Burnaby Counselling Group has a unique team of therapists committed to providing the highest quality of care for our clients. Our team has training and experience in diverse areas of counselling and we offer a range of payment options for our clients. We invite you to read about our therapists' backgrounds and hope that you will find a therapist to assist you with your specific therapy concerns.
If you have any questions in selecting a therapist, you may reach us at 604.430.1303. We look forward to hearing from you!
Registered Social Worker
Estera Boldut, M.A., M.F.T., R.S.W. #11557
Registered Social Worker
Marriage and Family Therapist
With a gentle and compassionate presence, Estera invites her clients to bring their concerns into the counseling room. She believes that at times we all need support throughout our life journey, and she has great respect and admiration for her clients’ courage to seek counseling. Estera’s warmth acceptance creates the trust you need to deal with difficult problems and gain clarity in achieving your goals. Her role is to come alongside you in your journey, encouraging, challenging and helping you find ways to implement the changes you want in your life.
Estera Boldut is a Registered Social Worker and a Marriage and Family Therapist offering counseling services to individuals, couples and families. She received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trinity Western University and currently is pursuing a Doctor of Psychology Program with California Sothern University.
Apart from her work at Burnaby Counseling Group, Estera is the Clinical Coordinator for the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy program at ACTS Seminaries overseeing the Practicum and Internship training. She also presents workshops in school settings (bullying, sex education and emotion coaching for parents), churches (grief, church and disability, understanding mental health) and community (suicide awareness, children and immigration).
Before moving to Canada, Estera lived in Romania where she coordinated orphanages and worked in adoptions.
Estera’s areas of practice include: Counseling for individuals: depression, anxiety, life decisions and transitions, grief and loss, identity and self-esteem issues, self-care and burnout prevention, adoptions, spiritual journey, acquired brain injury, developmental disabilities, parenting. Counseling for couples: relationship conflict and communication problems, lack of closeness and intimacy, remarriage decisions and challenges, commitment in relationship. Counseling for families: parent and adolescent therapy, parenting children who were adopted from other countries and cultures, troubled background or special needs, blended family issues, families who have a member struggling with chronic illness, Mental Health, developmental disabilities
Denise Caldwell, B.A
Denise Caldwell has been counseling at the Burnaby Counselling Group since 1984. She works with individuals of diverse backgrounds, facilitating greater insight and understanding about the place to which their lives have led them. Denise is also gifted in working with clients to develop greater perspective as they encounter challenges and barriers in their faith.
Some of the key areas that Denise works with are:
Women’s issues Depression, Anxiety Mid-life issues and Aging Grief and Loss Spiritual development & Formation Compassion Fatigue & Burn-out Denise is also a well known speaker and group facilitator, who is able to provide insight in a way that both challenges and entertains. Her witty, compelling speaking style about human relationships and spirituality is sought after by churches, women’s groups and national organizations.
Denise’s breadth of experience in teaching and public speaking includes:
Facilitating Women in the Middle Years Group for 16 years across the Lower Mainland Guest Speaker for Women’s Retreats at such locations as Malibu, BC; Rosemary Heights, BC; Cedar Springs and The Firs, Washington. Keynote Speaker for International China Concern Annual Retreat, Philippines; National Conference for Canadian Association for Pregnancy Support Services, Mt. Tremblent, Quebec, and School of Children’s Ministries, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand.
"Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you.” -Parker Palmer, 2000
Registered Social Worker
Susan Hobkirk, R.S.W.
Susan is a Registered Social Worker with more than 25 years of experience counselling individuals, couples, and families.
Her passion is to work collaboratively with people in facilitating their personal growth and change. She works with individuals, couples, and families to help them articulate their feelings and longings and to renew and renegotiate their relationships.
Susan provides clients the opportunity to become less burdened by the impact of challenging or painful life experiences, and helps them move toward a clearer understanding of themselves and others. She is attentive to the goals that clients have and the needs that they express.
“I know that it is possible for any one of us to become overwhelmed or stuck in our primary relationships and with life’s challenges, and that we can benefit from the skills that a compassionate counselor provides,” Susan states.
Working with Susan will help you:
• Increase the awareness of your unique gifts and strengths
• Process and grieve disappointments and losses
• Identify issues and situations that “trigger” unhelpful responses for you
• Develop healthy relationship patterns and self-care strategies
• Identify and honour your resilience and survival skills
Susan has both training and experience working with individuals, couples, and families in the following areas:
• Relationship issues
• Grief and loss
• Sexual abuse
• Faith issues
Susan brings a wealth of experience and diverse training to her therapy work. Following her degree in Social Work from the University of British Columbia, Susan spent several years working for the provincial government with individuals, families in crisis, couples, and children/youth. She pursued a diploma in Family Systems Therapy from Pacific Coast Family Therapy Training Association and has additional training in Narrative Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Susan has been with the Counselling Group for more than 20 years.
Registered Clinical Counsellor
Lois Jones, M.A., R.C.C., C.C.C.
Lois understands how easily we can get stuck, how profoundly the stories and wounds from our past can impact our current relationships, situations and outcomes. She believes that we can develop new ways of responding to those same old stories or negative patterns. From a client-centered approach, Lois will work with you to unpack the stuff that feels overwhelming and discover what needs to shift in order for you to experience personal growth and healthier relationships.
Lois works with adults, children, adolescents, and couples. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association for Clinical Counsellors and a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association. She is an Approved Service Provider for BC's Crime Victim Assistance Program. She holds an MA in Creative Arts Therapies from Concordia University in Montreal, QC. Lois supports traditional verbal therapy with the Creative Arts Therapies, a field of psychotherapy that allows clients to process non-verbally when words just don't seem enough. The Creative Arts Therapies may be used with anyone of any age.
Lois' areas of practice with adult individuals include: anxiety and panic; depression; grief and loss; difficult or overwhelming transitions; relationship distress; identity issues and low self-esteem; trauma processing and recovery.
Areas of practice with couples include: relationship distress and conflict, infidelity and recovery, enhancing closeness and intimacy, separation and divorce.
Also trained in Play Therapy, Lois understands and respects a child's inner world. Working from a developmental attachment perspective, Lois translates a child's sometimes confusing behaviours. She empowers families to experience deeper connections by coming alongside both the caregiver's and the child's struggles.
Lois specializes in working with children and families to cope with: childhood anxiety and depression (ie, overwhelming worry); suicidal thoughts; low self-esteem; separation and co-parenting after divorce; behavioural problems; difficult social interactions; parent-child relational difficulties; learning and / or developmental disabilities; autism spectrum disorders; cross-cultural parenting clashes; separation alarm and anxiety (ie, sleep difficulties); and parent consultations.
Gelareh Karimiha, Registered Psychologist
Gelareh is a Registered Psychologist and holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Waterloo. At Burnaby Counselling Group, she sees adult clients who face a range of challenges, including depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, relationship issues, stress/transitions and spiritual issues. Gelareh provides a warm, safe and non-judgmental therapeutic environment and enjoys working with clients from all walks of life. Gelareh believes that therapist empathy and compassion are critical to establishing a positive relationship with her clients. At the same time, she also believes in being solution-focused and working toward goals that are identified collaboratively. Gelareh is passionate about empowering her clients by helping them build on their repertoire of tools for managing challenging emotions and life situations, and helping them identify and draw on external and sustainable sources of strength in their lives (e.g., God, social supports, church community).
Since graduating in 2012, Gelareh has primarily worked in hospitals with children, youth and families facing mental health issues. Gelareh has experience with a number of evidence-based approaches to treatment including cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and interpersonal therapy. She has also co-facilitated a number of groups for clients with anxiety, OCD and somatization.
Registered Clinical Counsellor
David Lee, M.A.M.F.T., M.Div., R.C.C.
David Lee works with individuals, couples, and families at Burnaby Counselling Group as a Registered Clinical Counsellor. Alongside his work at BCG, he also has experience working as a pastor. David graduated with an M.Div. from Regent College and an M.A. in in Marriage & Family Therapy at Trinity Western University. Some of the specialized training David has received include Satir family therapy; emotionally focused therapy for couples; healing broken bonds: traumatic attachment & affect regulation; play therapy; and mindful parenting.
Some of the areas that David works with clients in are:
•Emotional distress (e.g. depression, anxiety, grief, loss, shame)
•Couple relational distress
•Child play-therapy and mindful parenting
David is committed to providing an environment of curiosity and non-judgement where those seeking to better understand themselves and those they care about will be met with gentleness and authenticity. He believes that each person has inherent value and that people have the potential to become increasingly whole in their personhood and relationships.
David says: "My understanding of all of us as people is that there is often more stirring beneath people's experience of pain - whether it be relational trauma, unmet expectations, loss, or yearnings that are left hanging - and that this can sometimes be overwhelming. It is a privilege to join my clients in their journey of healing and growth, and collaborate with them, in moving through these complexities."
Michael Mandrusiak, Psy D., R.Psych #01803
Michael is a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia who works with adults and adolescents in individual and group settings.
Some of the treatment goals that Michael could help you with include:
Improvement of mood and lifestyle in response to feelings of stress, depression and emotional distress. Alleviation of anxiety (social anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessions and compulsions) Increased clarity of life and career direction College/university issues and student stress
Michael believes in the power of a warm and understanding counselling relationship to unlock your strengths and resources, allowing you to move toward your goals and to create life satisfaction. He is also knowledgeable of the latest advances in therapy and adopts an integrative cognitive perspective.
In conjunction with his work at the Burnaby Counselling Group, Michael is a full-time faculty member at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in downtown Vancouver where he teaches courses in lifestyle and career development, counsellor professional development and counselling skills.
Kyla Moon, Associate
Kyla believes that every person has innate worth and value, and because of this, she knows it is an honour to walk along side someone on their journey. She also believes that every person lives within a system: family, community, faith and culture. It is through this systemic framework that she approaches therapy and believes healing, wholeness and hope can occur.
Through working collaboratively with the client and drawing from Emotion Focused Therapy, Satir Experiential Therapeutic Approach and Attachment Theory, she approaches each client with empathy, respect, curiosity and hope. Although developing her skills, Kyla enjoys working with individuals, couples and family, ranging from children to adults. Through building an authentic and trusting relationship with her clients, she believes that the journey towards healing and wholeness can begin.
Registered Clinical Counsellor
My expertise is in working with difficulties related to cultural, familial, and relational contexts. Difficulties I specialize in include: depression, anxiety, anger issues, issues with sexuality, couples issues, family conflicts, self-harming, and more. Having trained in metro Los Angeles and Vancouver, I have worked with a tremendous diversity of individuals. People who are seeking to make sense of themselves and their families tend to find me very helpful. Former clients of mine regularly feel as though they understand their symptoms, are more free to make good life choices, and are prepared to have more fulfilling relationships overall.
Clients who are children of immigrants or who are working through significant culturally-related difficulties have found our time valuable and beneficial.
I primarily work within a psychodynamic psychotherapy and emotion focused therapy framework. This means we will talk about whatever you wish, but I am always interested in your relational and emotional being as these are keys to your healing. I provide a warm, safe, space for people to "be themselves."
My cultural background affords me a unique insight into immigrant and second generation ways of being, while my theological and psychological education has granted me the ability to unwind the deep knots associated with these contexts. My experiences as a pastor, chaplain, and teacher are also resources from which I often draw.
Courtney Teichroeb, Intern
Courtney see’s each person as valuable, with their own unique story and reason for coming to therapy. She enjoys working with all cliental including couples, families, individuals, and children. Courtney believes that change is possible for everyone to achieve, and through a collaborative therapeutic process, she desires to sit with clients to help them feel fully heard as a stepping stone towards that change.
Courtney exercises empathy and maintains curiosity throughout her work with clients. She sees everyone as part of a system, and approaches therapy through that lens drawing on Satir Experiential Therapy, Attachment Theory, and Emotion Focused Therapy for her theoretical approach.
Sophia Van Vuuren
Registered Clinical Psychologist
Sophia Van Vuuren, M.A. Clinical Psychology, R.Psych #1659
“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sophia holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and is registered in BC as a Psychologists.
She has worked in the field of mental health for the past 30 years. Sophia worked for 17 years in South Africa as a Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer and Supervisor at the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. She relocated to Canada in 1997 with her husband and three children. She has worked the past 15 years in Vancouver as a Child and Family Psychotherapist, treating clients with emotional, cognitive, social, behavioural, relational, traumatic and learning problems. She worked at the North Shore Family Services as a Trauma specialist, consulted with the MCFD and provided trauma counselling to children, parents and families who were survivors of sexual abuse and violence. She has joined Burnaby Counselling Group in 2006.
Sophia has also worked for many years with the young adult population and students at the Student Counselling Centre of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia. She uses her training, knowledge and experience in various psychotherapeutic strategies to empower her clients to explore, utilize and develop their mind, heart, body and soul resources to reactivate their full potential and restore their resilience.
Sophia grew up with Missionary parents in Southern Africa, with family values of “Ubuntu” (it takes a community to raise a child), altruism and compassion. She was also exposed to the injustices and paradoxes of a racially divided country . This has motivated her studies in Social Sciences and Psychology in an effort to understand the human mind and social injustices.
Sophia provides counselling to Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families Treatment for Adults & Teens for
• Grief and Loss
• Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Phobias & OCD
• Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Self-harm, Suicidal behavior or thoughts
• Conflict & Anger management
• Traumatic Experiences – Motor Vehicle Accident/Natural disasters/Abuse/Violence/Torture/War
• Eating Disorders-Bulimia/Anorexia
• Life stressors and transitions-job change or loss/ immigration/divorce/ageing
• Relationship problems Couples or Families
• Guiding Parents to healthy Co-parenting during and after Divorce
Psychotherapy for Children & Teens
• Oppositional Behaviour like Oppositional Defiant Disorder/bullying/lying/stealing
• Emotional problems due to stress
• Anxiety/ panic attacks/phobias/ OCD
• Depression/suicidal talk/self-harm
• Eating Disorders
• Adoption and attachment problems
• PTSD, Traumatic memories and reenacting behavior
• Learning Disabilities like Dyslexia/Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia/NLD
• Cognitive problems: Attention and Memory Problems like ADD/ADHD
• Underachievement & low motivation/low self-esteem
• Behaviour problems-like tantrums,/acting out behavior/discipline/anger/
• Life changes due to divorce or relocation
• Screen time overload
Psycho-Educational Assessment for Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities, ADHD or ADD can cause significant frustration and stress for a child which can have a debilitating effect on a child’s feelings of competence, self-esteem, motivation for learning, mental and physical health. Struggling in school is hard, especially if you try your best every day, but teachers keep saying that you can do better. Early school dropout has a direct correlation with Learning Disabilities that was not diagnosed.
A Psycho-educational assessment measures the child’s cognitive, attention, memory, social-emotional and perceptual abilities as well as their basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. This information provides a map to their cognitive abilities, strengths and challenges. Early diagnosis and educational intervention and support provide the parents and the teachers with a cognitive map on how the child learn and how to optimize the child’s cognitive potential and learning challenges . Working in a multi-disciplinary team as Psychologist with Parents, Teachers, Tutors and Family doctors, an Individual Education Plan is developed to support your child throughout their educational career in school, College and University to acknowledge their learning strengths and accommodate their learning obstacles.
• Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
• Dialectic Behaviour therapy (DBT)
• Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing (EMDR II)
• Self-Regulation Therapy/Somatic Experiencing Therapy (SRT)
• Developmental Attachment Adaptation Therapy
• Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT)
• Family Systems Therapy
• Play Therapy
• Solution Focused Therapy