Our Counsellors

Richard Sayad

Acting Director of Clinical Services, MC, RCC

Richard is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) as certified by the BC Association of clinical Counsellors.  He received his Masters in Counselling from City University and undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Victoria.  Working with a variety of different clients from teenagers to seniors, Richard strives to help clients develop insight into their problems and co-create plans for implementing healthy change and growth.  He works with a variety of different challenges including anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and borderline personality disorder.  He also facilitates a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group for those suffering from emotional dysregulation.

Chad Northcott

MA, CCC 

Chad holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University, and is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). He provides counselling to individuals with a wide variety of challenges using an integrative approach and modalities such as Dialectical and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (DBT, CBT), Mindfulness and Family Systems. Chad also has a special interest in trauma, its effects, and ways to process through it, and has received training in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help clients more effectively navigate through these challenges. His counselling approach stems from a client-centred and strength based model, and he seeks to help guide clients with compassion and from a non-judgemental standpoint.

Barbara Baillie

MAPPC, BCATR

Holds a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and Training in spiritual direction. Barb graduated with a M.A. In Pastoral Psychology and Counselling with an art therapy specialization. She helps clients towards a deeper self-knowledge and acceptance. As a trained midlife/long life facilitator, she is also adept at helping clients with the transition points in the second half of life. She’s supported many women through separation and divorce moving them toward positive self.

B. Lyn Dunn

BA, M.Ed

Lyn has Master’s level training in counselling psychology and has been influenced and developed as a person and as a counsellor through: a troubled childhood, spiritual pursuits, cross-cultural experiences, striving for self-knowledge, making mistakes in life, theological study, work in Corrections, extensive travel, counselling in the British Columbia school system, charitable work in Africa, work as a Mental Health and Addictions counsellor in the Northwest Territories, a deep and abiding curiosity about people and the human experience, and experience as a father and grandfather.  Lyn helps clients toward deeper self-knowledge and self-acceptance as a springboard for change.  He has recent training has been in the areas of Trauma, Counselling Indigenous Peoples, and Motivational Interviewing.

Thayre Christine Fellows

BSc, RCC

Thayre holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary, a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Athabasca and is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). She has extensive experience working with children, youth and adults in both educational and counselling settings, including crisis intervention. Taking a uniquely spiritual, energetic and emotion-focused approach to counselling, Thayre focuses on each individual’s ability to self-heal. Thayre helps guide clients through relationship, introspection, creativity, play, art, and education to help them re-frame problems into opportunities, and use life's challenges to foster growth and change.

Audrey Gibson

BSc OT, M.Div (SW)

Holds a BSc in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and a Master of Divinity with a major in Social Work from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky. During her extensive career, Audrey has worked mainly with children living with physical limitations and their families. She developed coaching and mentoring skills as a clinical leader and program coordinator with Island Health in Victoria.

Joy Gillett

MPH, RCC

Is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Joy brings experience from a broad background: science at UBC (Vancouver); public health at UCLA (Los Angeles); conflict resolution at the Justice Institute (Burnaby); international development (Belize and Papua New Guinea); First Nations community development (northern BC); federal government management (Ottawa); and theology at Regent College (Vancouver). Joy approaches counselling from a holistic perspective and serves clients of various backgrounds, ages, and issues. Using a variety of approaches in response to the interests and needs of clients, Joy assists individuals in discovering their unique journey toward mental, emotional, physical, and relational wholeness.

Stephanie Hayes

MA, RCC

Stephanie holds a MA degree in child and youth care from the University of Victoria. She has worked as an early childhood educator and as a college instructor. Stephanie has a special interest in addictions counselling, and recently obtained a certificate in addictions-informed health counselling. She has a compassionate and collaborative approach toward individuals who seek to minimize the harm of addiction. Stephanie also works with a variety of other challenges, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationships, and parenting. In response to the needs of each client, she utilizes several therapeutic methodologies, including cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, and Bowen family systems theory. She guides individuals to recognize and enhance their strengths and to develop the resilience that they will need to navigate the process of change with confidence and hope. Stephanie also facilitates Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) groups at South Island Centre.

Dorothy Meier

B.Ed, MA, CCC

Holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and is a certified counsellor with the Canadian Counsellors and Psychologists Association (CCPA). She has worked in various settings including schools, Brief Therapy Clinics and doing EAP work. She has a keen interest in children and parenting, endeavoring to ease the stress and anxiety that is all too common with our busy lifestyles. Using a combination of reframing negative thoughts and tapping into our neglected sense of mindfulness, she hopes to restore a balance to life and its many challenges. She believes in allowing children to express themselves freely through play therapy and uses a child-centered approach which empowers them. She is passionate about helping adults and children alike and is adept at employing several modalities. Dorothy believes that bringing awareness to our unhealthy patterns while encouraging steps towards positive change is the basic premise behind the process.

Meghan Richey

MA, CCC

Meghan is a Certified Canadian Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria and a Master of Arts in Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Spirituality from the University of Ottawa. Meghan is especially interested in the process of navigating life transitions and the development of our identities over time. Working with elements from psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and existential analysis, Meghan takes a values-based approach to help clients identify patterns, gain greater self understanding and take steps to build a future that is grounded in authenticity and personal meaning. She draws on principles from yoga, art therapy, eco-therapy and spiritual traditions in an embodied approach to emotional healing.

Peter Simmons

BA, MDiv

Received his BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and was also awarded a Master of Divinity degree from the Toronto School of Theology.  His education and pastoral care work have given him foresight into the intrinsic value of individuality. Peter provides counselling to individuals experiencing a variety of life challenges such as stress, anxiety, self-esteem, addiction, depression, and life transitions.

Laurie Truant

MA, RCC

Laurie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

She earned a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia.

Laurie specializes in working with people experiencing anxiety and depression. She provides individual and couples therapy as well as psycho-educational anxiety groups for adults. Her theoretical approach integrates Person-centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Laurie’s background includes work in outpatient mental health, residential drug and alcohol treatment, and social service agencies for families, chronic mental illness and developmental disabilities.

Tamar Swartz

MA, RSW, EAP

Tamar holds a Master of Social Work, as well as a MA and BA in Sociology. She is interested in working with clients experiencing life transitions, anxiety and navigating grief and loss. She aims to co-create a non-judgemental, safer therapeutic space with clients, and to explore the challenges being faced while also celebrating the resilience and strengths that arise. Tamar has training as an Expressive Arts Practitioner (EAP) and draws on visual art, writing, storytelling and somatic experiencing. Expressive arts offers a space for clients to explore experiences that may not yet have words. She wholly supports self determination and believes that clients are the expert in their own lives. Her role as a counsellor is one of space holding, witnessing and supporting through insight and reflection.

Erin Farley

MACP, RCC

Erin is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and holds a Master's of Arts in Counselling Psychology. She has been seeing clients at South Island since May 2018. Erin offers an integrative theoretical approach that incorporates Person-centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. In counselling sessions, she provides a comfortable, non-judgemental environment to explore areas of your choosing, at your own pace.

Growth, healing, and balance are achieved through honest and authentic exploration of yourself. You know your story. Erin can provide support as you bring your skills and expertise to the pursuit of growth and solutions."

Riley McDonald

MACP, RCC

Riley completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy with a minor in Hispanic Studies at the University of Victoria. His keen interest in life’s big questions along with his passion for working with people led him to pursue a career in psychotherapy. In keeping with his love of travel, he completed the Master in Counselling at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Riley believes that humans are relational beings and that from birth, we rely on connection with others for a sense of safety and security. While there is an innate wisdom within all of us, our ability to see the way forward can become clouded when we are overwhelmed by tragedy or adversity. Riley’s aim is to provide an open, nonjudgemental space in which clients feel safe to share their unique and personal stories. A deep exploration of one’s internal experience can often be freeing, and provide valuable insight into patterns of relating to the self, others, and the world. 

Riley brings a client-centred, collaborative approach to counselling. His integrative style allows him to tailor the therapeutic process to each individual’s needs and preferences. He strongly believes in the power of a trusting therapeutic relationship, and in helping people to discover their internal strengths.

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