Melinda Freitas

My passion for counselling grew from personal experience with grief, loss and trauma and completing University later in life has fueled my drive to fully enable and empower others.  I graduated in 2005 with a BA Hons Psychology from the University of Ottawa, and hold a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University (2009). I enjoy continuously building on my education and skills with various learning opportunities.  I’m a member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, organize & host a clinician peer-support group and connect to yoga, meditation and cycling regularly for self-care.  

My clinical experience and over thirty years of work experience have provided me with a sound foundation to work with clients and provide supervision to clinical learners.  I’ve supported people in a wide variety of settings and programs:

  • hospitals providing support to pediatric patients and their families,
  • safe-house/second-stage and third-stage transition homes supporting survivors of domestic violence,
  • university counselling centres providing counselling support to both undergrad and graduate populations, as well as supervisory oversight of the counselling centres.
  • Indigenous health organizations with time spent in the North providing facilitation and learning in collaboration with Health Canada,
  • course instructor for clinical counselling to adult learners,
  • facilitated grief/loss support groups in non-profit environments, 
  • worked with police to provide victim services support to victims of trauma and assault, and support families impacted by suicide or sudden death,
  • provided complex support to groups through critical incident and stress management programs,
  • delivered psychological first aid through BC’s disaster psychosocial program,  
  • supervised large networks of clinicians (staff and contractors) in an EFAP program.

Specialization

My areas of specialization include navigating challenging life changes (divorce, grief/loss, change of career), expertise in chronic anxiety/depression, communication skill development in addressing family conflict or to improve interpersonal relationships, stress management for anxiety, panic disorder and burnout prevention/treatment, assessment of self-limiting behaviours that prevent growth & positive change, and stabilization/safety planning for survivors of domestic violence.

Approach

I approach both my work and personal life from a holistic, whole-system methodology. I acknowledge the importance of backgrounds, personality, lived experiences, interests, strengths, family dynamics, work/career, spiritual and existential issues in one’s journey. I truly enjoy walking alongside clients in their work to create more harmony and balance in their lives. Rooted in being client-focused and solution-oriented, I draw from evidence-based approaches such as Mindfulness-CBT, DBT, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Family Systems, Solution-Focused/Brief Therapy and Holistic Therapy.

About

Melinda

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