Northern Aurora Counselling Services, M.Ed., PhD., CPT

Northern Aurora Counselling Services View Specialties

  • Registered Psychologist, Certified Child Play Therapist
  • 4807-52 Street, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, X1A 214
  • Additional Locations:
      See additional office location: Leduc, Alberta, T9E 0R6
      102, 5904-50 Street
      Leduc, Alberta, Alberta, T9E 0R6
  • Phone: 780-980-3747
  • Session Fees: Our fees for therapy are the following: Individual/Couple/Family $180.00, Counselling Student: Free. We provide a sliding fee scale for clients without coverage and also have contracts with various Employee Assistance Programs.
  • www.auroracounsellingservices.com
  • This member is also available for E-counseling.
  • E-counseling methods: Email, Phone, IM, Webcam

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Free 30 Minute Initial Consultation


Welcome to Northern Aurora Counselling Services

“A Path Towards Healing”

Aspen Gowers, M.Ed., Registered Psychologist, CPT (Certified Play Therapist)

Director of Northern Aurora Counselling Services


 

I completed my Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of Alberta in 2007, and have also completed additional training in Play Therapy and Sandplay Therapy with the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy and with the Canadian Association for Sandplay Therapy. I am a Certified Play Therapist and specialize in Play Therapy with preschool and school-aged children, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy with adolescents and adults, and Jungian Sandplay Therapy.

I consider myself a depth psychologist. Meaning, I work collaboratively with my clients to address the deeper reasons for their concerns. Typically, people enter therapy presenting with “symptoms.” These “symptoms” usually have a deeper rooted cause, which is what I focus on addressing in the therapy to help establish long-term change for my clients. I also believe there is an integral connection between our mind and our body. In my therapeutic work, I work holistically with my clients to help them establish the internal resources required to live a healthy and balanced life.

I believe in working collaboratively with my clients to empower them and also to help them develop new awarenesses based on their inner strengths and wisdom. I believe people possess an inner potential for growth and healing and during the therapeutic process I help my clients access this within themselves.

When working with children, I expect the caregivers to have an active involvement in the therapeutic process. Initially, I meet with the caregiver(s) involved before beginning my therapeutic work with the child. Additionally, through out the therapy I encourage the caregivers to remain involved, as I see them as an integral part of the therapeutic process. I facilitate regular "parent/caregiver" sessions throughout the therapy and even, at times, have the caregiver(s) involved directly in the therapy sessions with the child, depending on the needs of the child and the family. Overall, this helps to establish a positive change in the family system as well as in the parent-child relationship.
 
Specializations

  • Jungian Sandplay Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Attachment Parenting
  • Attachment-based Therapy (Theraplay)
  • Filial Play Therapy (Parent-Child Relationship Therapy)
  • Parent-Teen Conflict
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Grief and Loss
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Behavioural concerns/anger
  • Identity Issues
  • Relationship Issues

Article Featuring My Therapeutic Approach

Aspen Gowers
Phone: 780-980-3747 ext.222
E-mail: aspen@auroracounsellingservices.com

Chi Q. Le, M.A. (Counselling Psych.), CCC(Canadian Certified Counsellor)


 

Psychotherapist/Canadian Certified Counsellor

“Serving your potential for inner understanding and personal growth”

I have a bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Alberta and completed my Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle. I am a licensed member in good standing with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). As a Canadian Certified Counsellor I am committed to adhering to the CCPA Code of Ethics, to ongoing professional development/continuing education, and to provide high standards of professional service in accordance with the CCPA Standards of Practice for Counsellors.

Master's Thesis: The Lived Experience of Solitude as an Expression of Personal Growth and Inner Understanding

Philosophy of Counselling


I believe that the goal of therapy is to deepen self-awareness and self-understanding by helping clients to cultivate their inner drive towards personal growth. As a psychotherapist I have come to appreciate that the healing process takes time and that the possibility for change unfolds, as the other would have it.

I pride myself in helping my clients come to that “moment” of self-awareness wherein they can take control of their lives, as they move towards achieving a sense of individual wholeness.

Clinical Practice
I work primarily from a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic framework, meaning, my focus is on the unconscious processes that impact an individual's life. Significant to the psychotherapeutic process is helping clients to engage in honest self-reflection and self-examination. The journey of therapy may originate as a search for an end to emotional suffering, but it is also one that may continue to develop towards a sense of self-renewal in one's personal and social life. My other areas of interests also include existential psychotherapy and Buddhist psychology.

I work primarily with individuals (adolescents, adults, seniors), couples/families, and my areas of clinical experience and interests include (but not limited to):

• Anxiety/depression
• Grief & loss
• Addictions
• Relationship issues
• Discovering meaning in life
• Identity issues
• Life transitions
• Creativity and blocks to creativity
• Personality disorders
• Attachment issues
• Mindfulness
• Spirituality
• Tourette’s Syndrome
• Autism spectrum Disorders
• Parent-teen conflict
• Special needs (children and adolescents)
• Stress management.

As an adjunct to traditional ‘talk therapy’, I occasionally use expressive arts, as a therapeutic tool, with clients who may find it initially difficult to express or verbalize their thoughts/feelings. Expressive arts therapy can be a very effective and non-threatening way of facilitating and enhancing clients’ ability to share and talk about their subjective experiences.

I also have over 10 years of experience working with special needs children/youth/young adults. The majority of this experience has been with Alberta AdaptAbilities Association where I focused on using expressive arts as a facilitative tool for reaching individuals who are non-verbal, emotionally withdrawn, or developmentally delayed.



Erika Kennedy, M.C., Registered Provisional Psychologist

Aspen GowersI received my Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Lethbridge. I received my earlier post-secondary education in psychology in Ontario. I have a background in working with children, adolescents and their families in the hospital-clinic setting as well as the school system. 
 
Therapeutic Approach
 
I believe that therapy is a safe space for individuals to be heard and explore their strengths while working to achieve positive change and reach their full potential. I see my role as a guide in the therapeutic process to assist clients on the journey of self-discovery.
 
I believe all clients come to therapy with their own unique perspectives, values, beliefs, and coping abilities. I use these experiences as well as current research in the field to draw from approaches that best match each client’s needs, strengths and goals for therapy. My therapeutic approaches include; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution-focused Therapy, Person-centered techniques, Psychoeducation, and Play Therapy.
 
I offer therapy to children, adolescents, adults and families who wish to make changes in their life and are seeking treatment related to:
 
Childhood behaviour issues (ie. ADHD)
Parent-adolescent conflict
Relationship issues (ie. Separation, divorce, attachment)
Grief and loss
Anger management
Work related issues – stress management
Life transitions

Erika Kennedy
Phone: 780-980-3747 ext.109
E-mail: erika@auroracounsellingservices.com


 

Kimberley Sesink, M.Sc., Registered Provisional Psychologist

Aspen GowersI graduated from Loma Linda University in the summer of 2012 with a Masters of Science degree in Marital and Family Therapy.
 
My training background focused on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and I have continued to use this as my framework for therapy. I believe that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors interact with one another to create our perception of the situations we experience. Exploring our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to discover problematic or unhelpful patterns can help to change the pathway we are on to set us in a preferred direction.
 
Some issues I enjoy working with are:

Marriage
   -infidelity
   -communication
   -separation/divorce
   -premarital

Family
   -parenting
   -attachment
   -communication

Individuals
   -depression
   -anxiety
   -abuse
   -drug/alcohol abuse

Kim Sesink
Phone: 780-980-3747 ext.104
E-mail: kim@auroracounsellingservices.com 


  

Jocelyn Nand, M.A., Registered Provisional Psychologist

Aspen Gowers

I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from The King’s University College in 2012 and I completed my Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Trinity Western University in 2014. I am a provisional psychologist in good standing with the CPA. I have received training in Sand Tray therapy, level I training in pivotal response therapy, trauma focused CBT and suicide assessment/prevention.

I primarily work with children and adolescents however; I also work with adults individually.

It is my belief that therapy is both a dialogue and collaborative relationship between the therapist and their clients. I aim to establish a safe, trusting and encouraging environment for my clients. However, I also strive towards building resiliency, raising self awareness and connecting my clients to a greater sense of community. My therapeutic approach is integrative and largely stems from existential analysis, attachment theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, emotion focused therapy, mindfulness based practices, systemic and relational-cultural frameworks. I also integrate play and sand tray therapy in my sessions. Many of my clients have often asked deep existential questions that are similar to the four existential fundamental motivations (this information was obtained from www.exitential –analysis.org ):

I exist-but can I be as a whole person? Do I have the necessary space, protection and support? We experience these when we feel accepted; which supports us in having an accepting attitude towards ourselves.

I am alive- do I like this? Do I experience fulfillment, affection, or an appreciation of values?

I am myself- but do I feel free to be myself?

This motivation examines whether there are experiences of justice, appreciation, esteem, respect, and self worth. I am here- for what purpose? This motivation examines whether the present is part of a meaningful whole. Moreover, it asks what do you live for? We are not isolated beings and our relationships strongly influence how we develop and how we feel about ourselves.

Areas of Interest:

Self Esteem
Bullying
Self Harm
Bereavement
Grief and Loss
Anxiety
Trauma
Attachment Issues
Divorce and Separation
Emotional Regulation

Hobbies: It is my belief that there are certain things in life that take energy away from us and other things that bring energy to us. My energy is restored by a variety of different activities. In my spare time I enjoy walking and playing with my dogs. I also enjoy baking and trying new dishes (especially those from other cultures). Another few favourites are dancing and travelling to new and foreign destinations.

Jocelyn Nand
Phone: 780-980-3747 ext.106
E-mail: jocelyn@auroracounsellingservices.com


 

Tania Johnson, M.C., Registered Psychologist


Virtual Therapist

I received a Masters of Counselling degree from City University of Seattle. In 2006-2007, I was the recipient of an International Internship at “Cancer Treatment Centers of America” where I provided ongoing support for individuals diagnosed with advances stages of cancer. In addition, I facilitated regular support groups for families coping with grief and loss. Cancer Treatment Centers of America embraces a holistic model of healing. This experience ingrained within me the vital connection between the mind and the body. In addition, I grew up in South Africa and have had the opportunity to travel extensively, including living and working in Asia for several years. I have a deep respect for cultural diversity.
 
During my Master’s degree, for four years I worked on both the front lines, and as a counsellor, with foster and adoptive families who face a range of emotional, behavioral and cognitive challenges. My degree internship focused on working with children, and I have recently completed advanced training in Play Therapy. My Capstone project for my Masters was on “The Effects of Parental Bereavement in Childhood.” During this time, I also worked as a counsellor in a sex addiction clinic and this continues to be an area in which I offer therapeutic guidance.
 
In addition, I have completed specialized/additional training in Play Therapy, ADHD, FASD, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Sex addiction Therapy, Attachment Theory, Bereavement Therapy and Developmental Trauma.
 
Since completing my degree I have worked in a private practice setting. My theoretical orientation is based in attachment theory. I believe that early relationships profoundly impact our development and behaviour in life. Ultimately, my goal with all of my clients lies in being able to create a safe relationship in which dreams and hopes have the potential to be actualized.
 
I am currently adapting my practice to virtual (online) counselling. Counselling takes place in the form of video counselling, phone counselling or a digital diary (see virtual Aurora for more information: http://www.auroracounsellingservices.com/virtual_counselling.html). Virtual counselling offers the advantage of convenience, comfort and privacy. Clients are offered a free consultation to meet with me, work out any technological kinks and to decide if virtual counselling is a fit.

Areas of specialization include:

Parent-child relationship training
Pre-marital counselling
Bereavement
Grief
Family illness
Attachment issues
Foster/ Adoptive family issues
Anxiety/ Depression
Special needs
Transitions

Amber Gear, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist


 
 
Education and Experience

I completed my undergraduate psychology (2000), Master of Education (2002), and Doctor of Philosophy (2007) degrees at the University of Alberta. Both graduate degrees were done in the Department of Educational Psychology and were specialized in the Learning, Development, and Assessment stream. Since completing my Ph.D., I have taught various psychology-related courses both at the undergraduate and graduate level at the University of Alberta, City University, and Taylor University. I became a registered psychologist in 2006.

For the past 11 years, a large amount of my time has been spent providing psychological assessment services to a charter high school in downtown Edmonton. The students are predominantly from a First Nation, Metis, or Inuit cultural backgrounds, have histories of extreme trauma, are often considered ‘high-risk’, and have experienced major interruptions in their formal learning. Working with these youth is incredibly rewarding, and I am part of student services team that provides various non-traditional therapies to support their mental health as they reintegrate into a learning environment.

In addition to working with high-risk youth, I have also provided private and contracted assessment services in various settings throughout Alberta. This experience has led to extensive travel to many small communities and reserves throughout Alberta, as well as some travel to the Northwest Territories. I have worked on contracts in several different school divisions throughout Alberta, and I have extensive experience doing assessments of both children and adults.

For the past year, I have volunteered for a local non-profit animal rescue fostering homeless animals. This led to an interest in animal-assisted therapy. My psychology student and I raised the necessary funds for an animal-assisted therapy program that was recently implemented at our charter school with help from CHIMO, an innovative not-for-profit organization that assists in the development, planning, and implementation of animal-assisted therapy at a wide variety of facilities.

Another area I am interested in is neuropsychology. I applied for and was accepted into the Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Certificate program at Fielding Graduate University in New York City. This program will allow me to specialize in neuropsychology so that I gain a strong skill set in neuropsychological assessment and intervention. Although I have not yet set a date that I will start this program, I am excited to do so.

Assessment of Children and Adolescents
Throughout my graduate training and beyond, I have specialized in assessment. Many children face academic, emotional, and behavioral challenges in school. Assessment is crucial to identifying and addressing these challenges, and can shed light on many issues, such as your child’s:

Cognitive ability: giftedness, delays, strengths, weaknesses
Learning capacity: achievement levels, delays, disabilities
Emotional functioning: depression, anxiety, social concerns
Behavior: acting-out, anger, inattention, hyperactivity


Throughout this process, consultation and collaboration with students, parents, teachers, and other service providers is essential, as is effective report-writing and communication of assessment results. Recommendations are provided that are practical and specific, and are designed to help guide decisions, access resources, and provide suggestions about the next steps to take.

I have extensive experience creating Individualized Program Plans, which are sometimes required to address a child’s learning needs and to optimize their learning potential. As such, I frequently provide consultation to parents and teachers throughout this process.

Assessment of Adults
Assessment is also highly beneficial to adults, as many people have questions regarding their levels of functioning. You may be interested in your cognitive ability, your academic potential, or your emotional health. You may wonder why you are struggling in university or college, whether you are in the right job, or whether you qualify for certain government or community programs. Assessment can help you answer these questions and many more.

I welcome any and all assessment-related questions and I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how the assessment process works.


Transitions
 

Morgan Bissegger, B.A., Masters Student in Counselling Psychology

Aspen GowersI am currently a third year masters of counselling psychology student at City University of Seattle. For the past 2 years I have worked for Edmonton Public Schools supporting children with diverse needs to find success in the classroom. I am currently providing community support to children with complex needs, focusing on the development of social skills. I am dedicated to working with children and their families to overcome any challenges that they may face.

Theoretical Approach

I take an attachment-based approach to counselling. I believe our relationships in early childhood significantly affect the process of development. The capacity for change exists within every person, but is affected by both circumstance and experience. Through the creation of collaborative, positive and genuine relationships the potential for change and growth can be reached.

Areas of Interest

My primary area of interest is working with collaboratively with children and youth who have experienced significant adversity. I am interested in obtaining certification in the neurosequential model of therapeutics and am informed on interventions based within this model.

Specific Areas of Interest

Child-Centered Play Therapy
Sandplay Therapy
Art Therapy
Trauma
Behavioural Issues
Attachment Issues
Divorce/Separation
Transitions
Anxiety/Depression

As I am a student counsellor, I will be providing counselling services under the supervision of Aspen Gowers and City University of Seattle.


 
Leslie Pearson, M.C., Registered Provisional Psychologist

Aspen GowersI completed my Bachelor of Education in 2006 through the University of Alberta and my Masters in Counselling through Athabasca University in June of 2014. Prior to completing my Masters I was a junior high teacher and will always have a special place in my heart for teenagers. I have additional training in suicide assessment and prevention. I am currently pursuing training in play therapy.
 
I believe that therapy is a journey that I am honored to take part in with my clients. Through the development of a safe and supportive relationship between a client and myself we can walk together on that journey, neither one of us getting too far ahead or falling behind. These beliefs emphasize my client-centered approach to therapy, which also integrates attachment theory, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness-based approaches. I hope that through the therapeutic journey clients can access their inner strengths and develop new strategies to face concerns in their daily lives. I enjoy working with all age groups, families, and couples. I also consider myself an LGBTQ* ally.
 
I can provide support for variety of concerns, including:
Adolescent issues
Anxiety and depression
Attachment issues
Grief and loss
Parent-adolescent conflict
Parenting
Self-esteem
Self-harm
Stress management
Trauma
 
About me:
My family is the most important thing to me and I cherish the daily interactions with my husband and daughter. I feel the greatest sense of rejuvenation when I am in nature and try to spend as much time as possible outdoors



Northern Aurora Counselling Services Reaches

Leduc AB