Carmen O. is the May Volunteer of the Month!

April 25, 2017

Hi, Carmen! Congratulations! So, how did you end up in Vancouver volunteering at QMUNITY?

I was searching for a practicum placement as part of my Masters program in Narrative Therapy and was starting to feel quite depressed about the options. I’d had some bad experiences in the private sector, and am highly suspicious of the role larger institutions play in perpetuating systems of oppression. I felt like I didn’t quite fit anywhere, and that my ideas would always make me a troublemaker wherever I went. I was looking for a place that walked its talk. I found it. The counselling team here is really something. I’m so lucky!

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My dog or my bladder, depending on whose needs are most pressing. It used to be the shiny warm thing in the sky, but I don’t know where it went.

And what’s your favourite thing about volunteering at the Q?

One of the dirty secrets about counselling is how much the counsellor learns from the people they work with. I’ve heard some truly inspiring approaches and strategies to managing life, love and loss, which I’ve been able to apply in my own life and to share across the community.

What does your happy place look like?

It looks a lot like my bed. My cosy cosy bed.

What do you hope never changes about yourself?

I suspect I’ll always be a smart-arse. I like the idea the of this being consistent well into my old age.

If you were a mythical creature, what would you be?

I wouldn’t mind being Medusa for a day (pre-beheading), but in the longer term I’m thinking some kind of wood nymph might be nice. I love a good frolic.

Invite five people, dead or alive, fictional or real to a dinner party.

Who would you ask and what would you eat?

Jeanette Winterson, Oscar Wilde, David Bowie, Grace Jones & Tilda Swinton (she can sit next to me).

Heston Blumenthal can do the cooking and make whatever he likes, as long as it ends in chocolate.

I think that might be cheating, if Heston is invited as well, but I’ll let it slide this time. Thanks, Carmen!

-Interview by Tash McAdam


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