Faculty Biographies

At JIBC, you learn from engaging, experienced and respected faculty on the front lines of their professions with extensive track records of success. They teach real-world scenarios and take a hands-on approach to helping you accomplish your educational goals.

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Rob Axsen, BA (Hon.), has over 30 years of experience providing counselling, clinical supervision, and training. He has worked with corrections, mental health, addictions and addictions knowledge exchange services, and has specialized experience working with youth. Rob works as an Addictions Clinical Supervisor with Pacific Community Resources Society, has a private practice focusing on training and consultation, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). He is a Senior Associate with the International Center for Clinical Excellence (ICCE) and a Certified Trainer in their Feedback-Informed Treatment (FIT) practice model. (Motivational Interviewing 1 & 2 COUN-1125 and COUN-1025; Assessment Practices COUN-1115)


Donna F. Barker has a BA, BSW and MSW from UBC and an MA of Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University. She has had varied roles since 1978 including clinical counselor; organizational change consultant with large scale public service institutions; undergraduate and graduate professor; and public educator.  Donna refers to herself as a scholar practitioner and believes in evidence based, client-centred, harm reduction oriented practice, based squarely within a critical social justice framework. Currently, Donna is an addictions counselor for the VCH Mental Health and Addictions program. She also teaches the province wide Core Addiction Practice program for VCH as well as the acclaimed ongoing Addictions Education Series. (Interconnected Risk COUN-1120)

Cheryl Bell-Gadsby, MA, RCC, has over 28 years of experience in Canada and the US as a therapist, clinical supervisor, and educator. She has specific expertise in hypnotherapy and energy/somatic work with children, adolescents, and adults. Cheryl is also in private practice and specializes in issues of trauma, family violence, sexual exploitation, and child and adolescent development. She is currently the Clinical Director of Salt Spring Island Community Services and teaches in the Graduate Certificate in Complex Trauma & Child Sexual Abuse Intervention and other JIBC programs. Cheryl has co-authored ‘Reclaiming Her Story: Ericksonian Solution-Focused Therapy for Sexual Abuse’ and ‘It's a Girl Thang’ for McCreary Youth Foundation.

Laura Bickerton, PhD, is a teacher who began her career in Coquitlam teaching junior science and math. She began work on a master’s degree and through that experience, moved to SFU as a Faculty Associate and then a Coordinator in their PD Program. After completing her term at SFU, Laura accepted a position as a Director with the BC College of Teachers (BCCT), where she was primarily involved with the approval of BC teacher education programs. She became Deputy Registrar of the BCCT and used her experience in professional self-regulation to support her studies toward her PhD. Following the take-over of the BCCT, she continued her work within the Ministry of Education. Laura retired in early 2016 but continues to be active in the education and regulatory worlds. She works with two regulatory bodies, serving on the inquiry committee of the College of Registered Nurses of BC, and on the Registration Committee of the BC College of Pharmacists. She also serves on the board of the Gifted Children’s Association of BC. Laura is married with two sons and two granddaughters.


Natalie Clark, M.S.W. PhD (abd) is currently on faculty with the School of Social Work at TRU, in addition to her ongoing work with BCIT and the Justice Institute of BC. Natalie teaches front-line, undergraduate and graduate courses on trauma practice. Natalie’s work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities including her Métis ancestry; as a solo-parent of three Secwepemc children and part of the Secwepemc community; an academic; a community based researcher and counsellor.  Natalie’s practice, teaching and research over the last 20 years have focused on trauma with children, youth and their families and communities and the coping responses to trauma and violence including experiences with issues of sexual exploitation; eating disorders; addictions, youth justice and health. Natalie continues to practice and provide training on violence, resistance and resiliency through her practice. (Trauma Informed Practice in Addictions COUN-1150)

Chris Conley - Christopher (Chris) Conley, MA, RCC, RMFT, CPT-S, RPT-S, is a child and family therapist in private practice. He is an approved provider of play therapy continuing education with both CACPT and APT and is a Filial Therapy instructor. He has twenty years of clinical experience with families and children ages 18 months to 18 years providing individual, family, and filial and play therapy, and has written several articles and conducted numerous trainings on play therapy, filial therapy and classroom management. He is also past president of the British Columbia Play Therapy Association and past vice-president of the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy.

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Jann Derrick, PhD, R.M.F.T. is of Mohawk heritage and a Registered Family Therapist. Jann specializes in working with Indigenous Families, Indigenous knowledge and trauma recovery. She has published professionally about The Box and the Circle and Native Family Systems, as well as contributing to books such as The Disposessed by Geoffrey York, Voices of Colour - First Person Accounts of Ethnic Minority Therapists, Multicultural Couple Therapy, and the 2019 edition of The handbook of Systemic Family Therapy. Jann's recent research on clinical practice with Indigenous families is entitled 'Kahwa:tsire.She has served in the TR Commission, the MMIWG Commision, and with the Ministry for Children and Family Development in BC. She is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as well as a member of the Canadian Psychological Association..

Marie-José Dhaese, Ph.D. born and educated in France, is an adult/child/youth and family therapist and a clinical consultant in private practice. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), a Registered Art Therapist (ATR and BCATR), a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S), and a certified Child Psychotherapist and Play Therapist Supervisor (CPT-S). Marie-José celebrates 45 years' experience as a counsellor and psychotherapist. For the last 30 years, she has been teaching internationally the approach and therapeutic methods she has developed: Holistic Expressive Play Therapy. She has been a frequent speaker at art therapy, play therapy and mental health conferences throughout North America presenting the approach and methods she has pioneered, particularly in the field of abuse, loss and trauma.


Lorne Fletcher 

Jann Derrick PhD, R.M.F.T. is of Mohawk heritage and a Registered Family Therapist. Jann specializes in working with Indigenous Families, Indigenous knowledge and trauma recovery.  She has worked at Round Lake Treatment Centre as a clinical supervisor, a trainer of Drug and Alcohol counsellors, and as therapist in the innovative Trauma Recovery Program for Native trauma. She has published professionally about The Box and the Circle and Native Family Systems, as well as contributing to books such as The Dispossessed by Geoffrey York, Voices of Colour – First Person Accounts of Ethnic Minority Therapists ed. Rastogi and Wieling, and Multicultural Couple Therapy ed. Rastogi and Thomas. She is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as well as a member of the Canadian Psychological Association.

G - I


Tonya Gomes, RCC, is of Amerindian and Caribbean Black descent. Tonya works with Health Authorities and First Nations and Indigenous Health leadership in the building of policies to protect, bring together and extend Indigenous health practices, policies and protocols. Tonya also works with communities and land based practices as ways of healing and revitalizing health, culture and identity. 

Mario Govorchin, Cert. ConRes., is a dynamic, energetic and entertaining speaker and trainer. Much of his work with organizations focuses on conflict resolution, leadership, team development, and change management. He is well regarded in his work as an interventionist for organization experiencing high internal conflict, and has particular strengths as a mediator of multi-party disputes. (Bylaw Compliance, Enforcement & Investigative Skills 1 BLAW-1000)


Mark Haden, obtained MSW in 1984. He has worked in Detox, Methadone, and Out Patient settings in counselling and supervisory roles. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health. He currently supervises an Addiction Services Team for Vancouver Coastal Health. Mark provides drug and addictions education to many public groups and has published on the issue of drug control policy in many Journals. He works with the Health Officers Council of British on their position papers on a regulated market for all currently illegal drugs. Mark has presented in many international conferences and training events and has been a trainer for the Vancouver Police Department. Mark has been awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal Award for his work in drug policy. (Compassion and Policy: The Heart and Mind of Drug Policy COUN-1130)

Yvonne Haist, M.Ed, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in private practice and has extensive teaching experience at the University of Victoria’s School of Social Work as well as with other post-secondary institutions. Integration of somatic healing principles has dramatically transformed her teaching and clinical practice. (Trauma, the Body, and the Autonomic Nervous System: Using Somatic Psychology for Resolution and Regulation and Change is Possible: Working with Men Who Abuse in Relationships; Somatics in Complex Trauma COUN-5215)

Mary Harber, MSW has worked in a variety of areas over her 24 years in social work.   She has supported children, youth and families in the context of child welfare, trauma, healthy sexuality and children and youth with disabilities, parent support and youth addiction issues. In the addiction field she has worked in outpatient settings, facilitated various groups, and worked extensively on prevention and health promotion.   Mary taught at Thompson Rivers University for 13 years and is currently faculty at Camosun College in Victoria.  She has developed curriculum for a certificate in the area of FASD/addiction at Thompson Rivers University and has worked extensively in the area of FASD prevention and intervention. She is currently exploring the use of art and theatre in the context of the helping relationship, social skills and social justice.    She has also presented both at National and International conferences in the area of FASD and addiction, and continues to support community capacity and advocacy. (Understanding Substance Use COUN-1100)

Bahareh Hosseinpour

Teresa Howell, has a PhD in counselling psychology and is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Psychologists of BC. She has been a student, volunteer, workshop facilitator, conference presenter, teacher, therapist, and researcher. Teresa's background is in Aboriginal health, mental health, and addictions, and she has a private psychological therapy practice in East Vancouver. She also teaches at Douglas College and the Adler University. She is passionate about teaching and working in an educational institution. (All My Relations: Working with Aboriginal Clients COUN-1110; Individual and Community Wellness ABLS-1111) 

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Charlotte Jackson, MA, is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has worked on Mental Health and Addiction teams in the Downtown East Side and is currently Co-leading a Mental Health and Addiction Team in urban community. Charlotte has taught on the topics of Addiction and Human Behaviour, Personality Disorders, Mental Health, Voice Hearing and Trauma. Charlotte was a curriculum advisor on the BC Trauma Informed Practice committee led by the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and is excited about the potential of current Health Canada research into MDMA assisted therapy for individuals living with refractory PTSD. (Understanding Substance Use COUN-1100; Continuum of Care: Prevention to Harm Reduction COUN-1105)



Gretchen Ladd, M.Ed., DVATI, RCAT is an art therapist, counsellor and educator who has provided therapeutic arts to diverse communities for over 20 years.  Her clients have included long-term care residents, mental health clients, cancer patients, bereaved families and clients who have experienced trauma. She worked for 15 years in the field of cancer care and supported families and individuals working through loss, shifts in identity and end of life.  Gretchen has been a core instructor at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute since 2007 teaching studio and group art therapy.  She has also facilitated art therapy trainings in Nepal, Thailand and Japan. Gretchen brings her clinical skills and experience to private practice as well as clinical supervision. She uses an integrated approach to art therapy, which includes mindfulness, compassion practice and body-centred interventions.

Paul Lambert

Jocelyn Lymburner, BA (Hon), MA, PhD is a Registered Psychologist with training and expertise in the assessment and treatment of adults. In addition to an extensive clinical background, Jocelyn has taught psychology at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a specific focus on psychopathology, for over a decade. Jocelyn is a full time faculty member of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and offers courses for the Justice Institute, including Introduction to the DSM-IV-TR and Teaching for Performance Enhancement workshops within the Pistol Instructor program. Jocelyn has been the recipient of national and provincial research grants supporting her investigation in the fields of youth mentoring and teaching and scholarship. She has presented her research internationally and shows a strong commitment to learning through active engagement. (An Introduction to the DSM-5 COUN-1015)

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Maureen McEvoy, MA, RCC, has been in private practice for over 20 years. She works with individuals, couples and groups and is a long-standing instructor with the JIBC, teaching other counsellors skills for working with survivors of child sexual abuse and other domestic traumas. She also works with couples using Imago Relationship therapy. She is an Advanced Imago clinician (1996) and a Certified Workshop presenter of the Getting the Love You Want weekend workshop based on the work of Harville Hendrix. Maureen has written several articles, including one co-authored with Maggie Ziegler on counter-transference in trauma groups. She is currently updating Balancing Conflicting Interests: A Legal Manual for Counsellors. (Graduate Certificate in Complex Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Intervention)




Kerry Palmer, Cert. ConRes., Restorative Practices, Family Mediation, Certified Mediator with Family Mediation Canada (relations), BC mediation member on both the family and child protection rosters. Kerry was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is of Métis heritage. His practice includes working in both the private and public sectors, supporting families in transition, the restorative practices field, and working as a child protection mediator. This diversity provides a unique skill set and knowledge base to the benefit of those Kerry supports. (Bylaw Compliance, Enforcement & Investigative Skills 1 BLAW-1000)

Laurie Pearce, MSW, MA, PhD, has specialized in disaster management and traumatic stress for over 25 years. She is a member of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine, the Emergency Medicine, the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network and the Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council of BC. Currently, Laurie has a consulting company and teaches at various post-secondary institutions. (Introduction to Critical Incident Stress Management CISM-1000; Demobilization, Defusing and Crisis Management Building CISM-1010; Critical Incident Stress Debriefing CISM-1015; CISM Simulation CISM-1020; Managing Responses to Community Disasters CISM1025; Psychological First Aid CISM1030; Trauma, Children, and Youth CISM-1045)

Nancy Poole, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, a virtual NGO research centre hosted by BC Women's Hospital + Health Care. In that role she leads knowledge translation, network development, and research related to improving policy and service provision related to girls' and women's health, and inroducing sex and gender in all health research. In keeping with a research-to-practice-&-policy focus. Nancy has co-led system change initiatives, and co-developed toolkits training curricula and guidelines on 'trauma-informed practice' with agencies, institutes and governments across Canada. Nancy has published over 125 academic papers, book chapters and technical reports over the past decade, and co-edited five books with Dr. Lorraine Greaves, the most recent being Gender Unchained: Notes from the Equity Frontier. Nancy has had the privilege of being a member of research teams such as the Honouring Our Strengths: Culture as Intervention project team, studying Indigenous approaches to healing from substance use concerns and has a strong commitment to working with Indigenous partners such as the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation to incorporate strengths based and Indigenous wellness approaches in all health, trauma informed and substance use related research, practice and policy initiatives.

Anne Poonwassie, M.A.Ed., C.A.C., S.F.T.T. directs the Prairie Region Centre for Focusing, Experiential Therapies and Complex Trauma in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She instructs in the F.O.T. and Complex Trauma Certificate Program and in the Community-Centred Therapy Diploma Program. Her learning about cross-cultural applications of F.O.T. come from experience she has gained in working with Aboriginal communities in Manitoba, and her main area of interest related to group work is the “community as the healing place” approach to wellness.

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Bruce Ramsay, CTR, is a retired deputy fire chief and a Certified Traumatologist. Bruce sits on the executive of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists and is an experienced trauma trainer and debriefer. He has provided critical incident stress debriefing services to emergency response groups, victims’ assistance groups, private industry clients, and First Nations communities. (Introduction to Critical Incident Stress Management CISM-1000; Diversity and Trauma CISM-1005; Demobilization, Defusing and Crisis Management Building CISM-1010; Critical Incident Stress Debriefing CISM-1015; CISM Simulation CISM-1020; Post-Critical Incident Stress Reactions CISM-1035; Effective Team Participation CISM-1040; Vicarious Traumatization CISM-1050)


Tatiana Santini,

Jeffrey J. Schiffer, is a Métis anthropologist, and holds a PhD in anthropology and education from Columbia University.  He has worked with Indigenous peoples in Canada, the United States and Guatemala, in both urban and rural communities. Jeffrey currently sits as Special Projects Officer, at Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS) in Vancouver, BC. Through various community partnerships, Jeffrey co-founded the Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) program, connecting diverse and vulnerable youth to green space as a source of wellness and concrete skills development.  He also works alongside Shirley Turcotte, his mother, presenting on Aboriginal Focusing Oriented Therapy (AFOT) in indigenous communities across Canada and the United States.

Amy Simpson (MA Counselling Psychology, Psychotherapist) is an AFOT instructor residing in Oaxaca, Mexico. She divides her time between Canada, USA, and Mexico. She is particularly interested in the connections between AFOT and social justice movements.

Glen Spence has an educational background in Criminology and currently works as the Supervisor of Bylaw Enforcement, Business Licenses and Animal Services for the City of Coquitlam. Over the years he has been involved with almost all aspects of bylaw enforcement including enforcing bylaws for unsightly property; noise; animal control; parking pawnbrokers; building, fire and sediment control; tree permits, stream and drainage; sign, smoking, and business licensing and zoning. (Bylaw Compliance, Enforcement & Investigative Skills 1 BLAW-1000)

Alicia Spidel, MA, PhD Student, has worked as a psychological associate, counsellor, clinical supervisor, mental health coordinator and trainer in corrections and community-based counselling agencies, addictions services, and mental health for over 10 years. She has lectured at UBC, SFU Douglas, and UFV teaching criminology and psychology courses.  She currently holds a faculty position at Kwantlen in the criminology department. Her clinical interests include trauma, violence, and substance use and their impact on mental health and treatment compliance. She has published over 30 journal articles and book chapter and has given over 100 presentations both nationally and internationally on these subjects. (Concurrent Disorders Planning 1 COUN-1135)

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Shirley Turcotte, RCC is a Metis knowledge keeper and registered clinical counsellor, working internationally with survivors of childhood abuses, torture, and complex traumas, including Residential School Syndrome, for the last three decades. She is a pioneering activist in the areas of complex trauma therapeutic treatment and program development for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Shirley is a strong advocate for land-based knowledge Indigenous healing strategies and the originator of To A Safer Place describing her family’s experiences of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. She is a recipient of many awards including British Columbia’s Woman of Distinction Award in Health and Education. She is the lead instructor and clinical supervisor of two Aboriginal Programs with the Centre for Counselling and Community Safety at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. (Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Certificate)


Cristine Urquhart, MSW, RSW, is the Provincial Training Consultant for the ActNow BC Healthy Choices in Pregnancy initiative at the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. Cristine works collaboratively with the provincial team to translate knowledge on women and substance use, and to support service providers across British Columbia in their work. She is one of 700 trainers worldwide who belong to the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).  Cristine has been involved in the areas of addiction and mental health for over 10 years



DaRa Elebe-Williams S.F.T.T. is a private practice psychotherapist working in Manhattans, New York. She has worked in the helping field for more than three decades. She is AFOT lead instructor and supervisor for the extended JIBC AFOT program, and a coordinator with The Focusing Institute.  Dara is also a meditation teacher and a practitioner of both Vipassana and Ascension meditation. She is a Board member of the Focusing International.

Dennis Windego is an established therapist providing individual, couples, and group therapy.  In his profession, much of his work deals with issues of conflict, childhood abuse/trauma, residential school issues, intergenerational abuse, accidents, grief, neglect, suicide, and sexual abuse with a special emphasis on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders and Complex Trauma.  Dennis also responds to suicide/homicide crisis in isolated northern communities and facilitates healing programs and focusing oriented therapy training.  The programs and services he offers aid to facilitate community health, self-sufficiency, and empowerment by building on existing community resources and organizational structures.  Dennis participates as a guest speaker at various health conferences that focus on health and wellbeing, mental health and addictions, and suicide prevention and is also often invited by the education and judicial systems to present at forums which address health equity and social justice.  With over 20 years of experience in trauma recovery, he is presently completing his Masters of Social Work (M.S.W) thesis on Vicarious Trauma; Experiences of First Nations Social Workers in Remote Northern Communities.  Dennis is a certifying coordinator with the Focusing Institute in New York. N.Y. and facilitates a seven module program in Focusing and Complex Trauma for front line workers. (Aboriginal Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Certificate)

X, Y, Z

Alannah Young, PhD. Candidate, is Opaskwayak Cree/Peguis Anishnabe. Formerly a cultural advisor & counsellor with University of British Columbia’s First Nations House of Learning in Vancouver, she is trained in complex trauma and specializes in focusing – body centred, expressive art therapies, and body mind psychotherapies. She is informed by social suffering, critical race and Indigenous Knowledge theoretical frameworks. Her co-authored works include: Indigenous Health Leadership: Protocols, Policy & Practice (2014), Unsettling Pastoral Educational Sociology: Asylum-making, Medicalized Colonialism in British Columbia (1859-1897) and Artistic Praxis for Social Transformation (2009); Education Bodies for Self-determination: A decolonizing strategy (2006); and Ways of Knowing: Focusing and Trauma (1998). Her current projects include seeking balance initiatives for the truth and reconciliation process. She is a researcher and consultant for UBC, UVIC, SFU and has worked for VISAC Family Services of Greater Vancouver; Vancouver Coastal Health; Aboriginal Child & Family Services and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. 

Last updated May 15, 2019