Our team is a group of professionals with a diverse range of professional and lived-experiences. We work with you to enhance your wellness. We can't wait to meet you and assist in your path to optimal wellness.


Read Our Biographies

Learn more about our team and their areas of therapeutic interest and expertise. 


Amberlie

Amberlie Curtiss (she/her)

Amberlie Curtiss (she/her) is a Registered Social Worker. She is a Support Coordinator on the Counselling Services Team who also supports students in single sessions, intake, crisis appointments, and brief therapy.

Amberlie holds a BA in Social Work from Laurentian University and a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. 

Amberlie has an eclectic and down-to-earth approach to supporting people, taking the lead from the individual and meeting them where they are at.

 

Cheri Bilitz

Cheri Bilitz (she/her)

Cheri Bilitz (she/her) holds a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Waterloo as well a BA in Psychology from the University of Waterloo.

As the Director of Counselling Services, Cheri strives to create a department that is inclusive, welcoming and meets the diverse needs of University of Waterloo students. Cheri enjoys working with her Campus Wellness partners and collaborating with others on-campus and within the community to best serve students. Prior to coming to University of Waterloo, Cheri worked in the community in the addictions and mental health sector. She is passionate about restorative justice and holds a certificate in conflict management and mediation through Conrad Grebel University College.

Cheri has been in leadership roles for almost 15 years. Her curiosity and love for continuous learning has led her to pursue her PhD as a part-time student in social work with an emphasis on leadership. This same curiosity and love of learning leads Cheri to continually search for new music and books to enjoy, be active, get outside, and travel with family.

 

Dave Logan

Dave Logan (he/him)

Dave Logan (he/him) graduated from Mohawk College in Child & Youth Care, completed his undergraduate degree in Social Developmental Studies at the University of Waterloo and completed his Master’s Degree in Clinical Social work from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is from Waterloo Region and lives nearby with his family. 

Dave brings a wealth of experience working with students and faculty from various post-secondary institutions in the role of faculty instructor and counsellor. He also worked with a number of non-profit agencies. Dave works with students, staff and faculty on the Waterloo Campus in Counselling Services. He is excited about his role in Co-operative Education.

Having worked in Engineering, the School of Accounting and Finance, Stratford Campus and the Student Success Office, he has learned a lot about the student experience. Success strategies, personal relationships, mental health challenges, specific study skill techniques and international issues are just some examples of the issues that people work with Dave on. 

He likes to work from a “Success Coaching” model, towards building insight, goal identification and action plans towards academic & personal achievements. Dave’s greatest reward at work is your success!

 

Dave Mackay (he/him)

Dave Mackay (he/him) is a Registered Social Worker in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Dave’s first exposure to post-secondary student services was as a Resident Assistant during his time as an undergraduate student studying biology at the University of Guelph. This was such a positive experience for Dave that he switched his focus of study, moving forward to get an undergraduate degree in psychology from Brock University and then a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University specifically choosing clinical internship opportunities in educational settings. After completing his MSW Dave worked part-time at both Brock University and the University of Waterloo before he eventually (and happily) accepted an opportunity to work full time in Counselling Services at the University of Waterloo over 20 years ago.

During his years of service at the University of Waterloo Dave has and continues to provide counselling support to assist students with their mental health and wellness goals on a wide range of social, relational, developmental, and personal concerns. He also provides critical incident response and support to the campus community and he values opportunities to serve on committees within and outside of Campus Wellness, all with a focus on student wellness and support. Dave currently works as a Manager at Counselling Services with responsibility for the coordination of clinical services.

 

Fiona Dhanapala (she/her)

Fiona Dhanapala is a registered Social Worker. She holds a Hons. BA in Economics and a minor in Sociology from McMaster University (1993) and a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University (2013) .

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do” – Brene Brown.

Fiona is an avid believer in personal growth, and adopts a Mind, Body, Sprit approach to overall wellness. Having lived and traveled in different parts of the world she is keenly attuned to the issues of identity and culture and how it shapes our experiences. She is fluent in Singhalese.

She supports clients in finding more meaning and joy in their lives, and a deeper sense of who they are and what they need (both from themselves and others) . In counselling sessions, she strives to meet you where you are at and supports you in getting to where you want to be. She believes that you intuitively have the answers to your problems and gently guides you to connect with your inner wisdom.

She works with a range of presenting issues such as, and not limited to, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, addictions, family and relationships, gender and sexual identity confusion, spirituality, and life transitions. In her role at UW counselling services, she provides individual counselling, group facilitation and supervision to Master of Social Work (MSW) students.

In her work she uses an eclectic mix of evidence-based approaches such as, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused, Narrative, Emotion Focussed Therapy (EFT) and Relational Cultural. She has specialized training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) , Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) , Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Acceptance and Commitment therapy ( ACT ) . While her counselling style is open and direct, in her experience, these various techniques when used in personalized combinations can lead to profound change in the mind, body and spirit of an individual.

In her spare time, she finds rejuvenation in a daily qi gong practice, playing board games with her husband and children, cooking to rhythmic music, reading and spending time in nature.

 

Gillian Wells

Gillian Wells (she/her)

Gillian Wells (she/her) holds a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Waterloo as well a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph.

As the Counsellor for Black Student Support, Gillian recognizes that students of colour often seek out support that is not only culturally relevant and sensitive but is reflective of the lived experience of being Black and racialized in Canada. Using trauma informed and an anti-oppressive lens she has a unique understanding of the impact of the sequela of racism and the burden on the lives of Black students. Gillian recognizes the barriers that often exist for marginalized groups as it relates to accessing mental health care and support.

With over 20 years of experience, Gillian has worked at the community level delivering individual counselling at both KW Counselling Services and Carizon (formerly Catholic Family and Counselling Services) as well as in private practice. Gillian has worked with a broad population including government assisted refugees, immigrants and newcomers now living in Canada but who are experiencing trauma and issues related to racism in Canada further compounded by ongoing civil unrest and sometimes war ‘back home’. Gillian has had the opportunity to specialize in working with individuals, families and groups impacted by systemic racism and oppression resulting in intergenerational trauma.

 

Gursharan Kahlon

Gursharan Kaur Kahlon (she/her)

Gursharan Kaur Kahlon (she/her) is a registered Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from York University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University.  She has been working at University of Waterloo - Counselling Services for over seven years and is a co-chair of the Health and Mental Health, Sub-group with the President’s Anti-racism Task Force (PART). 

Gursharan is from the South Asian cultural background and is fluent in Punjabi and Hindi. She is passionate about cultural diversity, racial and social justice issues, mental health, trauma, stress, family and healthy relationship issues, loss and grief, and building self-resiliency and confidence.  

Gursharan has over twenty-five years of clinical and community work, group counselling, teaching, and training. From a holistic and strengths-based framework, she grounds her work in empathy, compassion, and care, and utilizes several clinical approaches to understand clients’ perspectives and experiences. Her primary goals with clients are to develop greater awareness of their strengths, build capacity and resiliency, and cultivate self-compassion as they progress on the healing journey.

In her spare time, Gursharan engages in volunteer work, enjoys working out, walk/hiking, cooking, reading, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

 

Laura Dziuba (she/her)

Laura Dziuba (she/her) is Registered Social Worker in good standing with both the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Toronto with her Master of Social Work, having specialized in mental health and addiction. 

Her love of learning and desire to provide the best support to her clients has driven Laura to pursue further education in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). Laura believes therapy is not a one-size-fits-all and aspires to be adaptable in her therapeutic approach. As an emotional human being herself, Laura strongly believes that all emotions, particularly difficult emotions, deserve to be honoured – and believes therapy is a space to do just that.

Laura has 7 years of experience supporting individuals facing a variety of mental health and life challenges including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress symptoms, life transitions, relationship challenges, substance use, grief/loss, emotional regulation, and self-esteem/self-worth challenges. She views her clients as the expert and sees her role as the therapist as a blend of providing support and insight, offering perspective, teaching coping skills, and asking thought-provoking questions as a means to help her clients live more meaningful lives.

When she’s not in the office, Laura spends her free time exploring new hiking trails, caring for her ever-growing indoor plant collection, gardening, walking her dog, hanging out with her friends and family, and chasing after her nephews.  As a proud introvert, Laura would say she recharges best with a cup of tea and a good book.

 

Lindsay Rafuse

Lindsay Rafuse (she/her)

Lindsay Rafuse (she/her) is Registered Social Worker and member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers. She holds a BA in Psychology (Honours) from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick and graduated in 2015 from Wilfrid Laurier University with her Master of Social Work.

Recognizing that every individual is unique, Lindsay offers a variety of approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and incorporates elements of Mindful Self-Compassion and Positive Psychology into her work with individuals.

Lindsay sees her role as your guide in navigating whatever circumstances you are facing. She sits alongside her clients through their journey. In her work, she helps you to identify your own strengths and resilience to overcome life’s challenges. She has worked with a broad range of concerns, including anxiety, depression, body image and disordered eating concerns, stress, self-esteem as well as emotion regulation and helping individuals navigate life transitions. Lindsay also has specialized training in working with the Perinatal population.

In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys spending time outside in nature (running, hiking, gardening), trying out new recipes and spending time with her family and friends. As a proud east coaster, born and raised in Nova Scotia, she is happiest near the water!

 

Melissa Z

Melissa Zettel (she/her)

Melissa Zettel (She/Her) is one of the Embedded Wellness Co-op Counsellors. Melissa is a registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Social Work from Lakehead University. She completed her Master of Social Work at University of Waterloo.

Melissa places an importance on strengths, values, and diversity. She supports students to make sense of their lived experiences. She works from the framework that every person is an expert in their own experiences. She helps students to see themselves outside of their situations and learn skills for coping.

Melissa works from an eclectic framework including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Harm Reduction, Attachment, and Trauma Informed. Melissa has experience and interest working with Anxiety and Depression, Self-Esteem, Relationship and Family Issues, Grief and Loss, Substance Use and Addiction.

Melissa enjoys an active lifestyle, and you can often find her running and participating in HIIT workouts.

 

Melody Mann

Melody Mann (she/her)

Melody Mann (she/her) is a Registered Social Worker and member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Services Workers. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University as well as a Master of (Clinical) Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. With over 15 years’ experience in the counselling field, Melody has worked with a wide range of concerns including addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, grief/loss, chronic health, relationships, identity, life transitions and personal growth.

Melody uses a compassionate and integrated approach, incorporating elements of mindfulness, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), narrative, solution-focused, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) into her practice.

Melody strongly believes in the human capacity for change, growth and healing and is energized by the connections she makes with people during counselling conversations. 

In her spare time, Melody enjoys spending time in nature, with family (including her dog) and in creative pursuits.

 

Patricia              Patricia Cummings (she/her)

Patricia Cummings (she/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, and a member of the Canadian Counselling Association. She holds a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from Wilfrid Laurier University, an M.Div. from the Atlantic School of Theology, and a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of King’s College at Dalhousie University.

Before coming to Counselling Services, Patricia taught and practiced counselling at Wilfrid Laurier University.  She formerly provided spiritual care in a hospital setting, and as a University Chaplain at Dalhousie University and at the Atlantic School of Theology. She was also involved in teaching, training, and administration in a spiritual care program in a diocesan setting.

Patricia values the opportunity to work with clients who bring a diversity of background and ability. She has worked with a wide range of concerns, including anxiety, depression, relationships, family, grief, trauma, gender identity, self-esteem, substance use, and spiritual concerns.

In her role at Counselling Services, she mostly practices single session therapy, along with some brief therapy.  Working from a client-centred, compassionate, and strengths-based perspective, Patricia draws on several clinical approaches as she accompanies clients towards their goals for change and growth. 

In her spare time, Patricia enjoys staying active with running, walking/hiking, tennis, Nordic and Alpine skiing, weight training, and a little yard work. She also enjoys reading, cooking, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

 

spencer
Spencer Small (he/him)

I hold a Master of Social Work Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Development Studies from the University of Waterloo.

I am a queer counsellor and social worker who has been working in this community for the past 8 years. Each time I meet with a student, I strive to create an environment in which they feel heard, understood, and cared for. I want students to enter our counselling sessions unapologetically, just as they are. You are more than a student, you are a complex, worthy human being. I aim to work collaboratively with you and use our time together how you would like to. I can process hard stuff with you, help you reach your goals, provide strategies (if you like) or just be a listening ear. I have training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Emotion Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT).

I have experience working with many common issues including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, gender and sexuality identities, family and relationship concerns, and more.

In addition, I am approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to provide secondary assessment letters for gender affirming surgery for Trans students.

I love spending time hiking, camping, swimming, reading and watching movies. The best times in my life are those spent with my husband, my black lab named Sammy, family and friends.

I’m here and happy to help!

 

Susan

Susan Corkill (she/her)

Susan Corkill (she/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario.  She completed a Master of Arts in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Susan has over 20 years of experience in the helping profession working and volunteering in clinical, educational, and community settings. Susan’s blend of clinical approaches seeks to honour the client as a complex and integrated person who brings their own strengths and insights to the collaborative process.

Susan has experience working with many common concerns and life experiences, including anxiety, depression, substance use and addiction, spirituality, family and relationship concerns, life transitions, and trauma.

In addition to her work, Susan loves making people laugh, singing to herself, organizing messes, and going on adventures with her family – and anyone else who’d like to join.

 

Wash SilkWashington Silk (they/them)

Washington Silk (they/them) is a Registered Social Worker. They hold a BA in Anthropology from the University of Lethbridge (2010) and a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University (2013).

Wash is a passionate transgender and queer social worker with over 10 years of clinical and community experience. Wash can help people better understand themselves and those around them, identify common patterns and work towards their goals. Wash’s practice is grounded in curiosity, compassion, and transparency. Wash has experience working with many common issues and life events, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, gender and sexuality identities, family and relationship concerns, neurodiversity, executive functioning, trauma, substance use and addiction.

 

Staff List

  • Cheri Bilitz, MSW, RSW - Director, Counselling Services
  • Amberlie Curtiss, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Apryl Fyfe, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Brenda Julian, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Christine Tauer Martin, MSW, RSW - Manager, Counselling Services
  • Dave Logan, MSW, RSW, CYW - Counsellor and Success Coach
  • Dave Mackay, MSW, RSW - Manager, Counselling Services
  • Emmanuel Ugwuegbula, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Fiona Dhanapal, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Gillian Wells - MSW, RSW - Counsellor for Black Student Support
  • Gursharan Kahlon, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Irina Boboc, BA, BSW, RSW - Intake Specialist
  • Jennifer Yuen, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Kexin You, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Kristin Shantz, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Kristine Meier, MEd, RP - Counsellor
  • Laura Dzuiba, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Linda Heu, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Lindsay Rafuse, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Megan Yarmey, PhD, MA, MSW, BA, RSW, RP - Counsellor
  • Melissa Zettel, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Melody Mann - MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Patricia Cummings, R.P., D.Min. - Counsellor
  • Sanam Rezaei Dashti, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Saviour Mutakwa, BA, BSW, RSW - Intake Specialist
  • Shelley Huisken, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Spencer Small, MSW, RSW - Counsellor
  • Susan Corkill, MA, RP - Counsellor
  • Tanya Andrews, RP - Manager, Counselling Services
  • Thara Thakidiyil, BSW, RSW - Intake Specialist
  • Trish Noordstra, MSW - Counsellor
  • Washington Silk, MSW, RSW - Counsellor