I didn’t always live my life as an anchor but I know it is my life’s work to live more like this every day.  As a parent, a wife, a friend, an entrepreneur and an occupational therapist, I know that the more anchored I am in my life the better I am in ALL of my roles. I share this with you as someone who is still learning and growing with you, I certainly don’t have it all figured out just yet. What I do know is that when we come across something that can change lives, we need to share it. These lessons have changed my life for the better in big ways and I want that for all of you too.

I have been married for over 20 years to my high school sweetheart. We have two amazing teenagers and two hilarious dogs. I have the best job in the entire world as a paediatric occupational therapist and I am the founder of To the Stars Occupational Therapy and Wellness Centre and Be the Anchor. I started my work over 20 years ago with a passion for learning that hasn’t slowed. I still spend hours every single day researching and learning. My car and my bathroom have become classrooms. I listen to audiobooks and courses in my car and while I get ready every single day.  Over the past 20 years, I have worked with thousands of amazing kids and their families. I have had the privilege of working with the most dedicated teachers, assistants and parents. I have taken my experience in my work and as a parent along with the countless hours of reading and research over 20 years and combined the best of it all for you. My goal is to make the world a better place for kids and I now know the best way we can do that is by doing our own work as adults.

Kari Lotzien

Kari Lotzien
Occupational Therapist & Professional Speaker

My Story

I married my high school sweetheart. He was a charming boy with a love for adventure; staying out late, riding motorbikes and was always the life of the party. He was the fire to my water, the risk to my rules and was always surrounded by people. With our marriage, I inherited a “Papa Jack.”

Papa Jack was the first person to call me an anchor.  At first, I thought it was an insult. I equated the term “anchor” to “ball and chain”. It was years later, he gently explained the term to me over a cuppa coffee at the kitchen table. It went something like this…

“We all need anchors in life” he stated as he held his strong hand in a fist and pulled it downward toward the table. “You see, when things get a little crazy, we need that person who can ground us and hold us stable.”

Papa Jack was the definition of anchor to me. I witnessed this hundreds of times, sitting at that same kitchen table, listening to his stories of life, going to war, raising kids and grandkids, raising animals and farming.  I met him in his later years, after the intensity of life had settled a little and his gentle wisdom had risen to the surface to be shared with anyone who would join him at the table for a cuppa coffee*.

I took this wisdom with me as I raised my own kids and in my work. This has not protected me from hard times or struggles. There have been many times where others have been the anchor for me over the years. My husband and I have learned to better balance each other. He is still the wild and adventurous one and I am still the rule follower for the most part, but we have learned how to communicate and how to know when it’s time to anchor and when it’s time to set sail.

I have used these principles every day in my work with children and families. Regardless of age, gender or background, the ability to be a secure point for someone else is invaluable. The kids and families I work with are doing hard things! They need to feel safe to take chances and to share their feelings when things get stormy. The parents I have connected with are doing their best and I know that there is no one more dedicated or wanting more for a child than their parent. But, when we aren’t able to anchor and be anchored by others, we can get off course and we are not the person we ever wanted to be.

I want to share it all with you. My life has been so much richer. I get to see kids grow and be so proud of themselves. I get to see families reconnect and have more peace in their homes. I get to see women rock their dreams and do things they never thought possible and so can you!

*a cuppa coffee is not the same as a cup of coffee – a cuppa coffee is shared. It comes with wisdom, truths and vulnerability. When you sit down to a cuppa coffee with someone you bring the truth of yourselves together and you will walk away a better version of yourself.


Here is what our clients are saying:

I have had the pleasure of working with Kari both personally and professionally. I am continued to be amazed by Kari’s knowledge and her ability to connect with both kids and parents! I have learned so many practical skills and get very excited at every opportunity we have for her to present. She has made such a difference in my personal and professional life and I cannot thank her enough for all of her hard work!

Robyn O’Connell

An AMAZING workshop! Everyone could benefit from immersing themselves in this material around trauma. What stuck with me was ‘to make an impact on someone, especially a child, there needs to be a strong connection, stability and safety. Correction won’t happen unless there is trust and hope.

Christine - Family School Enhancement Counsellor

Every time I go and listen to Kari talk I am blown away with all the knowledge. Learning about kids who “flip their lid” and understanding the behaviours has moved mountains in my household. The last course I went to was “Be The Anchor.” I actually went twice and both times I take something else out of it to better myself and my kids. Thank you so much Kari.

Holly Maier - Parent

I attended the highly informative, engaging, and inspiring Be the Anchor workshop put on by Kari Lotzien. As a parent, there are many questions on a day-to-day basis that we encounter, including the classic, “Am I doing this right?” The workshop provided me a little confidence, and more importantly, the tools to understand that I need to be there for my child in the way he needs. The world of parenting is tough, but Lotzien, in her comedic relief and informative manner, made me realize that we are not alone in that feeling. Walking away from the presentation I felt supported and refreshed. I would recommend this workshop to any parent.

Jessica Jones - Parent

Overall, extremely pleased with your session today. Lots of ideas shared that I can bring into my classroom and it got me reflecting on my own attitudes and beliefs. I appreciate your REAL suggestions and solutions and all the resources shared. Thank you for your wisdom. You were terrific!

Jen M. - Teacher

Kari is SO easy to listen to. As a kindergarten teacher, I always come away with REAL ideas I can use tomorrow. Great stories and a good sense of humour all add up to an extremely worthwhile day.

Wenda D. - Kindergarten Teacher

I loved the stories and link to real life experiences! I wrote so many notes and hardly even doodled! That tells you how engaged I was!

Ashley - Kindergarten Teacher

You were a breath of fresh air! No fluff, just simple strategies that we can all use and what ALL educators need to hear.

Corey - Teacher

Kari is a mass of compassionate, caring knowledge. I love her approach and attitude.


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