Health & Wellness

Mental Health

Staff


Erica McGill, MEd, RCT, CCC
Director, Student Resource Centre

Erica received her BA and M.Ed from Acadia University. She has experience in both university counselling centers and private practice settings. She has completed training in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and works from a client-centered approach with experience in Solution Focused and Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. She works with individuals, couples, and groups on issues related to anxiety, depression, stress, anger, LGBTQ, gender, relationship and interpersonal concerns.

Rania ElSouri, MA, RCT

Hi Acadia, my name is Rania and I am a newer addition to the Counselling team. I want to let you know that I am here for you when you need to talk, require mental or emotional supports, or if you are simply seeking resources. Counselling can be scary at times, especially when you don’t know whom you are talking to. My virtual door is always open, we can always start with getting to know each other and building a safe space.

I use different therapy modalities and techniques which include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These techniques are effective and used with numerous areas such as anxiety, depression, substance use, personality disorders, and that’s just to name a few. We all come from unique cultural backgrounds and have our own story to tell, therefore, I incorporate the use of multi-cultural counselling when working with clients.

I am looking forward to meeting you!


Christina Gentile, MA, RCT-C, CCC

Christina received her BFA in Music with a Minor in Religious Studies from Concordia University and holds a MA in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria. Having lived and traveled around the world, she brings an international lens to her counselling practice.  She also speaks French and German fluently.

Christina’s approach is holistic, strength-based, and trauma informed. She draws from various modalities including Emotion-Focused Family Therapy, Focusing, mindfulness-based practices, dialectical behavior therapy, as well as music and art-based methods. She has extensive training in the areas of eating disorders, body image concerns, domestic violence, anxiety, life transitions, and grief and loss. She brings a warm-hearted approach to counselling with a deep respect for the integrity of the individual and their social and environmental context.

Christina is also a voice coach and a certified yoga teacher with a personal practice in meditation and pranayama. She is honoured to be living and working on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.


David MacPhee, BSW, MSW (SWC)
David is a Social Worker born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He has worked as a clinical therapist at CFS Saskatoon, the Suspected Trauma and Abuse Response Team at the IWK, the PAUSE Mental Health Walk-in Clinic at the North End Community Health Centre, and currently works for the Clinical Virtual Care Team at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. David has been committed to mental health promotion and awareness before his career as a Social Worker which included serving as the support person for the Mount Kenya HIV/AIDS Group, creating mental health awareness programming for the Ottawa and Eastern Ontario School Boards and addictions recovery work in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

David is trained in CBT for Groups and Individuals. Stemming from his work at IWK David is a Trauma-informed clinician. David's work at the Pause was primarily Brief Intervention Solution-Focused therapy. David has also been trained in Narrative Therapy during his graduate studies at Dalhousie University.

David is a husband, father and pet owner. He is also a comic book aficionado, music nut and avid hockey fan.

Sarah Pittoello, RCT-C, MEd, MSc
Sarah received her BScH in Astrophysics from Queen's University, MSc. in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, and MEd in Counselling from Acadia University. Sarah brings a body-centered, mindfulness-based approach to her individual counselling and groups on campus. She has just completed the first year of Somatic Experiencing training and has taught yoga and mindfulness over the past 12 years. She brings deep curiosity, care, and a social justice lens to her work with students experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, grief, trauma, and challenges in social and intimate relationships. Sarah is also an organic grower and has taught and written on sustainable food systems.

Janet Ross
Administrative Assistant, Acadia Counselling Centre

Janet has worked with Acadia for over 12 years at the KC Irving Centre, Writing Centre, ASU Cajuns, took 10 years off to raise little humans then back with Acadia Events and now so happy to work with students again at the Counselling Centre.

Email Janet at counselling@acadiau.ca to arrange a session with a counsellor. Janet loves Acadia and helping students! Be well and take care

Courtney Sheedy (she/her)
Campus Health and Wellness Coordinator

Courtney completed her BSc specializing in Health Promotion from Dalhousie and is currently completing her M.Ed. for Health Interprofessionals with Acadia! Courtney organizes the Acadia@Night program, the Brain Health Rewards Program/YOU101, Keep it Social, and supports Athletics with the Acadia4U program. Courtney takes a holistic, population health approach to her work and is passionate about supporting students, staff/faculty, and the Wolfville community. Her instagram page is @healthyacadiau.


Gina Spidle, MEd, CCC, RCT

Gina received a B.A. (soc) from Saint Mary’s University, a Corrections Diploma from Success College and an M.Ed in Counselling from Acadia University.

Gina pulls from a variety of therapies in her sessions but works primarily from ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and actively incorporates the practice of self-compassion and self-talk in her therapy sessions. Areas of focus include substance use, eating disorders, anger and relationships.

Gina is also the Career Counsellor and is qualified to administer the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and The Strong Interest Inventory to help you explore your future career opportunities.


Dr. Chris Toplack

Christina Toplack is a physician who has been practicing medical psychotherapy for several years. Pronouns are she/her. Christina has trained in many therapeutic approaches including Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Logosynthesis, Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Chi Gong, Somatics and Redecision Therapy and extensively uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy in her work. She prescribes medications when appropriate. She works with people experiencing depression, anxiety, grief and loss, perfectionism, and other acute and chronic stress-reactions. Christina brings a feminist and gender-diversity-positive perspective to her work and strives to recognize and address the effects of stigma, bias, and violence on mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. She is happy to be a member of the Counselling Centre staff.


Julia Wassef, MA, MEd, CCC, RCT

I’m Julia and I love the challenge of working in a busy university counselling centre. I’ve always been interested in listening to people’s stories and am drawn to life on campus and the difficulties that students might experience.

I am a trauma-informed counsellor who has worked with students to help overcome anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, sexualized violence, and adjusting to life on campus. I particularly enjoy working with culturally diverse and International Students and draw from an integrated counselling approach including ACT, Narrative, EMDR, animal-assisted, and feminist modalities.

I am a Registered Counselling Therapist with the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists and a Certified Canadian Counselling with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. I hold an M.Ed from Acadia University, an M.A. from Dalhousie University and have completed the Complete Basic Training for EMDR as well as holding a graduate certificate in Human Animal Connection from the University of Denver.


Graduate Interns

Practicum students training in the Masters of Education (Counselling) Program complement the Centre staff during the academic year.

 

Sarah Ayton
I’m Sarah (she/they), and I’m thrilled to join the Acadia Counselling Centre’s team as an intern. I’m currently working toward my M. Ed in Counselling Psychology at Acadia. I’m honoured and grateful to be here in Mi’kma’ki, having relocated last year from Tio’tia:ke/Montreal. My approach to counselling comes from my background as a community organizer and educator, with a focus on working with girls, women, and queer and gender diverse communities. I work from a 2SLGBTQIA+ affirming, feminist foundation that validates peoples’ lived experiences and centers agency, autonomy, and ongoing consent. My counselling style is person-centered, humanistic, trauma-informed, and rooted in curiosity and compassion. I value creativity, connection, and integrity in counselling relationships. I’m thankful to work with students this semester and look forward to the learning and growing ahead.

Grace Han
Hello, my name is Grace Han, and I am pleased to be a part of the Acadia Counselling Centre for the semester of winter 2022 as a practicum student. I am in the M.Ed Counselling Psychology program at Acadia, which is also where I have completed Master of Divinity. I was born in Korea and moved to Canada when I was 12 to the land of Tkaronto, known as Toronto, and now live on this beautiful land of Mi’kma’ki.
 
As a life-long learner my passion is to work with young adults as they search to find their place in the world. I believe that this journey begins with discovering their identity, who they are in their communities and in the world, especially for those who may identify as persons with disability as they navigate around the world that was not designed for them. I am excited to be a part of this team at Acadia, and I look forward to connecting with you. I am available on Thursdays and Fridays, I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

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Contact us for an appointment:

counselling@acadiau.ca
Tel: 902.585.1246

Old SUB lower level

Hours:

Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm

 
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