The Spirit First Workshop Series, created by Andrew Louisy, is designed to help individuals break away from sabotage and denial behaviours and build a solid foundation for life that has them on a continuous path of growth, success, and connection in alignment with their heart’s desires. The foundational course, Recreating Life Patterns, provides a roadmap out of struggle through behavioural change within a spirit-based understanding of intergenerational trauma and intergenerational healing. Mirroring is used to build connections within the community, enhance accountability and vulnerability, and as an antidote to shame.
The workshops are taught by an experienced and highly trained team who have all been through the program as clients and worked their way to health and stability through consistent humble effort.
Andrew’s ongoing goal for over 35 years has been to have individuals fully recover from seemingly impossible challenges. He has utilized the tools from the Spirit First Workshops to help over a thousand clients transform their lives, heal their relationships and families, recover from addiction, abuse, and trauma, and most of all, let go of the ego delusions that keep them trapped in cycles of futility. Andrew’s ability to read the truth of a person, beyond their denials and distractions, provides the roadmap to their heart’s desires.
Andrew’s journey has taken him to various parts of the world and given him an exhaustive understanding of the repetitive nature of family patterns and dark illusions, why individuals struggle, and what it truly takes to wholeheartedly embrace ones potential. He worked directly with clients in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and he is well acquainted the demons of addiction, personally and professionally. Andrew created the Spirit First Workshops in order to establish a long-term foundation of self so he could become someone who gives back to society in every way, heartfully, consistently, and gratefully.
Andrew endeavours to make a guest appearance to most workshop groups to heighten the group's understanding of the workshop.
ERIN KAPELA, M.C.; R.C.C.
Erin Kapela is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and the lead instructor for the Spirit First Workshop Series. Erin has been working with founder, Andrew Louisy, since 2009 and is grateful to have the workshops as a personal and professional foundation for life. Erin's therapeutic framework is grounded in the values of intergenerational healing, community-building, accountability, courage, and dignity. Dignity-informed care calls us to go beyond the acknowledgement of trauma and harm and instead center the dignity of people within the fullness of who they are, where they come from, and the path they are walking.
Erin's training comes from universities, seminars, and on the job training with traditional healers, Elders, knowledge keepers, and mental health clinicians, as well front-line outreach and harm reduction work with marginalized community members. She walks with an awareness of the ongoing struggles related to systemic and colonial oppression and her therapeutic framework is grounded in the values of intergenerational healing, community building, accountability, and courage.
As a workshop instructor, Erin has a gift for quickly getting to the heart of a challenge and shining a light on participants' core values, strengths, and desires to help them create a road map for success – and laugh at the detours.
Erin thrives on the energy of a home filled with loving connection. In a spare moment you will find her at home baking allergy-friendly goodies for her children. Erin strives to show up authenticity and vulnerability in all of her relationships and believes that gratitude is essential for long-term stability and wellness.
CHERYL GIESBRECHT, B.Jus; J.D.
Cheryl is an accomplished lawyer, passionately bringing positive and just outcomes to both individuals and systems, shining a whole-hearted light wherever she goes. She engages in her career knowing that is in line with her heart’s desires, and in a way that allows her to radiate as her authentic self even in the most challenging of opportunities.
Cheryl began her work with workshop founder Andrew Louisy in 2009, and became a Workshop instructor over 10 years ago after implementing the Spirit First Workshop teachings into every area of her life. She created a new foundation of self and learned how to transition into this authentic life with healthy boundaries, stability and grace.
Cheryl embraces life’s joys and its changes with a strong sense of self; accountable, directed and above all, grateful. In her words: “I have healed and been empowered – mind, body, and spirit – to move forward positively in my life. I am now living a life that is beyond what I could ever have envisioned, with a loving family, dynamic community relationships, and inspiring professional interactions! It is a pleasure and an honour to facilitate these workshops, supporting others to identify and achieve their own heart desires. The sky’s the limit when you can get out of your own way!” As a workshop instructor Cheryl has a gift of inspiring others to emulate their integral self and see through the ways they might be fooling themselves to fall short of their highest potential.
A partner, a mother, a key pillar of strength and compassion in community, Cheryl is dedicated to enhancing all.
JESSICA CURTIS, B.Ed; M.S.W.
A long-time primary school teacher–turned–school counsellor, Jessica is passionately inspired in her work with young children and families. She achieved her Masters in Social Work, specializing in Indigenous Trauma and Resiliency, from the University of Toronto in June 2019, and has since been working as a school counsellor in a First Nations–governed and –operated school. She is actively pursuing her BC Clinical Social Workers Registration and Play Therapist Certification.
Jessica began her journey as a client at Time To Heal in 2012. The Spirit First Workshop Series guided her to let go of futile patterns, denials, and unhealthy distractions, empowering her to take full responsibility for her choices in every moment. Demonstrating her ability to weave the workshop tools positively into all areas of her life, Jessica apprenticed to teach the Workshop Series. She shines as an example of what is possible when one embraces accountability with humility and grace.
She models the art of kind honesty as she actively challenges oppressive perspectives and systems. She is passionate about respecting and honouring culture while promoting healthy relationships and growth. Jessica is in a cross-cultural marriage, mother to a smart and curious young son, and a valued and respected member of many communities. She embraces life's challenges as opportunities to actively grow and uses the tools of the Workshops to consistently enhance her family’s happiness and stability.
CHRISTINE BEATTIE, M.Mus
With a master's degree in music performance, Christine has learned what it takes to conquer patterns of sabotage in order to reveal and achieve big dreams. Christine has shown the dedication and discipline to recreate all aspects of her life.
The Spirit First Workshop Series helped Christine to transform her life by teaching her to identify her self-imposed limitations and giving her the tools to choose a path aligned with her desires. She learned to navigate challenges with stability, forgiveness, boundaries and faith, becoming a respected leader in her communities through her consistency in doing what works.
Christine has a particular interest in the mental wellness of musicians and other performing artists. She combines her performance background with her coaching skills to guide individuals to develop healthy, sustainable habits for a fulfilling career both on- and off-stage. She inspires people to take an honest look at where they're at, and guides them to embrace the changes they need to make in order to realize their deepest desires and unlock their full potential.
Christine is a passionate freelance performer, teacher, and mentor. Multi-talented and highly driven to excellence, Christine is also an accomplished horse trainer, carriage driver, and instructor. Her gift for showing up in her truest self, her courageous accountability to her integrity (and the integrity of others), allows Christine to compassionately connect with all living beings that cross her path.
ANNA MAE KANWAR
Anna Mae Kanwar, a Career Development Practitioner and Employment Counselor, is thrilled to be able to share the Spirit First Workshop Series with others who may be curious. As a former actress, Anna Mae recalls asking the universe to dig her out of years of self abuse and patterned behaviour. “I would act out in self destructive behaviours to gain a sense of control, and then hide my reality from anyone truly seeing how dark it was. I would manipulate my friends, family and myself from seeing the truth in ways that I couldn’t even recognize. I would beat myself up because I ‘knew better’ but I could not DO better.” Anna Mae implemented the practices of the Spirit First Workshop Series and then gained more and more tools as she re-took the course multiple times. The workshops have allowed her to gain clarity on who she is and remove the patterns of behaviour that were not serving her. Through discipline, she was able to embody who she truly is authentically. Every aspect of her life has changed since taking the workshops from relationships to career path.
Anna Mae is devoted to community connection by identifying shame and guilt as forms of isolation. Through humour, vulnerable sharing, and service, Anna Mae learned how we are can support each other with higher levels of operating. She deeply believes in will power and the stability achieved through consistently choosing positively focused, long term desires. She is happily married with a wonderful, feisty daughter and a food-motivated beagle.