In Business Since 2018
Love With Boundaries
Love With Boundaries is an outpatient counselling organization that specializes in working with families that have been devastated by the ravages of addiction. There is a variety of options available to the people who are dealing with the addiction themselves, but very little help available to the loved ones who struggle and suffer right along with them. We understand that when there is addiction in a family, everyone is affected and everyone needs to heal. Because we know that enabled addicts do not recover, at Love With Boundaries, we assist families to stop their enabling behaviours and learn how to actually help the addicts they love so dearly. Once this happens, the addicts are then ready to work with us to recover from their addiction and to rebuild their relationships and their lives.
Business Impact Award
Tell Us Your Story. What motivated you to start your business? Why are you passionate about what you do?
While working as an Addiction Counsellor in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for 16 years, my clients were the addicts and alcoholics living in that area. I enjoyed the work very much - but it wasn’t until their families also started working with me that things truly began to shift. I knew that enabled addicts don’t recover (because, really - why should they?), so I started to teach their loved ones the difference between enabling and actually helping; how to set and maintain healthy, respectful boundaries; and how to practice holistic, self-respectful self-care for themselves. This is when the positive changes really started to happen in these families. When I was entrenched in my own opioid addiction – a result of prescriptions for my Crohn’s Disease – I wasn’t sure I wanted to live anymore. I often contemplated swallowing all the pills I had available to me. It was a very dark time in my life. No one helped my family and I know that this made it harder for all of us. When there is addiction in a family, everyone is affected and everyone needs to heal, otherwise the loved ones will continue behaving in dysfunctional ways and the addicts will continue to relapse. There is a lot of help for addicts who want to recover -- detoxes, treatment centres, self-help groups and counselling -- but there continues to be very little help available for their loved ones, who struggle and suffer right along with them and often don’t have any idea how to remedy the horrific situation they have found themselves in. When I became aware of this gap in service, I knew that I wanted to devote my professional career to helping these families – so that the addicts would then have a fighting chance of a lasting recovery from addiction. In 2010, I published my first book entitled "Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction." I had been achieving wonderful results with the families I was working with and, because I knew there were addicted families all over the world that I wouldn’t be able to work with, I thought that writing this book could be helpful to them. I was quite surprised when the book won several USA and International Book Awards. I’ve now been working with addicts and their families for the past 3 decades, and I am happy and grateful to be celebrating 36 years clean and sober this year. I deeply believe that by stopping the enabling we CAN bring addiction to a grinding halt.
Describe and demonstrate, including metrics, your community support. How do you support and uplift your community, and how do they show that support in return? Minimum 25 words, maximum 2500 characters.
It has always felt very important to me to give back to my community. I support and contribute various types of donations to several community organizations, including the Vancouver Crisis Centre, the Vancouver Food Bank, MADD, and the Canadian Red Cross to name a few. I have also supervised a number of practicum students in my role as Addictions Therapist at Love With Boundaries, during their M.A. programs in Counselling Psychology. I train and mentor counsellors throughout British Columbia and support their ongoing education, while providing clinical supervision. I very much enjoy being part of that teaching role and, because we need more and more counsellors who are skilled in working with families grappling with addiction, I will continue to do that. As well, I have written dozens of articles and have participated in a great many free media and podcast interviews, webinars and summits over the years for families dealing with a loved one’s addiction, and have posted them as resources on my website so that people affected by addiction world-wide can access them: https://lovewithboundaries.com/wp2022/archives/ https://www.youtube.com/user/CandacePlattor/videos Many of my clients have shown their support to me by offering to write (and video) amazing testimonials, which can be seen throughout my website. I have rarely asked for these – in most cases, clients have volunteered to do this. As well, I often receive word-of-mouth referrals from people who have worked with me therapeutically. I also am available to work with local businesses, educational institutions and government organizations to support, educate and develop healthy teams and communities regarding addiction and mental health. I feel very blessed to be part of such a warm and caring community.
Why do you deserve to win the Business Impact award?
Love With Boundaries deserves to win the BC Business Impact Award because we are deeply committed to helping families - and their addicted loved ones - recover from the ravages of addiction. Last year, BC saw 1510 drug overdose deaths (4.5 times the deaths from motor vehicle accidents) and we know how many parents, sisters, brothers, children, spouses etc. have been affected by this since the opioid epidemic began and the BC PHO declared a public health emergency in 2016. There IS a solution and we are dedicated to bringing these changes to fruition with our qualified, compassionate, experienced team of experts. We help clients from all corners of British Columbia. Over the past 30 years, Candace Plattor and her amazing team have worked with thousands of families who have been able to put a stop to addiction and positively change their lives forever. nge their lives forever.
Tell Us About Your Culture. How are you creating a sustainable and healthy workplace where everyone feels welcome? Provide examples of leadership you show in interactions with clients, vendors, contractors, staff and others.
We create a positive team culture through regular team meetings, team participation on projects, and by giving everyone the opportunity to advance their own particular skill sets and interests. Love With Boundaries fosters a respectful workplace – we encourage self-care and we are all involved in our own personal and professional development. Our entire team places very high standards and values on providing extraordinary service for our clients, in the many ways we each contribute to that. Every member of our team is aware that Love With Boundaries offers a service that is unlike others in our field. Not only do we focus on providing therapy to families and other loved ones of addicts – which is a startlingly underserved population -- we also provide support to our clients in between their sessions should they be faced with a crisis situation they don’t know how to deal with themselves. We are there for our families by offering ongoing unlimited email and text support to them as they need it, sometimes jumping on an extra call with them to discuss their fears and options for moving forward with the addicts in their lives. We don’t want our clients to feel alone in these terrifying circumstances anymore – this continues to be a core value for us in our therapeutic work, and our behind-the-scenes team members support our counsellors to do just that, in a variety of ways. As our clients begin to make healthy changes in their family dynamics, the addicts they love deeply begin to sit up and take notice. They understand that something is shifting, that they are not being allowed to get away with untoward behaviour anymore and that there are now boundaries for them to adhere to. We teach our clients to do this not as a punishment, but more as a consequence of the damaging choices the addicts have been making. We teach the family members how to give this message to their addict: “We love you so much. And because we love you, we will no longer support you in your addiction, if that’s where you choose to remain. We don’t want that life for you, and it tears us up to watch you do this to yourself. We will support your recovery in the ways that we can, so when you’re ready to do that, let us know and we will be there for you.” Choice, respect and self-care are three of our most intrinsic values at Love With Boundaries – and we believe that focusing on these gives both clients and our team the best chance of success.
Why do you think you should win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award?
Addiction and mental illness are problems that many British Columbians struggle with on a daily basis. Candace Plattor has been a leader in the field of Family Addiction Therapy for over 30 years, during which time her team of amazing therapists and administrators have helped countless families - and their addicted loved ones - recover from the devastation of addiction. We are frequently in contact with the BC government (including the Premier) to offer education, information and support for our leaders and communities regarding these issues. We are actively involved in the fight to stop addiction and to serve those individuals and families who have been suffering from the horrific pain that addiction brings to everyone in its path.