Supervisor

Melinda Freitas

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My passion for counseling grew from personal experiences 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 in Psychology from the University of Ottawa and hold a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University, obtained in 2009. I enjoy continuously building on my education and skills through various learning opportunities. As a member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors, I organize and host a clinician peer-support group and regularly engage in yoga, meditation, and cycling for self-care.

My clinical experience, coupled with over thirty years of work experience, has provided me with a solid foundation to work with clients and offer supervision to clinical learners. I’ve supported people in a wide array of settings and programs. This includes hospitals where I provided support to pediatric patients and their families, safe-house/second-stage and third-stage transition homes supporting survivors of domestic violence, and university counseling centers where I offered counselling support to both undergrad and graduate populations, along with supervisory oversight of the counseling centers.

Additionally, my experience extends to Indigenous health organizations, including time spent in the North facilitating and learning in collaboration with Health Canada. I have been a course instructor for clinical counseling 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 supported families impacted by suicide or sudden death. I have provided complex support to groups through critical incident and stress management programs and delivered psychological first aid through BC’s disaster psychosocial program. Furthermore, I have supervised large networks of clinicians (staff and contractors) in an EFAP program.


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.

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.
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