At Lethbridge Family Services Counselling Department, our fully qualified and highly trained team of professionals provide ethical and effective services to individuals, children, couples and families throughout Lethbridge and surrounding area. Our counsellors assist adults and children who are experiencing a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, marital issues, and issues of abuse and violence. Our goal is to promote healthy interpersonal relationships, including family functioning, and assisting people experiencing difficulties associated with mental health, domestic violence, trauma, and other crisis. Individuals and families undergoing difficulties associated with emotional health, domestic violence, sexual violence, trauma, and other issues will improve their coping skills, their ability to problem solve, and/or their individual and family functioning and self-sufficiency through supportive outcome-based therapy and counselling.
Our counselling team offers Group Therapy which provides professional therapeutic support, guidance, and a safe and comfortable place where group members can work out problems and gain insight. For a full listing of therapy groups offered please visit http://www.lfsfamily.ca/COE/CS/grouptherapy.php.
Tanya Purdy-Fischer, B.A., B.S.W., R.S.W., CISM trained, Clinical Hypnosis trained, Intake, Crisis Intervention, Child Protection Issues
Tanya is the Intake Coordinator for the Counselling, Outreach and Education Department and has been with Lethbridge Family Services since 2007. She is a Registered Social Worker with Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work and Arts (majoring in Language Studies) and has been trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. Tanya also serves as the department’s Safety Representative and has been certified as an Internal Auditor for the agency through the Alberta Association of Safety Partnerships.
Aleitha Ward, B.F.A., R.S.W., M.A. P.P.C. (Art Therapy Specialization)
Aleitha has been registered with the Alberta College of Social Workers since 2000. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art) with Great Distinction from the University of Lethbridge in 2003 and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling (Art Therapy Specialization) from St. Stephens College in 2009. Aleitha has worked in the human service field for over 30 years. Her preference for art as therapy supports her therapeutic practice with creative expression and the enhancement of resilience. Her practice has focused on issues related to domestic violence, sexual violence, loss and grief, and personal growth and awareness. Aleitha works with adult and adolescent individuals as well as couples and therapy groups Aleitha is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).
Amy Burgoyne, B.A., M.Ed. (Counselling Psychology), Registered Psychologist
Amy graduated with a Master of Education degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Lethbridge in 2007. Since then, she has worked primarily with children, youth, and their families in a school based setting until joining the LFS team in August 2010. Amy takes an eclectic and client-centered approach to counselling, integrating different theoretical models according to individual client need and development. She believes in the power of the therapeutic relationship to encourage individuals to make the changes they need to find peace in their lives and in themselves. Outside of work, Amy loves to spend time in nature and can frequently be found in the mountains skiing, cycling, or hiking with her little dog.
Deborah Stewart, B.Ed., M. Sc. (Counselling Psychology), Registered Psychologist (College of Alberta Psychologist)
Deb is a Registered Psychologist with an extensive background in Counselling. She has worked in a variety of roles and settings - as a Counsellor at Lethbridge Family Services, as a Family School Liaison Counsellor with Lethbridge School District #51, and as a Therapist on the Children, Adolescent and Family Team at Alberta Health Services. She was seconded to Horizon School Division #67 to assist in dealing with the aftermath of the Taber school shooting. Deb supervises Provisional Psychologists and has worked as a Clinical Supervisor for two agencies. She also maintains a small private practice. Deb is deeply committed to supporting people as they work towards making positive change in their lives. In her spare time, Deb loves spending time with her family, friends and pets. Travelling is her passion.
Jason Solowoniuk, BHSc., M.Ed.,C.C.C.
Ten years ago, after experiencing a sudden spiritual awakening, Jason went on a journey to understand the nature of his True Self. Filled with fear and anxiety, but swept under a current of spiritual energy he has learned to relax into being. Today, utilizing the wisdom of surrender and integrating Eastern and Western approaches to counselling/psychotherapy, he now offers these insights and practices toward helping clients ameliorate and transform their own suffering in whatever form it manifests (e.g., depression, panic, addictions, eating disorders, trauma reactions, relationship difficulties, grief, bereavement, etc.) He also teaches and conducts research at the University of Lethbridge, within the Health Sciences Faculty.
Jocelyn Orr, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Jocelyn holds a University of Calgary Masters of Social Work degree (MSW) with a clinical specialization. She divides her time between our counselling team at LFS and working as a mental health therapist for Alberta Heath Services. Her eclectic therapeutic approach is strengthened by her client-centered focus, as she clearly believes in the human ability to attain wholeness and healing. Jocelyn integrates various theoretical models in her counselling and she is a certified Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist. She is currently working towards certification in Hakomi Therapy, a psychotherapy method that uses the body to access hidden beliefs that influence our lives and relationships. She is a member of the First Nations & Inuit Health professional registration, the Association of Mormon Counselors & Psychotherapists (AMCAP) and is a member of the Alberta Eating Disorder Network (ADEN). Her areas of specialization are: grief and loss, couple therapy, trauma, depression, domestic violence, self-esteem, life transitions, and personal growth. In addition to providing counselling services for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families, Jocelyn is experienced as a group therapist and is the counsellor for a rigorous outdoor youth adventure program. Jocelyn and her husband live on a farm and have been married for 30 years. Together they have raised 4 children who are now blessing them with brilliant grandchildren. In her spare time she seeks adventure, the outdoors and her loved ones.
Kerbi Brown, B.A., M.Ed. (Counselling Psychology), Registered Psychologist.
Kerbi is a Registered Provisional Psychologist. She graduated with a Master of Education degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Lethbridge in 2007. Since then, she completed her Provisional hours at the Calgary Counselling Centre, working with a diverse population until joining the Lethbridge Family Services team in January 2011. Kerbi co-facilitates groups in the Accountability for Change Project, a mandated treatment program for offenders of domestic violence. In her spare time she enjoys travelling and hanging out with family and friends.
Laura Thiessen, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Laura has been practicing as a Registered Social Worker in school and community settings since graduating with her Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of British Columbia in 2004. Laura joined the LFS team in 2011 upon receiving her Master of Social Work degree from Dalhousie University. Laura enjoys integrating therapeutic approaches in her work with children, youth and adults, employing experiential, play therapy, narrative, humanistic and eastern psychotherapeutic techniques to support clients on their preferred path to healing. Laura loves to be in nature, reading, practicing yoga, taking road trips to the ocean and gardening.
Lisa Lewis, BHSc., MSc., C.P.C.A.
Lisa is a therapist with our Counselling, Outreach & Education Department who has been enjoying the diversity and enlightening moments of her counselling career for the past ten years. Recognizing the complexities and individuality of human beings’ healing process, Lisa’s eclectic approach of humanistic/existential/transpersonal psychology encourages people to realize their true potential along their journey. Since joining the LFS team four years ago, she has continued her training in Expressive Art Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, EMDR, Gestalt and the Integral approach along with other complimentary therapies. Lisa’s experience working in addictions, mental health and trauma with teens, adults, couples and families enhances her appreciation of individual’s struggles and their ability to trust in their own process. She inherently believes people are whole beings who become separate from who they really are; therefore she works with clients to reconnect them to their true Self. Lisa fulfills her personal time with her animals and the company of good friends as well as hiking, running, yoga, traveling, and being creative through art and cooking!!
Paula Palmarchuk, M.Ed. (Counselling Psychology), Registered Psychologist
Paula is a Registered Psychologist and has been in the counselling field for over 9 years. She has been with the Counselling, Outreach & Education Department of Lethbridge Family Services since 2008. Previously, she worked for a non-profit counselling agency in Calgary, before joining Lethbridge Family Services. Paula works with a wide variety of clients; children, adolescents, adults, couples, families & the elderly. Paula is passionate about working with children and their families around issues related to attachment and trauma. She is currently working towards certification as a Theraplay® therapist, a therapy which focuses on building relationships through attachment-based play. She appreciates using a wide variety of approaches including: play therapy strategies, art therapy strategies, narrative therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, solution-focused strategies, music and movement.
Serena Visser, M.S.W., R.S.W. (Clinical Specialization), CT (Certified Thanatologist)
Serena graduated from the University of Calgary with a Master of Social Work degree (clinical specialization) in 2006. She works primarily with adults, including those with disabilities, around many types of issues and concerns. Serena also has a particular interest in companioning those who have experienced loss. She is a Certified Thanatologist (specialist in dying, death and bereavement), as well as a certified EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist. When not at work, Serena can be found at home crafting, baking, and generally creating large messes in the kitchen with her two young children.
Practicum Students will be accepted from the Faculty of Social Work (BSW or MSW), Psychology or other appropriate master’s level programs with a focus on counselling.