FALL RIVER: Having had mental health issues herself as a teenager led Helen Finn down the path to wanting to run her own business that dealt with the issue.
Finn owns and operates Imagine Therapy based out of her Fall River home. She has just recently started the business after her family moved to the area. It has been a lifelong ambition.
“I had mental health issues when I was a teen so that’s what got me interested in it,” said Finn during an interview with The Laker News at a popular coffee shop in Fall River. “In terms of the business itself I guess it’s my belief in what works.”
She said she has been part of and worked at places where therapy was a one-size fits all approach, something she is not fond of.
“I really don’t think that works,” she said. “It works for some, but for others it can be really uncomfortable.
“Through my career I have tried tot rain and get life experiences in many things, and I’m at the point now where I think I can tailor it for different people.”
Finn said as an occupational therapist she is trained at looking at what is meaningful for that person and working on their goals.
“The why I want to do this is because I am passionate about helping people, and it feels like a no brainer,’ she said. “We all struggle with our mental health in a way and there are ways to manage it, so why aren’t we doing that?”
She said when people can’t do or want to do what they must do, then mental health becomes a problem.
Finn said her family landed in Fall River almost by accident.
“We found a house, liked the area, loved the schools, and suddenly we’re here,” she said, her British accent coming through “It’s actually a really lovely community, so welcoming. It’s a really nice place to live.”
She has an office location on the beach in Lawrencetown, but she feels a lot of her work will be virtual or nature based as well. She has spoken to a couple of places for office settings if she needs it.
Services that Imagine Therapy provides includes working with children, teens, and adults.
“Most of my mental health work has been with teenagers, but adults and children too,” she said.
Finn offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which works well with people who suffer from anxiety and works well for those who are diagnosed with depression too; work on trauma; sensory processing, especially with kids who have autism and ADHD; and more.
If people want to get started there’s a free 30-minute consult which can be booked through her website.
She had some advice for teens who are having mental health problems given the stresses of the world.
“The first bit of advice I would give is to be gentle with yourself because there’s so many things going on right now,” said Finn. “Besides COVID stress, there’s school exams, and school-based stress, social aspect of a teen and navigating relationships, social media can be a challenge.”
One neat thing that Finn offers is nature-based therapy sessions. She spoke about that.
“It’s something that many of us know, that being outside in nature is good for us,” she said. “Even being outdoors for 10 minutes can lift our mood. It’s therapeutic and some doctors who prescribe it.
“I want to use that because it, nature, is all around us here in beautiful Nova Scotia. So, part of my work may be doing some of my sessions outdoors, using what we’ve got around us, or maybe we’re doing therapy remotely over a laptop but talking about how we can use nature.”
Nature seems to help heal some of what ails us.
“Nature really is a mood booster,” said Finn.