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Howard E. Halpern, MA, CPRW

    A Real Live Person (TM) was founded in 1997 to integrate two services – Résu-Card ®  and Affordable Counselling ®  – under a common theme. Both services were founded by Howard E. Halpern.

Writing for Publication

    Halpern was born in Toronto in 1949. He loved to write and at the age of 16 crafted a poem "Barter" that was subsequently published in Tamarack Review. Encouraged by this success, Halpern continued writing and published other poems in Storm Warning (edited by Al Purdy), Voice & Vision (McClelland and Stewart) and the Montreal Star.

    When Halpern served as poetry instructor at the Toronto (formerly North York) Board of Education, seven poems written by his students in class were read by their authors on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio program Ideas.

    Halpern went on to publish various poems and a two-part, autobiographical article on the 60s in Miss Chatelaine (now Flare); an article on Internet commerce in Information Highways.  ; articles in Score (Canada's golf magazine), the Regina (Saskatchewan) Leader-Post, and the Toronto, black newspaper Contrast; and an article on education with comments and rebuttal in the Ontario Psychologist, listed in the international Psychological Abstracts.

Pursuing a Career in Psychology

    Residing in Syracuse, New York, during his adolescence, Halpern had the privilege of serving in Project Head Start during its first year of operation. In this capacity, he successfully mediated between teachers and parents of Italian immigrant children, for a local black-run organization.


    During the late 60s and early 70s, Halpern studied psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and York University in Toronto. At the latter institution, Halpern served as founding and executive member of the Personal Growth Workshop, Toronto's first growth centre. He co-led, with Dr. Herman Medow, an accredited gestalt group for third-year psychology students and served as a voting member of the psychology department's undergraduate studies committee.

    At York, Halpern also had the honour of studying poetry with the legendary Irving Layton.

    After graduating Honours BA from York University in 1971, Halpern loaded all his possessions atop a car, headed west, and embarked on an MA program in psychology at what was then the University of Saskatchewan (now University of Regina). Upon completion of his courses and a teaching assistantship, he returned to Toronto.

bio . halpern . cc
Rev. Apr. 15, 2013

Pursuing a Career
in Psychology

Teaching Yoga

Research in
Human Rights

Building Careers

Making Services

the Network

the Web







Private Yoga



Contact Info

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Teaching Yoga

    Fascinated with yoga, to which he had been introduced at York, Halpern became an instructor of that discipline, serving as TEACHING MASTER at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. Halpern also instructed yoga at the Department of Physical Education, University of Toronto; Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology; and several other institutions throughout greater Toronto.

    In addition, Halpern served as Apartment Living Supervisor, Toronto Association for Community Living, assisting adults who were developmentally challenged. During Halpern's tenure the antisocial behaviour of one client was almost completely eliminated; three increased their attendance at vocational programs; another recovered from open-heart surgery and returned to his previous job in the community.


Pioneering Research in Human Rights

    During 1974-80, Halpern resided on a farm in Richmond Hill, near Toronto. During this period, he pioneered research on visible minority employment in the media, authoring a study on this subject for the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. The project was funded by the Secretary of State. Halpern was successful in obtaining sensitive information from senior management. His findings were cited by the Task Force on Human Relations in its report to Toronto's former metro (now city) council. In fact, several of the task force's recommendations were based on these findings.

    In 1977 Halpern completed his master's thesis by correspondence and earned a graduate degree in psychology.

Building Careers

    To build his career, diverse as it was, Halpern had to create many versions of his resume, altering it to address the requirements of each position sought. Having entered the work force in 1967, long before the advent of the personal computer, Halpern used an old-fashioned typewriter, literally cutting and pasting segments of his resume from one version to another. He also wrote resumes for several friends who were successful in acquiring employment as a result.


    In 1989 Linda Warman (now a member of the Affordable Counselling ® network) recognized Halpern's skill in writing resumes and suggested he open his own business offering that service. He recalled an idea he had thought of about a year earlier – that of incorporating a resume into a business card – and founded a proprietorship to develop and promote this concept. Résu-Card ® was thus born.

    In 1998 Halpern earned the coveted CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) designation, awarded by the Florida-based Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). The next year, he published an article on an innovative approach towards cover letter writing, in his association's journal Spotlight. In 2000 Halpern was asked to serve as a judge in PARW/CC's "Best Resume" contest, held at the association's annual convention in Toronto – an appointment he was honoured to accept.

Making Services Accessible

    Halpern's success in founding and developing Résu-Card ® gave him the confidence to open a counselling and psychotherapeutic practice. He did so in 1990. In the beginning, with little experience in this realm, it is difficult, if not impossible, for a therapist to distinguish himself from his competition. And yet, Halpern knew instinctively this was necessary. So he decided to focus on affordability and accessibility. He advertised his phone number as reachable 24 hours a day and made himself available to see clients 7 days a week, evenings included.


    His extensive background in helping others acquire employment, coupled with the diversity of his own work experience, positioned Halpern well to provide counselling to people with problems in the workplace. Not surprisingly, this became one of his specialties. Another is relationship counselling, for which Halpern received supervision from a registered psychologist. Accordingly, this service is eligible for coverage by most extended health insurance plans, OHIP excepted.

    In 1992, in support of his mission statement, Halpern registered the trade name Affordable Counselling ®.

Building the Network

    Throughout the course of his professional development, Halpern met several highly competent therapists and counsellors. On the conviction the public would greatly benefit from their services, he developed the Affordable Counselling network, offering services in several locations from Toronto's harbourfront to Aurora in York Region.

Building the Web

    In February 1998 Halpern wrestled with the notion of preparing a brochure for his counselling practice, but concluded it was a waste of time. He remembered that a fellow writer, Alan Thwaits, whom he had met two years before at a trade show, said websites were easy to create. Why write a brochure for a handful of people when you can produce an electronic one that can be read by hundreds or thousands?


    Halpern had a book on the web that came with his US Robotics modem. In it was a chapter on how to script websites. It took Halpern 20 minutes to learn the basics. Within 40 minutes, he had launched his first site, albeit it did not in the slightest resemble its present appearance. In those days Halpern had a black-and-white VGA monitor. Hence he could not browse, let alone create, websites in colour.

    Even without colour, Halpern was so fascinated with the power of the web he could hardly tear himself away from it to eat or sleep. On the conviction that no site at all is infinitely preferable to one that merely replicates information already available on the Net, he developed many sites with original content, most of which can be reached, directly or indirectly, via A Real Live Person (TM).

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