutionary ideas and not entirely acceptable to the establishment to say the least. But they were immensely popular with the public so eventually things settled down. They opened the first store in 1961 and a second one in 1968 in a nearby town. They had both signed for a 10,000 loan to start the first store and were offered a million dollars for it in 1972.
That same excitement when faced with a problem is Karyl’s ammunition when faced with a client’s problem. She loves to work together with him or her to figure out how they can get more of what they want and less of what they don’t want. Karyl will leave no stone unturned once she has a client who is serious about making real changes in their life. And they do find a way.
Her deep respect for human nature and all nature, for birds, rocks, stars, moon, clouds, star formations, and all of God’s creation, shows through in her work. She has a special appreciation and awe for “the indomitable human spirit” and the courage that keeps people keeping on keeping on.
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Karyl Pope, BScN, RN
- Diploma McMaster University School of Divinity
- Behavioural Psychology - McMaster University
- Clinical Member - Ontario Society for Psychotherapists (OSP)
I believe that each person is intrinsically healthy at the core and when fully aware of all of their choices, will always make decisions which move them toward health and happiness.
Hence my principal focus is on:
1) encouraging in-depth understanding, awareness and expression of Self, including both conscious and unconscious beliefs, attitudes and feelings, and
2) developing awareness of all choices in this present moment, courage to choose from those choices, and the strength and support to implement and take responsibility for those choices.
I am non-authoritarian, informal and trust each person's judgement regarding the priorities and directions which are best for him/her at any given time. I give direct and honest feedback at all times and encourage clients to do the same with each other and with me.
"I have been consistently impressed with the positive changes I have seen clients of Karyl Pope & Associates make in their lives, and with the new insights and skills they have acquired."
-Gwen Solodzyk, RN Employee Health Services
"This work has helped me to find my sensitivity and compassion and shown me the way to integrate these qualities into my personal and business life."
-DC Business Executive
"Working together at Karyl Pope & Associates has brought about permanent healing in our whole family."
"I know of no therapist who has more completely, perfected the application of self, intuition, spontaneity and personal response in psychotherapy. While she is widely read and extremely well trained, her first response is always personal."
-Rev Ron Owsten, Clergyman/Psychotherapist/Director of Community Agency and Training Centre
"I have a great deal of respect for Karyl. She is committed to her own growth and to that of her clients. Her integrity is beyond reproach."
-Ross Johnson, Psychotherapist
"Karyl has developed a unique process of group work which greatly increases effectiveness in terms of results and in terms of cost."
-RC Human Resources Executive