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MSW RSW Registered Social Worker / Counsellor

Reflecting back on my journey to becoming a counsellor, I feel it stems from an openness towards, and deep curiosity of people that began from a young age.

Growing up, I met refugees my parents were involved with sponsoring and helping settle, prisoners we visited with inside and later outside the prison walls, and lived in a household where there was welcome and space for whoever came through the door.

Years later, working in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver I came to know people from many different places and circumstances, heard their stories of pain, oppression, trauma and also courage, resilience and sacrifice.

I love to encourage peoples' strengths and collaborate with them through areas of challenge, just as I have been helped by others in aspects I have struggled with. I truly believe in mutual transformation, and that our liberation as people is bound up together. 

After 7 years of working in mental health and addictions, I found I wanted to go deeper with the people I was encountering and completed my Masters of Social Work from UBC.

Since then I have worked for 6 years, first in a transitional housing facility for refugee claimants and then in primary care health centers, supporting people especially around trauma, mental health concerns, addictions, grief and loss.

I use a client-centered, strengths-based approach, integrating Brief-Solution Focused Therapy, CBT, DBT and Narrative approaches to match the preferences of those I work with.

My partner and I have two wonderful daughters- we love to have dance parties, make up songs, explore and forage in the forest. 

Playing basketball, swimming, reading, writing and especially connecting to nature with my friends, family or alone, are some of the things that bring me the greatest joys and peace.

Chris Hellewell: About Me
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