Sue Cook is the owner and operator of Family TLC – Family Therapy and Life Coaching Group. Sue started working in this profession in the early 1980’s and has had the opportunity and privilege of assisting thousands of people. Learn more about Sue in the following interview:
Q: Which three adjectives describe your success?
Intuition, growth and belief. I have great intuition and I have learned to listen to it. When I am doing what I am meant to do, following my intuition everything soars. Growth is always a focus for me, I am constantly asking myself how can we grow, how can I grow? This does not necessarily mean bigger but it always means better. Belief is something you must keep at the forefront, belief to me is a positive attitude combined with the trust that all will work out.
Q: What would you do with unlimited resources?
I would expand my team of experts, surround myself with people who know more than I do in their specialized area. With a well-paid diversified team I know we could build the Family TLC vision sooner. That way we can reach so many more Canadian Families and help so many more people.
Q: What prompted you to become a psychotherapist?
I have always been fascinated with people, relationships and communication. I believe that people are bigger than their problems and I know that with a little help people can overcome the difficulties that life throws their way. I love sitting with people and hearing about what it is like to be them. To explore with them the roots to their problems and discover the buds to the solutions. It is such a pleasure to watch them build the strength and experience the successes. For me it is an honour to watch as someone comes to understand themselves better and see there is a way out of what is troubling them.
Q: What prompted you to start Family TLC?
I have been working as a family health professional since 1979 and in private practice since 2000. I was so lucky to build a successful private practice in Simcoe County where I had wait lists.
I did not like the idea of people waiting to see someone when they are ready to get help. I also found private practice to be a bit isolating. I started to think about turning my private practice into a group of therapists. That is when I came up with the name Family TLC – Family Therapy and Life Coaching.
I thought that Family TLC could offer great service to the community and also be a community for the psychotherapists. Now I realize that Family TLC is meant to grow beyond Barrie.
Q: What is your vision for Family TLC?
I see Family TLC as having offices across Canada. For instance; if you are talking to someone in Vancouver who is experiencing difficulty, and you are in Barrie, you can confidently say to them “Go to Family TLC, I know they can help.”
I envision Canadians having full trust in Family TLC to help them, their relationships, and their families. I also see Family TLC as being a place that the counsellors see that our clients become the best they can be. Family TLC will grow and will eventually have branches of service specialities such as marriage, addictions, parenting and more. These branches will have fine-tuned best practices that contribute to the excellent results that Family TLC clients experience.
Q: What is the best advice someone has given you?
So far in my life the best advice I have ever heard is to be your own best friend. My husband said this the other day to a group of people of varying ages and everyone nodded their head in agreement. This simplistic statement can be applied to so many areas of one’s life. It is how you think, how you behave, and the choice you make. It was later echoed in a Facebook post. A great New Year’s Resolution is to love myself more this year.
Q: What is it about change that people struggle with?
Familiarity! People find security in the familiar because they know what to expect, even if the familiar is unhealthy or dysfunctional it is predictable. Predictability, healthy or otherwise, provides a level of comfort to us and because we have faced it before it does not take extra energy as we can do it the same way and not even have to think about it. Change means something is going to be different and unpredictable which brings about a sense of uncertainty, discomfort, worry or even fear. It is easier to stay the same which is why many are resistant to change.
Q: Are there people out there who do not struggle with change?
I think it is human to feel discomfort with change, however there are many people who view that discomfort as growth and opportunity. As they step into something different they report feeling scared and excited~even exhilarated.
Many people who come to Family TLC find that once they have made a change they wonder what took them so long to do it. We have seen a few people who call themselves change junkies. They get bored with things staying the same and are always looking to make things different whenever possible. Both change junkies and change resisters experience anxiety. The interesting thing is those that walk through change feel less anxiety and more alive.
Q: What are two sayings that you have found helpful over the years?
The first one is,”When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” I like this proverb because it helps me to remember that I have the power to define my experience. The other side of it is the reminder that how I think about myself can be harmful.
The second saying is,”Change is moving from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent to consciously competent to unconsciously competent.” This helps me so very much because when I feel incompetent I know I am learning and that I must keep the change top of mind if I want the change to become natural.