Counselling Services

Personal, emotional, and academic challenges are a common part of student life.   Counsellors provide a safe and confidential space for you to explore your concerns and work collaboratively with you to strengthen your ability to cope.  

On this site you can learn about the counselling support available to Okanagan College students, find out how to book a counselling appointment, and access helpful online resources to help you with your personal, career, and academic development.

Counselling during COVID-19

Counselling Services is still here to help you with service offered through video or phone. We are currently offering online and phone appointments via a secured videoconference online platform (Bluejeans). If you would like to connect with an OC counsellor in this format, please email counselling@okanagan.bc.ca with your available days and times, your phone number, your home campus  and  student number. An appointment time and instructions will then be sent to you.

If you are in need of immediate listening and support, you can access Here2Talk, a free 24-hr support for B.C. post-secondary students. If you are in crisis, please contact the B.C. Crisis Line at 1-888-353-2273 or call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). If this is an emergency, call 911.

Book a counselling appointment

Meet the counselling team

Personal Counselling

We offer short-term counselling related to personal, career and academic success.  If you are experiencing depression, loneliness, anxiety, anger, substance abuse or any other type of personal issue, we encourage you to access our services.  No matter how big or small, your concerns are important and OC Counselling Services is here to help you.  If we feel you would benefit from support that is more specialized or longer-term than what we can offer, we will help connect you with a support service in the community.

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of the counselling relationship.  All communication and records are confidential. Neither the fact that you seek counselling, nor any information about the counselling sessions, will appear in your student academic record. If any individual or office ever wants to know anything about your counselling, you would have to sign a release of information form before this information is released (except in the rare circumstances noted below).

All communications between you and your counsellor will be held in confidence, except under the following circumstances: 

  1. If we have reason to believe that a minor (under the age of 19) is in need of protection.
  2. If we have reason to believe that a person is a danger to themselves or others.
  3. If a judge, coroner, ombudsperson, children’s commission and/or other such authorities order us to release records or to appear and provide information.
  4. If we have reason to believe that there is potential risk to an individual or to the broader college community. 

Your counsellor will provide you with more information about confidentiality before your initial counselling session. 

 

Counselling services are free of charge for all currently enrolled OC students. 

Currently enrolled OC students can access up to 10 individual counselling sessions over the course of a student’s OC course or program, with a maximum of 5 sessions per academic or summer semester (or 4-month period).

Session frequency is determined together by the student and OC counsellor dependent on:  the nature and complexity of the student’s presenting concern, student’s scheduling availability, the determination of the most appropriate therapeutic framework or clinical course of action, the student’s course/program length and/or semester load, and the availability of counselling services at the student’s preferred or “home” campus.

The wait time to meet with a counsellor varies throughout the semester, based on student demand and counsellor/campus availability.  During busy times (i.e. peak of the semester), it may take up to 2 weeks before getting in to see a counsellor for a regular scheduled appointment. 

Sessions are 50 minutes in length. If it is your first appointment, you may wish to arrive 10 minutes early in order to complete initial paperwork

We ask that you provide at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel your appointment, so that we can make your appointment available to other students who are waiting for service. You can do so by contacting the Student services/Administrative front desk or by contacting your counsellor directly (either by telephone and/or email). 

If you are more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, it will be considered a missed appointment and you will have to reschedule to see your counsellor.

If you wish to reschedule, the new appointment will be booked within the wait-time parameters of that particular point in the semester.

OC counsellors are knowledgeable about the various academic accommodations available at the College, and are happy to review them with you.  Please note that OC counsellors do not typically contact instructors and are unable to sign a Request for Medical and Compassionate Withdrawal unless in exceptional circumstances.

Engaging in counselling is voluntary and counsellors do not report to referring individuals. Students have the right to refuse counselling at any time, or to refuse any particular intervention.

If you are a currently enrolled student at Okanagan College and have some concerns around personal issues, academic success or general career direction please make an appointment with a counsellor.

If you have questions about OC programs and courses, admission requirements or pre-requisites, please make an appointment with an Education Advisor.

Our counselling services are for currently enrolled and attending OC students only.  If you are not attending OC and would like to access counselling support, please visit community resources for a list of available community resources. 

Book an appointment

Appointments can be booked through two options:

  • Phone:
    • Kelowna: Contact Student Services at 250-862-5451
    • Penticton: Contact Administration Office at 250-492-4305
    • Salmon Arm: Contact Administration Office at 250-832-2126
    • Vernon: Contact Administration Office at 250-545-7291
    • main OC Switchboard: 250-762-5445
  • Video conference:  We are currently offering online appointments via a secured video-conference platform called Bluejeans. To book this kind of appointment, complete the form to the right and our staff will contact you within 1-2 business days. 

If you require immediate support, please access our crisis resources.

Preferred form of communication

Flourish

Having a healthy mind will make you a better student. Take part in online Wellness Wednesday workshops or browse the Flourish Moodle to learn more at your own pace. Check out this free wellness initiative.

Counselling staff

The staff with Counselling Services is made up of professionals committed to serving students in a caring and competent manner. Individual counsellors have the expertise to respond to a wide variety of personal, academic and social issues faced by students during their academic experience. In addition, individual counsellors have some unique areas of expertise and interest which best enable us to connect with students in a way that is most helpful. 

Staff/Faculty concerned about a student:  If you are concerned about a student, and would like to connect a student to counselling support, please visit our resources for faculty and staff page for more information.

Kelowna staff

Glendon Wiebe

Counselling Services - Chair
Campus: Kelowna

I work with students to help maneuver through challenges that are negatively impacting their personal and academic success. Some of my areas of interest include anxiety and depression, relationships, sexuality, and spirituality.

Credentials:
PhD
Registered Clinical Counsellor (R.C.C.)

Lisa Sookochoff

Counselling Services
Campus: Kelowna
Lisa Sookochoff, Counsellor at Okanagan College

My approach to counselling is solution-focused, holistic and strengths-based.  My goal is for students to feel supported and understood, and to provide tools that they can use in the here and now.  I guide students towards a deeper understanding of themselves, so they can make healthy choices that move them towards their academic and life goals. 

Credentials:
MA (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)

Penticton staff

Sarah Lefebure Warriner

Counselling Services
Campus: Penticton
Counselling - Sarah Lefebure

Being a college student can be exciting and stressful!  I use a person centered, holistic approach to help students with a wide range of personal, career and academic challenges to support their well-being and academic success.  Our work together may help you to: develop insight; focus on healthy ways to deal with stress and care for yourself; try out new ways of thinking or interacting; and take steps towards positive change.   Special areas of interest for me are identity, self-esteem, grief and loss, supporting LGBTQ students, and mental health and well-being.

Credentials:
M.A. (Counselling Psychology with specific career focus)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (R.C.C.)

Vernon staff

Derrick Doige

Counselling Services - on leave
Campus: Vernon
Derrick Doige, Counselling Services

I enjoy talking to students on a wide variety of issues and I understand that college life can be extremely stressful at times.  My approach is to create an environment where students feel safe to explore and understand themselves better.  Special areas of interest for me are family of origin, attachment and resolving trauma. 

Credentials:
MEd. (Counselling Psychology)
Canadian Certified Counsellor (C.C.C.)
EMDR level 3 trained

View Derrick's website

Elizabeth Triano

Counselling Services
Campus: Vernon

My approach to counselling is client-centered, strengths-based and solution-focused. I believe counselling can support a student as they learn who they are and how they want to move toward their academic and personal goals. My intention is to provide a safe place for students to speak their truth, hear themselves and grow as individuals. I support students as they face challenges that often accompany post-secondary learning. These challenges include but are not limited to: anxiety, stress, low mood, procrastination, motivation, family and relational issues, sexuality, sexual violence and trauma.

Credentials:
MACP (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)

Salmon Arm staff

Samantha Johnson

Counselling Services
Campus: Salmon Arm

Supporting students to navigate personal and academic challenges is work that I find very meaningful. I place great importance on providing a safe, compassionate and non-judgemental space for students to come for support and growth. I believe that everyone is unique, and my therapeutic approach draws on a mix of skills that meets the needs of each student including solution-focused, strength-based, mindfulness, and narrative therapy principles.

Credentials:
BSW, MACP (Counselling Psychology)
Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC)

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Kelowna campus
Student Services Building (S111)

250-862-5451

Vernon campus
Administration Building (A300)
250-545-7291

Penticton campus
Ashnola Building (PL142)
250-492-4305

Salmon Arm campus
Main Building (SA103)
250-832-2126