Personal counselling staff descriptions


The Student Counselling Centre offers professional counselling services, free of charge and confidential, to the U of M students.

The Student Counselling Centre (SCC) offers a variety of services to meet students' needs. These services include web-based and self-help resources, supportive and problem solving assistance, and group and workshop programs. Most of these services are accessible throughout the year, including groups and workshops for some of the most common student concerns, along with individual and couple counselling. Consultation and outreach programming are also available. Some of the many difficulties students come to us for help with include:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Transitions
  • Adjustment
  • Family Difficulties
  • Relationships
  • Trauma
  • Loss
  • Procrastination
  • Self-esteem
  • Decision-Making


Group and Workshops: We have many different groups and workshops available including groups for anxiety, depression, coping, relationships, and mindfulness stress reduction. Some SCC groups and workshops require prior registration while several are drop-in, and do not require previous registration.

To join or attend a SCC group or workshop, contact us at 204-474-8592 or drop-by our main office at 474 University Centre. Our events can be viewed our groups at the following website:

Individual Counselling: Services include initial intake counselling, crisis services, on-going one-on-one counselling, couple counselling and consultation (e.g., how to provide assistance to a friend who is in high distress).

If you are not sure what sort of help you need or you want to request individual counselling you should attend an initial intake assessment counselling appointment. Initial intake appointments are available on a first come, first served basis and must be requested in-person.

Counselling is available for all students at the main office of the SCC (474 University Centre) and the Indigenous Student Centre. Counselling is also available at our Bannatyne campus location (S211 Medical Services Building) For students studying at that campus (as well as Inner City Social Work students), in the College of Nursing location for Nursing students, in Robson Hall Faculty of Law location for Law students, and in Desautels Faculty of Music location for Music students. The main office of the SCC also offers same-day emergency triage appointments for students at serious risk of harm from self or others or have had recent sexual violence experience.

Outreach and Presentations: The SCC counsellors lead workshops and presentations across campus on a variety of topics including stress management, mental health and relationship challenges. To arrange an event and/or presentation please contact the Director of the SCC, David Ness, at 204-474-8619 or Email

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): The MBTI is a personality inventory that helps with career decision-making, understanding personality preferences and improving relationships. Contact our Fort Garry office to take the MBTI. There is a 25.00 fee for taking the MBTI.


  • SCC staff are available to provide referral and consultation support (e.g., consulting on how to respond to a distressed student) to U of M staff. U of M staff interested in these services are encourage to contact the SCC at 204-474-8592
  • SCC staff are available to participate in outreach activities such as guest lecturing in class, delivering workshops (e.g., exam stress session), or assisting staff in their interactions with students. Contact the SCC Director if interested in these services.
  • Counselling services, groups and workshops, and the MBTI are not available to U of M staff or alumni through the SCC. U of M staff in need of such assistance are encouraged to investigate employee assistance supports.


Three counselling training opportunities are available at the SCC:

  • An advanced practicum in counselling, primarily intended for University of Manitoba students enrolled in counselling education program.
  • Social Work practicums at either the Bachelors, pre-masters or Masters level. Priority is given to University of Manitoba Social Work students; however, applications are accepted from students attending other institutions.
  • A Pre-Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology (fully accredited by C.P.A.) intended for students participating in the APPIC match.


Fort Garry Campus
(Main Office):
474 University Centre
Phone: 204-474-8592

Bannatyne campus:
S211 Medical Services Building
Phone: (204) 272-3190
Hours: 8:30 to 4:30 PM (Evening appointments available)

Indigenous Student Centre. Migizii Agamik (Bald Eagle Lodge):
Phone: 204-474-8850
Hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, Thursday only

College of Nursing, Faculty of Law, Desautels Faculty of Music:
Phone: 204-474-8592
Hours: (September to April)

Students are also invited to drop by any location to see if there are any open first-time appointments on the same day. Please note that the Bannatyne location only provides counselling to students studying at that campus.


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

The front office receptionist is the first helpful contact for any of our services.


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.

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.

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, couples and career counseling as well as workshops and outreach at the SCC. Her primary interests include interpersonal relationships (building healthy relationships, interpersonal difficulties, break-ups), communication and conflict, self-exploration, trauma (sexual violence, interpersonal violence, abuse, loss), and cultural transition (identity development). 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.

Danna McDonald (RMFT RSW) with a background in Marriage and Family Therapy, Danna (she/her) is a creative, compassionate therapist that values the relationship with each client. Danna’s orientation to counselling work is through a Feminist, trauma informed lens, and she values the connections between our emotions, our thoughts and our bodies. Her areas of interest and expertise include eating disorders and body image, anxiety, mindfulness, getting to know difficult emotions, grief, LGBTTQ* and gender journeys, and she is trained in EMDR.

Natalia Mozol (M.A. CCC) has a background in counselling psychology, with a specific interest on supporting students to develop resilience within their personal and academic lives. Her goal is to provide support and understanding for students navigating change, identity and crisis - using a compassionate and non-judgmental style. In her work she uses a strengths based, holistic approach, with an awareness of the impact of systems, creating a safe environment for self-understanding. She draws from multiple methods, including trauma, solution focused, positive psychology and systems theory. Natalia's counselling background includes working in post-secondary, mental health, community and disability settings.

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) has a background in clinical psychology with over 20 years of counselling experience. She approaches her work from a collaborative and client centred approach. Michelle draws from a variety of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Short Term Solution Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. Her interests include trauma, change, transition and loss, self care, empowerment, conflict resolution and the development of healthy coping skills and strategies. She also enjoys providing workshops and groups to help facilitate personal growth and support amongst university students.

Marlene Pomrenke:, (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.

Kayla Tessier (M.S.W.) has experience working in counselling and accessibility in a post-secondary environment. She also has experience in mental health, working with an aging population, and youth engagement. She aims to approach individuals with compassion, flexibility and non-judgement in order to foster mutually beneficial working relationships. Acknowledging that one approach does not work for everybody, Kayla strives to provide appropriate strategies and resources to help facilitate transition and change in peoples’ lives.