Professional Grief Counselling

LTLC offers professional grief counselling and emotional support to anyone who is experiencing stress due to life change or loss.

Individual Counselling

Individual Counselling By Appointment Only

Living Through Loss Counselling offers counselling by appointment only. The majority of our counselling is done in person, but we also offer counselling by telephone and email.


$110 per 1 hour ‘one-on-one’ counselling session*.
Prepaid first payment of $110 is required for new clients.

*A small fund provided through the BC Gaming Community Grant program enables LTLC to provide professional counselling to individuals who are on some form of income assistance and otherwise would not be able to access professional counselling. Up to 4 to 6 sessions may be provided those individuals at significantly reduced fee. Please inquire when booking an appointment.

Therapy Model

The primary model used in the centre is Reality Therapy, developed by Dr. William Glasser.

New Clients

Prepaid first payment of $110 is required for new clients.

contact us to book an appointment


Reality Therapy

Reality Therapy provides a framework for evaluating needs, wants, actions, thoughts, feelings and physiological perceptions.

It is concerned with personal responsibility and commitment.

Although the emphasis is on the present, planning for successful experiences and growth is also a key component.

more info


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive, integrative psychotherapy approach.

One of the procedural elements is “dual stimulation” using either bilateral eye movements, tones or taps.

After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress related to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased.

more info

Neurofeedback Therapy

Sometimes known as “brain wave biofeedback”, the term neurofeedback means literally that.

Neurofeedback utilizes EEG (electro-encephalograph) technology to both assess and address imbalances in the brain.

Following assessment, a treatment program is applied which provides the client with information (feedback) which encourages the brain to correct.

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Cheryl Bucar

Dr. Cheryl Bucar

I have worked in organizational loss and change management in for over 25 years. My work and volunteerism has been for both private and public sector firms, secondary and post secondary school systems, police organizations, hospitals, a library system, municipalities and public utilities. My background is varied which I believe has helped greatly in understanding the challenges, issues and complications that people experience in work organizations.

I am committed in my work with people to facilitate the change and recovery from loss and change with compassion, empathy and dignity. Over the past two decades in BC, I have worked with non profit organizations in a consulting and volunteer capacity.

I have an undergraduate in Business, Graduate education in Business and in the Social Sciences, a PhD in organizational leadership and as well am a certified therapist. I am also an Executive Coach.

Having experienced personal and work related loss, I have learned that recovery from the trauma of change and loss is a process. In many situations such as a death or divorce the individual is able to label the loss and associated feelings as grief.

Often in an organizational context, individuals do not think that the work related change as loss which can trigger profound feelings of grief. Understanding organizational loss in this context, normalizing the feelings that go with this type of change allows the integration of this knowing into my group and individual counselling work.

I have consulted, volunteered, and been a Board member to Living through Loss Counselling of BC for over 20 years and continue my support to the agency through my volunteerism in addition to building knowledge and experience in grief and loss as a committed  Board member. My areas of practice and research interest in grief and loss are:

  • Supporting individuals who have suffered a workplace loss due to restructuring, downsizing, death of a colleague, or job loss and associated complications as a result
  • Working with loss related to survivor guilt and fatigue resulting from multiple organizational changes, i.e. rolling downsizing initiatives over years, restructuring, demotions, job change, and a new boss or team, as examples.
  • Working with survivors and victims of workplace bullying
Laurissa Kowalchuk

Laurissa Kowalchuk

Laurissa Kowalchuk is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a private practice in Vancouver, BC. Her counselling approach draws from Person-Centred Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness/Awareness practices.

She is trained and certified in EMDR, an effective therapy used to treat trauma related issues, as well as anxiety and depression. Laurissa also has training and experience working with individuals and groups dealing with grief and loss issues.

She is a co-facilitator for a grief and loss group that runs out of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and has facilitated groups at the Living Through Loss Clinic.

Laurissa has a Masters of Education in Counselling-Psychology from UBC and is in good standing with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

Please visit her website for more information.

Lynette Pollard-Elgert

Lynette Pollard-Elgert


I have my Degree in Criminology; I am a Family Life Educator; Registered Clinical Counsellor; and a Certified Reality Therapist, I am one of several therapists Certified in BC as a Grief Counsellor and Thanatologist through the Association for Death Education and Counselling, (ADEC). I am also certified in Neurofeedback – a useful therapy for someone dealing with the pain of grief and loss.

I have worked in BC for 25 years as an individual and group therapist as well as a Canadian trainer in the field of Loss and Change Management.

Some of my areas of interest are working with families who have been traumatized by a homicide, violent crime, accidents, loss of a child or other loved ones.

I use the reality therapy model which supports, educates and strengthens peoples coping skills.

I am passionate about working with people to bring about personal change that has a positive and sustaining impact on their day-to-day lives.

Having experienced many losses myself has assisted me in creating an atmosphere of compassion and understanding for those grieving. It is a very honoring experience for me to be able to share with or walk with my clients on their painful journey of change.

Allen Sawkins

Allen Sawkins

I am Registered Shiatsu Therapist, Reiki Practitioner, LaStone Hot Rock Therapist and Therapeutic Bodyworker and have been involved in healing bodywork for over 20 years.

I began working as a volunteer with Body Positive, one of the first AIDS Charities in the UK and then as a member of the Complementary Health Staff at the London East Aids Network. I had a private Shiatsu practice at The Primrose Hill Healing Centre, and also worked in tandem with a Therapist from the Metanoia Institute in London.

After moving to Canada I was a volunteer with the Persons With Aids Society and also ran a clinic for people with life threatening conditions, including HIV infection, MS and Cancer.

I have been a member of the Continuing Education Faculty Staff at Langara College for over 10 years teaching on the Shiatsu Practitioners Diploma Program.

I have taught for the Vancouver School Board, the Healing Bodywork Centre and presented a satellite workshop at the BC Aids Conference on Shiatsu and its use for the side effects of drug therapies.

I believe that bodywork is an essential part of healing when we are dealing with grief and loss. Grief has a tendency to take us out of our bodies and as a result we can lose our sense of self and feel disempowered.

As a Survivor of a Victim of Homicide, I appreciate that grief impacts us on an emotional, physical and spiritual level, and feel that bodywork helps us stay connected to all these aspects of our being. It also gives us the opportunity to feel nurtured and supported and stay grounded when dealing with episodes of grief.

Nancy Szastkiw

Nancy Szastkiw

I currently do grief and loss counselling with drop-in groups and individuals in Vancouver’s downtown east side (DTES). I also work with military clients in transition and with their trauma experiences.

My focus is to help people work through the process of grief and loss and other life changes. Respectful listening and an awareness of multiculturalism are cornerstones in my work with clients.

My background includes a business degree in organizational culture, certification as a life coach, an undergraduate degree and a Masters in Counseling Psychology.

A focus in my volunteer experience over the years has been in hospice care, psychoeducation, and promotion of healthy activities for people who are working though life changes and grief processes.

I am a registered BC clinical counsellor.


Mia Tremblay

I am a Registered Art Therapist with extensive training in the Expressive Therapies including Play Therapy and Sand Play Therapy.

I designed and implemented an Art Therapy in Schools program in inner city schools working with thousands of at-risk children over a period of 8 years.

My experience working with traumatic loss includes several years at Living Through Loss with children and families.

Daily meditation practice with 20 years of mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation is inextricably intertwined in the work that i do with adults, children and families.

I am enjoying a private Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy Practice in Nanaimo B.C.