I am thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with you through Oak Counselling Services Society website. As the Executive Director, I want to extend a warm welcome and share my deep appreciation for your presence here.
With a Master’s in Counselling and a passion for supporting individuals on their mental health journey, I joined Oak Counselling Services Society in 2022 and have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of counselling and the incredible impact it can have on individuals and communities.
Mental health and counselling are vital aspects of our overall well-being, and it is crucial that we prioritize them. At Oak Counselling Services, we firmly believe in giving back to the community and helping those who are struggling. We aim to be a beacon of hope and support for anyone seeking assistance, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Our mission is to provide accessible mental health services and resources to all individuals in need. Through our website, we strive to create a safe and welcoming space where you can find valuable information, guidance, and support. We are dedicated to supporting the community, and we continuously work towards breaking down barriers to mental health care.
In a world where many individuals face challenges in accessing mental health resources, we are here to bridge the gap. Our goal is to ensure that everyone can receive the support they need, regardless of financial constraints or other limitations. We are committed to making mental health care accessible, inclusive and empowering.
I would also like to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to our incredible team of volunteers. Their unwavering dedication and passion make Oak Counselling Services possible. Their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others is truly inspiring. Together, we are able to extend a helping hand to those in need, fostering hope and resilience within our community.
Oak Counselling Services Society
Kevin has years of experience in the social services sector, most recently as the Manager of Supported Living for a non profit. Working and serving individuals with developmental disabilities, Kevin knows first hand what the power of counselling can do for mental health. With a strong commitment and dedication to serving the community, Kevin believes the power of empathy goes a long way. Kevin is able to leverage his resources, knowledge and connections to advocate for vulnerable individuals in the community.
Oak Counselling has an upward of 10-20 volunteers with a variety of modalities, theoretical orientation, below is a snapshot of some of our volunteers
Daphne Gelbart, MA, RCC is a Registered Clinical Counsellor specializing in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and the Gottman Method. She provides counselling to individuals, couples, and families dealing with personal and relationship challenges. Daphne helps clients overcome stress, anxiety, depression, intense emotions, strained relationships, and a sense of lost purpose. Using the Gottman Method, she offers couples therapy to strengthen bonds, navigate conflicts, and rebuild intimacy, including in the aftermath of infidelity. With a collaborative approach, Daphne supports clients in setting and achieving personal goals by integrating various therapeutic techniques.
Waltraud employs a combination of CBT, role play, mindfulness, and body-mind-emotion focus tailored to each client’s needs. Waltraud’s practice encompasses working with couples, individuals, parents, and the LGBTQIA community. Her diverse background includes collaborating with Native communities, addressing abuse and facilitating community healing. She has also worked with various populations, including assisting injured children, supporting pregnant teenagers, helping individuals with eating disorders, and chronic pain.
Neha, a Registered Professional Counsellor, draws from her extensive experience in people management, personal journey with mental health, and counselling education to prioritize the human journey. She actively advocates for mental health awareness and aims to address and eliminate common struggles. Neha’s approach is rooted in compassion, guiding clients to make informed decisions and develop healthy coping skills. She takes a holistic view, emphasizing clients’ strengths rather than weaknesses, and incorporates various counselling methodologies such as CBT, mindfulness, solution-focused therapy, trauma-informed practices, and collaborative problem solving.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rosemarie was inspired to join Oak Counselling Services Society. Oak’s focus, helping enable people to lead fuller, enriched lives by providing professional, low-cost counselling, is a way for her to connect and reach out to the community. In addition to being a member of Oak’s board, Rosie is involved in other community groups and organizations. Rosemarie is a retired lawyer with the federal government.
Charlize is a Chartered Professional Accountant of BC and a Chartered Accountant in Singapore. She has over 12 years of experience in audit, financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, and financial planning and analysis in both Singapore and Canada, private and public sectors. She is currently working with the BC Provincial Government. Charlize is passionate about mental health and its importance in today’s world. She believes that accessibility to mental health helps to prevent other social, economic and physical health issues. As the treasurer, Charlize provides financial oversight and governance for Oak, and presents accurate and timely financials to the board.
MEMBER AT LARGE
Kathy Guild has been a lifelong educator working in the public school system of BC. She has been an advocate for students with disability, Indigenous students, students who are New Canadians, and students with behavioural and Mental Health concerns throughout her career. Counselling services have always been an important part of supporting students and families and she is happy to be able to support Oak Counselling Services Society as a board member. She is a retired School District Administrator and has been a board member for 2 years since March 2021.
MEMBER AT LARGE
Rainer has been a board member of Oak since 2014, using his background in finance and accounting to serve as the previous Treasurer and now as a Member at Large. Rainer grew up locally and is proud to be part of Oak’s mandate to provide affordable counselling services to his community.
Dorothy Watts is a retired educator. While working as a school counsellor, she became aware of the scarcity of accessible counselling resources. As a result of her experiences, Dorothy is pleased to support Oak’s central goal which is to provide professional, affordable counselling services.
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