I believe burnout can serve as a purposeful rest needed to re-embody and reclaim our spirit and that anxiety can be harnessed to provide wisdom and a roadmap to contentment. With this philosophical approach, I facilitate investigative journeys into the felt experiences of my clients. Every person has a time in their life when they feel distanced from their best selves or their life purpose. I help clients reconnect with their wellbeing and feel empowered and emboldened by possibility. Hi! I’m Ellen and I specialize in working with professionals, lawyers, and law students to alleviate depressed mood, relieve anxiety, revive from burnout, explore career options, or assist with career transition.
Prior to completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology, I worked in the legal profession for eight years. I earned a Juris Doctor, articled at a national firm, and then worked as a research consultant in the field of Aboriginal rights litigation.
I love my current career as a counsellor! It’s incredibly rewarding, challenging, and never boring. When I was contemplating my career transition from law, I went to a career counsellor who did a great job of honing in on my interest in helping people, but the practical aspects of a career transition (such as the financial impact and future job opportunities) were never covered, neither was exploring a broader spectrum of what my aptitudes may encompass. These, I know now, are incredibly important avenues to consider and I have many tools for clients to evaluate them.
In addition to my private practice, I currently work with JD and LLM students at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, in my capacity as an embedded mental health counsellor and career advisor. Previously, I held positions at Vancouver Coastal Health, within several of their public health programs. As part of Vancouver Adult Mental Health Intake, I routinely screened young adults and adults for suicide risk, depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, and addictions, and treated these clients within an interdisciplinary treatment team of psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers. I’ve worked at the intersection of mental health and law, at Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court coordinating the care of clients engaged in the criminal justice system and affected by substance use, poverty, and trauma. Through my past employment at Sheway, I’ve supported women on the downtown east side who were pregnant or parenting and whose lives were affected by current or past substance use, sex work, or the continued inter-generational trauma of residential schools.
While completing my graduate degree in counselling, I administered psychometric assessments related to career interests, intellectual aptitudes, and personality preferences to clients who survived traumatic injuries for use in their personal litigation. My clinical counselling practicum was completed at The Adler Centre, a clinic specializing in providing therapeutic services to low income clients.
As an adjunct instructor at the Adler University, I creatively designed and delivered graduate course instruction in career counselling and assessment, counselling theories, and counselling skills. I aim to foster a climate of inclusivity and curiosity in the classrooms while passionately delivering the material. Here is what some of the students had to say about my teaching:
“Material was presented in such a holistic, interesting way – Loved it! Great Teacher!”
“Ellen is very personable and passionate about the subject matter. Easy to understand and learn from Ellen. She is helpful and answers all inquiries in depth – in class and outside of class.”
“Learning about careers was very relevant and I can see how useful the subject matter will be in my future practice.”
“Professor was clearly passionate about the course and about teaching. She was also supportive, encouraging and inclusive in her approach.”
“She is organized, always has a teaching plan, and is supportive.”
“Great enthusiasm, related well to the students, very professional and friendly at the same time, went through a lot of effort to make the class interesting.”