Elana Sures, MEd, RCC
Kristina Barr, MA, CCC
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read about me and my practice. It is an honour to sit with my clients and explore the more challenging emotions and transitions that life presents us with. I hope that I can also help you emerge feeling clearer, more connected, and on the path to meaningful change.
I received an MA in Counselling Psychology in 1998, and have since then engaged in extensive post-graduate education. My training includes:
- Advanced training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
- Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) - currently in Core Training
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
I have also worked as a psychotherapist with Vancouver Coastal Health since 2010, and have a wide range of clinical experience. My areas of specialization include anxiety, depression, self-doubt, loneliness, and interpersonal/relational struggles. My clients tell me that they value my ability to identify – and work through – the unique emotional and relational patterns that keep them stuck. I frequently work with people who find it hard to open up to others, and who might even have some ambivalence about seeking counselling! My warm demeanour helps create connection and security, so that we can together engage in the sometimes challenging work of meaningful personal growth. My style is highly engaged and results focused – I want to help you get what you need out of counselling.
In addition to my counselling career, I have previously worked as an actor. This background has been invaluable in helping clients. I have an appreciation for how performance, competition and criticism impacts our sense of self-worth and confidence.
I am available for virtual individual counselling sessions on Mondays and will also be available for both virtual and in-person sessions on Fridays starting April 2021. I am currently accepting new clients. Please reach out to me to find out if I am a good fit for you - I offer a complimentary 20-minute phone or video consultation so that you can get to know me better.
Hi there, and thanks for visiting my page!
It’s hard to capture “who I am” as a counsellor because I adapt my approach to the situation, the goals of each client, and emotions present in therapy. Throughout my life, however, people of all ages and walks of life have said they feel comfortable talking to me—and clients have shared that they appreciate my calm, curious, and compassionate way.
I came to the counselling profession in my forties—after years in stressful executive roles, after years of waiting to adopt two wonderful children, and after a health crisis that landed me in hospital for nearly a month. I feel my life experiences and struggles help me connect with people experiencing anxiety, depression, frustration, isolation, day-to-day boredom, relationship stress and (perhaps especially) existential angst.
I joined a Men’s Group soon after my hospital visit because I knew I’d need support during my “comeback”—and within a couple of years our facilitator asked me to step in for him during a sabbatical; it was a gift of trust and faith I will always treasure. I facilitated my first group the same month I started my Master of Counselling program, and I knew right away—20+ years into “adulthood”—that I’d found my path. Counselling is more a calling than a vocation for me.
I am open to many therapeutic models including ACT and CBT, and I use somatic approaches too. I am also inclined to behaviourism, and I’m especially enthusiastic about helping others put their values into action. But I don’t tend to plan sessions around interventions; I find it more effective to work-play with people in an organic way, and most sessions are grounded in whatever’s coming up and then focused on talking through and leaning into related emotions. This open approach is driven by my personal belief that therapy is just as much about being there for people as it is about “doing the work” with them.
In being-doing with clients, I find I am often able to perceive subtle themes and patterns running through their lives—from coping strategies that don’t seem to work anymore, to self-defeating views that hold them back from healthy connections and a constructive path forward. I find the key to helping often lies in sharing these observations gently and curiously…planting seeds. And when these seeds hold truth and meaning for people, and are nourished therapeutically, I have often seen them bloom into understanding and positive change.
I currently have openings for virtual counselling sessions, so please reach out if you’re interested and we can connect for a no-fee, no-pressure 20-minute call if you’d like to see if we’re a fit.
Thanks for reading and be well!