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Meet The Team


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 counselling, parent-teen relationships, addictions, spiritual growth, men’s issues and the role of Nature in healing and health.

He is a Psychotherapist/Counsellor (20 years of experience) with Clinical Social Work (MSW, RSW/Alberta College of Social Workers) and PCE (MTS) graduate degrees and certifications.  He has post-graduate education in Trauma Focused practices, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Hypnosis and Myers-Brigg’s Type Indicator (MBTI). John has a particular interest in complex trauma, neglect, disrupted attachment and dissociation. He is a member of and regularly pursues training with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.


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 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 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 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 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.


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.



Elizabeth Stolte is a Master Level Canadian Certified Counsellor and Certified Music Therapist.  She has over 20 years experience working with children, adolescents, adults and seniors in both medical and mental health settings.

Supporting individuals in times of duress has taught Elizabeth the beauty of human resiliency – we are all stronger than we believe. The most powerful form of therapy is that which supports our inherent abilities to navigate life’s challenges.

For many of us, the demands can be too difficult to face on our own – sometimes our bravest act is to seek help.  Elizabeth strives to provide a welcoming, safe and accepting space for her clients. We are all looking for meaningful insight: If you would like assistance shining light into the darkness, Elizabeth offers a listening heart.

Elizabeth supports individuals in a number of key areas: anxiety, depression, life transitions, stress management; navigating difficult relationships; gender-questioning; sexuality; conflict resolution; emotion management; grief and loss, and development of mindfulness.

Elizabeth believes each person has within them great potential for a fulfilling life, and that difficulties present an opportunity for healing. The relationship between therapist and client is crucial; a strong therapeutic alliance is inherent to lasting change. Elizabeth strives to support her clients in recognising their own significance, strength and abilities to overcome any challenges they may face.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”


Cecilia holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She is also a Certified Crisis Worker with the American Association of Suicidology.

Cecilia utilizes a compassionate, collaborative, and empowering approach to guide clients as they heal from emotional pain, connect with their own strength and resilience, and move toward personal growth and fulfilment. She believes that clients are the experts in their situations and have the capacity to transform their lives by realigning with their own insight and innate ability to flourish in the world. With a focus on trauma-informed practice as well as self-compassion and self-acceptance, she walks alongside clients as they embark on their therapeutic journeys and endeavour to find a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life.

She strives to create a warm, safe, and welcoming space for clients of all ages and backgrounds, including members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. She is particularly passionate about supporting individuals who have been impacted by trauma and has over eight years of experience working with adult survivors of family violence as well as children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Cecilia incorporates holistic, person-centred methods that are tailored to fit the needs of each individual client and their unique circumstances. She draws from various therapeutic orientations including Psychodynamic, Humanistic, and Existential and is trained in multiple therapeutic interventions including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).


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”.

Rita Martino

M.Sc. (Registered Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Psychotherapist, Certified Pastoral Counsellor)

Rita graduated from the University of Stout Wisconsin, USA in 2004 and has been counselling for 25 years. She is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, a Certified Pastoral Counsellor, and Certified with Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

Rita also supervises practicum students and is a part-time faculty member at City University.
She works with individuals, couples, groups, and families. Rita’s strength in therapy stems from her deep understanding of the family system and core generational patterns. This helps her to support, encourage, inspire, and guide each person to grow and find their own strengths within, growing into their authentic self and move forward in their lives.
Rita chose to become a therapist and specialize in couples and family systems because she believes when individuals, couples, marriages and families are in a harmonious and loving environment, self-discovery and development of each individual within the system occurs organically.
She is comfortable using interdenominational pastoral counselling if and when requested.

Specialties in Therapy

  • Individuals, couples, marriage, and families
  • Crisis
  • Trauma
  • Family of origin
  • EMDR trained facilitator
  • Somatic Experience trained facilitator
  • Grief
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression/Suicidality
  • Life transitions: career, employment, divorce, single parenting, empty-nest, retirement, geographical moves, gender identity and crisis in faith concerns. 
  • Transgenerational/ancestral (Family Constellations) please see website (www.ritamartinopsychotherapy) for detailed information.


BA (Psyc), Master of Counselling (MC), Registered Provisional Psychologist in the Province of Alberta(Psyc), 

Trained in Somatic Experiencing and Clinical Hypnosis. Services for children, adults, teens, couples, families. English & German. The various stressors of these times, as well as past painful events, invite us to discover new and different ways of responding so that we can thrive instead of survive. 

I believe that nurture comes from within and that we are here to thrive. Thriving begins where suffering and pain turn into opportunities for learning, growth and change. It is my desire to provide an environment of authentic connection that enables such change, – where clients can foster self-compassion, move forward from stuckness, experience insight and tap into their inner resources. I enjoy supporting clients experiencing diverse challenges, including anxiety, depression, trauma and PTSD, personality and mood disorders, stress and feelings of overwhelm, loss, life transitions, low self-esteem, shame, as well as relational and intimacy/sexuality-related concerns.

My counselling approach is holistic, intuitive, and relational. I draw from scientifically based mind-body modalities to provide a trauma-informed approach. I integrate these modalities in a gentle, intuitive manner. Furthermore, I use emotion-focused, solution-focused, and family systems therapy, to tailor my approach to the unique needs of each client. I am currently completing the 3-year Somatic Experiencing Training with SETI and completed Level 1 and Level 2 in Clinical Hypnosis with ASCH.


Registered Provisional Psychologist. Corine has a significant history of working with trauma and addictions and is trained in EMDR Therapy. She takes a person-centered and wholistic approach, meeting you where you are at and collaborating with you on your healing goals.

Experienced in both abstinence based and harm reduction approaches, she views addiction as the symptom of underlying hurt/pain that often stems from trauma. Her role is to ask questions, share information, support, and provide feedback while creating a safe, non-judgmental, and empowering space for healing.
She has a special passion for supporting the healing journeys of Indigenous people and is both culturally informed and experienced. She is particularly educated in the ways of the Nehiyaw (Cree) people of Treaty 6 and 8, and personally commits herself to the Red Road. Unfortunately she can't offer Indigenous insurance coverage as a provisional psychologist.
From her years working in community corrections she also developed a special interest in supporting our first responders, frontline workers, and other professionals who sacrifice their personal well-being for others. She believes we all need help sometimes, and her goal is to support you to improve your quality of life.


Master’s of Psychotherapy & Spirituality (MPS) Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) English & Mandarin Chinese 

Sometimes life hurts and we may struggle. I believe no one is wired to deal with difficulties alone. With a keen spirit and a gentle presence, I hold a safe space. Together we process the hard stuff, explore possibilities, and navigate more authentic pathways to growth and connection.

I enjoy working with individuals (including children), couples, and families with various concerns. My areas of interest include trauma, PTSD, the family of origin, anxiety, depression, grief & loss, emotion regulation, anger management, life transition, personal growth, and relationships.  

My practice is culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and compassion-based. Guided by evidence-based practice, I integrate Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Brainspotting Therapy to tailor my approach to clients’ needs. With respect for each individual, I collaborate with you to explore what works best to suit your unique needs.

Financially Struggling?

We've got you covered! 

In addition to our team above we have an excellent selection of Mature Practicum Students (under supervision) that provide sessions for only $30 to $55. 

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 Association of Counselling Therapy of Alberta
  • The Canadian Association of Music Therapists
  • The Canadian Federation of Clinical Hypnosis (CFCH)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association
  • International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation


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.

Our Story

Community Counselling Centre started in Edmonton back in 1995. It began with John Walker teaming up with a few other counsellors passionate about helping people from Edmonton heal and move forward in their lives.

Community Counselling Centre has always been on a mission to make counselling affordable. Now the Centre provides a range of services focused on holistic healing and provides one of the most generous sliding fee scales in Edmonton.

Our goal is to provide you with the tools and support you need to not only heal but thrive. If you are struggling with something in your life, we encourage you to reach out to us. We are here to help. 

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