I lived in the West Kootenays, in a little village called Salmo, (we actually lived outside of Salmo in a ghost-town called
Erie) until I was 13, when my family moved to the city of Langley, BC. This was a shock for me, as Fort Langley Junior High School had more students in three grades than the entire village of Salmo had citizens.
This was also the time when my undiagnosed ADHD and depression began to wreak havoc on my school performance. There were some very dark years in my adolescence and although I didn’t know it at the time, my experience (both personally and otherwise) with various mental health issues was serving to prepare me for a career in the helping profession. Many times I have drawn on my own experiences in attempting to relate to my clients and to communicate a sense of compassion and even companionship in suffering.
Following another bout with depression in late adolescence, I attempted to create some structure in my life and served a mission to Vietnamese refugees in the United States.
It was the most difficult and trying time of my life but proved to be a more than adequate training ground for problems that I would face throughout the rest of my life. During my first semester of university, I was married to my wife Tina, and following an initial miscarriage, we welcomed into our family the aforementioned tribe of children.
Initially, my career plan was to pursue graduate education in clinical sport psychology but during the preparation process for that step, I happened to find employment at a local residential treatment centre for adult men battling addiction to alcohol and drugs. It was here that I began to recognize the need for compassion and understanding in order to help people apply these same principles towards themselves and the world they inhabit.
During my time in the field, I have worked with a wide variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds, diverse ethnic identities, diverse socioeconomic situations, diverse mental health struggles, diverse spiritual leanings, and diverse sexual orientations. My wide variety of experiences has allowed me to have an individualist perspective, underscored by the importance of feeling loved and cared for, despite any differences in background or experiences.
My Master of Science degree in psychology focused on the neurophysiology of anger and anxiety and this has become my main focus on treatment, although using attachment theory as a foundation leads to visiting virtually every corner of the mental health spectrum.
Away from my field, I am also an avid songwriter, struggling artist, and have a diverse athletic background (although this is becoming more historic as time goes on).
So, that’s a little bit about me. I hope you experience me as a fairly open book and if you can relate to any of the information that you have read, please give me a call or send an email and we can begin the journey of self-understanding together.
Alex Gheorghe BSW, MSW
I can help you with:
- Addictive Behaviour
- Impulse Control
- Emotion Regulation
My passion for social work and counselling emerged from personal experiences as a young adult. Working with a counsellor that I connected with and trusted was pivotal to my personal growth and ability to overcome challenges. I was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to B.C. with my parents when I was six years old. At this young age I quickly grew to love B.C. and its beautiful outdoors.
Pursuing a lifelong interest in human behaviour, I completed a Bachelor of Arts at SFU, majoring in sociology and psychology. Following graduation, I worked in various shelter programs and transition houses before deciding to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work at UVIC in 2014. I began my career as an Addictions Counsellor at an outpatient treatment centre, whilst also gaining experience working in an acute hospital setting as a Registered Social Worker. Wishing to further develop and advance my clinical knowledge and skills, I began my Masters of Social Work at UBC in 2018.
Since completing my Master’s I have been working as an Addictions Counsellor at an inpatient treatment centre and as a Registered Social Worker on an acute medicine unit in a large hospital in BC.
I use a holistic person-centred approach with all of my clients, utilizing interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, solution focused therapy, trauma informed practice, and psycho-education. I have experience using mindfulness practice, which can support many individuals in becoming centred and aware of their body and mind. I have also utilized genograms to support clients in understanding the psychosocial and relational factors impacting their situation.
I feel deeply honoured and privileged to witness and walk alongside my clients in their journey. In my spare time you can find me trail running, practicing yoga and spending time with my friends and family.
I offer services in both English and Romanian.
Tracey Banks BA, BSW, MSW
If you have made it this far in your journey to find support, you are already brave. I know from my own story and through learning from the stories of others, that taking the first step to actually ask for help takes courage, determination, and strength. So, if you have made it even further and are reading about me here, I wonder what it is you would like to know? What would I want to know?
I can share with you that even before my training as a social worker, I knew working with children, young people, and families of all designs, brought me joy. Whether this joy came from my early days as a camp counsellor, as a recreation support worker, or from my paid social work employment in supporting families, or working with young people struggling with substance use, or in supporting young people in their challenges with autism, my practice focus has always been in working alongside others to feel less alone, to feel heard, to feel seen. And after 25 years of having officially become a “social worker,” this joy has never left me.
But I think what matters most is that only you are the expert on you. And because you are the person or family that knows yourself best, only in meeting with me will you know whether I am a good fit for you. I can offer humour, warmth, compassion and care. In our relationship together, I will be curious about what you think you need and listen to your story with my full self. And I look forward to getting started together.
Learn how to be you and be truly alive.
What I offer:
Freedom from self-harming behaviours, anxiety, depression, anger, trauma and addiction.
After seeing several therapists where I felt misunderstood and judged, I discovered a therapist that saw my truth and helped me find freedom from my self-imposed jail. Life is all about deep meaningful relationships and through developing a safe, authentic connection with you where you feel truly heard and understood, I will provide a healing space for self-exploration and discovery.
I bring a depth of personal and profession experience to my sessions that includes ranges from trauma recovery, anxiety and addiction to helping families heal from the loss of a loved one to overdose. After 17 years as an elementary and middle-school teacher, I am a creative problem solver who can empower you to find workable solutions to your problems and make lasting change. Another strength I have is recognizing and sitting with pain and despair and finding ways to move through them. My other work experience with autism and addiction have shown the importance of relationship and connection.
I practice through a trauma-informed lens using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help clients change their relationship with their internal experience, realize what is blocking them and move towards a life of meaning and purpose. I also use attachment-based therapy and compassionate inquiry to help you recover your true essence. I believe we all have gifts; my gift is helping you discover what is truly important to you in life and teaching you to authentically connect with self and others.
If you are reading this far, I believe you have already begun your journey of healing and recovery. I am excited for your opportunity for growth and to help you discover your resilience. When we face our darkness and accept our present experience, we can live a life of vitality. I will help you finds ways to live in the solution and take committed action towards wellness.
When I feel truly alive:
Being lost in the rhythm of long-distance running, being truly connected with my heart, body and breath in my yoga practice, sharing my vulnerability and laughter with close friends, finding ways to inspire and motivate children in my teaching or sitting with you and helping you navigate your way through pain and despair. When we find what we are meant to do it feels effortless, joyful and playful; this is what I bring to the counselling office. I look forward to working with you!
In taking on the decision to pursue my passion for human behaviour and development, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology and minor in Counselling & Human Development from Simon Fraser Universit and finished my education with my Master of Counselling Psychology degree at Adler University. I feel so privileged to be continuing this work in the field.
I strive to view every individual through a holistic, client-centered, and strength-based lens. I believe in the power of humans and work to empower my clients towards healing. I employ a trauma-informed lens and a range of therapeutic modalities, with an emphasis on Emotion-Focused and attachment-based work. Seeing all individuals as unique, I am flexible and adaptable to the needs of my clients and have experience utilizing interventions from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy to name a few.
I feel deeply honoured and fulfilled to be doing this work. Witnessing the evolution of clients who let me into their growth drives me to continue this journey and I am committed to helping you on your journey. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and get started on the path to your well-being and healing.
Issues I can help with:
- Attention Deficit concerns
- Emotion Regulation
- Interpersonal issues: family, friendships, relationships
Intrapersonal issues: self-esteem, self-definition, life
Jessica Sharma, Counselling
My own life experiences as well, have taken me to many high and low places that have allowed for growth; that is the reason I gravitate towards this work. I enjoy learning and teaching the neuroscience of behaviour and experience, and have discovered a field of work that nurtures this area of curiosity. My practice is guided by my own moral compass and core values. I have adopted a holistic lens, and implement a strength-based approach, focusing on empowerment and advocacy. When I’m not studying or working, I love to relax, hang out with friends and family, spend time outdoors in nature, stay active, explore and adventure.
Darcee Cooper BSW, MSW, RSW
My own life journey has deeply shaped how I relate as a counsellor. I know first hand how counselling isn’t a one size fits all approach. Over the years I have found working with therapists myself incredibly helpful in finding the approach that worked for me. This enables me to know that what works for others may not work for you and together we can further explore how you can reach the goals you have.
I’ve been a practicing registered social worker for 20 years working in a variety of settings. I have extensive experience working with a multitude of life challenges including substance use, chronic & critical illness, functional loss, palliation, caregiver stress, anxiety, depression and grief & loss. My theoretical background is in structural family dynamics, cognitive behaviour therapy, trauma informed approaches to healing, brief-focussed therapy, emotional regulation and mindfulness techniques.
I am also open to any other questions you may have about me, my experience and if we are a good fit in working together. I look forward to connecting with you as you take these next steps for yourself.