Personal counselling staff descriptions
The primary goal of the Student Counselling Centre (SCC) is to facilitate the personal, social, academic and vocational development of University of Manitoba students by providing professional counselling services, free of charge and confidential. Our services include group and individual counselling, couple counselling, workshops, outreach programs, consultation and training. We offer these services at the Fort Garry campus (474 University Centre, Indigenous Student Centre) and the Bannatyne campus (S207 Medical Services Building). Students come to us for help with many different problems including:
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Transitions
  • Adjustment
  • Family Difficulties
  • Relationships
  • Trauma
  • Loss
  • Procrastination
  • Self-esteem
  • Decision-Making

Group and Workshops– Groups and workshops are a great way to work through and take action on questions or challenges you have. In our groups and workshops you'll be able to talk not only with a counsellor but with other students with similar questions and challenges. We have many different groups and workshops available including some that you can join anytime. All of our groups and workshops are free (with the exception of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory groups for which there is a $25.00 fee for the cost of the inventories) and available to University of Manitoba students only. (add a link to our groups and workshop page)

Individual Counselling – The SCC offers first-time individual counselling services and continuing individual counselling services. At the Fort Garry campus location in 474 University Centre, we have daily, first-come, first-serve first-time counselling appointments that can be requested in-person only. We recommend coming to our office as close to opening (8:30 a.m. weekdays) as possible to request one of these appointments. At the Indigenous Student Centre, we offer counselling services on Thursdays only and students can either drop by that location on that day to request a counselling session or contact staff at the Indigenous Student Centre to schedule an appointment. At the Bannatyne campus location we schedule first-time appointments and students can telephone us at 204-474-8592 to request one of these appointments. Students are also invited to drop by our Bannatyne location to see if there are any open first-time appointments that day. Please note that the Bannatyne location only provides counselling to students studying at that campus.

Outreach Events – The SCC provides group and workshop programming across the University of Manitoba campus that is initiated by us or in response to requests from students, staff or faculty. If you're interested in having someone of the SCC facilitate a group or workshop event, please contact the Director of the SCC, David Ness, at 204-474-8619 or

Consultation – The SCC provides referral information and consultation services to students, staff and faculty. All members of the University of Manitoba community are invited to consult with us if they have concerns about the well-being of a student or staff person.

Training –The SCC offers three different counselling training programs for students completing degree requirements for a university degree. The three programs are: an advanced counselling practicum (usually for students in master's level training programs); a Social Work field placement (only for Social Work students) and a pre-doctoral internship in professional psychology (only for Ph.D. Clinical or Counselling Psychology students).


Nellie Bodnar is the Administrative Assistant of the Student Counselling Centre and is the person to contact regarding general information about the Service.

Katie Leitch (M.A.), Jasmine Haridy:  The front office receptionists are the first helpful contact for any of our services.


Natasha M. Ali (Ph.D., C. Psych., Counselling Psychologist) Is trained in counselling psychology. She views individuals as a dynamic system with potential to evolve, revolve, and involve. Like planets or atoms, she believes that multiple gravitational forces can impact the trajectory of an individual, such as past experiences (positive and traumatic), family and other significant influences, cultural identity, biological factors, the systems that people operate within, current relationships, current stage of life, and future goals, such as career aspirations. As such, Natasha adopts an integrative approach in counselling, and this includes emotion-focused, cognitive-behavioural, developmental, psychodynamic, anti-oppressive, community, and existential perspectives to promote healing and strength resiliency. She appreciates the significant energy required for any system to re-organize, and aims to create a safe environment through using a humanistic approach to engage students. Natasha works at the Indigenous Student Centre and University Centre. She is especially interested in assisting students with relationship difficulties, addictions, identity development, and considering the spiritual into mental and emotional healing.

Linda Churchill A Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) by training, Linda believes in the intrinsic worth of all persons as well as their capacity for learning and growth. Linda views each student as unique and tailors her approach accordingly. She takes into account many dimensions that impact students' lives and explores with them new possibilities, building on their existing strengths and resources. Linda believes in the power of an empathic, compassionate and safe counselling relationship to engage students as they move toward a preferred way of being. Linda enjoys individual and couples work. She also enjoys facilitating small groups dealing with such matters as bereavement support and emotional/relational maturity.

Kimberly Kiley (Ph.D., C. Psych.) has a background in clinical psychology. She believes every person is unique and tailors the counselling process to meet each individual's specific needs. She draws from a variety of therapeutic approaches, including humanistic and cognitive-behavioural. Her interests include anxiety, depression, disordered eating, self-care, and stress management.

Cyndi S. Kindret (M.Ed in Counselling) has a background in counselling with clinical experience extending over 7 years.  Cyndi has worked with various populations and her areas of interest include: addictions, mental health, LGBTTQ concerns, self-esteem, stress management, relationship dynamics, grief/loss, parenting issues, and cultural adjustment. Her clinical approaches include: client focused therapy; cognitive behavioral therapy; art therapy. Cyndi provides counselling through the Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences and at the SCC.

Brenda Lee (B.A.) is a pre-doctoral intern completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She has a background in developmental, mood, anxiety, and learning difficulties, and in identifying, clarifying, and troubleshooting areas that are not working in clients’ lives. Brenda draws upon Cognitive-Behavioural, Acceptance and Commitment, and Solution-Focused approaches in her therapy work, and aims to integrate the many facets that contribute to a client’s story in both her therapy and assessment work. She has special interests in helping students who are experiencing sexual concerns and difficulties associated with intimate relationships and relationship breakups.

Lori Mac (Ph,D., C.Psych., Counselling Psychologist) has a background in counselling psychology. She views individuals as the experts of their own experiences, and integrates a variety of counselling approaches from within a humanistic perspective to aid in addressing challenges. In working with individuals, Lori places an emphasis on uniqueness, meaning, personal choice, balance, using strengths as resources, and empowerment. She provides individual, group and couples counselling at the SCC. Her primary interests include relationships, self-exploration, and cultural transition. Lori is the coordinator and a supervisor for the Advanced Practicum in Counselling at the SCC. She is also the Assistant Director of the Pre-doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology and is one of the primary supervisors for the internship.

David Ness is the Director of the SCC and has been on staff since 1991. His training background is clinical psychology and in addition to his administrative duties, he provides counselling and therapy to students using an integrative approach that emphasizes cognitive, developmental, client-centered and insight oriented approaches. David uses these approaches to work with students presenting with anxiety, relationship, trauma recovery, family conflict, and career indecision and other difficulties. He also enjoys facilitating groups and workshops both at the SCC and in the University of Manitoba community.

Timothy A.G. Osachuk (Ph.D., C.Psych.) is the director of the department's pre-doctoral internship in professional psychology and a clinical psychologist. In addition to supervising interns, his interests include individual and group psychotherapy, career counseling, assessment and consultation. From Ericksonian, client-centred and developmental philosophies, he works together with students to tailor and integrate a variety of approaches to be of assistance in overcoming their difficulties. Therapy approaches utilized include Behavioural, Cognitive-Behavioural, Client-Centred, Ericksonian/Hypnotherapeutic, EMDR, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative, Solution-Focussed and Systemic. He has special interests in men's issues and utilizing clinical hypnosis from the philosophy of Milton Erickson.

Michelle Pearson (M.Sc. in Community Clinical Psychology): is the Intercultural Specialist at the Student Counselling Centre and approaches her work from a collaborative and client centered approach. Students from culturally diverse backgrounds can request services from Michelle that address issues unique to international students such as personal development, crisis, adjusting to university life in Canada, stress and mood management associated with homesickness, relationship issues, family issues, change, transition and loss and other general issues students face while attending university. Michelle works collaboratively with the counselling team at the Student Counselling Centre to provide culturally sensitive counselling to all student attending the University of Manitoba and draws from a variety of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Short-term Solution Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. Her interests include self-care, empowerment, trauma, change, transition and loss, and the development of healthy coping skills and strategies. She also enjoys providing counselling groups to facilitate personal growth and support amongst university students.

Marlene Pomrenke: On Research Leave, Return July 2016, (M.S.W.,Ph.D.) uses a strength-based, resilience framework in her work with students. She has extensive experience in the area of separation and divorce, communication and conflict resolution. She uses a narrative approach to collaborate with students, empowering them in their counselling process.

Lisa Seymour (M.S.W.) approaches her work from a feminist perspective. Lisa values each person as the expert about her/his life experience. She views herself as a collaborator, guide, facilitator, and ally in the counselling process. She uses a variety of creative methods to assist and support individuals and groups as they transform personal and academic challenges into opportunities to empower and affirm themselves while connecting meaningfully with others. Her interests include gender issues, surviving trauma, self-esteem and communication.

Donald Stewart (Ph.D., C. Psych.) is currently the Executive Director, Student Support. He also serves as Psychology Professional Practice Leader for the SCC, where he is involved in supervision and training of psychology interns.