Director

Matt Corless, Director, MSc, MEd (Counselling Psychology), CCC

Matt Corless holds a Masters of Education in Counselling and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor who has spent the past ten years working extensively with Inuit and Northern based residents. Matt provides clinical support as a Therapist and Critical Incident Response Team Leader with Health Canada's Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program. He provides clinical support to individuals and families and to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Prior to this, Matt was the Regional Mental Health Therapist and Consultant for Baffin Island, Government of Nunavut, as well as the primary EAP service provider for Health Canada in the Qikiqtani Region.

Matt also completed both a Master's degree in Forestry and undergraduate honors degree in environment and resource management, and has worked domestically and internationally in resource-based industries. These experiences inform his clinical practice and provide a first hand, comprehensive understanding of the varied workplace issues and stresses prevalent in resource-based industries.

Jody Studney, MSW, RSW, CCC

Jody Studney is a Registered Clinical Social Worker and Canadian Certified Counsellor with a Masters Degree in Social Work, Specializing in Clinical Practice. Jody uses a client-centered approach drawing on extensive training and a variety of therapeutic modalities to create a personalized approach for each client. Jody provides her clients an empathic and non-judgemental counselling experience, where individual experiences are embraced and stories of success and resilience are created.  

She has been helping individuals, couples and families for over 19 years.  Jody specializes in trauma counselling, she is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management, is an EMDR trained clinician and has training in Somatic Experiencing and Animal Assisted Therapy. Additional challenges that fall within Jody’s scope of practice are depression, stress, anxiety, family conflict, suicide intervention, prevention and postvention; self-harm, youth-at-risk, addictions, anger management, self-esteem, LGBTQIA, relationship difficulties, separation and divorce, grief and loss, eating disorders, life transitions, and abuse.

Jody has a strong backgound working with a variety of cultures and Indigenous communities.

Gabrielle Cordella-Chew, MPS, ATR, CCC

Gabrielle has served First Nations and Northern Indigenous children, youth and adults since 2003; first in the Pacific North West, and then in Inuvik and the Beaufort-Delta Region of the Western Arctic starting in 2009. She has provided comprehensive, culturally-sensitive and strength-based mental health and wellness services to Northern residents and their children within a community counselling setting. She has also worked in private and public schools, and has considerable experience with suicide prevention and intervention. She has also been sent to more remote communities to provide support and post-trauma interventions for RCMP, medical personnel and other front-line workers, and has spent time in both the Western and Eastern Arctic.  


Gabrielle also enjoys developing and running creative arts groups for kids of all ages to offer fun, hands-on explorations around identity, resilience, community, and self-empowerment. Gabrielle studied Women’s Studies and Psychology at Simon Fraser University and holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute. Over the years she has pursued specialized training in CBT, Trauma and Addictions, and Solutions Focused Therapy, among others.

Melanie Stubbing, BA, MA, Registered Psychologist

Melanie Stubbing was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where she currently practices as a Registered Psychologist. Mel has worked for five years as a Mental Health Consultant, Counsellor, and Psychologist with the Government of Nunavut's Mental Health Division, having traveled to many communities across Nunavut. Mel also has a 15-year history of volunteering at the Kamatsiaktut Help Line on Baffin, and has worked with Elders at Tukisigiarvik friendship center in Iqaluit. Mel's long-term plan is to remain living in Iqaluit, providing Psychological support services throughout Nunavut.

Yannick Girardin, MA

Yannick Girardin lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut and works as a clinician for the Government of Nunavut. He has been providing counselling for youth and adults in Iqaluit for the past 8 years. Yannick's individual and group counselling clinic primarily focuses on addictions, anger management, trauma, grief and youth issues. Yannick holds a Master degree in counselling and recently started a Specialized Diploma in mental health.

Patricia M. Smith, BSSc, BSW, MSW, RTC

Patricia Smith began her career in the field of social services following her degrees in Criminology and Social Work.  Over the past 25 plus years, Patricia has received additional training in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management, suicide prevention/postvention, assessment of potential violent situations and clinical work with trauma survivors.

Throughout her many years in clinical work, Ms. Smith has lived and worked in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ottawa and Canada's Arctic. For the past 15 years, Patricia has been working primarily with survivors of childhood trauma in Nunavut. Most recently, she has been part of the primary support team for Health Canada's Residential School Resolution Program and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Northern Region).  Her work with Employee Assistance Programs is extensive offering clinical services in both official languages (English and French). 

She is a member of Canada's National Psychosocial Emergency Response Team (PESERT) and for several years was Eastern Canada supervisor for Shepell-fgi EAP trauma services.  As Senior Therapist at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ottawa, she focused on supporting wellness and resiliency, trauma recovery, anxiety management as well as working through depression and grief.  She is a sought after facilitator on topics of vicarious trauma, resiliency building, violence in the work place and work place wellness.  Since 2002, Ms. Smith works in private practice in Gatineau QC.  

Cindy Parsons, MSW, RSW

Cindy is a registered clinical social worker who has worked for the past 18 years in Canada's north. For 10 years she was a resident of Cape Dorset, Nunavut and employed as the Director of Social Services. Her current clinical practice focuses in the areas of trauma, addictions and grief & loss. She has extensive clinical experience in working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She is a clinician for the Indian Residential Health Support Program (Atlantic and Northern regions) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Cindy holds certification in Traumatology, Critical Incident Stress Management, Suicide Intervention and Crisis Work. While Cindy's permanent residence is in Newfoundland her clinical practice involves extensive travel throughout the north.

Sarah A. Kelleher, Ph.D., Registered Psychologist

Dr. Sarah Kelleher has offered psychotherapy, psychological assessment and mental health consulting services to a diverse multi-cultural clientele throughout the Western and Eastern Arctic over the course of her 30 years residing in Yellowknife, NWT. Sarah's highly specialized training in currently recognized "best practices" for treating the aftermath of trauma has supported survivors of trauma particularly First Nations individuals who attended Residential Schools. In recent years Sarah's expertise supported the Residential School Resolution Health Support Program and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. As an 11-year member of Health Canada's National Psycho-Social Emergency Response Team (PSERT), Sarah has provided Critical Incident Stress Management support to a wide variety of workplaces often in remote northern locales.

Sarah has extensive experience in the development and the delivery of clinical services for Employee and Family Assistance Programs tailored for the unique needs of the northern work environment. As a Primary team member Sarah was responsible for the oversight of the EAP programs for the Government of the Northwest Territories, City of Yellowknife, as well as BHP Billiton Diamond mine which required bi-monthly mental health clinics at the Lac de Gras mine site.

Bruce Handley, PhD, Registered Psychologist

Dr. Bruce Handley has been working as a clinical, organizational and forensic psychologist for more than forty years. Bruce's extensive clinical skills in mediation, negotiation, conflict resolution, and organizational psychology, have proven effective when devising EAP services program for organizations including the University of Alberta. He also has advanced training in managing trauma and critical incidents. Most recently, Bruce has served as a Primary Clinician with Health Canada's Residential School Dispute Resolution Program assisting claimants process issues associated with trauma suffered while attending residential school.

Bruce is First Nations and a member of the Metis Nations of Saskatchewan. He was raised and educated in the North until he went to university. He is regularly invited to work with various First Nations communities across Canada addressing mental health issues, personal/work related problems and addictions.

Marcia-Lisa Dennis, FIS, BSc.OT, MSc.OT

Lisa Dennis has been an occupational therapist for the past 16 years working with a diverse clientele. She has extensive experience in community home-care in Quebec and Ontario with the adult and geriatric population with physical disabilities. Most recently she has worked in northern Labrador offering mental health and addictions services as well as school pediatric interventions with aboriginal youth-at-risk aged 6 to 24 years.

She has helped people suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, trauma, addictions, and mental health issues to reach their full potential despite their illness ordisability using a rehabilitation approach. She has also delivered different life skills courses to aboriginal inmates at a correctional facility, provided front line suicide crisis intervention and created innovative programs for capacity building. She is presently working on her thesis in occupational therapy treatments for people with a FASD. Lisa is also a fitness instructor and teaches Zumba, Piloxing and Urban Poling. She is dedicated to providing a holistic, culturally-safe, client-centered service. She is well known for her "out of the box" thinking.

Leslie Shamanski, Registered Psychiatric Nurse

Leslie Shamanski has extensive experience as a psychiatric nurse, specializing in taking a holistic approach to treating addictions, both in southern Canada as well as in Nunavut. Leslie has worked in many different capacities, both leadership and case management, and has experience in diverse settings, including hospitals, Youth Detention Centres, schools, Residential Treatment Centres, and Health CareCentres.

Specific to Nunavut, Leslie currently contracts with the Department of Education, Government of Nunavut, working across Baffin communities including Kimmirut, Resolute Bay, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet and Igloolik. In this capacity, Leslie provides supportive counselling, conducts psychiatric assessments, medication reviews and management, 24-hr crisis intervention, and suicide risk assessments. This role also involves client outreach and counselling, liaising with community agencies, schools, and family members, as well as providing teaching and community programs as needed.

Gilles Verreault, R.T.C.T.

Gilles Verreault has lived and worked on Baffin Island, Nunavut, as a Counsellor and Addiction & Wellness Worker for the past 20 years. Gilles first worked at Inuusiqsiurvik Baffin Regional Treatment Centre in Iqaluit, Nunavut, as a Treatment Attendant, providing counselling support for Inuit and non-Inuit clientele. In 1998 Gilles completed his Social Work Diploma, and has spent the past 15 years working with the Department of Health and Social Services, Government of Nunavut, Mental Health Division, as an Addiction & Wellness Counsellor.

In this position Gilles provides individual, family and group mental health counselling services in both English and French. Gille's clinical practice primarily involves addressing addictions and arranging treatment services for Inuit and non-Inuit clientele throughout Baffin Island. In 2000 Gilles received his Reality Therapy Certification from the William Glasser Institute, a therapy module that continues to inform his clinical practice.

Amie Hay, Registered Speech-Language Pathologist

Amie completed her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Therapy at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and her BA in Psychology and Linguistics at the University of New Brunswick. In her career, she has had varied experiences with diverse populations in remote areas.

Amie’s experiences include working as a Regional SLP for the Sahtu and Beaufort-Delta Regions in NWT out of the Inuvik Regional Hospital, across a spectrum of ages and disorders, honing her skills in the areas of FASD, developmental disorders and was a driving for in strengthening speech and language initiatives in the region. She actively fostered relationships with the communities she worked in, and garnered great respect for her expertise, compassion and understanding of the needs of each community she worked with. Furthermore, she was a lead researcher on a project exploring language norms in the Beaufort Delta, a project in the final stages of being submitted for publication.

Amie has also worked as an SLP treating and assessment clients in the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Southern Labrador regions. She is responsible for improved FASD treatment and assessment initiatives in the region, and has presented at the regional conferences on the topics of FASD and Parkinson’s. She has also been an active advocate for end of life treatment options and furthering the accessibility and practice of SLP in her region.

Kathryn Boyd, MA, CCC

Kathryn holds a Master's Degree in Creative Arts Therapy and as additional training in trauma work as well as solution -focused brief therapy. Kathryn grounds her work as a counselor in narrative therapy practices, listening carefully to the stories people share about their lives. She honors the incredible resilience of the human spirit.

Kathryn fell in love with Canada's north while living and working as a community counselor in Paulatuk, NWT for three years. Currently Kathryn is based in the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto.

Stephanie Leithead, MA, CCC, RCC

Stephanie Leithead is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. Stephanie works with adults, youth, children, and families in a non-judgemental manner to help them acheive their goals and find peace and happiness within their lives.  With a background in education and parenting and a passion for working with families and children with special needs, Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in a compassionate and supportive way to parents and children with diverse needs. She specializes in working with children and their families who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or who display behavioural or emotional difficulties.

 

Stephanie also have experience working with clients of all ages and abilities who struggle with anxiety, trauma, relationship difficulties, suicide ideation, stress management, mental health difficulties, chronic pain management, addictions, and life transitions. She also works with Health Canada’s Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program.Stephanie is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and provides yoga, relaxation, and meditation groups.

Stephanie has recently moved her practice to Whitehorse after working and living in a small rural community in the Northwest Territories.

Kathleen Roach, MA Psych (cand), RPC

Kathleen Roach has been counselling and working with groups for over 30 years. She has a Diploma of Professional Counselling from VCCT, a BA (PSYCH) from Antioch University and is currently a Master's candidate. She has also completed training in Gestalt Therapy and courses in Crisis and Suicide Intervention.

Kathleen has counselled for the past 30 years but also worked in qualitative research applying her skill at counselling and knowledge of psychology in that field. She has a love of group work and a special talent for managing group dynamics, creating a comfortable and safe environment in which clients feel open and able to express themselves.

Kathleen has spent time visiting and working in the north and has a strong interest in the native populations around North America. She plans to continue both her studies and her work in that area.

Kirsti Giacobbo, M.Ed, CCC, CHT Individual and Family Therapist

Kirsti has over twenty years of experience in the counselling field. Kirsti began her career as a secondary physical education teacher, was a secondary school counsellor and school therapist for school divisions in Northern Alberta and Yellowknife. She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, is a Canadian Certified Counsellor through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and is a Certified Hakomi Therapist through the Hakomi Institute.  Kirsti’s office is located at the Gaia Integrative Clinic in Yellowknife.

 Kirsti’s areas of expertise include assisting adults and adolescents with issues related to depression, anxiety, anger management, parent/teen relationships, adolescent behavior, understanding substance use/abuse, grief, loss, understanding emotional responses, individual and family issues, and educational consulting.

“The single most important aspect of the counselling process is the development of a safe and respectful working relationship between therapist and client. It takes a lot of courage for people to walk through the counselling door so it’s vital that when the client leaves the first session, they know they have been heard and understood, and feel positive about our ability to work together.” 

Laura Boileau, MA, RPC

Laura Boileau has been providing mental health counselling services in the Northwest Territories since 2010 with numerous private and non-profit organizations, serving multicultural clients with a particular focus on serving Indigenous peoples.  She completed a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a registered professional counsellor with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association.

Laura specializes in serving clients who wish to move past trauma, sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, addictions, and shame, in order to reconnect with what is most important to them.  She uses an eclectic combination of therapies tailored to individual client needs including counselling, animal-assisted therapy, mindfulness, narrative therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, bibliotherapy, and encouraging traditional healing practices.

Kami Anderson BA, BSW, MSW, RSW

Kami is a registered social worker who has provided assessment and treatment to adolescents, adults and families since 1999. She has worked in Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Ontario in a variety of mental health settings. In addition to providing inpatient, outpatient and community based services in the general mental field she has worked in specialized areas including Psychiatric Rehabilitation, First Episode Psychosis, Eating Disorders and Youth Forensics.

Kami practices using an eclectic approach to therapy, one informed by a number of treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. She works from a strengths based, collaborative approach to help clients meet their goals.

Hiedi Yardley, MC, NWT Registered Psychologist

Hiedi is a home grown northerner from Hay River, NT. She lived and worked in northern communities such as Inuvik, Ft. Smith, Hay River, Yellowknife, and Grande Prairie, AB. Hiedi has a Masters of Counselling Psychology Degree from University of Calgary and BA Psychology from University of Alberta. Hiedi is a Registered Psychologist in the NWT and is registered with the Canada Psychological Association.
Hiedi has 15+yrs experience working in various counselling and teaching capacities in justice, education, and community mental health in the NWT. As a client-centred and strengths-based Psychologist, Hiedi works with youth, adults, and couples to meet their therapy goals and needs.
Hiedi specializes in working with persons affected by trauma and seeks to empower client strengths and resilience, while identifying the adaptive tendencies (defenses) that have helped clients to survive in their lives thus far - but may no longer be working for them today. Working collaboratively at a pace that fosters safety and transparency in the therapeutic relationship, Hiedi encourages growth, healing, and transformation.

Elizabeth Shein - MSW RSW

Based in Halifax, Elizabeth has a Masters degree in Social Work with over 30 years of experience in the field of clinical and community social work. She has extensive experience in mental health and addictions clinical practice and community-based prevention and promotion programs in diverse rural, northern, urban and First Nation communities. Elizabeth specializes in the areas of trauma and vicarious trauma recovery; depression; anxiety; grief and loss; chronic pain and illness; gender identity and sexual orientation; and relationship concerns.

Human resiliency is at the heart of all her work. Elizabeth believes in people’s inherent wellness and helps them build on their natural strengths and wisdom in creating a full, meaningful life. She has a strong interest in mindfulness-based practices for health and healing as well as in the restorative power of nature and the land.

Elizabeth worked as the Mental Health Consultant to the Indian Residential School Resolution Health Support Program for Health Canada in the Atlantic Region. She is a member of the Atlantic Region Health Support team for survivors and descendants and continues to support individuals, families and communities. She has also been called on to work with family members of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

Elizabeth is trained in a social justice model of adult education. As a workshop facilitator/trainer, Elizabeth engages participants at a real-life level to facilitate programs on wide ranging topics that promote health and resiliency. She is known for creating warm, safe, respectful and open learning environments.

Sara Dickout MA, RP

Sara trained in Expressive Arts Therapy at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. With an undergrad in Theatre & Visual Arts, and a keen interest in the human condition, Expressive Arts Therapy has been a perfect field for expansion and exploration. Sara spent two years living in Tsiigehtchic NT, working as the Community Wellness Worker for the Beaufort Delta Health & Social Services Authority. Since moving to Inuvik, Sara has opened a private practice and works with individuals, groups, and Resolution Health Support Program clients.

Sara works in a client-centered, culturally sensitive way with a healthy amount of curiousity for our unique life stories. In working with Expressive Arts it is possible to connect with our inner essence and live in a more authentic and truthful way.
Sara has a Master of Arts Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy & Minor in Psychology and is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.