Emotional knowledge has given me the freedom I didn’t have before: Sandra’s Story

By Claudia Porras 

It has been almost 20 years since Sandra lived day-to-day at the radio stations of Montevideo and Uruguay, creating ad campaigns for local businesses. Surprises in life led her to move to Canada, and she arrived here with her dreams in her suitcase. 

It was not easy for her to start over in a new country. She was a single mom with two small children. In addition, Sandra realized that the problem of finding employment and communicating with colleagues was because of her basic English.

Sandra was living in St. Catharines, 100 km from Toronto, not far from Niagara Falls. At some point, she realized how difficult it was for her to establish boundaries and healthy relationships so she tried to find a Spanish-speaking psychologist in the area without success.

Fortunately, her neighbour told her about Spanish-speaking mental health services at the Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto. With the Compassionate Therapy Group and individual counselling, Sandra learned a variety of communication skills that allowed her to set limits, defend herself, and speak her mind freely.

Before MNLCT, I felt lost. I couldn’t find a service that could help me. But now emotional knowledge has given me a freedom that I didn’t have before. My therapist helped me and gave me real advice on how to set my boundaries.”

Sandra has now accomplished many things. After completing a two-year pharmacy technician program at Niagara College, she became licensed by the Ontario College of Pharmacists and is now working as a pharmacy technician.

Sandra’s dream is to retire on a farm where she can spend time with her family and grow all kinds of vegetables and fruits.

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“The people who work for MNLCT are not only professionals, but also have a deep sense of empathy, which is very important when dealing with newcomers.”

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