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Need an understanding ear or someone to talk to? Parkinson Society British Columbia offers free, short-term, confidential and non-judgmental counselling services for people touched by Parkinson’s disease. Counselling will provide you with a safe and structured environment to discuss challenges, process emotions and provide you with the extra support you and your loved one(s) may need.

Our clinical counsellors have experience working with people living with Parkinson’s and their loved ones. Our counselling intern, Rena Iwasaki, also offers a unique perspective, having worked with multiple sclerosis patients. They are able to help in dealing with a combination of issues including:

  • Coping with a diagnosis
  • Life transitions
  • Grief/loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Interested in learning more about mental health and counselling options? Read an interview with PSBC clinical counsellors. 

About Courtney Doherty, MCP, RCC 
Born and raised in Ottawa, ON, Courtney completed her B.A. in Halifax, NS at Dalhousie University. After her undergraduate degree, and a little soul searching, she decided to follow her dream of becoming a counsellor and moved to Vancouver, BC to pursue a Masters of Counselling Psychology at Adler University (formerly Adler School of Professional Psychology). Now a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors (BCACC), her personal connection to Parkinson’s disease (PD) brought her to Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC). Courtney’s father was diagnosed with PD over 10 years ago, and recently underwent Deep Brain Stimulation surgery, which has been a successful form of treatment for him. Believing that every individual has the potential to lead a happy and fulfilling life regardless of challenges faced, she brings a unique perspective and skill set to PSBC.

About Tricia Wallace, MSN
Tricia has practiced as a registered nurse since 1988 in hospital and community settings, attaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Nursing (MSN) from the University of Victoria, BC. Currently, she is completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) at Yorkville University. Tricia has extensive experience working with adults of all ages in the field of mental health, including case management for those 55 and older who live with co-occurring disorders, and work as a clinical educator on a neuropsychiatric inpatient ward. As a result, Tricia has knowledge of medications and neurodegenerative disease processes that may inform work in counselling sessions. She also recognizes the importance of a strength-based, holistic approach to Parkinson’s disease that includes emotional support and skill building for individuals and their families.

About Rena Iwasaki, BA (intern, available Thursdays only)

Rena completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Psychology at Trinity Western University, and is in the progress of completing her Master of Counselling Psychology at Adler University. She uses an Adlerian Psychology approach, focusing on a sense of belongingness in individuals and making sense of various life experiences, and values collaborations between clients and the counsellor. Living with her own spinal cord injury has made her passionate about becoming a counsellor for people with physical concerns. Rena has worked with people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), and is currently doing another internship at a substance abuse service. Although Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries are very different, Rena believes there are some overlapping symptoms and emotional experiences. Using her own experiences and knowledge, she hopes to work with clients with joy and empathy, hoping to increase individuals' quality of life.

Schedule an appointment
Not sure if counselling is right for you? Call or email us for more information on our counselling services at 604-662-3240, Toll Free 1-800-668-3330, or info@parkinson.bc.ca.

Please note that we are unable to provide crisis counselling, if you or someone you know is in crisis, please contact:

  • Crisis Centre BC (1-800-SUICIDE or 310-6789) available 24 hours
  • Senior Abuse and Information Line (1-866-437-1940 or 604-437-1940)
  • One of BC’s crisis hotlines 

If this is an emergency and you feel that you or someone you know is at risk of harming themselves or another, please call 9-1-1 immediately.