Newcomer Finds Fresh Start in the Valley

Credit: Kristi Dobson
Kenna Elford has been getting established in her new home and launching her business in town for the past month.
Kristi Dobson

Having been in Port Alberni for only about a month, Kenna Elford already likes what she sees. She and her husband recently relocated to the Valley from Campbell River; a move she feels was meant to be.

Kenna was born and raised in Campbell River, but like many young people, after graduating from Carihi Secondary left for a little experience.

“I’m a bit of gypsy,” she said. “I like to learn and do new things.”

Kenna started her post-secondary education in theatre and then transferred to education. She then had her only son, who is now 23 years old. While he was young, she took on a number of tourism-related jobs, and by the time he was twelve, the two of them returned to Campbell River.

There she followed in her mother’s footsteps and started foster parenting.

“I loved the interaction with the kids,” she said. “I learned so much about resilience and survival and loved how they still managed to have a positive attitude in the midst of hard times.”

That experience led her to be approached by the John Howard Society, and she soon launched a youth detox and stabilization program out of her home. She had young people live with her for up to six months to receive rehabilitation assistance.

Soon after, Kenna and her son started planning a mission trip to Africa but soon, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her son had graduated, and she was left as a single mother and caregiver for a couple of years.

“Then I had to take a couple of months of rest and coming out of that I had to decide what I wanted to do,” Kenna said. “I took a whole different path.”

Knowing she always wanted to help people and knowing she always had a special gift as a psychic medium, Kenna returned to school to study hypnotherapy. She came out as a Licensed Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Licensed HypnoBirthing Practioner, and Master Hypnotist.

She discovered HypnoBirthing to be a way of helping women have a calm, less painful birthing experience and said it is an amazing process to be a part of. Her own son’s delivery was a traumatic experience, and she has witnessed her clients give birth in a much easier and faster way. She does it through a series of lessons on breathing, self-hypnosis, imagery, and meditation.

“The labour is a lot shorter, and women are so calm and relaxed,” Kenna said. “The delivery is fast because they learn how to relax their muscles. And the baby is so aware, awake, and alert.”

She said that since she held her mother’s hand as she passed away, she has experienced the full circle of life.

“I feel blessed to have experienced life leave and come into the world,” she said. “They are both amazing and beautiful experiences.”

In the same way, Kenna enjoys helping people overcome challenges through hypnotherapy, including smoking cessation, weight loss, stress reduction, fears and phobias, and finding lost objects.

Because she hid her gift most of her life, she decided it would be best to move out of her small community to be able to live her authentic self. All the right doors opened, and things fell into place.

“My spouse and I like to get in the car and just drive, and whenever we came over the “hump,” I kept thinking it felt like home,” she said. “I spoke to the hospital, and they are receptive about hypnobirthing. We wanted to live on the water, and a house came up along the river. It was a gut feeling that brought me here, and it feels like a fresh start.”

It is also the ideal place to experience her outdoor passions, like walking the dogs, hiking, fishing, canoeing, and boating.

“I am so excited to be here, getting involved in the community, and starting a business here,” she said. “The whole community has been amazing and so helpful. As a newcomer, every person I have met has been so warm and welcoming.”

If you want to meet Kenna in person for a reading, she is offering them every Friday from noon to 6:00 p.m. and by appointment. Check out for more information.