We hear you.

You’re tired of replaying situations that made you feel small.

You’re doing your best to live brave but it doesn’t always go as planned.

You feel alone in your struggles and hide your story because you are afriad it will define you.

You want to show up fully in your life and you are seeking a new perspective.

Join us for a weekend introduction to Rising Strong™ for Health, an experiential program based on Brené Brown’s research on vulnerability, courage, shame, and worthiness.

Struggle can be our greatest call to courage and the clearest path to a wholehearted life. When we are showing up in our lives and are brave enough often enough, we will fall. Rising Strong™ is about what it takes to get back up and can transform how we tell our stories of struggle.

If you know the experience of living with a health challenge, are wanting build more resilience, and better tend to your health in the midst of a busy life, this group may be a great fit. Whether your health is a current concern or you simply have an understanding of what it is like to live life with a health condition, this is a space where you can get curious about how you shape your stories of struggle and learn to rewrite your endings.

During this program, you will learn a process for transforming what Brené calls a “shi*ty first draft” of a hard experience into a daring new ending. Know you will end up with a story that is kinder and more truth-filled than the one your brain came up with in the moment the hard thing happened. And that means less time spent criticizing yourself and ruminating about what went wrong. Sweet relief!

You can’t make the difficult stuff of life go away, but you can reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of the impact stressors like self-criticism and shame have on your body, your mind, and your life. 

That means less time wishing you could magically erase a situation, less time living with those yucky feelings that make you want to run and hide (we all have them), and more time feeling centered, energized, and engaged fully in your life.

We all want a little more of that, don’t we? As Brené says, our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending.

Through education (including videos from Brené Brown), discussion, creative exercises, and connecting with others who are seeking new perspective in their lives, together we will explore:


  • The reckoning, rumble and revolution of the Rising Strong™ process for overcoming mistakes and downfalls
  • Why we all create stories to make sense of our lives
  • The power of getting curious about our emotions and stories of struggle
  • Ways that people offload hurt and how it can impact health
  • Ways that the body and mind respond when hooked by difficult emotions
  • Day to day practices for managing stress and improving emotional well-being
  • How to identify key learnings about who we are and how we engage with others
  • How to write a daring new ending to your stories of difficulty

“Our sense of worthiness – that critical piece that gives us access to love and belonging – lives inside our story.” ~ Brené Brown

This group may be for you if:

  • You want to learn more about how emotions relate to our overall health and well-being
  • You prefer learning and sharing with a smaller group of  people (5-6 participants)
  • You prefer a more condensed time frame for learning or need to travel to attend
  • You are familiar with Brené Brown’s research and would like support to explore the Rising Strong™ concepts
  • You have never heard of Brené Brown, but the description of this course is calling out to you

This is not a good time to enrol in this group if:

  • You are not able to commit to and/or tolerate two consecutive (Sat and Sun) 6-hour sessions (with 40 min break for lunch)
  • You have not received medical consultation for your health condition(s)

Program Details


What: Two group sessions, held Saturday and Sunday, plus one individual pre-group intake session (can be done by video call for those who need to travel to attend) and a post-group follow-up phone call. Includes a Rising Strong™ workbook, curriculum handouts, and permission to be yourself (and snacks – please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions!). Please also bring your own bag lunch. Fridge and kettle available.


When: Groups currently on hold due to COVID. Future dates to be determined (TBD) when possible.


Where: TBD


Pricing: TBD (Note: Additional $15 discount for payments by e-transfer)

Class size limited to 6 people.

Registration deadline TBD



Your Facilitators

Karen Gilbert, OT CDWF

Karen Gilbert OT, CDWF

Karen is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator who works with individuals who are managing a busy life and a health condition. Her aim is to help you to develop a practical “toolkit” of strategies that allow you to experience more meaning in your life despite health challenges. Through the Daring Way™ and Rising Strong™ curriculums, she supports group participants to build resilience and practice courage and wholeheartedness. She has been an occupational therapist for twenty-five years with a focus on outpatient care. Karen is passionate about the interplay between our physical, emotional, and social well-being and empowering people with invisible health conditions to maintain a sense of worth and identity during vulnerable times.

“I work collaboratively with people to come up with practical solutions that allow you to engage more fully in your life. My role is to support you to develop new knowledge and skills, and to apply and integrate them into the day-to-day in order to achieve your goals. Knowing what gets in the way of doing the things that are meaningful to you is key. I believe that each of us is ultimately the expert on our own body and life, and that our worth is not defined by our physical or cognitive ability. Connection with others, empathy, and the therapeutic relationship can be powerfully healing experiences. It is always a privilege and an honour to hear someone’s story.” ~ Karen Gilbert

Crystal Johnson MSc, MCP, RSLP, RCC

Crystal Johnson MSc, MCP, RSLP, RCC

Crystal is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a Speech Language Pathologist in Vancouver with over 10 years of health care experience. She has worked in various public health services and she is a type 1 diabetic herself. As such, she recognizes the hidden toll of health management from both a provider and a consumer perspective. There are often unrecognized emotional effects including anxiety, depression, anger, grief and adjustment difficulties. Contending with health challenges can make a person feel helpless and disempowered; it can seem almost impossible to feel hopeful for the future and to “think positive”. These undesirable feelings then permeate other life circumstances and relationships.

In her counselling work, Crystal works with clients to gently acknowledge the pain of the situation and to process the difficult experiences. Clients gain skills to recognize the losses they are experiencing and they learn to harness their own strengths to move forward in their journey. While the distress may not abate completely, clients make peace with their experiences, build confidence in their ability to cope effectively and even begin to thrive in the midst of the storm. Crystal brings this open and hopeful attitude to her group work where she believes strongly in the power of shared experiences and learning. She looks forward to walking beside you in your journey as you begin to find your voice and share your beautiful story.

To be notified when registration officially opens for the next Rising Strong™ for Health group, sign up for updates below or email karen@karengilbert.ca to reserve your spot.

Karen Gilbert Occupational Therapy and Consulting
Vancouver BC, Canada



Daring Way Seal
Daring Way Seal