Founder, Researcher, Group Facilitator
Renae Regehr is the founder of Free To Be Talks, a non-profit organization that promotes positive body image to youth, parents, and educators through education in schools, speaking events, and media. Through her MA of Counselling Psychology she developed and tested a research-based curriculum, Free To Be. To date over 1000 boys and girls throughout the Lower Mainland have gone through the program, at no cost to schools. Renae is also a contributing blogger for the Huffington Post and her work has been featured in Time, Good Men Project, and Everyday Feminism among others. Positive body image is much more than feeling comfortable in your skin, and Renae is passionate about equipping others with practical tools to thrive now, irrespective of what their appearance is.
Want a bit more background info?
Renae Regehr was a really happy kid, and then in her teens she became very preoccupied with her appearance which resulted in her being anxious, depressed, and floundering in life. She went to counselling and things got better. But they weren't great until her early 20s when she watched Jean Kilbourne's documentary "Killing Us Softly." Her worldview was profoundly changed as she realized how significantly media images and message influence all of us.
She wished she had understood the nuances of media (and Snapchat and Instagram weren't even around yet), as a teen to avoid wasting energy on things that didn't make her happy.
So, in her Masters of Counselling Psychology she developed and tested her research-based program, Free To Be to equip others to be resilient to pressures that negatively impact body image and ultimately arm them with tools for a meaningful and happy life.
Renae researches about how the representations of men and women in media impact our attitudes, beliefs, behaviour and emotions of us viewers. She loves to share her interesting findings on HuffingtonPost and other places. Also, being a mom of two little kids, Renae likes to empower parents and educators with tools to promote positive body image through workshops and events.
Renae doesn't post too frequently to social media, but you can get little snapshots of her life doing things she loves such as hiking in mountains, loving horses (some things never get old), and dreaming about visiting Harry Potter World one day.