Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner, PhD – Chief Executive Officer
Our Chief Executive Officer, Robbie, holds a Ph. D in Social Work from the University of Calgary with a focus on Outcome Research, a Masters of Social Work from Carlton University, and Bachelors Degrees in Social Work and Psychology – both from McGill University.
Robbie has extensive experience in counselling, domestic abuse, mental health, child welfare and health care. Robbie is a recognized Social Work Supervisor with the Alberta College of Social Workers and is a Fellow and Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Robbie has an appointment as an Adjunct Professor within the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary where she teaches as a Sessional Instructor. She is also a Senior Associate and Trainer with the International Center for Clinical Excellence in Chicago.
Robbie is a pioneer whose untiring efforts to transform how people perceive, receive and deliver counselling services have created positive change in the mental health of thousands of Albertans while inspiring fundamental change in the best practices within the sector.
Cathy Keough, MSW – Registered Social Worker / Director – Counselling Initiatives
Cathy is a Director – Counselling Initiatives at the Centre with a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Calgary. She has been with Calgary Counselling Centre since 1997. Prior to joining the team she worked with Youth Probation and a Distress Centre.
Cathy had lost someone close to her due to suicide and ever since she knew she wanted to pursue a career that would help with such despair. She had also worked closely with an immigrant population and knew of the trials and tribulations that could occur with the transition – Cathy was determined to help.
Outside of work Cathy enjoys spending time with her family outside of the city, and training her rescue dog. In the future she hopes to be involved internationally promoting the rights and interests of children. Her words to live by are: “Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers ‘Grow, grow’” – The Talmud
Christine Berry, MSc – Registered Psychologist / Director of Family Violence Prevention Initiatives
Christine is our director of the Family Violence Prevention Initiatives Program. Christine has a Masters in Science in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary and is a Registered Psychologist who has spent over a decade specializing in the area of Family Violence.
When she’s not cruising in her convertible through the mountains she is addressing the impact of domestic abuse in the lives of adults and children within our ever-changing community. She plays an active role working with other community agencies to collaboratively stop domestic abuse at its root causes and has won awards for her efforts including the 2008 Selinger Award through Homefront and the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association 2008 Group Therapy Appreciation Award for Creative Programming.
Christine hopes to retire in BC close to the mountains and ocean, and lives by two simple words: “Just Breathe.”
Carla Blaine, MEd – Full Time Counsellor / Supervisor
Carla is a full time counsellor and supervisor with a Masters of Education from the University of Alberta. Prior to working at Calgary Counselling Centre, Carla worked as a Special Education teacher in Edmonton within a therapy program.
Before joining the staff at Calgary Counselling Centre, Carla worked extensively counselling families and adolescents in Edmonton. By entering the counselling field, Carla ensured that she would be able to live her dream of making a difference in the world.
Christine Molohon MSW – Registered Social Worker
Christine is a full time counsellor with a Masters of Social Work, clinical specialization and a Bachelors degree in Social Work, both from the University of Calgary. She comes to the Centre with a background in counselling pregnant and parenting teens and has experience in suicide and bereavement working with the Canadian Mental Health Association. In addition, Christine has training and experience in both EMDR and in Couples therapy, having trained in the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy with the Couple’s institute in CA.
Christine became a counsellor because of her belief in the power of relationship to transform lives and is passionate about her role in client’s journey toward change.
Outside of work Christine Likes to unwind through hiking, cross country skiing and spending time with family and friends. Her words to live by come from Ritch Ridgeway: “the best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.”
Ashley Bishop, MSc – Registered Psychologist
Ashley Bishop is a Registered Psychologist with a Master of Science in Counselling Psychology from the
University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Psychology from Cape Breton University. She completed the Post Graduate Residency Counsellor Training Program at Calgary Counselling Centre.
Ashley joined the counselling profession because of her interest in psychological knowledge. She says she chose to pursue counselling at Calgary Counselling Centre because of its supportive environment. She enjoys learning about what makes people tick— how we think a certain way, act a certain way, and feel a certain way. She has a passion to use that knowledge to help others and says the most gratifying aspect is witnessing the strength, growth and courage of her clients.
Outside of work Ashley enjoys spending time outdoors, playing with her puppy, and being crafty. Her words to live by are from the Lion King: “The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.”
Gail Siwiec, M.Ed – Registered Psychologist / CSAT
Gail is a full time counsellor and group counselling facilitator with a Masters in Counselling Psychology from the University of Lethbridge. She is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT).
Gail chose to work at the Centre because of the opportunity to provide counselling to a broad population. She values generosity and sees the importance the Centre places on supporting the community in a variety of ways.
Gail has a passion for hearing people’s stories, and helping them to understand how to implement positive change in their lives. She finds being a witness to people growing and learning is fulfilling.
Outside of work she enjoys a good cup of coffee and a book, and curling.
Dr. David Gibbs, MD – Consulting Psychiatrist
David Gibbs is a Consulting Psychiatrist with the Calgary Counselling Centre. Dr. Gibbs graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1996. He has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada FRCP(C) since 2002. Dr. Gibbs began working with CCC staff and clients in July 2007. Dr. Gibbs is a welcomed member to the CCC interdisciplinary team. He also provides consultation to the Alex Community Health Centre and the Central Community Heath Centre. Prior to joining our team Dr. Gibbs filled the role of Staff Psychiatrist at the Peter Lougheed Centre and the N.E. Mental Heath Clinic.
Deborah Kieran, MACP – Registered Psychologist / Counselling Manager
Deborah is a registered Psychologist with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Arts Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle. After 15 years of employment in the counselling industry she notes that working in occupations that help people is what she loves to do.
At Calgary Counselling Centre she enjoys the brilliant daily exchange of ideas with colleagues, and is extremely grateful for the supporting atmosphere of the centre.
Photography, travelling, knitting, and reading are just a few of the things Deborah likes to do in her free time. Her words to live by come from American author Maya Angelou “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Sebastian Siwiec, M.Ed – Registered Psychologist / CSAT
Sebastian is a full time counsellor and Registered Psychologist with a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Lethbridge. He is also a Certified Sex Addition Therapist (CSAT).
Sebastian has a passion working with people experiencing anxiety; relationship and couples concerns, depression, and addictions. He also comes to the Centre with a background working with individuals with body-focused repetitive behaviours including skin excoriation disorder (dermatillomania) and trichotillomania.
He joined the counselling field because he feels the life-enhancing benefits of therapy should be accessible to everyone. His words to live by are from Patch Adams, “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.
Annemarie Rued-Fraser – Registered Psychologist
Annemarie Rued-Fraser is a Registered Psychologist. She has a Masters in Science Counselling Psychology and completed her residency here at Calgary Counselling Centre. She also holds a Masters in Primatology. Both degrees are from the University of Calgary.
Annemarie became a counsellor because she believes that there is nothing more wonderful than seeing the glimmer of hope reawaken in someone’s eyes. She enjoys working at Calgary Counselling Centre because she loves the diverse clientele and ability to work within her areas of interest, namely trauma, existential anxiety, addictions, domestic violence, couples counselling, and borderline personality disorder. Annemarie can also provide her services in French.
Her own words to live by are: You have fundamental human worth and value, no matter who you are.
Margaux Gregson – Registered Social Worker
Margaux is a full time counsellor and Brief Intervention Caregiver Support Program (BICS) clinician at the Calgary Counselling Centre. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology and Masters of Social Work.
Margaux joined the counselling profession to help people thrive in their relationships and lives and to achieve the best quality of life possible. As well, being witness to client’s stories is something she enjoys. As part of the team here, she most values the collaborative atmosphere, the support she gets from her colleagues and our commitment to achieving excellence for our clients.
Outside of work, Margaux likes to ride her horse, hang out with family friends, travel and enjoy a good book. Her words to live by come from Brene Brown “The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up”
Natalya Austin, MSW – Registered Social Worker
Natalya Austin is a counsellor and Brief Intervention Caregiver Support Program (BICS) clinician at the Calgary Counselling Centre. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Social Work in clinical studies, and has a Level 1 in Narrative Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. Along with having an understanding of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and child welfare, she has provided counselling to individuals, couples, families. Her practice is guided by a developmental and trauma-informed approach when working with children and youth.
Natalya joined the counselling profession because of her passion to help others achieve their full potential. She knows that life has its ups and downs for everyone, and understands that it takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. The courage and strength that people have is a humbling experience for her, as it guides her approach when working alongside people as they move forward in their counselling journeys.
Outside of work, Natalya enjoys gardening and being by the ocean. In the future she hopes to spend time with her child, travel, and retire in Newfoundland or the East Coast. Her words to live by come from Brene Brown: “No matter how much I get done, or is left undone, at the end of the day, I am enough.”
Marcus Cheung, MSW – Registered Social Worker
Marcus Cheung has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Crime and Deviance Specialization, a Masters of Social Work, and Clinical Specialization from the University of Calgary. He completed his advanced clinical practicum at the Carewest Operational Stress Injury Clinic, where he served the RCMP and military populations who are affected by post-traumatic stress and other related mental health conditions. He was also a Research Assistant at the University of Calgary, where he educated the community on mental health. He also worked on a project which focused on reducing stigma of mental illness among the Asian male population.
Marcus views the counselling profession as an opportunity to be invited into people’s lives, learn about how they perceive the world, and make sense of their own life experiences. He believes in making a positive difference in people’s lives.
Outside of work, Marcus enjoys bike rides and going for coffee with his family and friends. In the future he hopes to travel the world and learn about how people in different cultures live their lives.
Manroop Bal, MBBS, MSc, MACP Registered Psychologist
Manroop Bal is a Registered Psychologist and full time counsellor with Calgary Counselling Centre. She has her M.B.B.S (Bachelor of medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), MSC in Applied Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology.
Manroop was interested in becoming a counsellor because of her medical background. Initially she thought that she would like to specialise in Psychiatry, however, she realised early on that she was more interested in listening to patients’ concerns, understanding their struggles and in finding ways to help them. She is now very passionate about helping clients recognise their strengths in order to overcome their mental health and emotional challenges and helping them to make healthier, more effective life choices to improve quality of their lives.
She appreciates the opportunity at Calgary Counselling Centre to be able to work with people from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds.
When Manroop is not at work she is reading, listening to music and spending time with her family. Her words to live by are “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Maureen McWilliams, MA – Registered Psychologist/Senior Supervisor
Maureen McWilliams is a Registered Psychologist and Sr. Supervisor at Calgary Counselling Centre. She serves as a College of Alberta Psychologist Supervisor for Provisional Psychologists completing their residency hours.
Her counselling experience is varied and lengthy – having worked 27 years with various issues such as addictions (drug, alcohol, gambling), vocational rehabilitation, EAP, Domestic Violence, stress management, anxiety, depression, pain management, hypnosis, spirituality and cultural issues. She enjoys counselling adults, couples and teens.
Her Education is a BA Psychology; 2 Graduate Diplomas in Psychology & Rehabilitation, MA Counselling, also trained 2 years as a Psychiatric Nurse and studied towards the Bachelor of Social Work degree for 3 years at the University of Calgary.
She also taught counselling courses at the Counsellor Training Initiative in Vancouver. She likes to assist people with making progress in their lives.
Hobbies are hiking, reading, travelling, taking workshops, socializing with friends and family.
Words to live by “What goes around, comes around”.
Michelle Keough, MSW – Registered Social Worker / Full Time Counsellor
Michelle is a full time counsellor with a Masters of Social Work and a Bachelors of Arts. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Memorial University Newfoundland and her Masters of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Michelle chose to complete her internship at Calgary Counselling Centre in addition to previously assisting in the Centre’s Research Department.
Michelle has completed the 100 hour Strategic Psychotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis and Adult Depression workshop offered by Dr. Michael Yapko. She believes the Centre offers a vast range of experiences that have added to her enjoyment and learnings as a registered social worker. Michelle longs to inspire personal growth and enjoys working with couples, adolescents and adults who experience a range of issues.
In her free time Michelle likes to partake in yoga and lives by three simple words: “live, love, laugh.”
Dr. Rick Westman, PhD – Registered Psychologist / Registered Marriage & Family Therapist
At the Calgary Counselling Centre, in addition to providing therapy services to clients, Dr. Westman serves as a College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) Supervisor overseeing provisional psychologists completing their CAP residency.
In addition to his work at the Centre and consistent with his strong commitment to nurturing a new generation of psychologists, Rick serves as an Adjunct Faculty Instructor in two graduate programs: Athabasca University’s Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology and City University of Seattle’s Masters of Counselling program.
Outside of work, Rick enjoys being outdoors, photography, reading, and music. His words to live by are: “It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” —Sir William Osler, MD
Sharla Zalmanowitz, MEd – Registered Psychologist
Sharla is a full time counsellor with a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alberta. Sharla knew she would be a psychologist at a young age and pursued her dream of helping others. Prior to working at Calgary Counselling Centre she worked as a group facilitator for domestic violence group therapy, and as a research assistant for various counselling projects.
Outside of work Sharla is an avid yoga fan and enjoys going for hikes, in the future Sharla hopes to mentor and teach new therapists. Her words to live by come from William Shakespeare “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Anne Theresa Sureshkumar, MSW – Registered Social Worker
Anne has a Masters in Social Work, and a Masters in Philosophy in Guidance and Counselling. Anne’s professional work is in community social work and counselling. Anne’s experience of working internationally as a social worker in India and Canada lends her the insight on how collective and individualistic societies function thus rendering her the competencies to engage with immigrant populations. Her areas of interest include mental health, domestic violence, intersectionality, identity development for ethnic and sexual minorities, and research. She is passionate and an advocate of cultural humility.
She believes “No one knows everything, but everyone knows something”
Outside work she enjoys music, her time with family and nurturing the relationships in her life.
Elisa Lutz, MSc – Registered Psychologist
Elisa Lutz is a Registered Psychologist and full-time counsellor at the Calgary Counselling Centre. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Calgary and a Master of Science in Counselling Psychology from California Baptist University. She also completed her internship and residency at the Calgary Counselling Centre.
Elisa enjoys being a counsellor because she finds great value in every individual’s story, and wants to help others find hope in trying times. She enjoys working at the Calgary Counselling Centre because she has had the opportunity to work with many individuals presenting with different concerns and backgrounds.
Stephen Walker, MSW – Registered Social Worker
Stephen is a full time counsellor holding a Masters of Social Work degree with a Clinical Specialization, from the University of Calgary.
Stephen became a counsellor after many years working with homeless youth and adults. His experience includes crisis intervention, anger management, addictions, domestic violence, trauma, depression and couples therapy. He enjoys how the Calgary Counselling Centre provides affordable counselling for people from all walks of life when they need it. His practice is guided by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, EMDR, Narrative Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.
Stephen became a counsellor to support access to mental health services for people struggling with low incomes and other barriers. He believes everyone should have the opportunity to get help when they are ready and is energized by supporting those looking for change.
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys reading, fishing, sketching, learning German and spending time with his family and friends.
“To see that your life is a story while you’re in the middle of living it may be a help to living it well.” -Ursula K. Le Guin