Our Counselling and Wellness Team:
When you come to the Counselling and Wellness Centre at MDABC, you will be welcomed into a caring community where others like you are seeking to be empowered by therapeutic learning and sharing. The team at the Centre also works closely with the psychiatrists of the MDABC Adult Psychiatric Clinic with the goal of offering the most innovative and effective programming in the field of mental health. We all work together to meet the needs of the whole person which includes physical, emotional, social and creative dimensions.
Everyone who joins the staff and therapy team at our non-profit association is passionate about offering people a safe place to heal and grow. You will not find judgment here; we will instead express our admiration that you have had the courage to take steps in the direction of the life you want.
Vanessa Silva, MA, RCC
Vanessa is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Masters’ degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Her approach is collaborative, trauma informed, and unique to each individual. She uses an eclectic framework, drawing from various psychotherapy models including attachment, body-based (somatic), emotion-focused, and mindfulness therapies.
She has specialized training in grief and loss, with additional training in chronic illness and caregiving. She has also worked in several clinical and community agency settings supporting individuals from various walks of life, partnering with clients on wide ranging issues including
depression, anxiety, grief and loss, major life transitions, trauma, relationship challenges and cross-cultural struggles. No matter what a client comes in for counselling about, Vanessa strives to first and foremost understand and honour your experience.
In the counselling room, Vanessa seeks to create a warm and safe environment, believing that trust and connection is the foundation to the counselling work. She states that, “each individual has the capacity to live into growth regardless of where they have come from and what experiences they have had along the way. When we experience safety and acceptance in a counselling relationship we can begin to undo what keeps us stuck and tap into our inner resources and strength. Ultimately, this growth can take root and extend beyond the counselling room into all aspects of our lives.” Vanessa believes it is a gift to journey with another in this process and, together, to explore the deep and profound potential that lies within each person.
Jason Somersett, MA, RCC
Jason received his Masters in Counselling Psychology, and he is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors. He has experience working with adults, youth, and families struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, career and life transitions, chronic pain, ADHD, and self-harming behaviour. Jason uses an integrative approach that encompasses aspects of Person-Centered Therapy, Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Observed Experiential Integration, depending on the needs and wishes of the client.
Jason states, “As a counselor, there is nothing more important than developing a trusting relationship with my client. Part of this responsibility is to foster an environment whereby the client feels safe to discuss issues that can be very difficult. Much of the work in therapy involves developing awareness; this includes recognizing personal strengths, as well as the patterns in situations, behaviors, thoughts and, emotions. It can take a great deal of courage and work to face these things, and I believe that it is an honor to be present with a client during this journey of self-exploration.
Outside of counseling, one of the things I enjoy is being active, which includes hiking along some of the great trails in BC with my dog.”
Alexandra Regier, MA, MEd, RCC
Alex is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and obtained her Masters’ degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She brings her life experience and a background in working with LBGT+ individuals, chronic illness, and loss to her practice. Alex works with diverse individuals who are experiencing a wide range of concerns, including anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, self-esteem issues, interpersonal difficulties, and life transitions.
Alex’s approach is collaborative, strengths-based, and holistic (mind, body, spirit), incorporating Person-Centred Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, and experiential techniques to accommodate the unique needs of each individual client.
Alex states, “Discovering that there is a different way to do things allows us the freedom to change and make healthier choices for ourselves. We all have the ability to move towards healing and self-acceptance and away from the old patterns of thinking and behaviour that bring pain. When we realize what is truly meaningful to us, and brings us joy, we are open to our genuine self. We are then able to re-direct our energy towards finding a deeper peace, greater life balance, and higher level of personal strength and contentment”.
Lorilee Keller, Med, RCC
I’m Lorilee Keller, a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor with a Master’s in Counselling Psychology from UBC. My approach combines trauma informed body- based psychotherapies, mindfulness, self compassion and shame resilience, and attachment theory. As your counsellor, I will walk alongside you, helping you to explore the deep-rooted patterns in your thoughts, body, and relationships that are keeping you stuck and preventing you from living a life that is purposeful and connected. Our work together might involve:
- reducing anxiety and stress to help you feel more grounded, more secure in yourself, and more relaxed in your mind and body.
- learning tools for coping with depression so that you can feel more engaged and present in your life.
- learning to set boundaries, recognize your own needs, and develop new relational patterns
- developing a healthy relationship with food and your body
- coping with perfectionism and developing more self compassion
- helping you to find more meaning, purpose, and joy in your life
I also have specialized training in eating disorders as well as reproductive and perinatal mental health including fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum.
Victoria Enns, Masters in Counselling Psychology (MCP), RCC
A warm welcome to those seeking extra support. You may be wondering,
What is the role of therapy now, when many problems are so much bigger than the individual?
For some, the answer is simple: What is going on does not mean that your own healing journey has to take a back seat. Many are engaged in therapy in the same way they were before, because the pursuit of a good life is always a worthwhile investment.
For others, therapy in the time of COVID-19 is about staying grounded, connected, and positioned to do the very best you can with what you have. It is processing the emotions that come up so that they don’t take you over. It is managing your expectations of yourself as well as how you are treating yourself. It is navigating relationship changes and challenges so that your valued relationships remain strong and healthy. It is a necessary safety net, for some, during one of the most difficult periods they will ever experience. Finally, it is about receiving new opportunities and possibilities amidst the loss. Change and loss are stressful and deeply painful, yet indivisible from cleared space and new beginnings. What you choose to do with it can change your life for the better.
I have a Masters’ Degree in Counselling Psychology and a background in preventative health. I use an elective style, working primarily with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), person-centered, and holistic (body-mind-spirit) therapy. I have experience working with a variety of concerns including anxiety disorders, depression and bipolar disorder, life transitions, and issues of self-worth. Mental health skills are not overly complex, but they are not common knowledge and are sometimes even counter-intuitive. I teach clients what processes facilitate real, enduring change and what processes only make things worse. Individuals seeking therapy are diverse and I collaborate with each to create a unique treatment plan. However, almost everyone requires one thing to grow and heal: an environment that is safe, compassionate, and non-judgmental. Not only do you get to experience this through therapy, but you learn to create that environment within yourself. That’s when you become your own ally, and everything starts to change.
Rosie Wilbur, MA, RCC
Rosie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling from City University. She has experience supporting a multitude of concerns, including substance misuse, depression, anxiety, gender identity, sexuality, trauma, grief, and self-worth.
Rosie values diversity and collaboration, believing in the inherent wisdom of individuals’ lived experiences and understanding clients within the context of their lives. She strives to empower clients to encounter their unique strengths, resources, and resilience.
She utilizes an integrative counselling approach, with a foundational trauma-informed, multicultural, and anti-oppressive oriented perspective. Additionally, she draws from Mindfulness and Somatic Therapy. Rosie believes that our minds do not exist in isolation from our bodies. Through conscious, safe exploration, we can lean into our felt sense of emotional experiences; this awareness breathes new life into the present moment and creates space for self-compassion and self-discovery. Through dynamic, empathic, therapeutic conversations, clients can gain access to alternative ways of being grounded in transformative growth, vitality, and aliveness.