Barrie Uncovered

Talk Through your Troubles at Sweet Spot Family Counseling

Everyone experiences troubles or difficulties in their lives at one point or another.  Sometimes you’re experiencing a difficulty that can be talked over with a friend or mentor – other times it’s more traumatic and a bit of expert guidance might be well-deserved.

Introducing Samantha Barnes

Samantha Barnes at Sweet Spot Family Counseling suggests that we need to allow ourselves permission to reach out for support.

“Anytime is a good time for therapy; not just during a crisis.  Therapy can provide the emotional support and problem solving skills you need to help you “live your best life.”

There are Often Misconceptions

Samantha realizes that the world has lots of misconceptions around mental health.  Everyone has the perception that therapy is a long-time process.

Often if there’s something in life you’re just stuck on short-term therapy works very well (3-6 sessions).

Person-Centered Approach...

Sam opened Sweet Spot Family Counseling 3 years ago after working many years in the public sector. She offers family counseling and support for women, children and teens.  She has a “Person-centered” approach where “you are the expert of your own life.”  Samantha recently added a new associate, Arthi Bala who is helping couples reconnect and work through their relationship struggles.

With true talk therapy one of the best things that happen is simple conversation.  Samantha makes that even easier when her best therapist gets involved.

Samantha's Best Therapist!

Charlie the Therapy Dog is a loveable Shitzhu who “wags” his way right into your heart.

It seems that on 1st visits its Sam people come to chat with; after that it’s Charlie – all the way!

As the weather warms up again there will be “walk and talks”, workshops and other outdoor programs.

Sweet Spot offers virtual, phone and in person appointments to meet everyone’s needs.

“My hope is that the women and children that come to see me recognize their own strength and self worth and walk away feeling whole and complete.”

-Samantha Barnes, Registered Psychotherapist

Written By: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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Shifting Focus – Mainstream Therapy

A Message from Angel Powers at Mainstream Therapy...

“Here we go again!  Another lockdown and another disappointment.  More stress, more worry.  More uncertainly.  I’m not one to add to the problem because I am a solution – focused person.”

“However, that being said, we cannot deny frustration accompanied by the on-going state of affairs that are out of our control.”

“While it I important to express your frustrations to an appropriate person – I get it, call me.  I offer a 30 – minute free consultation.  Call me…we can chat about it.”

“How about we focus on tender love and care for ourselves.  One thing I know for sure is that we are all connected by grief due to the loss of many things over the course of the last year.  Loss of jobs, fiancés, security, loved ones and life in general.  Grief connects us all in some way…right now.”

“One thing I find myself helping people with right now is shifting focus.  Shifting focus on what I can control right now.  I cannot control school closures, business closures, vaccine rollout, or how other people choose to handle the pandemic.  What I do have control over is how I show up in my life for myself and my loved ones.”


Parents, we are not meant to wear the many hats that we have to wear right now.  The expectation that you can be a teacher, a parent, and a worker is too much.  Take a look at what you’re expecting for yourself.  Are your expectations realistic?  An expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.  Where can you make a shift and move towards a realistic expectation for yourself?  Can you ask for help for your children for school?  Can they miss a day?  Can you shift the focus toward connection and away from perfection?

A Childs Brain

Our kids have been through so much this year!  They are spent!  They are done!  From a development perspective, their brains are not developed enough to handle all this uncertainty and stress.  The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem-solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors.  It doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25 (give or take).  The frontal lobe is considered the “control panel” of the brain.  If your kids are having meltdowns or seem moody or irritable; it’s because they might not be able to decipher that the March break was supposed to happen in March not April….and that isn’t “normal” to them and they don’t know what to expect.  Routine gives children a sense of safety, isn’t it safe to say that all our world routines are out of whack right now.  Take it easy on them and yourself!

Nurture Yourself

We are people too.  Don’t forget about nurturing yourself, with the responsibilities that you’re putting on yourself, as well as what others expect from us; how often do you stop and actually take time for yourself?

Here’s a gentle reminder…  It’s okay to say no.  It’s okay to miss a day.  It’s okay to not be okay…and it’s 100% okay to ask for help!

The Trouble With Independence

Independence is a trauma response.  I’m talking to the “Wonder Woman” or “Superman”….the “I can do it on my own because I have always had to” attitude.  We aren’t meant to do it on our own.  The reality is that this superior independence is a trauma response because you don’t feel supported or you’re not supported.  You have learned from a young age that you couldn’t rely on anyone.  Human beings area wired for connection.  This state of independence is a safety behavior because you may not trust the human connection.  I urge you to lean on your friends, family and community.  Call someone and talk it out.  You are not alone!

The Reality Is...

When you have to choose between the math test and teaching your children how to cook or do household chores – choose the chores.  Do not underestimate the benefits of teaching your children how to cook, do laundry or manage a budget with grocery shopping.  Heck! Get them a pen pal and have them write a letter to someone in another province or country!

This is hard!  You are not doing it wrong!  You’ll make mistakes…and that’s okay!  When you make a mistake, try to do something different next time.

Always in Service.



Written By: Angel Powers/Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

Are you a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint?  Let us know!  We can help get you Uncovered!