River District Counselling & Wellness

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About Us

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Diversity Commitment

River District Counselling & Wellness is committed to diversity and inclusion of each individual. Our counsellors aim to create a safe environment where each person is free to express themselves in their most authentic way while striving to build healthy connections and achieve mental wellness. We value the wealth of different backgrounds and variety of lived experiences that each person brings to tell their story. Our mission is to educate, support, and provide therapy to each individual by fostering resilience through a collaborative approach to achieve mind-body wellness.

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Melissa Chan, Clinical Director

MACP, RCC #15037
Accepting New Individuals, Couples, Children, Youth and Families, ICBC - January 2024

Available: Days, Evenings and Weekends 

Location: In-office, Online

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers 

Services offered in English   

Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Melissa has spent her educational career building her experience with families and children. She holds a Bachelor of Child Studies with a focus on Early Intervention with children and youth from Mount Royal University and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. Melissa enjoys working with individuals, couples and families to support them through the many challenges they encounter. She continues to educate herself with trainings in Emotion Focused Therapy, Play Therapy and other therapeutic modalities that help strengthen client's mental health. 

She believes that in order for counselling to be successful, it is important to have an authentic, genuine connection between counsellor and client. She prides herself on showing up in the truest version of herself to each session. Her value systems were built through her work in both non profit and private practice environments. She has hosted seminars and educational presentations for professionals and those seeking to build an maintain healthy relationships. 

Through the counselling process, Melissa offers individuals a space to process and connect the dots of events that have happened in their life, family support for parents who are needing strategies on how to navigate through parenting challenges, and personalized outreach services to children and youth who are seeking counselling services in a non-traditional way.

Yvonne cropped
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Yvonne Chen, Clinical Director
MEd,  RCC # 14778
*Not accepting New Clients* - January 2024
Booking for consultations only 

Location: Online

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Services offered in English


Yvonne has called Vancouver home since 1973 and holds a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology, specializing in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of British Columbia.  Her career as a counsellor began while working in university settings where she provided counselling to young adults. While completing her credentials, she worked in the non-profit sector where she became interested in helping those with a history of trauma. She spent time training at BC Cancer Agency (BCCA), Patient and Family Counselling Services providing services to patients with cancer and their families.   

Her experiences launched her self-discovery of how her many interests and abilities were highly transferrable in helping others. Specifically, she has learned how to identify the right learning strategy and accommodate needs for clients with mental health challenges.  As a therapist, Yvonne is genuine, caring and an insightful professional who creates a safe therapeutic space to foster personal growth and self-awareness.   

Yvonne considers herself a life long learner. She is a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and survivor. On her downtime, you will find Yvonne exploring trails and playing with her dog, Sookie.

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Catherine Chlebak, Associate Counsellor
MEd,  RCC # 10973

Accepting New Clients - January 2024

Available: Days (limited availability)

Location: Online 

Please book a Consultation with Yvonne if looking for services with Catherine

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Services offered in English


Living in Vancouver since 2010, Catherine earned her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, with a further specialization in Vocational Rehabilitation at the University of British Columbia. She has primarily worked with adults experiencing psychological and/or physical injury due to work place accidents, at WorkSafe BC. Areas of practice include: Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Grief and Loss, Workplace Trauma, and Adjustment to injury. Current areas of education and learning include mindfulness, including completion of an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and delving into the science of emotion.

In many ways we long to be seen and heard, to have our stories understood authentically and without judgement by others. We want to support and ground ourselves, letting go of what does not work to integrate new learning. Catherine strives to create this space with gentleness and compassion and invites you to share your journey with her.

Personally, her journey includes growing up as as second generation Canadian and she is married with two children and loves spending time with her family swimming and being outdoors.     

Karmen photo
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Karmen Skrajnar, Associate Counsellor
MC RCC #19937

Accepting New Individuals, Youth, ICBC Clients - January 2024

Available: Days, Evenings And Weekends 

Location: Online

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Services offered in English

Originally from Slovenia, Karmen has called Canada home for nearly two decades, and this experience has instilled in her a deep appreciation for personal connections. She is dedicated to creating safe spaces where meaningful dialogues can unfold. At the heart of her counselling philosophy is the belief that a strong therapeutic relationship thrives when a client feels heard, understood, and respected.

With a background in harm reduction, Karmen brings a wealth of experience to her counselling practice. She specializes in offering support to those dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, substance use challenges, struggles with self-worth, body image issues, and eating disorders. Karmen's expertise encompasses guiding individuals in making well-informed career choices, effectively managing workplace stress, and strategically planning their professional development. She also offers support to people who are new to Canada, drawing from her own experiences as an immigrant to Canada. Additionally, Karmen provides compassionate counselling for older adults who may be facing feelings of isolation and other age-related challenges.

Karmen's practice is rooted in person-centered therapy, prioritizing the client's journey and unique needs, and meeting individuals wherever they are on their unique path. She aims to create an environment where growth, healing, and self-discovery can flourish.