“The secret of creating peace is that when you listen to other people you have only one purpose: to offer them an opportunity to open their hearts” Thich Nhat Hanh
Sonya Jakos, MA, CCC
I started working in the human services field in 1992, after graduating
from Queen’s University with an Honours degree in Psychology and
Sociology. I have been practicing counselling since 1995, after completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Victoria. In 2010 I completed my Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Calgary. I am a proud certified member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
In my decades of work in the counselling field I have gained valuable
experience and growth living and working in Costa Rica, London England,
Christchurch New Zealand, Victoria BC, and currently, in the wonderful Cowichan Valley BC. Working in various countries, with different cultures, and numerous work settings, has enhanced my ability to support people from a diversity of backgrounds.
The focus of my counselling work has been in-depth and varied. I have over ten years of experience employed in high risk child and youth mental health services, with local health authorities. I have also worked in settings focussed on women’s health. My experience includes working as a mental health counsellor in adult acute psychiatry services. In recent years I have been drawn to the psycho-spiritual aspects and somatic aspects of counselling. This has led me to complete an internship at Victoria Hospice, complete my training to become a Reiki Master and Level one Hatha yoga teacher, and develop a mindfulness meditation practice, as modalities to better inform my therapy practice and services.
My scope of practice has included working in public health care, non profit agencies, and within the school system. I have extensive individual counselling experience and have worked with age groups across the lifespan. Within the child and youth mental health system I have offered family counselling and parent focussed coaching. Couples or relationship counselling is a central part of my private practice. I have also facilitated numerous group therapy programs. I value contributing to my community and offering my professional skills as a resource; to that end, I have been a volunteer counsellor at Victoria’s Citizens Counselling Centre, a volunteer Roots of Empathy instructor at local schools in the Cowichan Valley, and a transition support person for Syrian refugee families.
I wish to respectfully acknowledge the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways I live and work.
“People hear you on the level you speak with them. Speak from your heart and they will hear with theirs” Marianne Williamson
My intention is to inspire people to mindfully and positively tend to their mind, body, spirit, and relationship to self and others with compassion and curiosity. I very much want to hear your story, and to help you identify and overcome any challenges that are impacting your relationships or overall well-being. Counselling can be a resource for exploring life’s challenges, a space to process emotional pain, an avenue to help broaden one’s perspective, and a resource to help build upon and celebrate one’s strengths and skill sets for personal and relational growth. In counselling we explore how you relate to the world and how the world relates to you; this includes exploring how issues that exist within society impact you. Counselling can connect you to your inner guidance system and help you recognize your personal influence and responsibility in a situation. It can be a supportive means for exploring the ways you desire to evolve, re-create, and re-imagine how you might like to be experiencing your life.
You are inherently a worthy and valuable person, no matter your age, life experiences, or background. It is your personal right to set and achieve goals, to nurture a desired way of life, and to embrace an identity you are aligned with. You are capable of self-love and caring, meaningful relationships. By strengthening your resilience and courage within, along with some tools for change and self-awareness, you can face the unsettling, imperfect, and sometimes painful nature of our humanness.
“Just where you are, that’s the place to start” Pema Chodron
The client-counsellor relationship is one based on building trust and a collaborative partnership. Your expectations or what you hope to get out of counselling will guide the process. What therapy is and how it works is unique to each of us. While we share much in common, we all carry experiences, beliefs, aspirations, and fears that are ours alone and give us distinct perspectives. My intention is to work with the strengths and interests that each person brings to the process of awareness and change. I explore the intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects of relationships, along with identifying the attachment style a person has developed. One of my strengths as a counsellor is to form a genuine connection between myself and my clients. It is always my primary goal to create a safe, nurturing, engaging, and hopeful environment for clients.
I tailor my therapeutic approach to suit what makes you uniquely you. I have studied numerous approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. I am guided by a progressive therapy approach that recognizes that our individual problems or challenges are connected to greater social issues and constructs. I utilize a mindful and intuitive approach, along with evidence-based counselling modalities, to assist my clients with the goals and hopes they have identified for counselling. The counselling plan that is created by the client and myself matches the goals, personality, and unique perspective of the client. I have extensive experience utilizing the following counselling approaches:
● Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, including Mindfulness Based CBT
● Solution Focussed Therapy
● EMDR trained therapist
● Non-violent Communication (NVC)
● Narrative Therapy
● Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
● Ego State Therapy
● Family Systems and Satir Based family therapy
● Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Schema Therapy
● Gottman method couples therapy
● Emotionally Focussed couples therapy
● Trauma Informed Therapy
● Positive Psychology
● Somatic Psychotherapy
● LGBTQ2+ allied
● Psycho-education and skills building
● Attachment Theory
“You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being…because you decide to believe it and for no other reason” Wayne Dyer
My current areas of primary practice include seeing youth, 12 years old and over, adult individual counselling, parent and guardian support, family counselling, and couples counselling. I also provide clinical consult support to allied health providers and support staff at schools.
I often work with youth and their families/caregivers together, for parts of some sessions, to explore ways to strengthen communication, family dynamics, and to foster greater family harmony. Along with adults, children and youth are deserving of respect and a healthy autonomy, and to have a voice in their own lives, and this is supported in the counselling relationship.
I offer an initial, complimentary 15-20 minute phone consultation, so we can decide if we are a compatible fit for working together.
What does the counselling process look like? Being that it is individually focussed everyone can derive something different from it. Sometimes the counselling process can be focussed on a specific need or issue, while in other cases, it can be more exploratory and depth-oriented. The therapy process is a participatory experience. The more you involve yourself in the process, the more you’ll gain from it. It’s a practice in everyday living, in which you take what you learn from the session, and apply it to your daily life.
In your first session you and I will discuss and mutually agree upon the following things:
● What can be expected from counselling
● What the limits of confidentiality are
● Emergency contact information
● A review of the intake information sheet
● Your hopes and goals from counselling
● A general plan for the counselling process
● Any other important agreements or considerations
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship” Louisa May Alcott
I am registered with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association as a certified member (CCC 10000386). This designation is recognized by many insurance companies. It is the client’s responsibility to check with insurance providers, either through extended health benefit plans or employee benefit plans, if counselling services from a Canadian certified counsellor are covered.
I am a registered health care provider for ICBC and for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
My session fee is currently $125, GST inclusive, per hour, and fees are subject to change. The session hour includes 5-10 minutes reserved at the end of the session for the completion of administrative tasks.
Fees are due at the time of your session and can be paid by cash, cheque, or email money transfer. You will be provided with a receipt that includes my designation and registration number with the CCPA. This can be kept for your records for income tax purposes.
Kindly give 24 hours advance notice if you need to cancel or reschedule appointments. Full session fees will be charged for missed appointments and late cancellations.
During the course of therapy any follow-up telephone or email consultations, of a clinical nature are charged at 15 minute increments.
Requests for the writing of clinical reports, and the associated fees, will be negotiated per individual request.
Forms for Youth Clients
Forms for Adult Clients
“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite
power of our light” Brene Brown
I currently see clients in various locations in the Cowichan Valley. I also offer secure online telehealth sessions via the online platform, Doxy.me. The options will be discussed with you upon booking an appointment for counselling services.
Confidential Voicemail: 250-891-3200
I aim to respond to all voicemail and email messages within 48 hours, during business days. I primarily communicate through email so please submit your counselling request via this method.
Thanks for getting in touch and I look forward to an opportunity to connect further,