M.Ed., Registered Clinical Counsellor
She/Her

Lorraine Schembri

My counselling career stated in Prince George BC, where I completed my master’s program, and worked for Northern Health. I completed my practicum as a student counsellor at the UNBC Wellness Centre. Since then, I’ve worked for health authorities locally, and in Nova Scotia, doing individual therapy, group therapy and crisis mental health work in an emergency department. Prior to counselling, I did years of community support work with individuals with developmental disabilities and did practicums in social services. I am grateful to work in a field that allows me to meaningfully connect with people. 

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Words to live by

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

– Antoine de Saint-Expuéry, The Little Prince
Q & A With our Staff

A little bit more about me

Education?

I completed my Bachelor’s Degree at Simon Fraser University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Biology. I later returned to SFU to complete a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Counselling and Human Development. I completed my Masters of Education in Counselling at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Top Three Specializations?

  • Trauma (Traumatic Events and Attachment Trauma)
  • Depression, Anxiety, Panic
  • Borderline Personality Disorder

Top Three Modalities of Therapy?

Professional Clinical Counselling Certification

Certified with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors: Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)#: 20353

Certified with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Certificate #10005328

What is your approach to therapy?

My aim as a therapist is to deepen clients’ understanding of their emotional experiences, so that they feel more agency in how they navigate their emotions and circumstances. Courses in biopsychology, endocrinology and evolutionary psychology inspired my interest in the biology of mental health and trauma. In supporting clients with making sense of how they experience themselves, their worlds and relationships, I may include aspects of biology, evolution, and developmental theories. That said, I’m not looking to overcomplicate things, and am happy to keep it simple.

What do people say your biggest strength is?

I don’t shy away from doing things on my own. People have commented that it’s brave to attend events, go camping and do road trips by myself. I’m thankful that I enjoy my solo company.

Something you're proud of (challenge you've overcome, etc.)?

I’ve relocated four times for reasons including exploration, education and love. Some moves were easy and the unknowns were exciting. Some moves were difficult and the unknowns were scary. I’m proud that I’ve met the challenges of uprooting in order follow my inner compass.

What led you to counselling?

Early life experiences, including unofficial foster care and adoption, developed a social awareness of how I relate to others, especially with regards to how we navigate the complexities of being human. This naturally led me to explore social sciences. Working in this field allows me to continuously learn about how our circumstances and social systems impact our mental health and sense of self.

Favourite book and why?

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. It’s a children’s fantasy book that I’m not ashamed to say became a favorite for me when I read in grad school as an adult. It’s a magical tale on classic themes of facing what feels unbearable, and accepting what you have to about yourself and your path.

What/who inspires you?

Seeing social concepts get redefined in ways that better serve our health. It’s inspiring to see people prioritize rest and recharge over constant productivity, or measure success based on how they feel rather than what they’ve accomplished. I love that we can learn how to pause in a world that demands efficiency.

Favorite things to do (hobbies, self-care, etc.):

I always have music on and am happy spending time with my cat, wandering on woodsy trails, and stand-up paddleboarding. I dabble in climbing, and doodling with my overpriced watercolor markers. I’m also into a few sci-fi and video game fandoms!

One thing you've learned from working with people?

We have more in common than we know. Our struggles, vulnerabilities, inner thoughts, and needs are wonderfully diverse while having common underlying trends that connect us.

What would you tell a client who is meeting you for the first time?

You can be yourself here as much as you’re comfortable with. I encourage you to let me know if anything feels off and needs adjusting. I take a non-pathologizing approach to mental health that views people as having good reason for their pain, stuck points and ways of coping. My aim is to collaborate with you on expanding your natural capacity for the growth and change you are looking for.

Additional therapies used?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally Focussed Therapy for couples, Feminist Therapy, Somatic techniques