Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Jennifer Nagel, MA, RCC studied Psychology in university and found that the best learning came from life experience and doing the work she is so passionate about.
Writing about reciprocity in therapy comes from her first-hand experience of learning from and with the people and communities she works with.
Jennifer is a Registered Clinical Counselor and works with individuals, couples, and families. She has helped many people on their journeys of learning to show up more authentically in their personal and professional lives. She travels the world and teaches professional and personal growth programs using the Satir Model
in Canada, China, Kenya, and Thailand. She works with diverse groups including therapists, life coaches, educators, school programs, community organizations, at-risk adolescents, therapeutic programs, non-profit organizations, and corporate clients.
Jennifer Nagel As Cover Story – October 2023 Edition
Please share your background.
I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and studied Psychology in university. I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor and work with individuals, couples, families and groups. I’ve helped many people on their journeys of learning to show up more authentically in their personal and professional lives. I’ve found that the best learning has come from life experience and from doing the work I am so passionate about.
I get to travel the world and teach professional and personal growth programs using the Satir Model in Canada, China, Kenya, and Thailand, and I love working with diverse groups including therapists, life coaches, educators, school programs, community organizations, at-risk adolescents, therapeutic programs, non-profit organizations, and corporate clients.
I’m a member of the British Columbia Association for Clinical Counsellors and the Virginia Satir Global Network and a clinical member of the Satir Institute of the Pacific. I am also the Director of Trainer Development for the Satir Institute of the Pacific and a senior faculty member of the Banmen Satir China Management Center. I work with individuals, couples, and families in private practice, and provide clinical supervision for other therapists. I am the author of Magic in the Muck: Finding Grace in Chaos, and a contributing author in Woman of Worth: Moms in Business and Woman of Worth: Pandemic! Stories of Purpose, Passion & Power Through this Extraordinary Era.
I am really passionate about teaching Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy programs around the world, and about co-leading collaborative writing retreats in Mexico for wellness professionals. Therapists are Human Too: The Healing Journey of Reciprocity is the first in the collaborative book series to be launched November 7, 2023!
Childhood to Adulthood – How was your transition from childhood to adulthood and what are the bad and good things you remember?
My childhood was a good one and my parents valued spending time as a family, travel, and giving my sister and I opportunities for pursuing our education and making our own choices about our life. I grew up with a community of extended family and friends. Transitioning to adulthood brought it’s own challenges as in the North American culture I grew up in, there really are no ceremonial rites of passage or rituals like there are in some other cultures that I have learned from over the years.
Becoming ‘of age’ when going off to university meant legal access to alcohol and entrance into bars rather than celebrating community and connections or honouring developmental transitions, etc. I moved to the other side of the country for my undergraduate degree and so it was up to me to figure it out on my own, rather than turning to a council of elders for advice and guidance. Returning home for holidays was a time for me to reconnect with my roots and my family.
One aspect that I carried with me from childhood into adulthood was being that person who others turned to for sharing their secrets, their problems, their struggles. Being ‘that person’ that complete strangers would open up to. Studying Psychology was a natural fit for my desire to help others and my curiosity about how we get ourselves into the coping patterns that we do.
Struggle – What hardships have you gone through in life?
Hardships provide opportunities for us to discover and use our resources for survival in ways we may not even realize we had within us. Some of the hardships I’ve been through, survived, and learned a tremendous amount about myself, others, and our common humanity are:
- Surviving a traumatic bus accident in Peru and my husband and I teaming up together to try and save a dying boy.
- When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and given only weeks to live. He did survive and thrive (cancer-free 16 years later) but there was a period of uncertainty and fear back then for sure. Going through that definitely gave me access to an inner strength and faith I had not realized was fully there.
- My diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2021 definitely threw me for a bit of a loop, but I think I bounced back from the downward spiral relatively well from all that I have learned not only from my own past hardships, but from learning from others and their journeys through hardships as well.
What do people usually not know about you?
A quirky thing that people don’t know about me is that I tend to turn everything into a ‘musical’ at home at times – singing the grocery list, conversations with my kids (who sometimes actually respond in song too) – because hey, don’t you think life could be just one big musical? My husband calls me “Andrea Lloyd Weber” at times.
What sets you apart from your competitors in the industry and in life?
I actually don’t see others at competitors as I believe everyone is unique in who they are and how they do what they do. With an abundance mentality and a knowing that we are all connected on some level there is room for all of us. Maybe this IS one of the things that sets me apart.
With the new collaborative book series about reciprocity that has been started, this is truly a unique topic to bring into the world. Authentic, vulnerable, personal stories of therapists, coaches, and wellness professionals about how their lives have been transformed by what they have learned from and with their clients. There are many books out there about ways to work with clients and patients, and stories of how others’ lives have changed but I haven’t seen anything like what we are doing with this series.
Writing about reciprocity in therapy comes from my own first-hand experience of learning from and with the people and communities I work with.
What are your upcoming major events – Unforgettable Moments or products/services that you want to promote/inform?
Upcoming major events: In November, all of the authors from the collaborative book writing retreat that took place this past May will be reuniting at Casa de Influencia in Puerto Vallarta Mexico for a week-long retreat preparing for our live, public book launch which will include presenting a TEDx-style talk on each of the amazing stories in the book. It’s amazing that we all wrote our chapters for the book in only 1 week at the retreat!
In February, Julie Ann and I will be co-facilitating another collaborative book-writing retreat for Book 2 in the series. I would love for more life coaches, therapists, educators and wellness professionals to apply to share your stories of how your life has been impacted by your clients/students/patients and what you have learned from them that has helped you in your own life. Recruiting authors for this book is happening right now! (link to the retreat page is below).
I will also be continuing with training programs in China, Thailand, British Columbia, and online throughout the year.
When I was diagnosed with MS right before my 50th birthday I became very mindful of seeing food and exercise as medicine for my body (as well as mind and spirit). I eat healthy foods that support my immune system and my brain, and have a trainer at the gym where I exercise regularly for strength and balance (which MS is known to impact). As a result, I’m actually in the best shape of my life – so in many ways I have MS to thank for teaching me to slow down and prioritize health as I’m very busy in my work life and in parenting 2 teenagers — eating properly and exercise would not have been a priority in the past.
What expert advice would you like to give?
Look at people, challenges, obstacles, illnesses as Teachers who show up in your Life and allow yourself to be open about what you might learn about yourself from them. Rather than asking yourself “Why is this happening to me?”, try asking “Why is this happening FOR me?” What lessons might we learn from this?
Your social media handles and website links?