Hello, I'm Nicole Thomson.
I’m a Registered Clinical Counsellor, a psychology nerd, a mom, a drummer, and the founder of Present Momentum.
Present Momentum is my counselling practice, and it brings together my obsession with the latest therapy research and my passion for helping people get through hard times, and start loving their lives.
You might be thinking, “But what does it all mean?”
Luckily for both of us, “Present Momentum” doesn’t mean me throwing gifts at you until you’re happy. Instead, the name is a nod to the balance between being present (like having awareness and acceptance) and gaining momentum (moving forward, making positive changes).
Specifically, using mindfulness – which has so many benefits (like improving concentration and self-control) and cognitive behavioural therapy – the gold standard treatment for depression and anxiety.
But to be clear, even though my approach is informed by CBT and mindfulness, we start by making sure we both understand what’s going on for you, and what you’d like out of counselling. And you always have the final say, about each step we take towards your goals.
So: my years of being psychology nerd + your years of being you = a custom plan to meet your goals.
But I do have a confession. I don’t just understand how this works from reading books and hearing lectures; I’ve lived my own version of this story.
As a teenager, being ‘present’ was hard. Literally, I got kicked out of high school for skipping too much. I had no direction, I didn’t see the point of going, and whenever someone asked me what I wanted to “do with my life,” I froze.
My entire life? I didn’t even know on any given day if I would end up skateboarding in a parking lot, or just spend hours on the internet (it took hours to download a single song back then).
One day, I was reading a self-help book (a weird hobby I had), and I learnt about how our thoughts aren’t always true. I began to learn about how we can challenge our beliefs, and I decided to challenge the idea that I hated school.
I tried some psychology classes, and realized what I wanted to do.
When I finally found my passion, motivation came easy!
Wait- that’s not the end of the story. Even though motivation came easily- actually getting through university was not! I had to learn how to be a student who not only cared now, but cared so much that it was overwhelming and stressful.
I’d think, “If this paper sucks I’ll get a bad grade… If I get a bad grade I won’t get into grad school… If I don’t get into grad school I won’t get the job I want… OMG THIS PAPER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
– And now I’m too stressed to do it!”
I kept researching and learning about things like procrastination, motivation, study skills, and goal setting. Eventually, I got there. I even graduated with a first class honours degree (humble brag). Now I’m living the life I worked towards, and I am lucky to say I love it as much as I hoped.
As a counsellor, I get to help people clarify their values, embrace their uniqueness, challenge their limitations, and get started towards the life they want. It is really exciting!
As fun and exciting as I find therapy; I do want to add that being a counsellor is such an honour, and I do take that seriously.
I know what it’s like to be in that “stuck” place, and how hard it is to ask for help.
If you’re feeling stuck now, take a deep breath (to get present- of course), and then reach out: because that might be the first step forward, the first of many.