River District Counselling & Wellness

About Us
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Melissa Chan, Clinical Director, MACP, RCC #15037

Accepting Clients: Individuals, Families and Couples

Available: Days, Evenings and Weekends

Location: In Office, Online

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Services offered in English   

Melissa, born and raised in Victoria, BC, is a dedicated counselor with a Bachelor of Child Studies in Early Intervention and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. Her expertise includes Emotion Focused Therapy and Play Therapy, which she integrates into her practice to enhance mental well-being. Melissa's counseling approach is collaborative and client-centered, tailored to meet the unique needs and goals of each individual or family.

With a background in both non-profit and private practice settings, Melissa addresses a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, life transitions, and parenting challenges. She provides a safe and non-judgmental space for clients to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, offering practical strategies and tools to cope with stress, manage emotions, and cultivate resilience.

Passionate about empowering clients, Melissa guides them towards greater self-awareness, growth, and fulfillment. With professionalism, care, and empathy, she is committed to supporting clients on their journey towards healing, self-discovery, and personal growth.

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Yvonne Chen, Clinical Director, MACP, RCC #14778

*Not accepting New Clients* 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Services offered in English 

Yvonne, a compassionate counsellor rooted in Vancouver since 1973, holds a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology, specializing in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of British Columbia. With a heart for helping others, her journey began in university settings, supporting young adults, and expanded into the non-profit sector, where she developed a deep understanding of trauma.

At BC Cancer Agency's Patient and Family Counselling Services, Yvonne provided invaluable support to those facing cancer, embodying empathy and understanding in every interaction. She believes in the power of compassion to heal wounds and guide individuals toward growth and resilience.

Yvonne's therapeutic approach is characterized by genuine care, insight, and a commitment to creating a safe space for personal exploration and growth. She excels in tailoring strategies to meet the diverse needs of clients, offering support for issues ranging from trauma recovery to vocational rehabilitation.

Beyond her counseling practice, Yvonne is a dedicated mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and survivor. In her downtime, she finds solace in nature, exploring trails and sharing moments of joy with her beloved dog, Sookie. With Yvonne, clients can expect compassionate guidance and unwavering support on their journey toward healing and self-discovery.

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Karmen Skrajnar, Associate Counsellor, MC, RCC #19937

Accepting Clients: Individuals, Youth, ICBC

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. 

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Catherine Chlebak, Associate Counsellor, MEd, RCC #10973

Accepting Clients: Individuals
Available: Thursday and Fridays Days (limited availability)
Location: Online 

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.