The Ottawa Overcoming Obstacles Handbook

Prickly problems demand well-equipped problem solvers. I’m Josh Martin, and my experience with cancer taught me a lot about tackling adversity. Inspired by that journey, I created the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook. Here, you’ll find a collection of stories, inspiration and advice about getting through tough times — from broken legs and broken hearts to COVID quarantines, money troubles and more.

Local resources: Need a helping hand?

This edition of the Overcoming Obstacles Handbook was made possible thanks to the generous support of these local sponsors. Explore their information below to learn about their services and how they can help you through whatever challenge you’re facing.

I offer down-to-earth and effective psychotherapy to individuals and couples. I am passionate about helping people make and maintain positive changes in their lives, and I believe that the therapeutic relationship is of utmost importance in working towards personal and relational growth. Learn more.


Anyone who is struggling with a personal concern can seek counselling. No issue is too big or too small to ask for support. From addiction, stress, anxiety and depression to communication and relationships issues, our professional counsellors are trained to help you look for solutions with objectivity and empathy. Visit our website or call 866-288-9669 to learn more.


Bonney Elliott has a private psychotherapy / clinical consulting practice in Ottawa. Her passion is helping people to get unstuck, reclaim health & vitality, and live fully, in alignment with their purpose and values. Sessions are in person, virtual or by phone, covered by most insurance plans, NIHB or IFH. Learn more.


Sandy Gard recognizes that there’s an increasing need for support to cope with mental health and addiction concerns at this time. Sandy is a registered holistic nutritionist and Reiki healer who’s adding mental health/addictions certification into her toolbox. She’s offering affordable, natural healing sessions and classes. Learn more.


Discover the world of the Center for Pediatric Excellence where leading researchers bring medical research to our community giving new hope to patients. We specialize in treatment of neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders (such as ADHD, Autism and Migraines). Currently seeking participants for different studies. Visit our website to learn more.


Many of life’s challenges can seem unresolvable, but together, we can overcome obstacles by challenging and managing their presence. Whether you are interested in CBT, SE, EMDR, or looking to explore your options, we are ready to tailor your psychotherapy experience based on your needs. Debut your wellness journey with us today. Learn more. 


Sydney Dean is a Registered Professional Counsellor, Candidate. In her practice, she helps folks identify and understand the negative and self-limiting stories that they tell themselves. She advises folks in emotion regulation skills and techniques that can help them manage their emotions and navigate their situations, which can lead to more calm and grounded experiences. Learn more.


Dr. Alami is a registered Naturopathic Doctor serving patients in and around Ottawa. He has a focus in gut health, mental health, and men’s health. Conditions Dr. Alami can help with include weight loss, burnout, IBS, IBD, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, parasites, leaky gut, SIBO, abdominal pain, thyroid disorders, diabetes, anemia, fatigue, burnout, skin, and menstrual health. Learn more.


Elaine Birchall (MSW, RSW) of Birchall Consulting is a hoarding behaviour and intervention specialist. She counsels those who hoard, those who care about them and other professionals. She co-authored Conquer the Clutter (print and audiobook) and hosts a podcast on Wednesdays from 11 to noon EST on Zoom. Visit hoarding.ca for more resources.

Introduction

Lessons learned from leukemia

More life lessons

Cancer reminded me that life is the greatest teacher of all. The following stories share obstacle-busting lessons from some of life’s other awesome and absurd moments — from sleeping in a barn to multiple run-ins with Bill Clinton’s bodyguards to nearly driving a car off a cliff.