Tammy Schamuhn

Co-Founder, Psychologist, Instructor, and Consultant

I am a Registered Psychologist and Registered Play Therapist. I also have a Bachelors of Education from the University of Alberta and practiced as an elementary teacher in Edmonton before going on to do my Masters degree in Psychology. I am also the founder and Executive Director of Family Counselling Centres.

I have been working in private practice for the past seven years in Alberta, primarily with children and their families. I offer clinical supervision to masters-level counselling students, and provisional psychologists. I also include animals in my therapy and have developed a canine assisted and equine assisted therapy programs.

I approach my clinical and consultative work with parents and professionals with an attachment and neurobiolgical lens: all of my work is based on the neurology of the brain and how attachment is integral to adaptive functioning of both children and adults.

I am an passionate, empathetic, and experienced clinician here for my community to help children, teens, and adults heal and grow. I aim to have warm, respectful, and productive relationships with the clients I collaborate with, and I enjoy being part of the positive change that families experience.

I am a Registered Psychologist and a Registered Play Therapist. I completed my undergraduate studies in South-Africa before engaging in a one year, full time internship in Chicago at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. In 2012, I received my Masters of Counselling from City University of Seattle. During my Master’s degree, I worked both on the front lines and as a counsellor with foster and adoptive families who faced a range of emotional, behavioural and cognitive challenges.

Since completing my degree, I have worked in a private practice setting with children, teens, adults and families. I work primarily from an attachment based perspective. This means that I work with clients to explore how early relationships affect how we come to understand our self, other people and the world.

It is an honour to work with clients and families to create a space for lasting change. I endeavour to always approach my clients with respect, honesty, integrity and warmth.

Tania Johnson

Co-Founder, Psychologist, Instructor, and Consultant

Guest Speakers

Dr. Jody Carrington

Registered Psychologist

My “story” of becoming a psychologist started at Red Deer College. I transferred to the University of Alberta, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts with distinction in 1998. I completed a year-long internship during that degree with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and became very passionate about police work and the significant toll that trauma can take on people. I was also lucky enough to spend some time working with some amazing families through Ronald McDonald House and I also volunteered with Victim Services. I then continued my studies at the University of Regina with the thought of pursuing a career in Police Psychology. Although I loved that work, my passion began to shift to families, especially those who experienced trauma. I completed my pre-doctoral residency in Nova Scotia in 2006 where I trained primarily in Cognitive-Behavioural and Narrative approaches. I completed rotations both with adults and children and learned that I really enjoyed understanding the “stories” of children—particularly those who had difficult experiences.

I returned home to Alberta and accepted a job at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary on the Inpatient and Day Treatment Units, a position that would forever change the course of my career. I quickly learned my “cognitive-behavioural skills” were not enough for kids and families with long and often traumatic stories with multi-generational influences. I needed to connect in order to have any significant impact. Desperate to learn more about attachment, I set off on a quest for mentors who “got it” and have been very lucky to have been influenced by some of “the greats”.

You will see a lot in my story about attachment. I have learned the power of the relationship. Empathy. Connection. I have learned that these are important for anyone who might want to understand their story and shift it in some way. Or heal in some way. Or repair it in some way. Or change their story once and for all. So that their next chapter as “teenager”, “spouse”, “parent”, or “friend” can be better.

Morgan Bissegger

Registered Psychologist

Over the course of my journey to becoming a Registered Psychologist I have had the opportunity to support children, youth, and families in residential, school, and therapeutic settings.

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of the Fraser Valley, in British Columbia in 2010. During this time, I also worked in residential care settings with children and youth who had experienced significant trauma and presented with complex mental health challenges. Through a process of seeking support and guidance to best support these individuals I began to learn about attachment theory and the impacts of trauma on development. This knowledge now serves as my foundation.

In 2012, I began my Masters in Counselling Psychology at City University of Seattle. While completing this degree, I also worked in a school setting supporting complex mental health in the classroom. Through this work I continued to witness the importance of relationships in the developmental process. In 2015, I completed my graduated degree and began work as a Child and Adolescent therapist at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE), and also began a small private practice. I still hold both positions today and value you the rich learning and experience they provide me. I work primarily from an attachment perspective and believe that relationship is an essential component of healing. I help my clients to develop a sense of safety in relationship in order to create an environment in which they can process their experiences. I also support parents in understanding the impacts of trauma and developing strategies in supporting their children at home.

I feel privileged to continually have the opportunity to learn from the children, youth and families that I work with. I strive to work collaboratively with my clients so that I may learn about their unique experiences and support them on their path towards growth and healing.

Cierra Chmiliar

Registered Provisional Psychologist

Cierra  is a Provisional Psychologist who practices out of Family Counselling Centres in Leduc. She primarily works with children, teens, and families, specializing in play therapy and equine-assisted counselling. Cierra works from a client-centered approach, and believes a non-judgmental relationship between the client and therapist is crucial for change. She works collaboratively with her clients to help them gain awareness and insight, so they can build and draw upon their own internal resources. To this effect, she uses a wide range of modalities, including person-centered, play therapy, sandtray, trauma therapy (EMDR), equine-assisted therapy, art, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Cierra also has experience working within the school system, working primarily with children with developmental disorders and their families.

Cierra works from a client-centered approach, and believes a non-judgmental relationship between the client and therapist is crucial for change. She works collaboratively with her clients to help them gain awareness and insight, so they can build and draw upon their own internal resources.

To this effect, she uses a wide range of modalities, including person-centered, play therapy, sandtray, trauma therapy (EMDR), equine-assisted therapy, art, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Cierra also has experience working within the school system, working primarily with children with developmental disorders and their families.

Erin Newman

Registered Provisional Psychologist, Ph.D Candidate

I am a Registered Provisional Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a member of the Psychologist Association of Alberta. I have a Bachelors of Psychology degree from MacEwan University and a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta.

I began my career treating at-risk youth with complex trauma and mental health needs at a residential treatment facility. It was here that my passion for child and youth mental health and wellbeing arose. Since that time, I work in both private practice and for the public health sector, working primarily with children, youth, and their families.

My practice is grounded in attachment theory, and I firmly believe that relationships form the basis for development. I also believe that children and youth require skills in mental health taught and demonstrated to them by supportive adults, in order to help them manage this increasingly complex world. Thus, I am privileged and pleased to provide instruction on how to support child and youth mental health, to provide individual treatment and support directly to children and youth, and to provide consultation and support to parents and teachers.

Jocelyn Nand

Registered Provisional Psychologist

Jocelyn Nand is a Registered Provisional Psychologist in good standing with the College of Alberta Psychologists. She is the director of Family Counselling Centres in Edmonton, Alberta. Jocelyn engages in a counselling relationship with children as well as adults. She has completed her play therapy training through the Canadian Association for Play Therapy (CAPT) and is a director on the board of directors with the CAPT. Jocelyn provides a counselling practice that is informed by trauma, grief and loss and attachment-based models and has taken numerous trainings in these topics. She has also completed training in filial play therapy practices like the Child Parent Relationship Therapy model and the Theraplay model. She is passionate about her work with children and believes in the importance of establishing resiliency and healthy coping skills. She utilizes a strengths-focused approach and explores the individual’s relationship with self and others. She believes that preventive mental health initiatives are vital for all children regardless of their unique experiences, strengths and struggles. She views Play Therapy as an age appropriate and evidence-based practice. She understands that counselling is not a “one size fits all” approach and integrates animal assisted Play Therapy as well as other expressive arts practices. 

Sarah Hopkins

Registered Provisional Psychologist

Sarah is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a member of the Psychologist Association of Alberta. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Alberta, and a Masters of Counselling degree from Athabasca University. She has completed the first level of Play Therapy training from Rocky Mountain Play Therapy Institute and will be working towards registration as a Play Therapist. She also has additional training in Theraplay.

She began her career as a Family Support Worker, supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in their homes and community. She has also worked with children and youth with learning disabilities in both the Edmonton Public school system, and Post Secondary environments.

Tammy Auten-Dye

Registered Psychologist

Tammy is a Registered Psychologist who runs a Private Practice out of Ponoka Alberta. Tammy works in office and in schools with children, teens and families; specializing in play therapy, art therapy and Cognitive behavioural therapy.
Tammy is an attachment based therapist and believes in a family approach. Tammy believes that having parental/ guardian involvement in therapy, whenever possible, helps to facilitate deeper and longer lasting growth from the therapy process, for all involved. She works collaboratively with clients and their families to support them in meeting their therapeutic goals focusing on thought processes, such as self talk, play therapy, sand tray therapy, and art therapy.
Working to deepen self understanding for ones own mood management, anxiety and self regulation. Tammy works to provide information to gain more understanding of internal processes, developmental norms, and strategies to support the family and the child. Tammy has experience working in the school system and medical offices and understands the importance of wrap around services and collaborative supportive approaches. 

Samantha Dover

Mental Health Therapist; Grief Recovery Specialist 

Samantha  is a Mental Health Therapist/ Clinical Intern at both Family Counselling Centres in Leduc and The Grief and Trauma Healing Centre in Edmonton. Although she is currently finishing her Master of Counselling Degree, she brings with her extensive background knowledge regarding grief and trauma in children as the previous Director of Community Education and Engagement for the Zebra Child Protection Centre. In this role, Sam worked one on one supporting children and their family members who were facing the effects of abuse. In addition, she developed new means of teaching others about the effects of grief and loss and how best to support children and youth. Sam is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist® and now focuses much of her clinical practice on helping those who have suffered from loss or trauma.

Sam has presented in multiple international conferences and has been interviewed for numerous media outlets. She continues to be inspired by the brave individuals she works with and looks forward to sharing her stories and insights with you.

Dariel Cole

Registered Psychologist

I have been working with individuals, children and families with a variety of educational and mental health needs for the last 10 years. My work experience has allowed me to have diverse opportunities in supporting people with diverse needs. I am currently a Registered Psychologist in the Province of Alberta. My work experience opportunities have included working in child protection, not for profit agencies, schools, clinics and hospitals.

I obtained my undergraduate degree with a major in Psychology from the University of Alberta in 2008 at which time I added a year of cooperative work experience to my degree so that I could have practical time working with children and families as a Behavior Interventionist. In between my educational endeavors I had the opportunity to volunteer and work with the Zebra Child Protection Centre where I gained a wealth of experience in child advocacy and court preparation and also supported children and families. I went on to complete my Masters of Counselling with City University of Seattle in 2012. For my Master’s level practicum I had the opportunity to work in the Stollery Children’s hospital in Pediatric Oncology providing therapeutic supports and assisting with neuropsychological assessments. Following my graduation and practicum I helped to co-develop a program supported in the Not For Profit Sector assisting children and families with pediatric cancer with reintegrating into the community.
I am passionate about the field of psychology and enjoy supporting clients in many ways. I like to help clients using several modalities including humanistic theoretical foundations, cognitive behavioural strategies, positive psychology influences and mindfulness practices. I am continually interested in learning about new resources and strategies and have completed the Mindfulness Schools Fundamentals Training. Furthermore, I  have been trained to use SandPlay Therapy which is based in Jungian psychology  and Kalffian theory and has beneficial applications for all ages. In addition to a thirst for learning; I am always adding to my pile of reading materials.

Christine Crocker

Registered Psychologist

Christine Crocker is a Registered Psychologist who has been providing services to families, couples and individuals since 2007, both in private practice and for agencies.  Christine has a Masters in Science in Marital and Family Therapy through Loma Linda University and a Bachelor of Science Specialization awarded from the University of Alberta.  She has walked the journey with children, youth and families through the process of divorce, to help navigate the many life changes this transition brings. She has supported families with blended family obstacles and also understands these transitions personally as a step-parent in a blended family.  

Jacquie Ganton

Teacher, Educator, and Speaker

I am both an educator and a mother of 4.  After completing a college diploma in Natural Resources and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sciences, I graduated from the University of Alberta in 2007 with my Bachelor of Education After-Degree.  I began teaching in the traditional classroom but shortly after travelled overseas to teach in South Korea. Upon my return, I started a position in a High School Outreach, a more alternative school setting offering courses for students working independently.  Over the next 8 years I would continue to teach both in the traditional classroom setting as well as in Distance Education.  I also run a small business providing equine instruction and coaching.  More recently, I am the founder of the Youth Launch Initiative, a company developed to provide support, resources and education to parents of students and young adults.

Dr. Veronika Botova 

Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Botova is board certified in chelation, acupuncture, IV therapy, neural therapy and has prescription privileges in British Columbia. She is a primary care provider and focuses on finding and treating the root cause of illness to re-establish balance and health in the body. Dr. Botova graduated from Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine and she also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in biology from University of Fraser Valley. Dr. Botova is board certified in acupuncture, IV therapy, neural therapy and has prescription privileges in BC. Dr. Botova works closely with her husband, Dr. Flores, at Leduc Naturopathic Clinic which is located in Leduc and only 20 min south of Edmonton.

Together they provide each patient with the highest quality integrated medical care because of the combination of her naturopathic training and his allopathic background. Dr. Botova’s interests lie in women’s health, treatment of chronic disease and pain. Dr. Botova sees each patient as an individual and listens to their needs in order to put together the optimum treatment plan. This often comprises of a combination of nutritional medicine, herbs, homeopathy or hormone balancing when needed.

Dr. Botova frequently uses intravenous vitamin and mineral infusions or other injections therapies such as neural therapy to treat chronic conditions and pain successfully.

Dr. Deborah MacNamara

Professional Couselor, Author, and Instructor

Deborah MacNamara is a developmentalist and author of the best selling book Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (or anyone who acts like one). She is on Faculty at the Neufeld Institute, and is the Director of Kid’s Best Bet, a Counselling and Family Resource Center. Her book Rest, Play, Grow has been translated into the Russian and French languages with Italian, German, Spanish, and Danish translations currently underway.

Deborah is a dynamic teacher and experienced counsellor who makes developmental science come to life in the everyday context of home and classroom. She provides counselling services to parents and professionals to make sense of learning, behavioural, and developmental issues in kids – from babies to teens.

Deborah travels nationally and internationally, speaking to child and adolescent development issues to groups including the United Nations and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. She regularly speaks to parents, educators, child care professionals, social workers, foster and adopt community, and health care professionals, sharing her insight and passion for making sense of kids. She is a developmentalist at heart who is continually fascinated by the mysteries and beauty inherent in human maturation.

Deborah completed a two-year post doctoral internship with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, is an award winning researcher, and has over 20 years experience as a teacher and counsellor working with leading institutions such as the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Vancouver School Board. Deborah regularly appears on radio and TV, her articles appear in parenting magazines, websites, and newsletters across Canada and internationally including Australia’s “Nurture-Natural Parenting Magazine” where she is a regular contributor. She resides in Vancouver British Columbia with her family and consciously works at creating an attachment village for her children to grow up in.

Jennifer Daines

Registered Psychologist

I believe people are wired for resiliency and personal growth. Through the Institute of Child Psychology, I am able to connect parents, caregivers and professionals with access to resources and information in order to promote wellness and build healthy relationships. Taking a strength-based approach that everyone is doing their best, I work to build on existing resources, challenge limiting beliefs and foster new perspectives. In private practice, I work with children, adolescents, adults and families.

Certification and Training Includes: Registered Psychologist, Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, Play Therapy training and ongoing training for Hakomi: A mindfulness-Centred Somatic Psychotherapy

Dr. Kurtis Fischer

Licensed Chiropractor

Dr. Kurtis Fischer is passionate about helping people live stronger, healthier lives, and assist them to reach their upmost potential through Chiropractic. A graduate of the world-renowned New Zealand College of Chiropractic, has now proudly returned to his hometown of Edmonton and has been in practice at South Side Chiropractic over the last year.

Dr. Kurtis is on a mission to educate and empower the community of the importance of the healthy functioning of your brain and nervous system and how it interacts inside of you, and with the world around you.

Simplicity Parenting Coach

Kathleen started off adult life as a nurse and was a founder of the first nurses’ union in Canada. After 18 years of leading collective agreement settlements, Kathleen realized that our women were no happier than the day we began our social justice initiative. She woke up to the realization that inner happiness does not come from outer conditions, so Kathleen chose to leave that work and study environmental sciences.

In the first program in North America, in the first text book, and on the first page, the author stated that the problems with the environment were a failing of the human spirit. Well what is that about, she asked? And Kathleen has been looking for answers ever since.

Along the way, she took up the call to shift our paradigm from health—defined as the absence of disease—to wellness, and hosted the first wellness symposium in partnership with Deva-Marie Beck and GMCC. Out of this grew the health and wellness programming in Edmonton while Deva went on to found the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth in any community.

That stretch led to achieving a Master’s in Health Administration, graduate studies in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Brain Gym instructor certificate, a Waldorf teaching certificate, Simplicity Parenting Coach and Counselor, and Anthroposophic Psychology certification (coaching as if soul and spirit matter).

Kathleen is currently working with a team of healing professionals for the development of a trauma transition program. This program includes the work of John Demartini, Lisa Dion of the Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, the neuro-biology of facilitating regulation, and Lisa Schwartz of the Comprehensive Resource Model. All of these modalities help us to connect with our emotional life and build a relationship with each emotion.

As a Simplicity Parenting Coach, Kathleen offer a simple, orderly, and effective pathway to simplify four realms at home, which reduces stress on children and their parents, and allows room for connection, creativity, and relaxation:

  • Environment: De-cluttering too much stuff at home.
  • Rhythm: Increasing predictability by introducing rhythmic moments for connection and calm.
  • Scheduling: Soothing violent schedules brings moments for Being into all the Doing.
  • Unplugging: Reducing the influence of adult concerns, media and consumerism on children and families to increase resilience, social and emotional intelligence.
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