40 Under 40: Fiona Patterson

40 Under 40: Fiona Patterson

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has launched its “40 Under Forty” for 2020.

This is the Kelowna chamber’s sixth year of searching for the city’s high achievers and bringing their stories to the public.

BDO Canada LLP will make up the independent panel of judges.

There will be a wrap-up celebration for recipients once the program has concluded.

When Fiona Patterson was a little girl, old enough to know that mixing baking soda and vinegar could turn a mountain into a volcano, her grandfather pulled her aside in his study one afternoon to showed her cross-section of the brain in a palm-sized petri dish.

Fiona didn’t think much of it at the time, chalked it up to another one of his neurosurgery stories and carried on with her day.

Fast forward a decade or so to her acceptance into university to become a psychologist and her grandfather asked her, “Why aren’t you going to medical school?” Fiona couldn’t answer him then, but she could surely answer him now: Fiona is a relationship person, she has come to understand that deep healing comes, not necessarily from a prescription or a pill, but from connection and presence and empathy.

Before, during and after graduate school, Fiona worked as a clinician and educator for the health authorities on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver.

Longing for greener space and more inspiring work, Fiona and her husband moved to Kelowna. She transitioned into private practice quickly and began establishing her expertise in the field of trauma.

Trauma is a big umbrella, but Fiona’s practice largely caters to adults who’ve experienced early childhood attachment wounds and to women who’ve experienced perinatal loss, infertility, or mood disorders.

Fiona’s leadership approach is one of empathy, accountability, confidence, and organization. She believes that people need to feel secure and safe in any kind of relationship in order to thrive.

As a leader, Fiona establishes a rapport with others that welcomes ideas, respects choice, honours boundaries and limits, rewards integrity and intrepidness, is inclusive, and celebrates victory.

During her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Fiona volunteered with several different organizations. She first started out volunteering with the Crisis Lines as a support line worker, and eventually ended up in a supervisory role.

She then transitioned to volunteering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters where she was a mentor to a 10-year-old girl, and then to Citizens Counselling Centre, where she was trained as a lay-counsellor and provided over five years of service. Since her move to Kelowna in 2013, Fiona has shared her time with the Rotary Club, acted as a consultant and philanthropist for Mamas for Mamas, MOGA and the KGH Foundation, and has periodically written a column for Castanet. She also offers pro-bono workshops of a specific nature to local organizations.

Fiona has her Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Psychology.

The feeling of fulfillment in the life Fiona has designed for herself is the sense of safety and security she has engineered in her closest relationships.

External validation is nice, but it’s not nearly as effective or durable as the validation that comes from within.

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