About Susan Williams, MSW RCSW

Empowerment Approach:
My approach is psychoeducational. My goal is to empower you to focus, listen to yourself, reflect upon what you discover and make more self-aware choices by providing brief, solution-focused counseling and coaching. With a strong intention, in conjunction with becoming curious rather than judgmental about yourself, I believe that you can shift feelings of overwhelm about what you are experiencing in six to eight counselling sessions. I provide helpful, up to date resources that support you in taking new perspectives and learning new skills.


What I bring to the counselling process:
• My full presence and curiosity about you. Successful outcomes in counselling are highly correlated with the quality of the counselling relationship; technique and theoretical orientation are secondary. I will be available to establish a relationship with you from the moment we connect.
• My knowledge, flexibility, and creativity. While techniques such as cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety have proven efficacy, and I am pleased to orient you to them, each of us experiences life and learns differently. I will help you anchor yourself to the understanding that you are the only expert on yourself. I will provide information and resources that encourage you to develop self-affirming perspectives and skills. I will continually redirect you to finding your own answers to your issues and concerns. I will help you to understand that self-awareness and self-mastery are the ultimate goals of the therapeutic relationship.
• My psychoeducational approach. An educational approach to wellness is often more effective than medical model formulations that tend to categorize and medicate rather than explore. Through a psychoeducational process I will support you to find your own pathway through common human experiences such as: grief and loss; anxiety; trauma and trauma recovery; some types of depression; body image; becoming more mindful; establishing effective boundaries; increasing self-confidence and assertiveness; managing life transitions including the birth of a child; beginning or ending relationships; understanding sexuality; aging; and developing empathy and communication skills.
• My considerable professional training and life experience, my emotional intelligence and my curiosity about life will help you to discover your own pathway.
Susan Williams, Counsellor Susan Williams, Salish Sea Counselling
Academics and Registration:
• Certificate in Counselling (The Haven)
• Master’s degree in Social Work (University of British Columbia)
• registration with the BC College of Social Workers since 1998; Clinical registration 2014 (04424)
• registered for Private Practice with the BC Association of Social Workers (100227)
• completion of three undergraduate degrees at Dalhousie University. BA Honours; B.Ed; BSW equivalency


Current Studies:
• enrolled in a Diploma in Counselling at The Haven, a Registered Educational Institution on Gabriola Island
• studying how Adult Attachment styles impact relationship outcomes and how attachment functions in relationship dynamics.


Studies at The Haven:
• I have been a student at The Haven for 30 years. In December of 2016 I Interned Phase 2 and came face to face with my profound fear of being seen in both my vulnerability and my competence; the experience was transformative. In 2018 my intention is to apply to be accepted as a Senior Intern to complete the requirements for the Diploma in Counselling.  I am grateful to Haven and the many Haven Leaders and Teachers.


Current Interests:
• a student of Eastern wisdom traditions and non-sectarian spirituality for the past decade
• interested in neuroscience and neurofeedback and training the brain/ mind to rest in favor of health, wellness, and pleasure when not solving immediate problems
• reading Rebecca Solnit, considering the significance of voice and location and appreciating the long view of the ancestors who, throughout time, have stood in love to speak for freedom, the commons, and all life on our beautiful planet.
• studying the keyboard and the language of music


• combine my varied interests in human growth, development, resiliency, and consciousness with 25 years of experience
• worked for Ministry of Children and Family Development, Health Canada, Vancouver and Toronto Family Services and the Attorney General/ Ministry of Public Safety, as well as for non-profit and Aboriginal and First Nations individuals and communities
• provide counselling to individuals as well as couples, families, and groups


“ No one can give you better advice than yourself.” – Cicero