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Our Team

AMBER MICHELE SHAY

Amber Michele Shay

Registered Social Worker (she/her)

I have a true passion for helping people live their best lives. In my 35+ years of professional practice I have noticed stress levels peak and reduce our capacity for resilience, which is the ability to bounce back and rise above day to day challenges. I believe that mental health support is for everyone and I am that trusted guide to co-create the best path forward with you.

I am a Registered Social Worker with a Master’s Degree. Prior to pursuing my Masters degree, I worked in-patient psychiatry as a Registered Psychiatric nurse for 10 years. Two years of post graduate training through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy have greatly enhanced my skill set.

I work with individuals, couples, and families of all ages (5+).

Mental health symptoms and treatment which includes but is not limited to

  • Depression, anxiety, and/or
    suicidal ideation
  • Grief and loss
  • Couples / Marital Work
  • Family Therapy
  • Effective Co-Parenting
  • Substance Misuse or
  • Abuse / Addictions
  • Trauma
  • Stress Management
  • Anger Management
  • Domestic Violence Prevention

It may be helpful for potential clients to know some personal things about myself.

 

I have managed several life cycle experiences, including a long term marriage, a partner with addictions, child birth and child illness, and grief in the loss of both parents. What has helped me navigate these challenges are a positive mindset best described as my belief in the body-mind-spirit connection. I have benefited from personal counselling when needed. I also have a passion for lifelong learning, which has included energy based healing and meditation. I refer to my three grandchildren as my natural antidepressants.

I am currently available Tuesday 9am-3pm, Wednesday 3:30-8pm and every second Saturday 1-5pm to accommodate a variety of needs / schedules.

Fees for counselling are $220 for a 50 minute session or $275 for 75 minute sessions.

 

I offer a free 15 minute phone or virtual consultation for us to determine if we are a good fit.

Anna

Anna Robertshaw

Registered Social Worker (she/her)

I believe therapy is built on trust, safety, and mutual respect, and so I bring my real self to my relationship with clients in order to meet and discover the ‘self’ you want to become. Together, we will explore the physical, emotional, and environmental factors creating friction in your life, and work towards sustainable and meaningful change. Life is full of challenges, and I will accompany you in learning to build resilience in the face of those challenges, without becoming overwhelmed.

I hold a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work and am a registered Social Worker. I have additional training in the areas of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy), emotion-focused family therapy, Nurturing Parenting programming, and trauma therapy.

I work with school aged children (6-12) and adults. I am a member of the Trans Affirming Network. 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression and suicidal ideation
  • Boundaries/communication
  • Emotional regulation and anger management
  • Family/Relationship concerns, including communication, boundaries, and understanding family roles and dynamics
  • Grief and loss, including loss of a loved one, relationship or career; prenatal or infant loss; and ambiguous or anticipatory grief 
  • Interpersonal conflict, including in the family or workplace
  • Life transitions, including the ebbs and flows of marriages, partnerships and friendships; parenthood and empty nesting; entering or leaving the workforce; moving; and, living with chronic illness or changes in abilities   
  • Parenting/Co-parenting concerns, such as communication, building empathy and behavioural strategies
  • Self-compassion and self-esteem/confidence in the context of identity, self-exploration, relationship building, and finding meaning in life
  • Sleep concerns, including insomnia, sleep hygiene, and addressing dreams and nightmares
  • Stress Management and self-care
  • Impacts of trauma, including those stemming from childhood and developmental experiences, PTSD, and sexual and intimate partner violence 
  • People pleasing
  • Burnout

Like you, my own experiences—such as the chronic illness of a loved one, grief around the loss of my mother, the nuances of navigating the ups and downs of marriage, raising a young family, and exploring my own individuality and purpose – have fundamentally shaped who I am and how I see the world. I’m a work in progress. With every changing phase of life, I learn new things about myself – some of which I welcome, and others, not so much. Along the way, I’ve found drawing on the unique perspectives of others (both personal and professional) has brought depth to my story in meaningful and often unexpected ways

I am currently available Monday’s 3:30 – 9pm, and Saturdays 9 am – 1pm

Fees for counselling are $200 per hour. A therapy hour is considered 50 minutes. I am available for a free 15 minute meet and greet to determine if we are a good fit. Please see our fees section for more details.

DEVANY BENIS

Devany Benis

Registered Psychologist (she/her) - On parental leave until 2025

Many of the folks I see are looking for a safe place where they can explore, learn, heal, and grow with someone they trust. It is my goal to provide a supportive and empowering environment where you can utilize your internal strengths and resourcefulness to create meaningful change. Life can be difficult and overwhelming at times, and often we feel alone in our suffering. I believe healing happens in relationship, and together, we will use mindful awareness and curiosity to explore and understand your emotions, thoughts, behaviours, and body.

I have completed a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology, with additional training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Trauma Sensitive Yoga.

I work with individuals ages 16 and older across Alberta and Nunavut and have a particular interest in working with young adults. I am also a registered provider with Medavie Blue Cross/Veterans Affairs, Breaking Free Foundation, The Alberta Medical Association Physician and Family Support Program, and the Trans Affirming Network.

• Anxiety, including general anxiety and panic disorders

• Stress management and self-care

• Depression and suicidal ideation

• Trauma

• Emotion regulation

• Life transitions, including relationship changes, entry/exit from work and school, becoming ill, becoming a parent

• Managing and adapting to significant health concerns

• Post-secondary related concerns, including stress, procrastination, and burnout

• Substance misuse, including personal substance use or navigating the impact of a loved one’s substance use

• Stress and burnout

Like you, my own experiences—such as the chronic illness of a loved one, grief around the loss of my mother, the nuances of navigating the ups and downs of marriage, raising a young family, and exploring my own individuality and purpose – have fundamentally shaped who I am and how I see the world. I’m a work in progress. With every changing phase of life, I learn new things about myself – some of which I welcome, and others, not so much. Along the way, I’ve found drawing on the unique perspectives of others (both personal and professional) has brought depth to my story in meaningful and often unexpected ways.

I am available Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and every other Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Fees for counselling are $200 per hour. A therapy hour is considered 50 minutes. I am available for a free 15-minute virtual meet and greet to determine if we’re a good fit. Please see our fees section for more details.

Monika | Gallery

Monika Pakstas

Registered Social Worker (she/her)

If you are struggling to cope with issues surrounding parenthood, the impacts of trauma, or your relationship with yourself or others, you are not alone. I can provide a space to explore some of the underlying reasons that might be contributing to your current feelings of distress. We can work to identify behaviours and beliefs that may not be serving you, and increase your skill set for coping with difficult feelings and thoughts. No matter your age or how long you have been experiencing these concerns, I believe there is the opportunity for growth and learning together.

I have a Master of Social Work degree and am a Registered Social Worker in Alberta. I have completed specialized training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Narrative Therapy. I have also completed training in Perinatal Mental Health, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I have also completed training in mindfulness. I receive specialized supervision around supporting clients in healing from trauma.

Individuals 16 and above, including adults in their senior years. I am also a registered provider for Breaking Free Foundation and the Trans Affirming Network.
  • Family & Early Parenthood:
    • Postpartum mental health (anxiety, depression) and supporting well-being
    • Preparing to welcome a new child into your family
    • Decision making around parenthood
    • Navigating reproductive issues such as infertility or pregnancy loss
    • Navigating pregnancy and labour
    • Support with impacts of personal trauma history
    • Healing emotionally from difficult birth experiences
    • Fostering healthy social and intimate relationships
  • Healing from Trauma:
    • Navigating life and relationships after interpersonal violence/abuse
    • Healing from sexual violence/abuse experiences
    • Emotion regulation
  • Disordered eating (as medically stable)
  • Mild to moderate anxiety
  • Setting boundaries
  • Perfectionism
  • Stress management
  • Aging, navigating retirement, and mental health in the elder years

While I do not think it is imperative that a counsellor has been through similar experiences to their clients in order to support them, I do think that having shared lived experiences can sometimes provide a different level of understanding between therapist and client. Some of the things that prospective clients may find it useful to know about me are that I am the parent of a young child and have also experienced a pregnancy loss. I consider myself lucky to be in a multi-cultural family and am passionate about practicing therapy from an anti-racist and anti-oppressive lens. I am also in recovery from an eating disorder. For each of these areas, I am able draw upon personal as well as academic knowledge when supporting clients who are going through similar circumstances.

I am currently available on Mondays from 4:30-6:30 pm and Tuesdays from 4:30-7:30 pm. I may have some flexibility for consults or virtual sessions at different times; please reach out if you can’t find a time that works for you.

I am currently available for a free 15-minute telephone consultation to connect and find out if we would be a good fit for working together. My fees are $200 per 50-minute session. I have a sliding scale that is available upon request. In this case we can have a conversation about your financial needs. I am available for in-person or virtual sessions.

Natasha Thibodeau

Natasha Thibodeau

Registered Social Worker

I believe in the power of connection to heal, and I'm passionate about collaborating with people like you - to help you feel seen, uncover the reasons for your struggles, and help you feel better. I believe we all have existing strengths and courage within us, and I want to help you use and build upon those within yourself to live your best life possible. I hope to help you feel more in control of your life and find more happiness, confidence, and fulfillment.

I have a Master of Social Work with a clinical specialization. I have extensive training related to trauma, attachment, and supporting children and youth with concerns such as anxiety, anger and aggression, self-esteem, attachment/caregiver disruptions, and neurodivergence. I have training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), solution-focused therapy, play-based therapy, and treatment of depression and anxiety. I am committed to ongoing education related to trauma treatment and anti-oppressive practice.

I work with adults and children and youth age 7+. I work with parents and caregivers of children of all ages. I am a registered provider with the Trans Affirming Network and The Breaking Free Foundation.

  • Childhood trauma
  • Attachment concerns
  • Child behaviour, social, and school concerns
  • Parent coaching and support, including co-parenting, foster/kinship caregiving, and adoption
  • Life and family transitions
  • Anxiety
  • Depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts
  • Burnout
  • Boundaries
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-care
  • Neurodivergence

I have experienced and worked through my own trauma, relationship difficulties, anxiety, grief, and life transitions including marriage, parenthood, and career changes. I am a work in progress, and I engage in ongoing mental health practices, including seeing my own therapist as needed.

Wednesdays: 9am-3pm Fridays: 9am-5pm Most Saturdays: 9am-1pm

My fees are $200/50-minute counselling session. I also offer a free 15-minute phone or virtual consultation to determine if we are a good fit.

Nicole_Portrait_004 (1)

Nicole Caines

Regisatered Psychologist (she/her)

I help people like you understand the reasons for your suffering and create a roadmap for a more content and fulfilling life. I believe that a large part of the stigma surrounding mental health comes from a belief that mental health struggles and mental illness are a result of some sort of inherent flaw or inadequacy. I approach my work from the perspective that there is a logical reason (often many) for your struggle. There is a piece of the puzzle that makes your struggle (or your symptoms) make sense. If we can figure out what this is, we have a roadmap for moving forward.

I have a Masters of Counselling degree and am registered as a Psychologist in Alberta. I have training in cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, trauma therapy,  EMDR therapy (including attachment based EMDR and advanced training), ego state therapy, eating disorder therapy, mindfulness based therapy, and narrative therapy. I am committed to furthering my training on a regular basis.

Teens 13+ and adults. The exception is eating disorders. Because family work is so important in the treatment of EDs in teens, and I am not a family therapist, I work with teens with EDs only in exceptional circumstances. I work with people of all religions, races, ethnicities, abilities, and gender and sexual identities and aim to be an ally to the oppressed. I am a registered provider with the Recovery Care Collective, Breaking Free Foundation, and the Trans Affirming Network. 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic illness management
  • Eating disorders (for those that are medically stabilized) and body image-related concerns; HAES-aligned
  • Grief and loss, including anticipatory and ambiguous grief related to chronic and terminal illness or miscarriage
  • Trauma and attachment-related concerns, including abuse, PTSD, vicarious trauma, and codependency
  • Perfectionism and people-pleasing behaviours
  • Low self-esteem
  • Life transitions, including entry into or out of the workforce; the end of a relationship, marriage, divorce and separation; becoming a parent by birth or adoption (or deciding not to); adjusting to chronic illness; exit from sport; transitioning out of high school; or, career change
  • Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue
  • Emotional regulation

You might notice that you fit into several of these categories, and this is not a coincidence. There is significant overlap between my areas of practice. For example, the experience of grief can involve trauma and life transitions often involve anxiety.

I live with chronic illness and am in recovery from an eating disorder. I have also experienced grief, most notably related to the death of my mother and to my illness. I have lived through the trauma that often accompanies these lived experiences and have benefited from my own EMDR therapy. Finally, I was a competitive athlete (rhythmic gymnastics and dance) into adulthood so have a special interest in working with athletes, particularly in aesthetic-based sports.

I see clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with evening appointments available on Tuesdays. The nature of therapy is that it is often intense, emotional, and concentrated. It is important for me to be fully attuned with and present for each client that I see. I work with my mind, my heart, and my body all at once to help my clients and it is hard (but very rewarding) work. In order to ensure I am maintaining effectiveness in my work, I limit the number of clients that I see each week. I have learned that this is the most effective and sustainable way for me to be of service to my clients.

Fees for counselling are $225 per hour. A therapy hour is considered 50 minutes. Please see our fees section for more information.