this is me:
When we are overwhelmed, stuck, & don’t know where to start, we typically don’t start. I specialize in CBT to help you get unstuck, understand “your stuff” (cause we all have it!), & implement practical strategies to change how you think, feel, & live more alive.
We all have “stuff”
I aim to meet you where you are at, help you understand your issues or “stuff” (cause we all have it), use your unique strengths to face it, and learn practical coping strategies to make lasting changes. I specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to identify, challenge, and replace negative self-talk. This is the gold-standard of treatment for many issues including anxiety, stress, and depression. Essentially, if we can change the way you think –or talk to yourself– we can change the way you feel, we can change how you act, and ultimately, change the way you live. These areas are all interconnected. Thus, small changes in one area can have a ripple effect throughout your life.
Imagine if you were not struggling with ____ . What would you be thinking, feeling, and doing then that you are not now?
Owning our story and loving ourself through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do” – Brené Brown
The best leaders have scars
After a career-ending injury, I transitioned into coaching. Therefore, I know first-hand about navigating injuries & rehabilitation, pressure and expectations, negative self-talk, anxiety & stress, and identity. I experienced this myself, and saw this in my players as a professional coach. I transitioned into counselling, because I personally benefited from it as an elite athlete with sports psychology strategies and overall as an individual when I felt stuck, overwhelmed, and was searching for my purpose. I know what it’s like to be in the other chair; to feel stuck & overwhelmed.
But, I also know the hope-filled and empowering experience of a counsellor walking with me during difficult times. Before I was “in counselling” (professionally), I was “in counselling” (personally). I am now on the other side, & I am committed to being a safe and trusted co-journeyer with you.
What makes me come alive
I am a wife, mama to three, and coffee lover. I am a former elite hockey player and coach turned counsellor that specializes in working with athletes to support their mental health, and enhance their mental game and performance with sports psychology strategies. As a counsellor in Kelowna, BC, I specialize in helping people overcome anxiety, stress, depression, and negative self-talk (among other areas). I also offer Online Counselling. I have a particular heart for university students working with them across the United States and Canada for over 12 years. As a wife and mom, I love working with other women to fill their cups as they continue to pour out to those around them. Because, empty cups cannot pour!
As a therapist, I work with individuals, couples, families and speak to a variety of organizations, groups, and teams. I also am a mental health consultant to corporations and organizations.
I come alive with connection to my faith & Christian Counselling, family, community, my work, health, nature, and my morning coffee.
I believe everyone has a story worth sharing. I’d be honoured to hear yours.
this is my view on therapy & counselling: we can *all* benefit from it.
Life is like a cup. In therapy, we work together to figure out what fills you, drains you, and what is your emotional echo.
These are all unique to you!
I believe *you* are created on purpose, for a purpose.
education & credentials:
My playing credentials include:
- Back-to-back National Championships with Shattuck St.Mary’s
- The Ohio State University (Division-1, NCAA)
- USA Hockey Olympic Development Program
My coaching credentials include:
- The Ohio State University, NCAA Division-1
- University of British Columbia, USports, Canada West Champions
- Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, all players earning scholarships to the NCAA and USports
- professional goaltending coaching company, Elite Goalies, who partnered with BC Hockey, Hockey Canada, the Dallas Stars, & various NHL & professional goaltenders
My counselling credentials include:
I offer In-Person and Online Counselling
Before I was “in counselling” (professionally), I was “in counselling” (personally), so I can appreciate how you may be feeling right now. I want to encourage you that you are brave, and you won’t regret it. It is so worth it; you are so worth it. As a counsellor, I specialize in Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Postpartum Depression, University students, and Sports Psychology, or working with Athletes. I have experience with a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches including:
- Attachment work
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
- Christian Counselling
- Positive Psychology
- Trauma Therapy
- Sports Psychology, Athletic performance strategies
However, I personalize my approach based on you and your specific goals and strengths, so that you experience therapy in the most empowering and personal way possible.
- Registered Clinical Counsellor
- Member and Panel Member for British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors
- Supervisor for Therapists and Graduate School Interns
- Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology &
- Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University
- 12 years of experience working with university students and staff across the United States and Canada
- Brene Brown Workshops
- Keynote Speaker for a variety of organizations
- Mental Health Advisor for various corporations & organizations
- various trainings in
- working with Athletes
- Couples Counselling
- Attachment Theory, Motherhood & Parenting
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
- Christian Counselling
- Trauma (CVAP trauma counsellor)
- Sports Psychology work with world renowned Sports Psychologists and Consultants as an athlete, coach, and mental health professional
- Work with various organizations, teams, and athletes from the high performance youth to professional, NHL, National team and Olympic team levels across sports
- Keynote Speaker
- WHL Academy Mindset Coach
- Supporting athletes in their mental health and mental game as they navigate the university recruiting process
- Team Canada and Olympic Gold Medalist, Natalie Spooner’s Virtual World Wide Hockey Academy
- WHL Virtual Hockey Camp with NCAA Coaches, Team USA Olympians, Team Canada Olympians, and professional players
- Active in the community and partner with Third Space
- Member of the Okanagan Learning Circle for Family Therapy and Board Member of BrainTrust Canada
- Creator of the Kelowna Athletic Fund supporting athletes’ mental health and mental game, partner with Kelowna Minor Hockey Association
- Educating, equipping, and empowering others through speaking events and interactive workshops. These include:
- NHL Mental Health & Mental Training night
- Speaker at UBCO for Bell Let’s Talk on Mental Health and Social Media
- Speaker with UBC President Dr. Santa J. Ono on Mental Health and University Students to provide counselling for university students
- This is What Hope Looks Like with Jordin Tootoo
- Host of Mental Health Minute on Kelowna radio stations
- “Overcoming Anxiety & Stress” with Wildfire Women
- “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” with Aligned Chiropractic
- “Creating a Personalized Mental Workout” with BC Hockey
- “Gratitude” events with Third Space Life Charity
- “Performance, Pressure, & Identity” with Breakout West Music Conference & Festival for Professional Musicians
- “What is Mental Health” within the Kelowna schools
- “Stress Management Strategies” for corporations
- “Catch Your Negative Thinking Traps & How to Replace Them”
- “7 Steps to Turn Negative Thoughts into Positive Impacts”
- “Communication Strengthening in Relationships”
- “5 Love Languages in Real Life”
- Kelowna Now interview on Valentine’s Day with a Couples Therapist in Kelowna
- “New Year, New You: Goal Setting for Personal & Professional Development”
- Mental Health Tips for Moms: Mother’s Day Edition for Mamas For Mamas
- Mental Health Moments for Moms for The House Church
- Quarantine Quarrels for The House Church on Couples & Communication during COVID
- How Athletes Can Stay Motivated During COVID with WHL Academy
- & many more
I’d love to facilitate your next team, organization, work, or group meeting. For all speaking inquiries, please contact me here.
inspiration & mentors:
I am inspired by those I have been fortunate enough to work with, my amazing clients. Those who have faced and have overcome obstacles, and wherever they are, they are all there. They are living their lives truly alive.
- All of Team USA, especially my friends and former teammates, and mental health and women’s equality advocates Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureaux.
- Team Canada Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Spooner, along with Team Canada, Team Sweden, & Team Finland players. My former teammates, and still friends, your commitment and perseverance is inspiring to the next generation.
- UBC athletes and coaches who showed impeccable resilience following the suicide of a player in 2016. Implementing sports counselling has helped this team tremendously following this devastating event. The legacy has inspired my own Sports Counselling Program of 1-on-1 Counselling and Team Workshops to be available to teams and organizations.
- As a former goaltending coach of one of the Humboldt Broncos’ goaltenders, I am inspired by their resilience.
- Saul Miller, NHL and professional sports psychology and performance consultant who helped my mental game and performance as a goaltender.
My “Coaches” & Mentors
- As a therapist, I was mentored by well-respected therapists such as David Fung (Marriage and Family Therapy specialist), Barb Gladue, Dr. Ed Weiss (Pastor, Therapist, and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy specialist) and Dr.Reba Glidewell (American Psychological Association, Trauma specialist).
- I love the work and have done workshops on Dr. Brene Brown on courage and vulnerability, Dr.Sue Johnson & Dr. Gottman on Couples Therapy.
- I have extended experience in positive psychology tools, such as the Strengths Finders Assessment, used by 90% of Fortune 500 Companies for leadership & team-building. It is also recognized for resumes, applications, & life guidance.
And mostly, my Teammates in Life
My husband, my 3 kids, my family, & my Bernese mountain dog, Molson. My grandfather, Steve Bilko, who was a major-league baseball player & instilled the importance of sport in me. It’s so much bigger than the game. Sport is a microcosm of life.