This program is available by self-referral: request an appointment
Going through a difficult time or significant life-transition? Need help with an important decision or a relationship challenge? Interested in learning more tools to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or anger? We can help!
CMHA North and West Vancouver offers short-term, low-cost, confidential, one-to-one support to adults living on the North Shore. Our professional team of counsellors can assist you to explore your key concerns, identify opportunities for growth and develop strategies for meaningful change.
This service provides up to 8 sessions of individual counselling. We offer virtual counselling (zoom or phone) as well as in-person, socially distanced meetings. This short-term, affordable service is provided for adults who do not have an open claim with ICBC, WCB or any other insurance carrier and who have a realistic potential to benefit from short-term counselling. At this time, we are only able to provide individual counselling.
Are you a student currently in the counseling or social work program who is working towards completing your masters and/or applying for professional registration? Learn about our Practicum Placement for Clinical Counselling
We have two tiers of counselling professionals available
- Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC): $60/session for individuals. Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC’s) have a Master’s degree in Clinical or Counselling Psychology and are overseen by a regulatory body that enforces ethical standards of practice and encourages clinicians to continue to update their skills and knowledge through ongoing professional development. Meet our RCCs
- Intern Counsellors: $35/session for individuals. Our Master’s level counselling interns are in the final year of professional training and have been studying the field of counselling psychology for 7 years. They are supervised by our Counselling Coordinator. Meet our Intern Counsellors
Please note that the wait time for an appointment may be up to 2 months. We are working on increasing the capacity of our counselling program to decrease wait times.
For more information, feel free to contact us by phone at 604-987-6959, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet our Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC)
Counselling Manager Maria Watson (she/ her/ hers) is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with 20+ years of counselling experience, who specializes in treating anxiety and depression. She uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-informed treatment approaches (including DBT and walking therapy), providing clients with tools to change unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours. Maria also supervises the Steps youth program, teaches CBT to other mental health workers, and supervises practicum students who are learning to become counsellors. She is registered as a mental health provider with the First Nations Health Authority and with Victim Services BC. She immigrated to Vancouver as a child and lives on the North Shore with her family and fantastic dog.
Munir Velji (He/Him/His) is both a Registered Clinical Counsellor and a Registered Social Worker. He has a passion for working with people from all walks of life. Having worked with people for 29 years and in many areas of counselling including mental health, substance misuse, crisis management and relationships, he has learned that everyone has resilience and inner strengths. He believes that it is his job as a counsellor to listen, guide, support and provide you with options and ideas to lead a happier and fulfilled life. In his spare time, he loves to play and watch sports, walk his dog and spend time with his family.
Meet our Intern Counsellors
Emma Smyth (she/ her/ hers) is currently completing her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. Emma is a registered Speech and Language Pathologist in British Columbia and has a Bachelors degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Queensland and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Macquarie University in Australia. Emma has focused her 20 year career on supporting neurodiverse individuals and their families to find practical tools and meaningful ways to flourish. Emma uses a client-centred and strengths-based approach to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), supporting individuals to identify and use practical solutions to their presenting concerns. Originally from Australia, Emma has been living and working in Canada since 2001. Emma lives in Squamish with her three sons. When not driving her boys to hockey practice, she is enjoying the natural beauty of Squamish.
Dina Lanzi (she/her/hers) is currently completing her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. During her career, Dina has always enjoyed working with, and helping a wide variety of people, and she supports clients experiencing life transitions, low mood, loss, and stress. She uses a client-centred, empathic, and collaborative approach and integrates elements from therapies such as Solution-Focused, Narrative, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and mindfulness. Originally from the UK, Dina now calls the North Shore home and loves being part of this community.
Blair Hackman (she/her/hers) is currently completing her Masters of Counselling at City University in Vancouver. Having volunteered on the North Shore in a variety of capacities over the past decade she has worked with many folks experiencing issues such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety, grief/loss and life changes and transitions. Blair believes that people are the experts of their own life and works from a client-centred and collaborative approach to help support clients to facilitate change and process trauma or loss. She offers a kind, non-judgemental, and empathetic space in which to connect and explore your concerns. Depending on what brings you to counselling and your preference, she may incorporate evidence-based approaches such as Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as Walking Therapy and Mindfulness Practices. Blair grew up in Regina, SK and has lived and worked on the North Shore for over twenty years with her family and dog Ally.
Nicole Garb (she/her/hers) is currently completing her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. Nicole has a Registered Rehabilitation Professional designation with the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada and has worked supporting clients with mental health issues in adult community mental health services since 2004. She has extensive experience using a client-centred approach to care for individuals suffering from a wide range of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance use. Nicole has a particular interest in supporting clients to find meaning and purpose in their lives using strength-based approaches to care, such as Solution-Focused techniques, Gestalt Therapy, Mindfulness-based practices, Existential Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). She also uses compassion and healing-based approaches to care by teaching skills to use in the moment with meditation, guided visualization, and nature-based practices.
Nicole lives in Squamish with her two children and regularly enjoys photography, meditation, hiking, and trail running in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
This program is available by self-referral: request an appointment
NEW- Walking Therapy
Based on solid evidence that walking and being outdoors in nature contribute to better mental health, we are now offering clients a choice of doing their counselling sessions while walking! We know that walking can really improve sleep, mood and energy levels, and reduce stress and feelings of tiredness. We meet at our Lonsdale office and walk around the beautiful parks and neighbourhoods nearby. Walking therapy can be particularly helpful if:
- you have a hard time sitting still for 50 min
- you prefer to be outside for health reasons
- you feel trapped or uncomfortable in an office
- you want to walk but don’t have the motivation to do it
- you don’t have anyone to go with, and don’t feel comfortable walking alone
Your counsellor can help you personalize the walking route to suit your needs, and recognize and reduce barriers. Some people prefer walking on trails, some prefer streets, and some like to walk and find a bench or picnic table to sit and talk. If you would like to try this, ask your counsellor for more details.
Practicum Placement for Clinical Counselling
Thank you for your interest in completing your practicum with CMHA NWV. Please note that we only accept students who are currently in the counseling or social work program who are working towards completing their masters and/or applying for professional registration. Priority placement is given to students who can commit to an 8-10 month practicum.
At CMHA, you will have the opportunity to work with a diverse population of clients who are accessing our low-cost, low-barrier counselling service. You will be working with adults (18+) providing short-term, one-on- one counseling. Individual supervision will be with one of our registered clinical counsellors and you will also participate in monthly group supervision. Some of your client work may be in-person and some will be remotely, by phone or over Zoom.
We are an equity employer and seek to have a diverse staff to support our clients. We strive to offer a client-centered practice and a practicum at CMHA will suit students who are empathetic, adaptable, enthusiastic, and interested in developing evidence informed therapeutic skills.
We are currently accepting applications for May 2023. If you would like to apply please submit a resume and cover letter outlining why you would like to complete your practicum with us.
Please submit your application to Maria Watson, Manager of Clinical Counselling at: email@example.com.