Special interest in body image, eating disorders, and finding peace with self
Savita Jaswal, MSW
My name is Savita Jaswal and I have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Simon Fraser University, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UNBC. I have worked within the social service field since 2008, where I began as a Youth Care Worker providing support and care for high-risk youth living in residential group homes. Since 2012, my passion to learn and develop my skills, as a clinician, has led me to pursuing opportunities with The Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre in Burnaby, to working for Northern Health as a Mental Health and Addictions Clinician and a Family Mediator, to the BC Cancer Agency as a Patient and Family Counsellor, and to Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services as a Psychiatric Social Worker. Over the years, I have gained experience working with youth and adults, individuals and families, from various backgrounds, presenting with a diverse range of concerns; however, more recently I have found my focus shifting to grief and loss, and supporting individuals and families experiencing serious illness.
While the foundation of my practice is built upon a Person-Centred philosophy, I draw from a number of counselling methods, such as CBT, Attachment Theory, Motivational Interviewing, Harm Reduction, Solution Focused, and Trauma Informed Practice. I believe the individual has the strength and abilities to live a happy and healthy life, and my role is to provide a safe, empathetic and authentic space wherein I can support you in achieving your goals.
Special interest in a holistic approach to health problems, and grief and loss
Laurel Collins, MA in Indigenous Studies
My name is Laurel Collins. I am 5th generation Irish Canadian and proud mother of 2 children, 2 cats, and a dog. Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, has been my home for most of my life and I enjoy raising my children here. My education is a Masters in Indigenous Studies and I have worked in the social service field for over 20 years. My work has always been a strength-based, person-centred, holistic approach. I have worked with children, youth, families and communities. I have many years of working with trauma and intercultural informed practices with youth and adults who have been sexually exploited, experienced violence and ex-gang members. In general, I am comfortable working through the many layers of psychological, physical, sexual and spiritual abuses. Through all of my years of supporting individuals and communities on their path to wellness, I have learned building trust and holding safe space is paramount. To do this I focus on expressional therepies such as play, art, crafts, writing, movement and mindfulness practices. Our time together is a journey, albeit at times with tears, there will also be healing through laughter. I look forward to holding space for that journey together.
Special interest in physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse
Special interest in children, youth and families
Olivia McEwen, RSW, MEd (Cand.)
Olivia is a Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Workers; she received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Thompson Rivers University in 2017. She is currently completing her Master’s in Education Counselling at the University of Northern British Columbia. Olivia has several years of experience working with mental health, trauma, and addictions. Olivia has a special interest and training in eating disorders and body image. She is passionate about helping her clients find peace with body, mind, and food. Olivia works from a client centered holistic framework. She is trauma-informed, strength-based and utilizes approaches from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), and Narrative Therapy. Olivia tailors her approach to meet the individual needs of each client she works with. Olivia’s warm and caring spirit along with her skills set create a safe therapeutic environment for her clients.
Trained in EMDR
Parul has a Masters in Psychology from India and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from UBC. She is trained in trauma focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, and Emotion Focused Family Therapy. She draws from a variety of counselling methods to create a tailored approach for each individual and situation. Parul has experience counselling children, adolescents, and adults from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of concerns. As a counsellor, her approach is collaborative, warm, open, direct, and encouraging.
Outside of the clinical world, she appreciates the benefits of exercise, yoga, and meditation. She is a trained yoga instructor and holds a keen interest in mindfulness and breath work.
Leslie Budac, MEd., CCC
Leslie graduated with a Master's of Education, specializing in Counselling from UNBC. She works with adults qnd youth in a compassionate and empathetic way to assist them in situations of trauma, grief and loss, anxiety, and depression. Leslie has an integrative counselling style and customizes her therapy sessions to individuals with methods from Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Observed Experiential Integrative (OEI) Solution Focused, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Professional Association: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
Trained in EMDR and OEI
Trained in DBT, CBT, and Gottman Marital Therapy
Trained in Adlerian Therapy
Specializes in children and youth
Trained in trauma focused CBT
Emotion focused therapist
Sara Lubbers, MA Psych. (Cand.)
Special interest in Children and Youth
Sara has a Bachelor of Education from UNBC and is currently undergoing her Masters in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. For the past five years Sara has worked as a teacher with School District 57, focusing her interest on helping children and youth regulate emotions and achieve success in the school setting. Sara draws on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy, as well as her natural warmth and rapport, to assist children and youth to achieve academic and social success. As a counsellor, her approach is client-focused, collaborative, warm, and holistic. She emphasizes providing a positive and safe experience for children and youth throughout the therapeutic process.
Maria Mkango, MSW. (Cand.)
My name is Maria Mkango. I am in my final year of my Master's of Clinical Social Work degree at the University of Northern British Columbia. I bring years of experience working with children, youths, and families. I inform my practice with a cultural safety and trauma-informed lens, and I work with clients from diverse backgrounds and demographics. I approach therapy through an anti-oppressive and anti-violence framework and incorporate a critical lens to the systems of power and oppression. In a therapeutic session, I work from a client-centred, harm reduction, and strength-based framework. I integrate the strengths of CBT, DBT, and Solution Focused Therapy into my practice. I am interested in exploring the manifestation of play therapy in practice . At the centre of my practice is my commitment to empathy, creating therapeutic space, forming egalitarian relationships, and humanist and holistic principles. I am looking forward to joining you on your journey to self-discovery, growth, and wellness.
Tricia Wright, MEd.
Tricia earned her bachelors degree in Psychology and her Masters in Education Counselling from UNBC, her home town of Prince George in 2005. She worked as a program coordinator for a non-profit organization that supports marginalized pregnant women and families. She was a Team Leader for Northern Health in detoxification and methadone maintenance programs. She is an internationally certified birth doula and has a keen focus on mental health during infertility, pregnancy, and post-partum transitions. She prioritizes trauma-informed practice with a focus in person-centered, attachment-focused, emotion-focused, and narrative approaches to therapy. Tricia is adept at working with a variety of challenges such as mental illness, addictions, life transitions, grief and loss, trauma, and relationship difficulties. Her authentic, curious, and warm disposition creates a safe and enriching therapeutic experience.
Jenny DeReis, MC, Psych, RCC
My name is Jenny DeReis and I am owner and counsellor at Validity Counselling. I received my Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. I completed comprehensive training and advanced training in DBT with Dr. Charlie Swansen, author of DBT Principles in Action. I have been facilitating DBT Skills Groups since 2017. I have level two training in Gottman Marital Therapy.
My area of expertise is working with individuals who have difficulty regulating their emotions, thoughts, behavour, and relationships. I focus on the way that emotions, thoughts, and behaviours interact together to form effective or ineffective methods of coping.
I worked for Walmsley Counselling for 12 years before starting Validity Counselling. I continue to work closely with Walmsley as a contractor for the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
To learn more about DBT click “What is DBT?”
Professional Associations: I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC) #17849
Ida is a dedicated and experienced counsellor who has worked with children, youth, couples and families in Prince George since 1994. She is an Adlerian Therapist. She has vast experience working with individual and family issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, grief/loss, learning disabilities, medication management, and domestic violence. She excels in conflict resolution, group process and child advocacy. Ida is an adoptive mother and a registered member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors.
Professional Associations: BCACC BC Association of Clinical Counsellors Registration # 2869, Sexual Abuse Advisory Committee Diocese of Prince George Prince George BC
Ida Alleman, MSc, RCC
Sean Hogan, MA Psych, CCC
Sean has been working with children and youth in a counselling capacity for over a decade. He obtained his Psychology Degree from UNBC and his Masters in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Sean has extensive training and experience in working with both Autism and FAS. He uses play therapy, Rogerian counselling, and developmental psychology to help children find their way through the challenges of growing up. He finds that with the proper support, children can discover themselves and find their own unique path to a healthy childhood.
Mirrell Desjardins, MEd, CCC
Mirrell Desjardins was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She is a holistic counsellor whose origins began on Muskeg Lake Reserve. After spending 25 years abroad, Mirrell relocated back to Canada in January 2019. Since that time, she has worked for Northern Health as a Mental Health Clinician and continues to enhance her helping skills. Mirrell has been trained in Trauma Focused CBT, EMDR, and DBT. Her specialty is helping individuals navigate life transitions. She utilizes many methodologies in her practice and collaboratively works with the client to identify growth areas and build a comprehensive treatment plan. She believes that everybody has the capacity to live a life worth living, and sometimes, all you need is a little support along the way.
Professional Associations: Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherpy Association Membership #10001749
Validity Counsellors have a Master's degree, or are candidates in a Master's program, in a related field, and are registered with a professional association. We provide private counselling services in addition to contracting with Walmsley to provide EFAP services. If you are covered under Walmsley Employee and Family Assistance Program, please call the Walmsley office at 1-800-481-5511. Once approved, you will be referred to our services.
Parul Kathuria, MSW