The Counselling Centre

Counselling Centre Overview

Our Mission

The Counselling Centre actively participates in student development and success by creating innovative educational programs, offering individual personal counselling along with collaborating with on and off campus programs and agencies to expand capacity around the mental health services to our students. 

"This service was very helpful. The staff do a great job in terms of pointing you in the right direction."

-Anonymous Student

The Counselling Centre provides a broad range of free and confidential services to students currently registered and attending classes at Saint Mary's University. We offer individual counselling, sleep consultations, group programming, and events on campus. The Counselling Centre oversees the Healthy Minds Team/MENtality volunteer program, the Peer Supporters, the Mental Health Advocates mental health literacy program, and offers training for faculty, staff and students.

Meet the Team

Daniel Abar, MEd 
Picture of Daniel
Registered Counselling Therapist 
Daniel has a Master’s Degree in Educational Counselling as well as a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Daniel has experience working with children, youth, adults and families. Daniel has a background in trauma informed care and uses cognitive-behavioural and motivational interviewing.  His areas of interest are wide ranging but include anxietydepression, and gambling/internet/substance use issues.

Cindy Boland, MEd
Cindy completed her Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology at the University of Western Ontario and her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Psychology at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University. She has worked in universities, addiction treatment settings, community practices and most recently at the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre supporting survivors of sexual violence. Areas of particular interest include trauma, shame/self-worthangerrelationship struggles and boundaries. Cindy’s approach to therapy is highly collaborative, as she believes empowering clients is key to growth. Her orientation is informed by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Lorianne Urquhart, MEd 
Registered Counselling Therapist (Candidate) 
Lorianne completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Dalhousie as well as a Masters of Education (Counselling) from Acadia University. She has a background as a teacher, coach, tutor, and counsellor, working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Her approach to counselling is largely collaborative, working alongside clients to encourage autonomy and positive self-growth. Her main areas of interest include, but are not limited to, anxietymindfulnessself-esteem, interpersonal relationships, and substance use.

Brandon Yeo, MEd 
Brandon has a Masters of Education in Counselling from Acadia University and his Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Vincent University. Brandon has experience working as a Counsellor at the Mount Saint Vincent University counselling centre as well many years’ experience working with adults with disabilities. Brandon takes a strengths-based approach to counselling and uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in his practice. His main areas of interest are, but not limited to: anxietydepression, ADHD, relationships, toxic masculinity, and problems surrounding social media usage.

May Tian, MEd
May immigrated to Halifax from China in 2006, completing her Master of Arts in Family Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University and her Master of Education in Counselling at Acadia University. May has worked at universities, community practices and, most recently, at the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) to support refugee clients and newcomers through trauma informed approach therapy. May integrates evidence-based therapy methods in her approach (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Internal Family System, Mindfulness, Person-Centred Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and others) to address not only presented but also hidden issues from a comprehensive and compassionate perspective. Her focus includes trauma, attachment related issues, stress, anxiety, self-esteem and relationships. May can offer counselling services in both English and Mandarin.
Ashleigh George 
Ashleigh Dempsey
Ashleigh has a Paralegal Diploma from Maritime Business College. Ashleigh can be found booking personal counselling appointments for current students at Saint Mary's. She can answer any questions students may have about The Counselling Centre.