Supporting Children, Youth, and Families in Greater Vancouver since 1990

Counsellor Bios

As outlined in the counsellor profiles below, our counselling team includes:

  • Registered Clinical Counsellors (RCC) – These counsellors hold graduate degrees (MA, MC, MSW) and have met professional standards for clinical work. They are registered with and regulated by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC).
  • Registered Professional Counsellors (RPC) – These are counsellors who may or may not hold academic credentials. They have met standards for practice as outlined by the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA) and are regulated by this organization. These counsellors have also met a minimum standard of 5 years of supervised practice working directly with families at Hollyburn Family Services.

Please indicate whether you have a preference for seeing a counsellor with a specific designation. To determine if the counsellor is covered by your extended health plan, please contact your insurer and ask which type of professional is covered for counselling/mental health services. 

Fees start at $120 plus GST per 50-minute session. Receipts are available upon request. 

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Our Counsellors

 

Chris Burt, MA

Chris has worked with children and families for over 25 years.  His training is derived from “best practice” programs in parenting education and family therapy.  Chris has consulted to the Ministry of Children and Family Development creating training programs for Family Support and Family Preservation. 

Chris is passionate about issues for families, and speaks to many community-based and parenting organizations about parenting and family development issues.  His work has extended to include a diverse client population including those who identify as indigenous, Middle-Eastern, Asian and South Asian in North Vancouver and the Lower Mainland area.  He has also worked with clients who identify as LGBT2QIA.

Chris holds a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology.

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Patricia Custance, MA, CCC

Patti works from a trauma informed, feminist, anti-oppression lens. She has worked with the Boys and Girls clubs of Greater Vancouver, the Burnaby School Board, and the Nicklin Adolescent Program as a youth counsellor.  Further, she has worked for  Kinections (Australia) in a Specialized Family Violence Program as a children’s counsellor.  She has spent the last 10 years as a Specialized Victim Support Worker, supporting clients who have experienced abuse.  Patti has worked with individuals and their families with issues that include anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic attacks, and those that have been survivors of intimate partner violence and sexualized violence.  Patti believes that people come to counselling with a great deal of their own resources and expertise and believes in a collaborative approach to counselling.

Patti holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Patti is a C-VAP approved counsellor.

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Tomi Hamner, MA, RCC

Tomi began working with families following her retirement from a 20-year career in policing.  She has worked closely with First Responders and Veterans who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. More recently she worked for over two years, providing support and counselling directly to families presenting with parenting difficulties, couples conflict, addiction, and impacts of acute mental health conditions. 

She is specialized in approaches to individuals and families coping with the unexpected, and is skilled at facilitating adaptation through crisis, loss and trauma. Tomi has facilitated parent education groups and is trained in attachment and family systems approaches to therapy.

She is trained in Trauma Informed Practice, Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) and has completed trainings to enhance cultural safety and awareness.  Tomi has worked with a diverse client population, including those who identify as indigenous, Asian, and Middle-Eastern as well as clients who identify as LGBT2QIA.

Tomi holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology.

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Maureen Manning, MA, RCC

Maureen has worked with families for over 15 years.  She has provided therapy for individuals, couples, youth and families in public health clinics, hospice/palliative care, private practice and family service agencies.  She has trained in Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).

Maureen helps clients work through major life changes, marital and relationship problems, sudden illness, parenting challenges, addiction, grief and loss, and stress associated with work-life balance.  Maureen has worked with a diverse client population including those who identify as indigenous, Middle-Eastern, Asian and South Asian. She also has experience with clients who identify as LGBT2QIA.

Maureen holds a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology.

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Thoko Moyo, MA, RCC

Thoko holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the B.C Association of Clinical Counsellors. She has worked with children and families for 10 years in counselling, educational, and social service non-profit sectors. Thoko is trained and specializes in support for children and families who require support for neurodivergent needs including but not limited to ASD, ADHD and intellectual disabilities. Thoko is educated in and trained to support, treat and counsel issues that may include: anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness, grief and loss, thoughts of suicide and self-injury, family dysfunction and violence, LGBTQ2S+, sexuality and gender identities, addiction and substance misuse, major life transitions: Youth transition to adulthood, career moves, separation/divorce, Children and Youth in Government Care, burnout and vicarious trauma, and racial trauma.

Thoko’s practice is informed by relevant up to date research that informs and implements counseling techniques that include the cultural adaptation of CBT techniques, narrative theory, trauma-informed practice, racial trauma. Thoko operates on a daily basis from an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens and her work is centered around Intersectional Feminist Theory.

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Olivia Ng, MEd, RCC

First language counselling services in Cantonese, Mandarin and English language.

Olivia has experience counselling individuals who have severe, persistent mental illness including: schizophrenia, other psychotic disorders, mood disorders (e.g. bipolar and major depressive disorders), co-occurring disorders. She has experience counselling groups of individuals who have addictive behaviours. Olivia also has experience counselling groups of family members and caregivers of people with mental and substance use difficulties, to provide information and resources so that they can be as well-supported as possible in caring for themselves and their loved ones. She has experience working with individuals of varying ages with different disabilities, from a diversity of cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and life situations.

Olivia’s approach to counselling is client-centered. She works collaboratively with her clients to determine the approach to therapy that will work best for them. She strives to create a strong and positive working alliance in order to help people make positive changes and resolve their issues. Her practice is influenced by mindfulness practices, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) and Personal-Counselling with an ability to be flexible based on client needs.

Olivia holds a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology from University of British Columbia and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC).

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Homa Papaei, MA, RCC

First language counselling services in Farsi, Turkish, and English language.

Homa has over six years of experience working with diverse populations including children and youth, adults and couples.  She employs a strengths-based approach to help clients access their own wisdom to solve problems and become their best selves.  Her areas of expertise include eating disorders, sleep disruption, trauma, physical wellness and illness/injury recovery, chronic pain and anger management.  Her work with children and youth has centred on managing problematic anxiety.

Homa is trilingual and can provide services in English, Farsi, and Turkish languages.  She has worked with a diverse client population including those who identify as indigenous, Asian, South Asian and Middle-Eastern as well as clients who identify as LGBT2QIA. 

Homa holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia and is registered with Crime Victims Assistance (CVAP) to provide trauma counselling to victims of violence. 

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Akbar Safari, MA, RCC

First language counselling services in Farsi, Turkish, and English language.

Akbar has over 17 years of experience working with youth and families in Psychiatric and Counselling settings.  He has worked with individuals, families, and youth both in private practice and family service agencies. He holds a Specialized Business License with Psychology and Counseling Organizations in Iran. 

Akbar holds a Certificate in Clinical Hypnosis from ISSCH and has trained in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for 1 year at the Tehran Psychoanalytic Institute (TPI). He is also trained in adolescent substance abuse interventions (Matrix Model) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Akbar is a client-centered therapist who takes an integrative approach to address issues such as personality disorders, addiction, stress, anxiety, trauma and parenting issues.

Akbar is tri-lingual and can accommodate first-language services in Farsi and Turkish for clients requesting this accommodation.  He holds a Master of Personality Psychology.

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Amanda Sullivan, MA, RCC

Amanda has her Masters degree in Counselling Psychology, and has been working as a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) in good standing with BCACC since 2018. She comes with a unique set of skills having worked within the criminal justice and mental health system for over 6 years. Amanda has experience treating a range of difficulties related to depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, violence, emotional regulation, relationship difficulties as well as more severe mental health issues. Amanda uses a trauma-informed approach and has an extensive background in working with people who have experienced severe trauma, abuse and violence.

Amanda is familiar with the DSM-5 classification and diagnostic criteria and is trained to deliver both individual and group therapy in evidence-based modalities such as CBT, DBT, and Motivational Interviewing. Amanda is committed to keeping up to date with the latest therapeutic skills and techniques to serve her clients as effectively as possible and is continually updating her skills through training workshops and continuing education.

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Shalene Takara, MA, RCC

First language counselling services in French and English language.

Shalene Takara has been providing counselling to couples and families for over 10 years. She specializes in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and works with parent couples facing issues such as communication, conflict, anger, mental health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, trauma), parenting issues, addiction, separation/divorce, co-parenting, and major life transitions. She also has specialized training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Trauma, Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), and attachment-based parenting. She has worked with diverse populations including immigrant and refugee families, same-sex parent couples, and families from the indigenous community.

Shalene holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. She is bilingual and can provide counselling services in English or French

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Poupak Toufanian, MA, RCC

First language counselling services in Farsi, and English language.

Poupak has worked with the North Vancouver School District for over 14 years. She has also worked with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and various non-profit organizations in providing therapy to children, youth, individuals and their families with issues that include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, suicidal ideation, relationship difficulties, parenting challenges, and other issues. She uses a bio-psycho-social approach in conceptualizing client issues and in developing treatment plans to assist them to reach their goals in therapy and their fullest potentials. Poupak uses Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) to assist her clients with their progress.

Poupak holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC).

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Linda Wolfenden, RPC, MPCC

Linda has worked with families for over 30 years.  She has supported clients through a variety of life issues including family/couple conflict, addiction and recovery, pregnancy and parenting-related challenges, as well as grief and loss. 

Linda also has extensive training and experience working with individuals and families impacted by drug and alcohol dependency. She has worked with a diverse client population including indigenous clients, new immigrant families, Asian, South Asian and Middle-Eastern families as well as those who identify as LGBT2QIA.

She is a Registered Professional Counsellor (RPC) with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA) and holds the designation of Master Practitioner in Clinical Counselling (MPCC).

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