MEET OUR TEAM

CHRISTEL MITCHELL, M.C, R.C.C.

Clinical Counsellor

I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors. I received a RCC designation in the year 2020 when leaving the Canadian public health care system to join the private sector.

I earned a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from Athabasca University. During my studies I focused on acquiring the skills to support persons living with mental health and/or substance use disorders, and their affected family members. My field of focus has always been mental health and substance use, as throughout the entirety of my life persons from both my immediate and extended family units have struggled with such. However, through time I have also added to my primary areas of interest and became competent in such by pursuing continuing education.

I have several years of closely supervised experience in counselling youth, adults, couples, and families both in person and virtually. As well, I continue to seek supervision and consult with colleagues in order to remain current in psychological theory and practice, and to ensure the highest quality of service is provided.

Since 2014 I have been involved in the mental health and substance use field, however in varying capacities. I have worked for Interior Health as a community mental health worker and a mental health and substance use clinician, as well as ARC Programs as a child, youth, and family counsellor. Furthermore, prior to entering the private sector I spent several years working for Pathways Addictions Resource Centre, a small non-profit counselling agency, assisting both youth and adults develop, works towards, and achieve wellness goals and cope effectively with personal struggles.

Allow me the opportunity to support you in navigating your wild mountain of challenges and make the journey to the top where rewards are waiting for you.

With each client I strive to create a person-centered approach, grounded in trust, paralleled with congruency, empathy, and unconditional positive regard. I provide a safe and therapeutic environment for the exploration of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours which encourages clients to build self-awareness and gain insight into personal struggle. Empowering clients to manage their own lives as they discover personal strengths and capabilities, enhances well-being, builds resiliency, and embraces problem solving skills.

I utilize a combination of treatment modalities, including but not limited to cognitive behavioural therapy, solution focused therapy, and motivational interviewing. Additionally, I take a strength-based and trauma-informed approach to therapy, while incorporating positive psychology and mindfulness strategies and techniques into my practice. Furthermore, I have recently become certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and currently working towards completing certification in Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Mindful Eating. Please see the news section for a further explanation of each of these modalities.

Each client receives a tailored approach to best meet their needs and support their movement towards change.

  • Problematic use of substances/substance use disorders
  • Substance affected family members
  • Process, also known as behavioural, addictions
  • Mood disorders: anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder
  • Family members affected by a loved one’s mental health
  • Couple’s counselling: conflict resolution, communication, and intimacy
  • Stress and worry, as well as crisis management
  • Adult ADHD
  • EMDR for the treatment of trauma survivors, post-traumatic stress, phobias, panic attacks, depression, anxiety disorders, stress, sexual and physical abuse, disturbing memories, complicated grief and chronic pain.
  • Eating disorders
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) to treat a wide range of mental health diagnoses, as well as non-clinical issues

MELANIE KONYNENBERG, M.C, R.C.C.

Clinical Counsellor

I hold a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Alberta and a Masters degree in counselling psychology from Athabasca University. I am a partner of 22 years and a mom to three teens. I appreciate the beauty of nature, the power of music, and the companionship of dogs and other furry creatures. In my life, I have experienced both joy and pain, and have arrived at the other side with increased resilience and hope. 

I have worked with youth and adults of all ages as a clinical counsellor in community-based clinics, including One Sky Community Resources and Foundry. I have experience as a behaviour interventionist in the autism intervention program with Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society. I have been teaching voice, piano, and musical theatre both privately and on faculty with Penticton Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts for many years. I have discovered and witnessed music, drama, and other art forms’ ability to evoke positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. 

I work in collaboration with clients to uncover strengths, abilities, resources, and meaning. I believe the experiencing of fulfillment and the discovery of purpose and hope can lead to increased wellness. Courage can allow us to daringly sit in vulnerability while experimenting with values-based actions and behaviours. I prioritize the creation of a safe, warm, and empathic therapeutic relationship in which the client is placed as the expert. 

I have experience working with solution-focused interventions, acceptance and commitment therapy, and strengths-based modalities. I have a deep interest in continued education of existentialism, nature-based therapies, self-compassion, counselling for couples, family therapy, trauma, animal-assisted therapy, music, drama, and other expressive arts interventions. 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief and Loss
  • Relationships
  • Parenting
  • Life transitions
  • Meaning and Purpose
  • Spirituality
  • Trauma

CHRISTOPHER IWESTEL KINMAN, PhD, MSC, MDiv, RCC

Clinical Counsellor

I have been a counsellor and family therapist for over 30 years, during that time I have worked with a wide diversity of people.  I have found that people carry with them, in their own lives and networks, the strengths, the relationships, and the gifts that enable them to move through the most challenging of situations.  I have found that I am able to help people find the possibilities and the paths-through that enables them to cope with life’s various challenges.

I also am a teacher in a Master of Counselling program.  Because of this I am conversant in a wide variety of approaches to helping people.

Completely separate from counselling, I am a visual artist and a singer/songwriter/guitar-player.  Also, I am the proud father of three adult children who now live dispersed across Canada.

One of my primary professional interests is systemic practices, particularly those forms of practice that seek to discover and honour the various communal and family relations that sustain people and keep them going – these relations may include family, friends, nature, pets, hobbies, artistic interests, etc.  I will see people as individuals, families, or as groups of supportive friends – whatever combination is best for the person I am working with.  I currently do all of my work virtually, via Zoom, phone or another platform. I am also trained in Solution Focused, Narrative, and Collaborative Practices, among many other forms of practice.

Quite often I give workshops looking at communal forms of practice, where people are brought together to assist in bringing to life the gifts that move within a person’s life and communal relations.  These are often called, The Rhizome Way.

Much of the work I have done in the past has included:

  • Working with children and youth
  • Family therapy
  • Addictions
  • Sexuality
  • Working with individuals and families dealing with sickness
  • Working with individuals and families dealing with death and loss
  • Working with multi-cultural communities
  • Working with First Nations communities (worked for almost thirty years with one particular nation)
  • Working with individuals and families where there is a mental health concern
  • Working with individuals and families where there are legal and criminal matters pressing upon them
  • Working with a wide diversity of individuals and communities, including those who see themselves as non-binary or LGBTQIA2S

Often people who seek out a counsellor first and foremost are needing someone to listen attentively and to bear witness to the story of their lives.  All therapeutic models must be built upon this base.

Phone: (250) 486 – 1868

Email: chris@wildmountaincounselling.ca

KEITH BALISKY (He/Him) M.C., R.C.C, C.C.C

Clinical Counsellor

I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Canadian Certified Counsellor. I hold a Masters of Counselling from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alberta. My previous work before counselling includes clinical research in chronic pain. I consider myself a lifelong learner. I aim to grow both inside the counselling chair and as a person. Within the counselling world I grow by consulting, learning from other professionals, and continued training and education.

Outside of the clinical space, cooking and food, in general, are some of my biggest passions. If I am not in the kitchen you may find me outside running, hiking or enjoying the sun. Beyond that, I am a nerdy person with interests in board games, video games, and movies. If it’s nerdy, there is a good chance it’s for me!

I take an integrative approach to individual counselling. I use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy, Strength Based approaches, and Solution Focused approaches. I pay particular attention to the patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. I find it important to tailor the experience to the unique individual. My first step is to meet a client where they are at and to make a human to human connection. I strive to create a space where a client is safe and agency is held. I also strive to create a safe space for inclusivity of all people and all communities.

I believe that counselling is a journey of growth and understanding. I am lucky to be able to walk that path with people. I aim to create a space where people can let go of the weight they carry and explore it without judgement. I want to empower people to be the best version of themselves.

I also have Gottman level one training for couples counselling. It is a researched and evidenced based approach that focuses on communication, what is currently working, what needs to improve, and what is getting in the way of growth. I connect with this type of couples counselling because it takes an evidence based approach and focuses on ensuring that both members of the couple feel heard, valued, and loved by the other member for the majority of the time but allows space for people to be human as well. It also backed by research that indicates it provides similarly effective results across races, and heterosexual and homosexual couples.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Life Stressors
  • Trauma
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communication
  • Emotion Work
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Strength Building
  • Life Transitions
  • LGBTQ2+ inclusivity
  • BIPOC inclusivity

Phone: 250-486-1868

Email: keith@wildmountaincounselling.ca

TIFFANY LINDSAY

Clinic Manager

I live with my husband and my son up in the mountains. I have always had a passion for helping people and have always loved being an active part of my community. I was involved in Peer Counselling as well as Social Justice all through school and founded a volunteer program called the “Peachy Keen Teens” in Peachland. After graduation I acquired my Medical Office Administrator certificate and took a break for a while to have my son. I was absolutely thrilled when Christel asked me to join her team and love being a part of Wild Mountain Clinical Counselling.

My role as Clinic Manager for Wild Mountain is to support our clients and counsellors in any way that I can. If there is something that you are unsure about or need assistance with, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, as I am always happy to lend a hand.

I am also in charge of all of our social media platforms and love supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. If you have a business that you would like us to do a spotlight on, reach out to myself at clinicmanager@wildmountaincounselling.ca with a photo and some information on your business and I will post it to our pages! #localssupportinglocals