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COLLABORATIVE INDIVIDUALIZED SUPPORTIVE

CANADA’S FIRST PRIVATE EATING DISORDER TREATMENT CENTRE

Westwind is unique and unlike any other counselling facility.  We specialize in the treatment of eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, ARFID and orthorexia.  Not everyone’s experience with disordered eating fits a diagnosis, and you don’t require a diagnosis to participate in our programs.  If your experiences with food preoccupation or a self critical body image are negatively impacting your quality of life, the support at Westwind is for you. 

The support at Westwind is available through our residential recovery centre, our R.I.S.E.online recovery programs, and our in-person counselling services. Our clients from around the world have found hope and healing with Westwind.  It's great that you're seeking support for yourself, which we know takes much courage.  Westwind believes that everyone is capable of full recovery and we feel very fortunate to be part of so many people’s recovery stories.
 
Westwind was founded in 1998 by Bryan Gusdal, as Canada's first private eating disorder treatment centre. Since we first opened our doors, Westwind has continued to provide a safe space to heal and grow. 

no wait time for treatment
no formal diagnosis required
we welcome clients from around the world

Westwind Counselling is committed to promoting mindful eating, body acceptance and emotional wellness to individuals around the world!

OUR PHILOSOPHY

TREATMENT IS COLLABORATIVE.  Recovery goals are developed collaboratively with each client.  Our goal is to help you identify your values apart from the eating disorder, so you can challenge the problematic beliefs and behaviors that are interfering in living your life with fullness and freedom.     

 

TREATMENT IS INDIVIDUALIZED.  Treatment plans are highly individualized, and we will work with you towards your recovery goals.  Treatment will focus on your specific needs, and address the factors that are working to maintain the eating disorder in your life.  

 

TREATMENT IS SUPPORTIVE.  Treatment addresses physical, psychological, and emotional healing, to address all aspects of the eating disorder.  Our aim is to help you gain a sense of empowerment, so you can have confidence maintaining healthy changes outside of treatment.

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HEAR FROM OUR FORMER CLIENT
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OUR TREATMENT MODEL

We understand that the eating disorder does not thrive in a vacuum, and want to help you identify the factors that are maintaining the eating disorder in your life.  Your treatment will also address any co-occurring struggles such as anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive behaviors.

 

At Westwind, we want to offer the best treatment possible.  Our staff are trained in the leading evidence based modes of therapy, in order to deliver treatment that is demonstrated to be effective through clinical studies.  Our primary modes of therapy include Enhanced Cognitive Therapy (CBT-E) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in addition to graduated exposure and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

IS RECOVERY POSSIBLE?

Full recovery is possible, and absolutely worth it. You have an identity outside the eating disordering, and you can choose every day, meal, and moment to move towards recovery and freedom. 

People struggling with eating disorders often work hard to hide their struggles, which can make it hard to see them as someone with a mental illness.  This leads to a misconception of seeing the eating disorder as an issue of choice, or will and discipline which creates shame for people who are struggling.  An eating disorder is a serious mental illness and is never a choice.  You did not choose the eating disorder, but you can choose to begin your recovery today!

MEET YOUR WESTIND TEAM

The clinical team at Westwind is experienced and passionate about eating disorder treatment!  Connect with us to learn about your treatment options.  We look forward to meeting you soon! 

Westwind Staff | Tresa Clemmensen
TRESA CLEMMENSEN M.SC. CCC DIRECTOR

Tresa is a Certified Canadian Counsellor through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and a member of the Eating Disorders Association of Canada. She has a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. Tresa has been practicing as a therapist in the field of eating disorders since 2003. She also has extensive experience in the areas of self-esteem, body-esteem, anxiety and depression.

Westwind Staff | Valarie Bittner
VALARIE BITTNER M.A. CPC
DIRECTOR

Valarie is a Certified Canadian Counsellor through the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists, and a member of the Eating Disorders Association of Canada.  She has a Masters degree in Counselling and has been practicing as a therapist in the field of eating disorders since 2002.  In addition to her clinical experience, Valarie has enjoyed instructing college counselling courses, and delivering presentations regarding eating disorder awareness and treatment.

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TIFFANY LE RPN
PSYCHIATRIC NURSE

Tiffany is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse with the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba. She completed her last two practicums at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, specifically working on the General Psychiatry and Addictions units. Tiffany previously worked with Westwind as support staff  while completing nursing school. She enjoys collaborating with her clients to create individualized treatment plans and is passionate about promoting mental health and wellness.

Westwind Staff | Breanna Mills
BREANNA MILLS R.D.
REGISTERED DIETITIAN

Breanna is a Registered Dietitian with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia, as well as with Dietitians of Canada. Breanna graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and completed her practical training with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Breanna has been interested in the areas of mental health and nutrition for many years and is excited to be at Westwind to pursue her passion of working in the field of eating disorders. Breanna enjoys learning from her clients and provides a caring, compassionate and collaborative approach to eating.

Westwind Staff | Justine Rickard
JUSTINE RICKARD M.A.
THERAPIST

Justine is a graduate of Yorkville University’s Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology program, and is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor. She has previous experience working in the field of trauma therapy, and integrates a trauma-informed, feminist, and LGTBQ+ affirming lens in her work with clients. Justine has previously taken part in Westwind’s residential program as a client, and is passionate about the field of eating disorder recovery.

Westwind Staff | Rhea Lewandoski
RHEA LEWANDOSKI R.D.
REGISTERED DIETITIAN

Rhea is a registered dietitian with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia, and a member of Dietitians of Canada and The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). Rhea has been working in the field of eating disorders since 2018 and has been fortunate enough to provide both individual and group nutrition counselling to adolescents and adults. Rhea is a certified mindful eating facilitator and is working towards her CEDRD with iaedp. She strives to provide a compassionate and collaborative environment to help individuals discover food freedom. 

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NICOLE BILLARD BSc, 500RYT
YOGA INSTRUCTOR

Nicole is a registered instructor of several types of Yoga, first certified in 2016. Nicole concentrates on how we move our body, mind and heart through our world in a way that is healthy and sustainable for all involved. Practicing yoga since 2000 as an individual focus has organically transitioned into her role as a teacher and studio owner. With Westwind, Nicole combines Meditation, Yoga Nidra, breath work and Yin Yoga to provide useful tools we can all benefit from every day; easing communication between mind and body is Nicole’s specialty!

Westwind Staff | Lauren Paqette
LAUREN PAQUETTE R.D.
REGISTERED DIETITIAN

Lauren is a Registered Dietitian with the College of Dietitians of Manitoba, as well as the Dietitians of Canada.  She has been practicing in the field of eating disorders since 2004 and is passionate about empowering her clients through a collaborative treatment approach.  Lauren shares her expertise with clients participating in both the residential and online programs.

Westwind Staff | Mandy Hendrickson
MANDY HENDRICKSON B.A.
SENIOR SUPPORT STAFF

Mandy is a graduate of Brandon University and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University. She has a passion for helping individuals find food freedom, while dismantling the toxic narrative diet culture produces. She has special interest in feminist ideologies and LGBTQ+ rights.

Westwind Staff | Cindy Engelstad
CINDY ENGELSTAD B.A. ICF
RECOVERY COACH

Cindy received her bachelors degree from Brandon University in 2019 and most recently became a certified Life Coach. After spending over 10 years working in the fitness industry, she began her own recovery journey to heal from over-exercising and restriction. She is now passionate about helping women other find freedom from the constraints of fitness and diet culture. 

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BRYAN GUSDAL M.A.
FOUNDER

Bryan founded Westwind Eating Disorder Recovery Centre in 1998, following a 26 year career as a clinical psychologist where he gained extensive experience working with people with eating disorders and related issues. Bryan’s vision and counselling philosophy shaped Westwind’s treatment model and continues to be a cornerstone of Westwind’s current treatment. He was a member and past president of the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Psychological Association for ten years and is an ongoing member of the Academy for Eating Disorders. Bryan continues to contribute his expertise through consultation.

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RUTH RICKARD
SENIOR CANINE SUPPORT 

Ruth decided to follow in the footsteps of her mom, Justine, and has been working at Westwind since July 2021. Along with her many strengths - including relentless determination, cuddling, and asserting her needs for attention - she is most passionate about receiving love and affection and is also generous at reciprocating. In her spare time Ruth can be found playing with toys, zooming in the hallway, and sleeping on her mom’s lap during sessions.

SELF ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE

This self-assessment is designed to help you identify if you have some symptoms that may benefit from professional help.  It is meant to help you examine your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and is not designed to take the place of a professional diagnosis or consultation.  Answer each item with yes or no. 

  1. Do my feelings about my appearance get in the way accepting myself or enjoying my life?

  2. Do I think about food and weight constantly?

  3. Am I terrified about gaining weight?

  4. Do I feel guilty after eating?

  5. When I eat, am I afraid I’ll lose control and won’t be able to stop?

  6. Do I make myself sick after eating because I feel uncomfortably full?

  7. Do I avoid eating when I’m angry, anxious or disappointed?

  8. Am I secretive or dishonest about my eating with others?

  9. Do I continue eating even after I’m full and am no longer enjoying my food?

  10. Do I eat to numb from distressing feelings?

  11. Do I feel exhilarated or in control when I don’t eat?

  12. Do I exercise no matter how tired or sick I might feel and get upset if I miss exercising?

  13. Do I feel defeated, hopeless or unworthy about food or my body?

  14. Is my appearance really important in how I evaluate my self-worth?

  15. Do I avoid activities, people or situations due to feeling self-conscious about my appearance?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may be struggling with negative body image or disordered eating. Connect with us to hear more about how we can help.