Most people at some point in their lives experience a need for change. The desire for change or the need to feel better often opens the door for healing and growth to take place.

Our goal is to guide and facilitate you through the process of healthy healing and growth. We help you to work through issues in a compassionate and down-to-earth manner. We conduct our business with integrity and professionalism, and we honour our professional code of ethics.

You are invited to be active in your own healing process. You are encouraged to reflect on you personal issues and integrate your feelings and thoughts with compassion and understanding. A variety of short, medium and long-term counselling options are available based on your particular need.

We specialize in a relational, client focused approach to counselling – and we are experienced in working with people who want to develop healthy, meaningful lives and relationships. We are certified with our respective professional associations. Graduate interns in the Masters of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling program at St. Stephen’s College also see clients under supervision.

JOHN WALKER

John is a Psychotherapist/Counsellor (20 years of experience) with Clinical Social Work (MSW, RSW/Alberta College of Social Workers) and Pastoral Counselling Specialist (MTS, PCE) training and certifications.  He has post-graduate education in Trauma Focused Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Hypnosis and Myers-Brigg’s Type Indicator (MBTI). John has a particular interest in complex trauma and neglect and dissociation. He is a member of and regularly pursues training with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and the Alberta chapter of the Canadian Federation of Clinical Hypnosis. As a holistic relational psychotherapist, John draws upon his knowledge of psycho/social, ecological, spiritual, and physical health to support and guide his clients towards greater well-being and authenticity. His areas of interests include: recovery from abuse/trauma/neglect/injustice, dissociation, couple counseling, parent-teen relationships, addictions, spiritual growth, men’s issues and the role of Nature in healing and health.

SUSAN ANDERSON

Registered clinical counsellor with a Master of Arts degree in psychology and pastoral counselling. Her M.A. thesis focuses on the experience of emotional pain and the image of God in suicidal persons. Susan enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families on issues relating to conflict resolution, intimacy, suicide distress and bereavement, communication, anxiety, loss, depression, anger, family of origin, and spiritual development. She uses a relational-existential approach that invites clients to practice authentic, healthy relationship with themselves and with others. Susan recognizes the importance of the mind-body-heart-spirit connection in counselling and additionally integrates useful wisdom from self-psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and Jungian principles, striving to balance both masculine and feminine values in her work. She is trained as an EMDR practitioner.  Susan is married, has two young adult children, and enjoys gardening, nature walks, friendship, and reading.

ROGER THIESSEN

Roger has a Master of Psychotherapy & Spirituality. He is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Now in his second career, Roger is a former pastor. He has an interest in spirituality of all kinds and brings a focus of mindfulness to his work as a psychotherapist. Working from an Existentialist perspective, he believes that the counselling relationship is the primary vehicle for healing. This means that he values the client as an expert on her/his own life, and his goal is to draw out and support the client’s inner wisdom. Roger enjoys counselling people of various cultures and all walks of life. He works with a wide range of issues, including:

  • Addictions
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety & stress
  • Depression
  • Grief & loss
  • Personal and spiritual growth
  • Relationships and family issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Sexuality
  • Transitions
  • Trauma

SHERRY BILIDA

Sherry Bilida, BA (Psych), MPS (Masters of Psychotherapy and Spirituality), Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. I have completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at the University of Alberta before raising and homeschooling my five children. Vast life experience and life-long learning has enriched my practice. Later in life I returned to St. Stephen’s College to take a Masters of Psychotherapy and Spirituality.

My experience includes journeying alongside clients through a diversity of issues such as trauma, various addictions, dissociative identity disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression, transgenderism and sexual identity issues, stress and anger management, suicidal ideation, shame, bereavement and grief, recovery from sexual and physical abuse, intimacy issues, attachment disorder resulting from adoption, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and various phobias. I enjoy addressing existential and spiritual concerns, personal growth, identity issues, self-esteem and assertiveness, conflict resolution and communication skills. I welcome children, adolescents, adults, couples and families

I am humbled and honored to be trusted with my clients’ stories and I believe talking about things with another person helps. The building of trust through the process of sharing and supporting creates an environment that draws out inner wisdom in the exploration of resolution. I believe painful periods in life are catalysts for tremendous growth when confronted in a non-judgmental context of empathy, warmth, and acceptance. It is my desire that my clients hear and trust what is within them, rather than the voices of self-doubt. My relational and integrative approach to counselling incorporates existential, Rogerian, cognitive-behavioral, psycho-dynamic, emotionally-focused, narrative, holistic mind-body-spirit orientations as I invite my clients to explore transitions and nurture authentic and healthy relationships with themselves and others. My flexible approach ensures sessions are tailored to meet individual needs, believing that as we grow in self-compassion, we evolve as human beings.

PEGGY CHEN

Peggy is a Registered  Psychologist in the province of Alberta, is a member of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta and holds a Masters of Counselling degree from City University. Peggy’s hope in counselling is to help people define, discover, and strengthen meaning in their lives. She is interested in exploring each person’s unique characteristics, skills, strengths and values and to leverage them in a way that can enhance quality, purpose, fulfillment and authenticity in people’s lives. Peggy’s areas of practice include addictions, trauma, dissociation, anger issues, impulsivity, emotions management, shame, self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. She is trained in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).

Member of: College of Alberta Psychologists and the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta

HOLLY SLAVIK

Holly is a Registered Professional Counsellor with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association. She has an M.A. In Education,and has completed coursework for a Masters Degree in Psychotherapy and Spirituality.
“My approach is relational and Psychodynamic, and incorporates training in Focusing and Accelerated Experiential-Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), as well as considerable experience in working from a Jungian perspective.
Currently in my seventh year of practice, I am comfortable working with clients on a variety of issues. I offer containment, support, and guidance, as you find your way to a freer, more authentic way of being in the world and in relationship with others.

TARA AZIMI

Tara is a Registered Provisional Psychologist. She has a Master’s degree from Adler University in BC and is currently a PhD student in Public Health at the University of Alberta where she conducts research focusing on caregiving for children with a chronic disease. As a therapist, Tara is an active learner dedicated to continuous training and personal growth in order to best serve her clients. In her practice she places a strong emphasis on empathy, cross-cultural awareness, using a strength-based approach, encouragement and the client-therapist relationship as a vehicle for therapeutic movement. Utilizing techniques from various theoretical modalities, and providing service that is tailored to the individual needs of each unique client, Tara provides counselling to individuals with various issues from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Through a warm and collaborative approach with clients, Tara desires to help individuals discover their own pathways for change and achieve personal growth and wellness. She aims to help clients find peace with the past, joy in the present and hope for the future. Tara advocates that every person has the inner strength, ability and resilience to heal and grow from emotional pain and feels honored to provide a safe space for her clients to embark on this journey.

JULIE OKO

Julie Oko holds a Masters of Psychotherapy and Spirituality (MPS) and is a certified counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She also has a diploma in Spiritual Direction (mentorship/companionship). Previously, she worked as a homecare/community-based social worker. Julie’s counselling specialties include: grief and loss, life transitions, relationship and intimacy issues, self-esteem, assertiveness, stress, anxiety, depression, health/disability issues, abuse, trauma, suicide, addiction, family of origin/past childhood/family issues, and spiritually-informed counselling.

Julie believes that counselling is a personal and special relationship in which individuals can be supported in their difficulties and pain: “I want to provide my clients with that intimate companionship they need to become in touch with their inner truth. I feel strongly that this truth helps individuals to find the strength and direction they need to move forward and create change in their lives. My role as therapist/counsellor is to support, encourage, and provide guidance as necessary. I have faith that counselling improves the quality of our relationships with self, others, and the world.”

Julie’s approach to counselling is relational, wholistic, and integrative. She incorporates person-centered, attachment, emotionally-focused, humanistic/existential/spiritual, narrative, and systemic orientations in helping individuals to heal and form healthy relationships with themselves and others. Julie draws wisdom from other orientations such as cognitive behavioral therapy if she feels this will benefit her clients. She also fully respects individuals’ own spirituality and/or faith-based traditions, should they wish to explore their spirituality.

NICK JACOBS

Nick has a master’s degree in Psychotherapy & Spirituality, is a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC), and is currently pursuing his PhD in Secondary Education at the University of Alberta.”My experience as a psychotherapist has continually returned me to a reality that it is the relationship between the client and therapist that has the greatest capacity to heal.  My approach to counselling rests primarily on an ability to nurture and hold space for others to explore themselves and their lives in a novel and unique way, recognizing that our relationship can reveal deeper truths about one’s being in the world. I also believe such an approach preserves psychotherapy as an art over that of a science focused on symptoms and symptom reduction, and I view myself as a ‘fellow traveller’ journeying alongside my clients as they move forward with their personal growth.
“Because effective therapy rests upon the relationship between two persons, I believe that each client with whom I work deserves their own unique therapeutic approach. The approaches I take in therapy are primarily informed by existential-humanistic, phenomenological, Jungian, and narrative/post-structural traditions”.

MICHELLE MACKNESS

Welcome, I am Michelle Mackness. I am a Master level Canadian Certified Counsellor. I have over 20 years of combined field experience, education and clinical work supporting individuals as they attend to their mental health needs, trauma histories, addictions and issues of emotional well-being. I am particularly passionate about working with individuals struggling with addictions, trauma and mental health; and, the interplay between these challenges. My hope is to support you in increasing your quality of life and decreasing your suffering. My practice is fundamentally collaborative, relational, person-centred and deeply ethical. I start by creating a safe, judgement-free space in which we can meet and begin our work. I will support you to uncover, develop and build skills and strategies to navigate challenges in your life. We will cultivate your strengths and resilience; increase your capacity to be present in your life; bolster your sense of vitality; and, promote effective action and engagement in your life. Together, we will create the space or you to explore and (re)discover who you are, what you value and care about and how you would like to be in the world. A few things about me:
• I am known for being kind and perceptive.
• I support individuals to develop psychological tools and flexibility.
• I work to demystify the therapeutic process and promote an individual’s sense of efficacy and agency.
• It is clinically important to discuss the details surrounding thoughts, feelings/emotions, behaviours and contexts.
• I typically work with a focus on the present and a view to the future; however, sometimes there are events from the past that continue to colour the present in unhelpful ways (via memories, thoughts, emotions, sensations, behaviours) and these events will require attention.
• I am primarily non-directive in my work, though I will say something if I think you are making a mistake.
• Depending on the issue being addressed in our work, I may recommend commitments for you to make in-between session, such as a written or active exercise.

Our therapists are certified by, and/or are members of, one or more of the following associations:

  • Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW)
  • College of Alberta Psychologists
  • The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta
  • The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
  • The Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA)
  • British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors
  • The American Association of Pastoral Counsellors (AAPC)
  • The Canadian Federation of Clinical Hypnosis (CFCH)
  • Enrich Canada Incorporated
  • Psychometrics Canada ((Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association
  • International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator