About Us

Our Clinical Focus

At Strength Counselling Services we provide a variety of options for holistic healing in the form of therapeutic practice through both in-office and E-counselling to any location worldwide with a clinical focus given to mental, emotional, and physical health.

With a diverse team of trained and registered clinicians we have worked with a number of client concerns including: 

  • addictions
  • abuse
  • anxiety
  • body image issues
  • maladaptive eating
  • sexual behaviours
  • depression
  • marital discord
  • family development
  • parenting and child rearing
  • family of origin issues
  • rehabilitation from trauma
  • life management issues
  • emotional turmoil
  • criminal rehabilitation
  • suicidal ideation
  • gender identity
  • LGBTQ challenges

Please contact us if you wish to work with any of the practitioners listed below.

Our Team

Amanda Poitras, M.Ed, RCC

Director

Amanda graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2013 with a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology and in 2010 with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Addictions Counselling. She is a registered member of the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors; designating her as a registered clinical counsellor. She works within a trauma-informed transpersonal framework and specializes in addictions recovery, notably process addictions, such as eating disorders, and sexual addiction. Dr. Gary Tzu, Dr. Marcia Rich, and Dr. Steven Thibodeau are a few of the influential leaders she is honoured to have been educated by. At Strength Counselling, Amanda is responsible for ensuring quality delivery of care to clients through a staff of registered counsellors and social workers.

Research Advisors

Dr. Kenneth Kunz

Clinical Navigator & Research Advisor

Kenneth Kunz is excited to join Strength Counselling Services to further his already rewarding career in scientific research and academic medicine.  While in medical practice, Kenneth, who is in recovery himself, noticed that most of the chronic diseases burdening today’s society were actually the end result of untreated addictions, mental health issues, and related process disorders. For example, decades of smoking, the most prevalent addiction, will eventually lead to heart disease, stroke and cancer – the most prolific killers in the Western world. Kenneth is very interested in the biology of addiction, experiences, the shape the structure and function of our brains, and how these pieces ultimately give rise to motivations and actions that may prove harmful or even fatal.  Kenneth’s greatest delight however is in serving as a companion and helper to those wishing, like him, to recover from addiction. He believes in a client-centred, strengths-based, trauma-informed, twelve-step approach to the treatment of addiction. Kenneth sees  addiction as the single most common, most under-recognized, and most treatable of all human conditions.

Brittany Bannerman, M.Ed, CCC

Research Advisor & Counsellor

Brittany has a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology (Addictions and Mental Health) from the University of Lethbridge and is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2012 with a B.A in Psychology and an M.Ed. in 2016. Brittany works within a trauma-informed transpersonal, existential, and humanist framework and is passionate about incorporating mindfulness and harm-reduction techniques into her practice. She believes in facilitating long lasting, transformative changes for her clients by promoting growth and acceptance. She also offers support and integration for those who have experienced spiritual emergencies or exceptional human experiences (e.g., awakening experiences, mystical and transcendent experiences, near-death experiences, etc.).

Clinical Team

Manuela Bizzotto, MSc, RCC

Counsellor

Manuela has a Masters of Science in couple and family therapy from the University of Guelph and she is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. Manuela has provided counselling to adults, children and youth in a variety of settings, including a couple and family therapy centre, child and youth mental health clinic, and in private practice.She believes that people have what it takes to live well but sometimes need help to discover what’s getting in the way of their health and happiness. Her approach provides a safe place for people to reconnect with their strengths, values and self-love and create the changes they want to see in their lives. Manuela supports people who are healing from trauma, coping with grief and loss, recovering from stress and burnout, living with chronic illnesses, and seeking to overcome depression and anxiety, improve relationships and make lifestyle or career changes.

Ewan Kirkaldy, BSW, RSW

Counsellor

Ewan holds a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Victoria. He is also a registered social worker with the BC College of Social workers. For the past five years Ewan has held a number of different and diverse positions including counsellor, group facilitator, and housing support worker.  Ewan works from a client centred, strength based approach, using a trauma informed lens. He specializes in working with addiction, and is able to draw from both personal and professional experience.  Ewan believes in working holistically to improve vitality and quality of life in all areas.  At Strength Counselling, Ewan is responsible for creating and delivering individualized programming for clients on his caseload.

Terra Janot, MEd., CCC

Counsellor

Terra holds a Masters in Counselling Psychology with a special focus in Mental Health and Addictions, as well as an undergraduate degree in Addictions Counselling from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. She is also currently registered as a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Terra has been counselling for the last 8 years and specializes in working through a variety of topics, including: anxiety, depression, mindfulness, addiction, relationship concerns, and communication breakdown.

It is Terra’s belief that the most important quality about counselling is the relationship itself. “There is something incredible that happens when two people work through a problem together that initially seems impossible. In a way, it is the simple act of presence and togetherness that create the necessary environment for healing. The healing nature of community is something humans have experienced for countless generations, and is the same sacred gift that can be discovered during a counselling session.”

Jake Sombrutzki, BHSc

Counsellor

Jake has a Bachelors of Health Sciences (Addictions and Mental Health) from the University of Lethbridge. He utilizes CBT and DBT techniques in his counselling approach. Jake believes in incorporating eastern philosophy and mindfulness into his life and practises as a counsellor. He is currently working on developing research on counselling with gaming as the platform for reaching more populations who struggle with tradition therapy.

Jordan Sombrutzki, M.Sc.

Counsellor

Jordan has a M.Sc. in Counselling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health and Eco Psychology. She is also an Expressive Arts Therapist. Working from a client led, trauma informed perspective, she uses a psycho dynamic methodology as a foundation for her work. Professional areas of interest include: neuroscience, pre verbal trauma, ADHD, mental health rights and advocacy, and the integration of the mind, body, and spirit into therapeutic work. When not at work, she chases her two toddlers to stay in shape and grows an enormous and sometimes out of control garden to feed her family, friends, and neighbours.

Community Engagement

Christina Phipps Kante, BSW

Program Development

Christina completed her Bachelor of Social Work with distinction at the University of Victoria in 2005. She has worked in community development in Canada, South Africa, and Lesotho. She has experience with counselling, facilitation, and project development with diverse groups and individuals. She has Reality Therapy/Choice Theory Certification and training in Motivational Interviewing. Christina is a Senior Accredited DRUMBEAT facilitator, offering social-emotional learning through rhythmic connection. She’s also a skilled puppet-based educator developing programs for violence prevention education for children. She is committed to culturally sensitive and trauma-informed practice.

Lisa Nixon, CPRC, CNRC

Social Media & Design Lead

Lisa is a graphic designer and brand strategist by trade who has also worked in the field of mental health and addictions for over 12 years as a community engagement lead, administrator, group facilitator, and support staff. She is passionate about bringing to life the vision and dedication involved in the work we do at Strength Counselling. She is also a certified life, recovery, and nutritional recovery coach, a certified sound healing practitioner, and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (c) in Victoria BC.