Jocelan Ireland

ShiftGrit Therapist

Jocelan Ireland - Registered Social Worker/ Therapist

Like all Shift Clinicians, Jocelan is trained in the ShiftGrit protocol- a structured therapy program that uses counter-conditioning and evidence-based techniques to establish new perspectives. This creates better, automatic responses for our clients- things like less reactivity, stronger boundaries, healthy assertiveness, smoother communication, improved mood-optimized performance... and many more...

What is your name?

Hello! My name is Jocelan Ireland. I am a registered social worker with over 20 years of experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds and experiences. I am passionate about creating safe, non-judgemental, compassionate therapeutic relationships with clients that promote trust and growth. A strong therapeutic relationship will foster a caring environment to create positive change and assist you in achieving your goals. We will also laugh, joke, swear and have fun along the way (yes, this is possible in therapy). I will be creative in offering you evidence-based treatment strategies and coping techniques that will help you progress toward meeting your goals and living your best life.

What do you do at Shift?

I offer individual therapy sessions with clients to support them in improving their ability to manage challenges; such as anxiety, trauma, unhelpful thinking patterns, unhealthy emotional reactions and communication skills. In our sessions, I will help you explore and identify unhelpful thoughts, feelings and automatic reactions. We will then work together to develop effective strategies and coping skills that work for you, to change these thought patterns and behaviours. My education and training have assisted me in utilizing evidence-based modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), Trauma trauma-informed practice and a Cultural Safety approach, to help clients improve their mental health and well-being. I desire to assist you in achieving your mental health goals to enhance your life.

What are your academic credentials?

I completed a Bachelor of Social Work through the University of Victoria in 2004 and earned a Master’s in Social Work from Dalhousie University in 2022. I have been a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Alberta College of Social Work since 2009. I have taken several specialized trainings and certifications over the years to enhance my skills.

Why did you decide to become a therapist?

I became independent at 14 years old and faced several personal and systemic challenges; such as poverty, stigma, lack of education, anxiety, undiagnosed ADHD and trauma. I met a Social Worker in my late teens who helped me manage my reactions, feelings and thoughts around these difficult challenges. With the support of family members and friends, I was able to improve my self-confidence and work towards my mental health goals. My experiences gave me a desire to become a social worker. Over the past decades, these experiences have allowed me to understand how feelings, thoughts and behaviours can manifest into challenges in how we function and interact with the world. I believe that anyone can make a change with compassionate, understanding people supporting you. I also believe people are resilient and can learn new skills and coping strategies to improve their lives.

What do you bring to your therapy sessions, and what are some goals?

I have been told by clients that I am genuine, open, non-judgemental, flexible and curious; which helps create a safe, comfortable environment for people to share their personal experiences. This is important, as therapy can initially provoke feelings of fear and anxiety. I will make this easier by explaining the approaches we will use, taking the mystery out of the process. I will also be very transparent and straightforward in my approach, with an empathetic approach to exploring challenges. We will work together to allow you to be courageously vulnerable in makeing change and optimizing how you function in your life. My goal is to empower you to connect with yourself and others in a way that makes you feel a sense of belonging, contentment and confidence. I will work with you to develop specific goals and a plan to reach them to maintain long-term change.

Who do you work with?

I enjoy working with adults. I also enjoy working with teens (16-18 years old) who are committed to engaging in therapy and committed to attending regular appointments.

Why are you passionate about what you do?

I have experienced first-hand how powerful therapy can be in creating the life you truly desire. I am passionate about supporting people to face life challenges that block them from being their authentic selves. Delving into painful past memories, unhelpful thinking styles and difficult emotions takes courage. It is also essential in building an understanding of where these challenges come from and what to do to change them. I feel honoured and empowered to be a part of a person’s healing journey. Seeing people make change and celebrate their successes with them is the best part of my job.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love learning new things and immersing myself in other cultural experiences. I enjoy travelling; having visited many different countries and lived in many different Provinces over the years. My next trip is hopefully to Portugal or Iceland. I recently bought a Japanese camper van and look forward to taking it camping and hiking on weekends. I am learning to translate all the fun buttons in it. I am told I have a good sense of humour (sometimes wacky) and enjoy a good laugh over some interesting conversation with friends and family. I enjoy going out for dinner, concerts, plays, farmers markets, art exhibits and live music. I love all music styles. To recharge my batteries, I enjoy reading, documentaries, cooking, and movies.

What is a skill that you are currently working on?

I recently completed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Basic Training. I am working on further developing my EMDR skills and would like to take further EMDR training. I find EMDR fascinating and incredibly helpful in assisting people with processing trauma. During my career, in working with Indigenous communities, children in care and first responders; I have witnessed the effectiveness of EMDR in addressing trauma.

What motivates or inspires you?

I am motivated and inspired by people who are courageously vulnerable and genuine; even in situations where they may not be accepted or face the risk of failure. Witnessing this strength challenges me to strive to be my genuine, unique self and take risks. In my professional life, I am thankful for the gracious nature of my mentors and the groundbreakers in my field. People like Gabor Mate, Dr. Bruce Perry and others have driven the work forward; touching many lives and making change on a global scale. I find this awe inspiring. My mentors have inspired me through their generosity in sharing their knowledge and skills. They have nurtured me, accepted me, challenged me and provided a safe space for me to grow professionally and personally. I feel honoured to have these people in my life.

What are your additional areas of clinical interest?

I am interested in learning more about EMDR, trauma therapy, somatic experiencing, mindfulness, and meditation.

What additional specialty trainings, courses, certifications or education do you have?

I have training in Solution Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Trauma Informed Practice, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Indigeneous Cultural Safety Training. I have recently been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). I utilize a strength-based approach in my practice.

Do you have any lived or personal experiences that can be utilized in therapy with you?

I have experienced many different changes in my life. Different jobs outside of the social work realm; such as being in the Naval Reserve, freelance photography, working in a record store and being unemployed. I have worked over the years with Indigenous people in their communities, with the RCMP member and civilian staff, those involved with the criminal justice system, those involved with child services and with lawyers. I have also lived in many different parts of Canada.

Additional Certifications

  • EMDR Training, Personal Transformation Institute, Eldorado, AZ.
  • Suicide Risk Assessment (SAR) Training, Interior Health, BC.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Level 1 & 2, Interior Health, BC.
  • SBIRT in Alcohol Use Disorder Training, Interior Health, BC.
  • CBT Advanced Practice Training, Interior Health, BC.
  • San’yas Indigeneous Cultural Safety Training, BC Provincial Health Authority, BC.

Available for:

Anxiety | Trauma and PTSD | Relationship Issues | Coping Skills | Depression | Exposure Therapy | Anger Management | Codependency | Coping Skills | Masculinity | Family Conflict | Self-esteem | Life Transitions | Parents that have children with Developmental Disabilities | Self Esteem | Stress | and much more...


Insurance Coverage
Covered by most benefits
Individual Sessions $220


Contact Information

815 17 Ave SW #210, Calgary, AB T2T 0A1, Canada
Zip/Post Code
T2T 0A1

Author Info


Member since 8 years ago
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