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A headshot of Serena Graf, a white woman with brown hair, wearing a grey sweater.

Areas of Expertise

Counselling Services

Serena Graf provides secure telehealth and phone-based counselling services as a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Certified Canadian Counsellor. Counselling services are tailor-made to help individuals work through a range of mental health concerns and life challenges.

Concussion & Injury Rehabilitation

With over 5 years of direct experience working in concussion rehabilitation, Serena provides counselling support for the mental and emotional challenges of coping with and recovering from injury.  As well, her experience in the field allows her to provide evidence-based structured support for return to work, school or sport and provide community recommendations for additional specialties as part of an individualized recovery plan (e.g. vestibular physiotherapy, kinesiology, etc.)

Athlete Support

Serena was a national calibre Canadian athlete, competed as an NCAA Division I track and field athlete, and has worked as a track and field coach, official, and BC Athletics employee.  She is also involved in community sports programming and volunteerism, so she brings a wealth of experience as well as relevant clinical training to her work supporting athletes through all stages of development and competition.  She is a networked provider and board member with PacificSport Interior, and is experienced with supporting elite performance, Return to Sport post-concussion/post-injury, and interdisciplinary care work with physiotherapists, kinesiologists and exercise physiologists.

First Responders

Trained and experienced in working with police, firefighters, corrections, paramedics, and healthcare personnel. She has completed Level 1 Occupational Awareness Training via First Responder Health, a program designed and run by seasoned first responders and subject matter experts. Serena is trained in EMDR, acceptance and commitment therapy, and trauma-informed mindfulness interventions to specifically support those with psychological stress injuries, trauma, anxiety and depression.

My Approach

I believe in providing a supportive and non-judgmental space for individuals to explore their mental health concerns. I take an individualized approach to counselling, tailoring my services to meet the unique needs of each client. My aim is to help individuals develop the skills and strategies they need to improve their mental health and wellbeing. 

A black and white photo of spectator stands at an athletics track.
My Approach

About Me

I am a counsellor, trained psychometrist, and psychoeducator; I am also an athlete, a video game enthusiast, a word nerd and a home baker. In high school, an especially impactful teacher who taught psychology inspired me to pursue a career in this field, and set me on the path for my BA and MA in psych.  At the same time, I pursued elite athletics in track and field, competing as a javelin, shot put, weight throw, and hammer thrower at the University of Pennsylvania at the NCAA Div 1 level.  My experience as a student-athlete was rewarding and expansive, and also rife with struggle and uncertainty.  When I sustained a career-ending injury in 2016, I redoubled my efforts to both study psychology and address my own mental health; I have first-hand experience with the forced transformation and identity shift that comes with retiring from elite athletics and working through injury rehabilitation towards an uncertain future.  

I found myself drawn towards interdisciplinary rehabilitation of head injury given my background in sport and knowledge of the connection between mind and body.  Working at HeadWise rehabilitation under the tutelage of two neuropsychologists, I was able to collaborate with occupational therapists, physiotherapists, kinesiologists and physicians towards getting people back to the lives they wanted to live.  My career thus far has focused on the intersection of physical health and mental health, and the ways that our mind can enhance or inhibit recovery especially when our injuries or illnesses are complex or traumatic.

I am passionate about accessibility, equity, and understanding how privilege and systemic oppression impact people's access to care and recovery.  In particular, I work to support clients navigating complex--and often inconsistent or biased--systems of care including the medical system, workplace hierarchies and culture, and education systems.  I strive to be anti-racist, neuro-affirming, and LGBTQIA2S+ affirming in my work and personal life.  This is an ongoing, lifelong process for me that I base my regular continuing education around.  I love learning, and continue to work decolonize my counselling work through clinical supervision, cultural competency training, and reflective practices.

Education

2016-2018

MA, Counselling Psychology
Trinity Western University*

Coursework accompanied by three clinical practica: Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH), Langley Community Services Society (LCSS), and HeadWise Rehabilitation Ltd.

*Note: the views and values of Trinity Western University are not in line with my own, and I do not practice as a religion-based counsellor 

2012-2016

BA, Psychology
University of Pennsylvania

Completed an honours-level thesis titled Women Navigating the Sexual Landscape which explored the ambiguity of language and morality as it pertained to sexual expression, judgements and behaviours of women in the undergraduate population.

Continuing Education

This is not an exhaustive list, but outlines recent and relevant continuing education, conferences and trainings.

  • Project ECHO Ontario: Concussion       
    Sept 15, 2021 - present
    Weekly online training and review of research and best practices for interdisciplinary concussion care.

     

  • Motivational Interviewing
    Nov 1, 2022-Jan 25, 2023; Drs. Miller, Rollnick, and Moyers, 10h

     

  • Queering Your Practice
    Jan 25, 2022; Presented by Alice Curitz, hosted by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, 3.5h

     

  • Indigenous Canada
    Nov 11, 2021-Jan 25, 2022; University of Alberta, 36h

     

  • Counselling at a Distance: Using video and text-based methods to connect with clients.
    Sponsored webinar provided by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, June 26, 2020

     

  • Occupational Awareness Training for Therapists Level 1
    First Responder Mental Health, BCPFFA; Matt Johnston, RCC
    Feb 21, 2020

     

  • Brief Psychotherapy Training
    Glen Grigg, PhD, RCC; Sponsored by the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
    Apr 27, 2019

                 

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