Hi! I’m Katya Sivak!
Registered Clinical Counsellor (#11114)
In professional terms, I am a teacher, a therapist, and a founder of Within Counselling Therapy Collective. My passion is guiding people to discover who they really are, beyond thoughts and judgments about themselves. My work is a unique combination of western therapeutic approaches, research based neuroscience infused therapy, wisdom from my Siberian ancestors, and intuitive healing... but most days I will just say that I am someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously (although I take my work seriously) and am deeply in love with the earth.
My Journey here
My ancestors are from Siberia and Ukraine. They were farmers, bee keepers, artists, teachers, and healers and I always felt their endurance, creativity, and wisdom in me. It is my natural and deep calling to SEE people and help them heal that led me to pursue a psychology & counselling career.
I began as a researcher at UBC Behavioural Psychology Labaratory. I was called to investigate Postraumatic Growth of genoside survivors, Astronauts, and women working in the harsh environment of Antarctica. This work opened up some glorious and dark chapters of my ancestral history. I already knew that my people were the first to fly to space, but I also learned some darker chapters of my people’ history. I learned about quiet genocide my Russian ancestors committed against my Ukrainian people. I felt it in my bones and my blood boiled. It is a secret that half of my family denies and the other half silently grieves. Diving deeper into my ancestral history, I found out how, on one side of my family tree, my Slavic ancestors were perpetrators of colonial violence against Native Siberian People. And how, on the other side of the family tree, my Native Siberian ancestors were survivors of colonization. Deep lessons. I also realized that research was not for me. I longed to be with people, not research them. When I began my Masters Degree in Counselling Therapy I thought I was on the right path. However upon completion of my degree I was extremely disappointed in my profession. Childhood traumas surfaced, ancestral traumas followed, a sense of not belonging as an immigrant on this land intensified, and therapy did not help. Spirling depression, anxiety and trauma symptoms pushed me into a deep search for healing, both within and without.
I went through a number of therapists, women’s circles, intuitive healers, shamanic apprenticeship, dreamwork, work with sacred healing plants and finally received deep and profound healing from mama Earth. I did not quit my profession, I just became an unconventional therapist who is into research, loves neuroscience and also encourages people to lean into the mystery, connect with their helping ancestors, do ancestral trauma work, talk to the trees, and develop relationship with the Land. I am known to quote recent research papers and also prescribe nature walks and ceremonies in the woods.
Today, I continue to study, seek, listen and learn from the Land, the ancestral, traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, where I settled, live and play. My other studies include work with American psychiatrist Dr. Peter Levine, Canadian physician Gabor Matte, a mystic and dream worker Took-pa, a shamanic practitioner Sandra Ingerman, herbalist Asia Suller, and a wild woman Sabrina Lynn. I hold an undergraduate degree in psychology form University of British Columbia, a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology from University of Victoria and I am a Registered Clinical counsellor with the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors.
I work with people at my beautiful healing space at the Within Counselling Therapy Collective, as well as online and at a distance.
I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with the B.C. Association of Clinical Counsellors, and I'm bound by their Code of Ethical Conduct & Standards of Clinical Practice.
I'm registered as a counselling provider with the Crime Victim Assistance Program, First Nations Health Authority and my services are often covered by ICBC for those who have been in a car accident.
As well as my private work, I am a board director of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellorswork, as a family and a group facilitator for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer at nonprofit agencies.
My Favorite Things
When not in my counselling office I am out in nature - hiking barefoot, swimming in the ocean, foraging for wild herbs, and taking my son and daughter on many forest adventures. I hike barefoot regularly. I love essential oils. I practice heartful living, don't kill bugs, and I am a voracious reader. I love mangos and sunshine. I love being by the ocean, cloud watching, star gazing, & sounds of the rainforest.