Get to know Shawn, a registered social worker at Therapy Alberta, in this interview blog.
Who are you?
I’m Shawn, father, partner, brother, son, social worker, therapist, & musician. While I was born in Montreal, I grew up here in Calgary. I’m an Albertan and cherish this province’s varied and beautiful landscape.
What is your life philosophy?
This quote by Ram Dass underpins my direction at the moment: “I help people as a way to work on myself, and I work on myself to help people…that’s what the emerging game is all about”
What led you to become a therapist/social worker?
I fell into the helping field through my involvement with the outdoors. I originally began as a youth worker in a wilderness treatment program. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but I learned I had the capacity and affinity for helping others in a meaningful way. From there, it’s been two decades of experience and education.
Do you ever get overwhelmed by the stuff people tell you?
My initial response is no, but I think that is a little short-sighted. We all make impacts on one another, but I think it’s how one holds and acknowledges what is being shared.
How do you handle being a therapist?
Healthy living, learning - always learning, and participating in therapy myself.
What makes your job fulfilling?
Simply put, connection with others.
What would you tell someone who’s nervous about starting therapy?
You get to be in control. Therapy is a collaboration, conversation, and connection with another person.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to explore the natural world, read, spend time with loved ones, and music, always music.
Do you have kids?
I have a 14 year old son.
Cats or dogs or other?
Both, but I’m only sharing my home with one dog, Sergei, at the moment!
Shawn Canning is a registered social worker. He specializes in helping teens, couples, men, and anyone struggling with issues around masculinity to feel more connected with themselves and others. Shawn offers anger management counselling for folks struggling with emotions and harmful patterns.