Joan vonNiessen

Meet Joan vonNiessen:

Certified Clinical Counsellor (CCC) at Alive Counselling

this is me:

Joan brings many years of experience to mental health care. Her background in nursing gives her a holistic view of wellness. She is passionate about counselling and seeks to provide a warm and safe environment to share your story and walk along your journey. Whether you need a space to rest, restore, heal or grow, Joan will walk along that road with you with insight, encouragement and compassion.

Joan works in the areas of  anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, EMDR, relationships, self-esteem, life transitions.

She works from a variety of therapeutic approaches, but always tailors therapy uniquely to you and your needs.

Some of these modalities include:

Joan is only offering Online or Phone Counselling at this time


Joan is just offering Online or Phone Counselling at this time

Meet Joan

What makes me come alive

I am a prairie girl that grew up in Manitoba, met my Kelowna-bred husband tree-planting in Northern Ontario, got married, moved to BC and had three children. Living in Vancouver we knew we could never afford to buy a house, so we moved to the Okanagan 24 years ago and haven’t looked back. We love it here and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

In my spare time I love to paddleboard, hike, bike, and hang out with my family. I love listening to mystery podcasts. I love a fresh bouquet of summer flowers. I recently took up my childhood hobby of embroidery which my grandma taught me when I was a little girl. 

I started my career as a Registered Nurse, have an undergraduate degree in Specialty Nursing and worked in many different areas of nursing including pediatrics, home care and public health. In 2009 I began to move in a new direction as I started a private Bio and Neurofeedback practice. This included biofeedback to help clients regulate their body such as breathing, heart rate and blood flow as well as neurofeedback which included a full brain assessment and brain training to train the brain into healthier patterns and in doing so, improve symptoms like anxiety, depression, focus and attention.

As I continued to work in this field, I knew I wanted to gain more skills and tools in the area of counselling and went on to complete my Masters in Counselling. I am a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) through the CCPA with specialized training in Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, and EMDR. Therapies I use include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Brief Solution Focused Therapy, Positive Neuroplasticity, Mindfulness, Emotional Focused Therapy and Gottman Therapy.

My areas of expertise are anxiety and trauma.

As well, I have experience working with depression, sleep disorders, ADHD, head injury, PTSD, relationship challenges, life transitions and peak performance

My nursing background, in combination with my counselling training, gives me a unique, holistic view of health physical, mental and emotional challenges. I like to meet clients where they are at and begin to set goals that they are desiring to reach.  I see myself as walking together with you on your journey of health and healing, exploring collaboratively, what barriers there might be to moving forward and finding solutions tailored to your individual personality and experiences. Beginning counselling can feel daunting but there can also be moments of laughter, learning and clarity. I encourage you to contact me today to see if working with me might be a good fit.

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Natalie Spooner Team Canada Olympic Gold Medalist-sports-psychology-barb-egan-alive-counselling

Natalie Spooner / Team Canada, Olympic Gold Medalist & Silver Medalist

The mental side of the game is extremely important. Having someone like Barb– who has been there as a player, coach, & mental health professional—is invaluable to help players perform their best on the ice, and in life!


Client M

The work I have done with Barb has changed my life. With her help I learned that I was not only worthy but, capable of helping myself. Walking with her has been one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come Alive.

– Howard Thurman