Introduction to the Five things Exercise

My hope in filming this short video of the Five Things Exercise is to provide a simple mindfulness tool during a time of increasing anxiety in our community surrounding COVID-19. Given our current circumstances of isolation, this is not studio-quality or without imperfections but I hope it will be helpful for some of you. The purpose of the exercise is to mindfully direct your attention to your five different senses, paying close attention to what you are describing and experiencing and drawing your focus away from anxious and distracting thoughts. This is a straightforward grounding tool that you can practice on your own or with a partner, wherever you find yourself needing to take a few deep breaths to calm your body.

There are many online resources available that can help you practice mindfulness, relaxation ways to manage stress during this challenging time and I encourage you to find the ways that can be restorative for you.

Take care and I hope you stay well,


I have selected some of the books and websites I find most useful in my counselling work for self-learning, growth as well as awareness of helpful workshops and courses.

Marriage & Relationships:

Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson

The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work by John Gottman & Nan Silver

Passionate Marriage by David Snarch

The Dance of Connection by Harriet Lerner

Getting Past the Affair by Snyder, Baucom, and Gordon

Resurrecting Sex by David Snarch



Personal Growth & Mental Health:

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

DBT Workbooks




Hold On to Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté

Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman & Julie Gottman

Parenting from the Inside out by Daniel Siegle & Mary Hartzell


Workshops / Speaking

Carlene has been involved in a variety of teaching, facilitating and public speaking roles throughout her career. She enjoys leading groups, workshops, and is skilled in guiding the dynamics of group conversations to enrich the learning of those participating. She believes in interactive learning that is targeted towards the participants’ needs in order to create active understanding of new information and skills. Carlene can work with you to develop an engaging and relevant experience for your group or organization.

  • Communication Workshop – Strathcona Family Practice Residents – 2015
  • Developed & Co-Facilitated Groups and Workshops in the community on the topics of: Disordered Eating, Stress & Time Management, Burnout in Caregivers, Transition to Marriage, Transition to University
  • Teaching Assistant for UBC Medical Students on Practical Training in Sexual Dysfunction and for SFU Psychology Students in Social Psychology, History of Psychology and Research Methods.
  • Guest Speaker:
    • Burnaby Counselling Group Fundraiser Dinner
    • Simon Fraser University’s 40th Anniversary Philosopher’s Café
    • Simon Fraser University’s Graduation Ceremony Valedictorian
    • Simon Fraser University’s Varsity Athletics Awards Gala
    • Simon Fraser University’s First Year Orientation
    • Oak Bay Secondary School’s & Queen Margaret’s Athletic Banquets