MEET Culturally Inclusive, integrative, Trauma-Informed Therapist, Helper, and Intuitive alanah woodland
Alanah Woodland BSc, MSc, MSW (she/her)
Holistic, Integrative, Culturally Inclusive, Trauma-Informed Therapist and Facilitator/Consultant, Workshop Facilitator, Artist, Helper, Listener, Intuitive, Storykeeper
Ámham Therapy (Ucwalmicwts: to make something better) is Alanah’s business. Ámham offers culturally inclusive, trauma-informed, and anti-oppressive counseling, consulting, and facilitation, incorporating creativity, body, and land-based modalities. Alanah meets clients where they are, inviting curiosity and courage to look at the place or space they want to grow, understand or heal.
Alanah is an Indigenous (St'at'yemc) psychotherapist who works online in two provinces (British Columbia, and Ontario) and in-person in her workspace in Lillooet, British Columbia, or the gorgeous green spaces nearby.
This flexibility with meeting spaces is one of the ways Alanah incorporates land-based modalities helping people on their healing journey. She walks beside clients on their healing journey finding ways to support oppressed and excluded people to find and receive what they need, creating a better wellness environment for her clients. Alanah’s business utilizes Indigenous ways of engaging, which positively disrupts the current prevailing business environment created and structured by Colonialism. The way of being and work includes facilitating training for organizations, especially those in the community service or education fields, helping them to understand the impacts of trauma using Indigenous lens and stories that link traditional teachings and western psychotherapy.
Alanah holds a BSc, an MSc, and an MSW. Alanah’s first Master degree was in Community Health Sciences and Population Health sciences. Later she retuned to another Master degree focused on Indigenous trauma and resiliency, the combination allows Alanah to move from the individual experiences to the macroscopic, wide lens required to weave the bigger picture of how things like “income, different social statuses, history, and gender come into play, whether you’re Indigenous or not.” Her initial work in community health laid the foundation of her enjoyment and creative integrative approach to facilitation and training.
The foundation of Alanah’s approach is built upon the cultural and spiritual work she’s done with her elders which has guided incorporating the land and water and spirit ;there is a cultural vein that runs through everything Alanah does in her business. She augments this foundation with expressive play, somatic body work , Indigenous focusing oriented therapy, land-based therapy and humour to help bring lightness and fluidity into the work of healing.
Alanah’s approach is best described through water, joining the flow within each client’s river of life, meeting them where they are and helping them navigate the often turbulent waters, with upstream impacts that can last for generations.
“Little by little we can make things better, we can make ourselves better. As each of us improves ourselves and our lives, our families and communities get better, stronger, and healthier.”
Owner Ámham Holistic, Inclusive,
Anti-oppressive Counseling and Consulting
MORE ABOUT ALANAH
Alanah’s is an Indigenous (St'at'yemc or St’àt’imc - pronounced “Stat-li-um” )woman closely connected and identified with her paternal relatives and ancestors and identifies as ; she also has Nlaka̓pamux , European and African ancestry. Due to significant trauma Alanah found her care receiving relationships in adulthood in her relationships with a late granduncle, and another cherished uncle that has been foundational in her healing journey who became her ‘spiritual parent’. There were also other relatives who shared connection, kindness and their wisdom along her journey.
Alanah identifies as an Ucwalmicw which means a person of the earth. Alanah’s cosmological worldview is like her therapeutic approach: all-encompassing, inclusive of all that helps us to live and the spaces in between.
While “the places least used by humans” are among the many places that call Alanah forward and inform the foundation of her Ucwalmi̓cw identity, one specific place that encapsulates this is the territory of the St'at'yemc people: “Whenever I'm here, I can feel my connection to my ancestors, I can feel my connection to the land. This is home whether I'm in the north or the south or the east or the west; I can feel my ancestors, I can feel the land. I can feel my history. This is where home is. I'm a visitor in many places, but this is where I know, is home.”
Alanah is a helper/Facilitator in Ceremony.
“Everything that I do relates to how you can find your way to a deeper meaning of wellness. From an indigenous perspective, not only are you physically healthy, you're emotionally healthy, you're spiritually healthy, you know who you are, you're mentally alert, and have an understanding of your place in the world. From there, you have an overall sense of wellness within yourself and you can share it with your family and your community. That's what I mean by wellness.”
Owner Ámham Holistic, Inclusive, Anti-oppressive Counseling and Consulting
Alanah's Impact Statement
“The only destination is really being in this moment and figuring out what you need or want to know. If you understand yourself, and you are in a better place with yourself, you're better able to cope with the world around you and may as one of my uncles told me move from one needing help to one able to help. I walk with people and help them go from stuckness to movement. Often people didn't learn things as a child that will help them. They have a lot of trauma, so they don't understand why they are the way they are. But once they understand it, and why their parents are the way they are, a release happens, and they're able to see things a little bit differently, move differently and into the place that they want to be.”
Alanah’s long-term impact is that she hopes her practice and methodologies can ripple through generations, creating forests of wealth, kindness, and joy from one generational connection to the next. She hopes that one day those generational puzzle pieces click into place and exist for people. Her belief is that through healing and connection to land and place, there will be so much less harm and hurt, and so much more kindness and consideration.
Alanah offers with a smile: “I don't think the world will necessarily be bliss, but wouldn’t it be a little bit closer to it? Wouldn’t it all just be a better place to live?”
“Many hold a lot of shame and self-hatred so I reflect back to them all the beauty and good things they're not recognizing in themselves. People often don't recognize their behaviours can be rooted in what they learned to do to survive as children. They can’t see how amazingly smart they were then, and how it’s just not serving them now. In Western psychology, there's a tendency to pathologize everything. So everything that you do is a deficit, everything is some sort of disorder. Whereas my way of looking at things is really that we do the best we can, given our circumstances, using all of our intelligence in order to survive.”
Owner Ámham Holistic, Inclusive, Anti-oppressive Counseling and Consulting
What's Next for Alanah?
Alanah says that what’s next for her is figuring out how best to use her time. “I'm recognizing that I am one person and I have an unusual approach, but it works for a lot of Indigenous and heart-led people.” Her decolonized way of being with clients allows her to meet people where they are in the way they feel seen, heard and met. She is starting to offer more group facilitation and group therapy work ; she hopes to help facilitate holistic learning and healing needed to be a helper or a client. She one day would like to be able to offer some land-based healing spaces where people can come for week-long or month-long assistance. She would it if set aside their daily life for a while so they can really delve into the things with a little bit more space and time. “It would be based in our Nt’akmenka̓lha, which is like saying our way of life, whether it's specific to St'at'yemc or Indigenous people, whatever it is, it's based on our way of understanding and connecting to the world and to ourselves. I'm still trying to figure out how to do more of the group work in the future.”
You can connect with and explore Alanah’s services, workshops, and intermodal approach to help navigate the turbulent waters of your life, helping create upstream positives with potential generational impact on her website.
"Alanah brings a decolonized approach to her counseling and wellness services which the world needs more of. It is entrepreneurs and professionals like Alanah that are transforming industry practices using Indigenous worldviews to ensure our holistic well-being is cared for." - Vanessa Lesperance, LIFT Circle Lead
The LIFTing Your Leadership program brings together a cohort of 12 entrepreneurs for a combination of business development activities and relational resources co-created by The Indigenous LIFT Collective and co-facilitated by guest Indigenous Aunties bi-weekly.
These stories have been crafted in co-creation with the entrepreneur via the Amplify program which provides a combination of listening sessions and story coaching to create a digital profile for each cohort member. The Amplify portion of the project ensures Indigenous peoples and their perspectives are celebrated, seen and heard.
reGEN media will be creating a six-minute documentary to showcase hope, possibility, and the potential of collaborative partnerships to contribute towards Economic Reconciliation.
The co-creation of this impact initiative in its entirety is supported and made possible with our funding partners, Sunshine Coast Insurance Services Inc. and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union with the support of the Co-operators Advisor Community Fund. The Co-operators Advisor Community Fund supplements Financial Advisors’ donations to their community to help address unmet social, economic, and environmental needs, and build resilient communities for Canadians.