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What is Counselling?
When people are in distress because of life difficulties, talking to someone can help. Sometimes friends, family, and community are the best sources support, but at other times you need professional care. With a counsellor, you can build a trusting, professional relationship to help you work through problems that may be getting in the way of your university success.
Common issues that students seek help with include adjusting to major transitions, identity development, decision-making, family and social relationships, and mental health concerns. We also specialize in helping students overcome issues that cause academic distress such as procrastination, exam anxiety, perfectionism, and problems with attention and motivation. No matter what issues you want to address, counsellors at Health & Counselling strive to bring a multicultural, anti-oppressive, social-justice orientation to the counselling process.
At Health & Counselling, registered clinical counsellors and registered psychologists work within a brief model of care to promote positive growth, well-being, and mental health. The counselling process is holistic and client-centred and pursued with sensitivity to diverse sociocultural factors unique to each individual.
What can I expect?
When you call the front desk, you can request support for a mental health concern. Make sure to let the receptionist know if you are in crisis or distress, so they can connect you with the first available doctor, mental health nurse, or access case manager in order to help you right away.
If you are not in crisis or distress (or after the crisis situation has been stabilized), you will be directed to the first available provider (mental health nurse, access case manager, or counselling) for an access appointment. This a 50-minute appointment to find out what your main concerns are and offer some immediate support, information, and resources. At the access appointment the service provider will make a referral to the appropriate step of care, based on the nature of your concern and your stage of readiness.
Options for care and support
Sometimes you’re at a place in life where you could really benefit from some new information, skills and resources. We have a range of low intensity, easy to access supports to help.
Many concerns are best resolved with the support of a group. If group counselling is recommended, you will be directed to a counsellor for more information and to register in a group.
Individual counselling is available within a brief model of care to help you meet your goals for mental health and well-being. The counselling process is holistic and client-centred and pursued with sensitivity to diverse sociocultural factors unique to each individual.
Please note that at busy times the demand for our services is much greater than our capacity – so there may sometimes be a wait before you are able to meet with a counsellor. You can always access drop-in or chat support, or you can connect with MySSP.
Thriving in Challenging Times
Meet the Team
Angela is a Registered Psychologist who works from a client-centered perspective. She strives to understand the unique barriers, view points, and growth opportunities in each student. She believes in the healing power of humour, creative expression, and metaphors. Angela encourages students to take risks and to learn helpful ways of relating to themselves and to others.
Kirby is a Registered Psychologist who holds a human rights and social justice-based perspective in her work with students at SFU. She works to understand individuals in the context of their identity and their relationships (e.g., partnership, family, community, society, culture) and she is alert to the impact of discrimination, violence, individual and historical trauma, and migration on mental health and well-being. Using a strengths-based perspective, Kirby helps clients develop supports and sources of resilience that will inspire growth, self-compassion and new ways to cope with life’s challenges.
Shona is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Psychologist who trained as a Clinical Psychologist in Oxford, U.K.. She is dual citizen who immigrated to Canada when she was 9 years old, previously living in South Africa, Thailand and Malaysia. She predominantly uses a Human Givens and a CBT approach and is a specialist in treating traumas and complex mental health disorders. She uses a strength-based solution-focused model, working collaboratively to help people understand their difficulties and learn different strategies to interact with them. She is humbly aware of her white privilege and is passionate with facilitating people to reach their full potential within a caring and empowering environment.
As a Registered Clinical Counsellor Wayne has been serving SFU students since 1998, helping them create transformative life experiences that promote wellbeing and pursuit of personal, academic and vocational aspirations. Wayne’s practice is influenced by evidence-based therapies including Adlerian, Client-Centered, Mindfulness Integrated Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Positive Psychotherapy, and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Primary areas of focus include anxiety, depression, stress management, procrastination, learning skills and career development.
Susan Brook (Grad studies)
Susan provides graduate students individual and group counselling, as well as workshops on topics including perfectionism, relationships with supervisors, and impostor syndrome. Her orientation is primarily psychodynamic within an anti-oppression framework. If you feel stuck, blocked, or overwhelmed she will explore with you ways you might be experiencing old or familiar patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving that may not be serving you in the present. Before becoming a counsellor Susan was an English professor, giving her years of personal experience of the trials and rewards of grad school and academic life.
Monique is a recent immigrant from Hong Kong after being an international student here for over a decade. Cantonese is her mother tongue; Mandarin and English are her additional languages. Her professional interest lies in the role culture and race play in our being, including mental health, gender and sexual orientation. Her practice philosophy is that everyone is the author of their stories. She believes human connection is the basic ingredient for healing. Her counselling approach empathizes the mind-body connection through the lens of cultural humility, somatic experiencing, narrative therapy, and mindfulness practice.
Erica Van Driel
Erica is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who works within client-centered and trauma-informed frameworks in order to work collaboratively with clients in a space free from shame or judgement. As the current liaison between SFU’s Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) and Health & Counselling Services, her goal is to create safe(r) spaces for students who have experienced sexualized violence through building trust and connection within themselves and with others. Erica utilizes emotion-focused, mindfulness, and self-compassion approaches to support healing, growth, and resilience.
Doriana is a Registered Clinical Counsellor holding a Master of Counselling degree from City University. She completed her undergraduate degree at SFU in psychology, counselling, and human development. Doriana works from a strengths based, solution focused perspective supporting clients experiencing a myriad of issues including but not limited to family of origin, relationship issues, grief and loss, burnout, and cultural issues. She believes in the natural resilience of people and feels honoured to be a part of their journey.
David is a Registered Clinical Counsellor holding a MA in counselling psychology from Adler University. His approach integrates emotion-focused, narrative, and cognitive-behavioural therapy, and he prioritizes offering a grounded and caring atmosphere emphasizing safety and empathy. David is passionate about suicide prevention, social justice, career and professional development concerns, and the use of role-playing games in therapy.
Beth is a Registered Clinical Counsellor working within a client centered, intersectionality framework. She appreciates that students are busy, often overwhelmed and lead lives outside the confines of being a student. Beth’s life experience as a yoga and meditation instructor, group facilitator and graduate student inform her in her counselling work. She strives to support the development of insight, strategies and tools to assist students in reaching their counselling and broader life goals. Beth is a certified EMDR therapist with experience in supporting clients through issues related to trauma history, self-esteem, stress, anxiety and low mood.
Sarah is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a MA degree in Counselling Psychology from Simon Fraser University. Sarah is committed to providing her clients with a collaborative, safe and nurturing space that honors their unique experiences, culture, histories, and identity. Sarah is passionate about helping her clients recognize their personal strengths, cultivate a more compassionate relationship with themselves, and develop key skills and strategies that will help them address their concerns and move towards their unique personal goals.
Larisa Fry (SVSPO)
Larisa is an individual and group trauma counsellor, working collaboratively with SFU’s Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO). She holds a M.A. in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Psychotherapist with the Ontario College of Psychotherapists. Applying a Human Rights and intersectional social justice framework, she centers the client’s needs and experiences while ensuring a trauma and violence informed care practice. She actively applies mindfulness, narrative, acceptance and commitment therapy, and EMDR to her daily work.
Les is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has had the privilege of supporting SFU students over the past 20 years. He maintains a practical, relational and in integrative approach to therapy that is influenced by Process Experiential/Emotion Focused Theory. Les is passionate in his desire to join with students in their unique journeys and in their desire for healing, growth and change in their lives. Belonging, connection, compassion and curiosity are key values that invite another to be seen, heard and understood, and to feel safe and welcome. Les maintains sensitivity to issues of identity, diversity and race and assists clients in compassionately addressing thematic patterns and emotions that may be distressing and impairing their journey toward healing and change in life.
Lyndsay is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from Simon Fraser University. She works from a client and student-centred perspective with an emphasis on creating a collaborative, supportive, and caring space to meet the client’s unique needs. She integrates relational-cultural, emotion-focused, and cognitive behavioural theories, as well as motivational interviewing into her daily work. Lyndsay is passionate about stigma reduction and has the pleasure of overseeing and supporting the Hi-FIVE Movement for Mental Health Program at SFU. She also works actively in the Health & Counselling Practicum Program.
Tanu Gamble (ISC, on leave)
Megan is completing her practicum at SFU Health & Counselling as part of her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. In her therapeutic approach, Megan employs a cognitive-behavioural framework which integrates her learnings around traumainformed interventions and modalities. As a student herself, Megan seeks to connect with the university community by honoring the personal strengths, histories, and wisdom that make each student unique. Prior to her practicum, Megan volunteered as a peer support worker on her university campus, offering one-to-one support sessions and psychoeducational workshops to students waiting to access mental health services.
Donna is in her final year of studies at SFU towards becoming a counselling psychologist. She has worked in the field of health and wellness for over 30 years and co-owns a private fitness studio in Surrey with her wife.
Anne-Marie is a Counselling Psychology practicum student completing her Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia. Her approach is a blend of cognitive-behavioural, emotion-focused, and acceptance and commitment therapy. Anne-Marie strongly values providing a safe and non-judgemental space for students to feel as comfortable as possible in their counselling experience. While exercising warmth, acceptance, patience, and some humour, Anne-Marie is passionate about helping students to recognize their personal strengths and to cultivate skills that can help them achieve the changes they aspire to make in their lives. Anne-Marie’s personal philosophy includes an acknowledgment that struggling and suffering are key human experiences, and that doors can still open even after others have closed.
Helen is a practicum student completing her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and feels fortunate to be working with a great team at the SFU Health and Counselling Centre. She honours each person's unique experiences and strengths, and will work with you to create opportunities for growth. As appropriate to individual needs, circumstances and preferences, she can integrate cognitive-behavioural, emotion-focused and body-oriented/mindfulness techniques. Helen feels privileged to live and work on the traditional unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples and to have worked in environmental sustainability and community development in BC and internationally.
Kady Wong is the daughter of a first generation immigrant from Hong Kong. She is half Chinese and half Scottish and completing her counselling practicum at SFU Health & Counselling Services.
Ayumi is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and predoctoral intern at HCS. She is aware of her privileges as a younger, able-bodied, educated, cisgender woman, as well as some of the struggles of being an Asian woman previously with an international study visa. In her counselling work, Ayumi strives to establish an emotionally safe and collaborative environment for clients to reflect and explore alternative ways of coping, changing, or perceiving their difficulties.
Shereen is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and currently a pre-doctoral intern at HCS. She has lived experiences as an immigrant, as an expat, and as an international student at various stages in her life and in many countries around the globe. Her approach to therapy is best described as caring, compassionate, and nonjudgmental. She works from a phenomenological approach to human life that support understanding the client’s worldview. She is drawn to multicultural, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practices as she acknowledges that human beings are wired for connection. She utilizes strengths based, solution-focused therapy model to help clients to courageously achieve wellness. She works with evidence approaches such as CBT, DBT, and EMDR. Shereen has practiced counselling internationally, as a consultant and counsellor in the university, medical and private settings. She is a firm believer in the potential of all individuals to grow, become satisfied, and live fulfilling lives.
After-hours counselling options
My SSP is a free support service available to all SFU graduate and undergraduate students. Students have immediate access to confidential support in multiple languages. Accessible from anywhere in the world by phone or through the downloadable app. Call 1.844.451.9700. Outside of North America? call 001.416.380.6578
Health & Counselling (HCS) shares one unit of confidentiality. This means that divisions of HCS may share your information when necessary for your care.
All records within HCS are confidential. Personal information can only be released outside the centre with your written consent. Exceptions are only made in the case of life-threatening emergencies or as required by law and/or public health regulations.