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  • Writer's pictureMoss & Fern Counselling

What is in a Name - Moss & Fern Counselling as a Private Practice Name

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Moss & Fern Counselling. If anyone has ever opened a small business and is reading this then they know a bit of the labour that goes into finding a business name. What is something that resonates with you and will resonate with others? Something that can reflect your values, or at least not reflect that which you don’t value? How will it come up in online searches?! Yes, all of this and more came up when I was trying to find a name! Not to mention the pool of vulnerability it was all soaking in.

First Draft

When it came down to it, at first, I looked at the name Emotions & Potions Counselling. I enjoyed the delightful little rhyme, and it brought back thoughts of me making my childhood potions with mud, sticks, leaves and all the natural treasures I could find in my backyard or nearby nature when we had no yard. I thought of the creativity, the solace in solitude in nature and the joy in getting dirty/immersed with all my creations.

It was quickly pointed out to me that with this name, I might be confused as someone who prescribes medication or wishes to perpetuate medications as a professional practitioner due to the notion of potions and apothecaries coming up. Scratch that idea! Not that I am for or against medications, but I definitely am not an apothecary nor prescribe in any way. As fond as those memories are of me being covered in dirt, dust, mud and so much of natures bounties while I experimented, created, and learned, Emotions & Potions would not be my business name to avoid any potential confusion.

Connection, Emergence and the Liminal

So, I sat with the idea that something will resonate with me and had a bit of a pause. Thankfully the next name that came to me was Moss & Fern Counselling. The images of moss and fern are near and dear to me since moving in my teens years to reside here on stolen Coast Salish People’s land. Moss and ferns are images that bring my heart joy. I can smell them and feel them even when looking at images or just thinking about them. Moss and Fern Counselling also brought forth two great themes of counselling that I tend to hover over: emergence and liminality.

Ferns are a constant reminder of emergence for me, among other things. The rich visuals of the nutrient-dense unfurling of fern fronds after their dormancy comes to mind. How those little fiddleheads reach through the nutrient rich detritus to seek out a little bit of light lightens me. Thinking about how they push from darkness, as nutrient rich as it is in other ways, to stretch and become something bigger than was curled up below gives me awe. I have been honoured to witness such growth in myself and others at different times and it holds such a special place in my heart like those little fiddleheads reaching and unfolding into such great and inspiring fern fronds.

But what about moss? In counselling we also sometimes think of the liminal – the space between two things, like the transition period after a divorce, while moving, or graduating. It is a period of unknown that sometimes can bring great hope for the next space/phase and sometimes great distress. It exists despite not being officially on one side/space/phase or another. It is the action/phase of a move where one is not settled in point A and not settled in point B. It is sometimes also thought of as the complexity of grey, not black nor white. Some reading on liminality can also be found here and here.

An interesting fact about moss is that exists in liminal space (please read Robin Wall Kimmerer’s amazing book Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Moss to learn about this and so much more

Moss is not rooted in rock, nor in the sky. Many mosses exist between both air and earth and completes their life cycle with this liminal existence. Robin Wall Kimmerer notes the patience that moss has in her book by pointing out that moss utilizes the resources it has rather than seeking out. this is demonstrated with the patience that moss shows waiting for water arrive again. When I think of moss I think of liminal and with that thoughts of potential, patience, flourishing in the shade, and independence with interconnectedness at the same time plump my mind like moss rich with morning dew.

Moss & Fern is not just a catchy name but rooted in emergence, existing between and despite, and the ability to pause and bear witness to these cycles and more. I invite you to stop and pause next time you see moss and/or ferns. They could be growing in the cracks between the bricks of your apartment, in the space between sidewalk and building, on an urban trail you frequent, or out in the middle of somewhere. Pause when you see them existing. What comes up for you?

As always, take care,


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