Mary Wilkerson – Associate Counselor
Mary Wilkerson is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC #14348). She received her Bachelor of Education degree from Simon Fraser University and her Master of Counselling Psychology degree from Adler University. Her professional life began as an elementary school teacher. She was later inspired to go back to school to further her education and to continue her work by helping and supporting others through counselling.
Mary brings with her a wealth of life experience. She comes from a large family, has been married for 30 years and has adult children. Having aging parents she understands well the concerns of the “sandwich generation” taking care of both children and elderly parents.
Mary specializes in helping her clients navigate life transitions, helping them make healthier life decisions and building stronger, healthier relationships. She treats individuals and couples, and offers comprehensive services dealing with
- stress management
- low self-esteem
- life transitions, including
- career changes
- empty nest syndrome
- care of elderly parents
- parental issues
- grief or loss
- relationship issues
- communication problems
- anger management
- low self-esteem
- disordered eating
- social building skills, and
- family of origin issues.
I come from a large Italian and French Canadian family. I am a happily married mother of three children ages 28, 26, and 24. I also have a dog that I love dearly. I like to travel and meet new people. I enjoy reading and I love to learn new things. I am a life long learner. I enjoy socializing with my friends and family and always appreciate a good laugh. I love music of many genres, nature walks, skiing, shopping, good meals and good movies.
Prior to becoming a counsellor, my first personal encounter with therapy was while experiencing a mid-life transition. This was a situation in which I was very unfamiliar. A friend suggested counselling. Until then I had never experienced a relationship where I felt so heard and so validated. How often do you get to feel that special and have it all about you? I found that the empathy and insight provided by my therapist was a game changer. With much support and hard work I got through it and decided to become a counsellor myself, wanting as many people as possible to experience not only the unique counsellor-client relationship but the wonder of change no matter how small. I love to work with adults of all ages. Living with young adults gives me some perspective on the trials and tribulations of this younger generation and being a middle-aged woman allows me to have much insight into many types of relationships and life transitions.
I work with others in a warm, sensitive, caring environment creating a non-judgmental, confidential space where clients can feel respected and heard. I believe that therapy cannot exist without creating a strong client-therapist relationship built on trust, support and safety. I am able to encourage my clients to find self-understanding and insight and to put those insights into action, helping them shift their lives in a positive direction. I incorporate a holistic approach to counselling, tailoring therapy for each individual using mental, emotional, physical and spiritual components as needed.
My work is influenced by many evidence-based counselling practices including Adlerian, Client Centred, CBT, Mindfulness, Focus Oriented therapy, and Solution Focused therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for individual and couples , and Gottman Couples Therapy. I believe that counselling is a collaborative process and that the client is the expert of his or her life and tailor my approach to each individual’s needs. I treat every client with great respect as a special, unique individual.
“Most of us are trying to live an authentic life. Deep down, we want to take off our game face and be real and imperfect.” – Brene Brown
Education and Certification
- The Fundamentals of Focusing-Oriented Therapy, Inward Bound Counselling & Focusing Training Level 1 (February, 2017)
- Adler University Vancouver Campus, Masters in Counselling Psychology (2016)
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Six Week Online Training (May, 2016)
- Making Sense of Emotions, with Gordon, Neufeld (March, 2016)
- Gottman Couples Therapy, Level One and Two Certification ( October 2013, February 2016)
- MS Society, Vancouver Chapter, Peer Support Group Leader (2013-2015)
- BCACC, Skills For Mindful Living Series, Volunteer assistant (2013-2015)
- Topics ranged from Anger Management, to Mindfulness Based activities, and Trauma
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction workshop (2013)
- Vancouver Crisis Centre, Education Volunteer (December 2011-2013)
- Simon Fraser University, Bachelor of Education (1984)