Our team members are compassionate and dynamic humans who offer support and guidance through the change process with nature as their co-facilitator. We aim to match you with a clinical counsellor or child and youth worker who fits your individual or family needs.
Executive Director – MA, RCC
Executive Director – MA, RCC (he/him)
David Segal has been providing therapeutic nature-based counselling for children, youth, adults, couples, and families for over 15 years. He is deeply passionate about the natural world and how strengthening human-nature relationships can enrich our collective and individual well-being. He has spent the last decade learning from a vast array of teachers (including the non-human natural ones) the tools and skills for guiding people to truly know their own inherent wholeness and how to work with the struggles of their life in order to both harness and harvest the gifts and learning available.
David completed a Masters degree in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, is registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and is a certified Somatic Transformation Practitioner and Emotionally Focused Therapist with specializations in working with couples/families and resolving trauma. When not counselling, he loves playing sports, exploring forests, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time with his family.
Eidel the Nova Scotia Duck Toller
Eidel brings with her an insatiable joy for life and contagious love for the present moment, sticks, and running in the forest. Eidel loves to join Dave on his adventures with clients.
Clinical Director – MA, RCC
Clinical Director – MA, RCC (she/her)
For over 15 years Katy has been discovering the joys of experiential and nature-based approaches to working with children, youth and families for the promotion of healing and growth. Katy holds a deep trust in the healing power of connection with the non-human natural world, and believes that each individual is born with an innate drive and capacity towards wholeness and health. Katy completed a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counselling Psychology, with a specialization in Wilderness Therapy, from Naropa University in Colorado. She is trained in Somatic Transformation, Emotion Focused Family Therapy and EMDR.
Along with her involvement in HNCS, Katy has developed and facilitated several group therapy programs for families and youth throughout the Greater Victoria Region. Katy’s passion is in creating innovative and accessible programming which are steeped in the values of connection, family, nature and community. Katy loves to share her passion for the exciting field of Nature-Based Therapy with others, and provides training, supervision and education on these topics in the hopes of encouraging other counsellors step beyond the office walls. Katy is a parent to two vivacious boys and a Registered Clinical Counselor with the BC Association of Clinical Counselors.
Ripple the Bernerdoodle
Ripple is full of love for all humans and fellow creatures. She loves exploring the beach, romping through the forest, finding giant sticks, and most of all, snuggles. Ripple is happiest when she gets to join Katy and her clients in the great outdoors (FYI – she is a gentle giant at 110 lbs!).
MA, RCC – Cowichan & Victoria
Sarah Duncan (she/her) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Cowichan & Victoria
Sarah is a creative, calm and respectful counsellor who feels privileged to have lived and worked on the traditional lands of the Quw’utsun people for over 15 years. She has worked in a variety of non-profit counselling organizations, VIHA, Cowichan Valley School District, Cowichan Tribes, and Child and Youth Mental Health. Sarah has an BA from Vancouver Island University in Child and Youth Care, and a Master’s degree in Counselling from City University.
As an avid outdoorswoman and someone who has integrated nature with her own healing path, Sarah understands how a healing journey that incorporates nature is an unquestionable match. Sarah values the infinite healing that can be done while engaged in a natural setting, be it out on a mountainside, in a local park, by the water or sitting in a favorite spot under a tree. Sarah offers individual, children, teens, and family counselling using safe, creative, and non-judgmental approaches. Sarah understands that we are complex beings linked to family, society, and community which all contribute to the creation of a system in which we learn how to navigate and make sense of our lives in the world.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Sarah Frizelle (she/her) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Sarah is a registered clinical counsellor who offers holistic counselling to individuals, couples & families. She supports change and growth through therapeutic processes that attend to mind, body, emotions and spirit. She specializes in anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, life transitions, family conflict and relationship issues.
In addition to office based sessions, Sarah offers nature-based counselling which blends her experience as a therapist with her 20 year experience as a wilderness guide and her practice of meditation and training in mindfulness-based stress reduction with her work as an educator. As a counsellor, Sarah guides with sensitivity and compassion, with the knowledge that a good therapeutic relationship can be like a compass in hand when feeling lost or disoriented – and can be one that supports a process of exploration and discovery. Sarah holds masters degrees in education and psychology and is in private practice in Victoria, BC.
MA, RCC – Sooke & Westshore
Jordie Allen-Newman (he/him) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Sooke & Westshore
Jordie has practiced counselling with children, youth adults and families in health care and social services for 30 years. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and member of Human Nature’s instructional team. For over 20 years Jordie has worked with children who have witnessed violence using adventure therapy and he has extensive experience as a sand tray therapist with children struggling with grief, loss, anxiety and depression. Jordie cares deeply about nature. He combines his knowledge of experiential, narrative and mindfulness therapies and teams up with nature to support innovative and personalized ways of healing and growing. Jordie also enjoys his own connection with nature and has been a wilderness guide for the past 25 years, a long distance adventure kayaker and a rock climber.
He lives with his life partner, Alysha Jones, in the traditional territory of the T’Sou-Ke First Nations.
MSW, RCC – Squamish-North Vancouver & Telehealth
Bonnie Dyck (she/her) – MSW, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Squamish-North Vancouver & Telehealth
Bonnie is a creative, supportive counsellor who believes that we learn and grow through relationship – with ourselves, each other, and our world. She believes it is through relationship that we are able to create meaning, health and wholeness in our life. Once we have an understanding of ourselves and our relationships we need to have opportunities for engaging in actions that support the change we desire.
For over 20 years Bonnie has been providing therapeutic adventure and wilderness based counseling for youth and families. She completed a Masters of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2001 and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counselors. She works experientially with children, youth, individuals, couples, and families. To support client change she uses activities such as outdoor recreation, indoor climbing, problem-solving initiatives, mindfulness, and wilderness skills in combination with solution-focused and narrative talk therapy. This creates an opportunity for self-reflection and exploration of relationship dynamics, while allowing for shifting of patterns in the moment.
Bonnie has been engaging in the experience of parenting over the past 7 years, constantly learning and growing through her interactions with her little ones.
PhD, RCC – Mill Bay & Cowichan
Nevin Harper (he/him) – PhD, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Mill Bay & Cowichan
Nevin is a Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria where he teaches youth work and counselling skills including the use of outdoor and experiential methods. He draws on more than two decades of experience as an outdoor skills instructor, wilderness guide, youth and family support worker, and counsellor. Nevin is also a researcher, writer, and consultant. He presents internationally on topics of outdoor and activity-based approaches to therapy and human development. While born and raised up north, Nevin has travelled and lived abroad but has called the island home since 1995.
Nevin’s approach to counselling is diverse but centers on hearing youth and family’s stories, honouring their self-knowledge, and supporting their desires for change through building authentic and trusting relationships. Being outdoors and active are key ingredients in Nevin’s practice along with a lived experience of his own relationship with nature as a key ingredient to health and wellbeing.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Katy Winship (she/her) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellor
Katy is a registered clinical counsellor who offers counselling to children, youth, and families. Katy seeks adventure in the wilderness wherever she can find it, and values the rich narrative metaphors these experiences bring to add meaning to our lives. As an outdoors-person with values in Indigenous ways of knowing, cultural humility, and decolonized practices, Katy understands the importance of unique personal contexts and ongoing learning to better support her clients and community. With movement and play in mind, she also helps clients create space for reflection, expansion, and exploration of self.
Katy brings many years of experience in youth work, wilderness therapy, and experiential education as a nature-based practitioner. Through her roles as an outdoors leader and volunteer, Katy provides engaging experiences to her clients to promote growth and learning. Katy also currently works as a Policy Analyst for Mental Health for the Ministry of Education, supporting the mental wellbeing of BC’s K-12 students. She maintains a position on the board of South Island Climbers Association, promoting equity and accessibility in the outdoors. She holds a Bachelors of Family and Social Relations, a Bachelors of Education in Outdoor and Experiential Education, as well as Masters of Counselling.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria & Nanaimo/Gabriola
Jeff Miller (he/him) – MA, RCC – Child, Youth and Family Support Worker
Greater Victoria & Nanaimo/Gabriola
Jeff was born in Winnipeg and has been exploring Vancouver Island since ’87. Jeff spent eight years building and designing homes in different local communities before returning to Victoria to complete his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and is currently finishing a Masters in Counselling with City University of Seattle. He has worked many roles helping youth and adults with addictions and homelessness, as well as social and developmental challenges. Jeff has a hands-on and experiential approach to fostering positive change and healthy relationships with his clients; he engages them through the shared experiences of creating art, learning outdoor skills, building projects, and practicing essential life skills.
With his time spent adventuring, designing and building homes while living in the woods, Jeff is passionate about sharing the value he holds of feeling capable and in place in nature. He has experienced that this learning in outdoor environments extends to capability in many realms. Jeff emphasizes strength-based approaches to counselling, while recognizing that behaviour and emotion are responses to our interaction with environmental, social and family systems.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Isaac Rosenberg (he/him) – MA, RCC – Clinical Counsellors
Isaac is a registered clinical counsellor working in the Greater Victoria area. He believes that through authentic relationship–with self, others, and our environment–people can heal, grow, and become the versions of themselves they most wish to be. Isaac brings to his work many years involved in education, organizing, and activism related to supporting individuals of all ages to navigate their worlds in ways that allow them to live authentically while not harming themselves or others.
Isaac’s love for the earth manifests most clearly in his passion for plant cultivation, working with the soil to create thriving environments that can produce food for people and other critters. He has experienced the healing potential of connecting with the earth, and is excited to bring this potential to his work supporting others. Isaac has a Masters of Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, and has trained in the treatment of trauma through Somatic Transformation and EMDR approaches.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Jeff Terrell (he/him) – MA, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor
Jeff is passionate about the healing power of connection: to self, others, and the non-human natural world. He brings genuine care, compassion, and curiosity to his counselling work. Jeff draws from a wealth of experience that allows him to connect with and support individuals from a variety of backgrounds: From wilderness guiding, outdoor leadership development with youth, to work in the film industry and the corporate world, to time spent living in West Africa and South America learning about Indigenous ways of healing and relationships. Jeff completed his masters in counselling psychology at City University and as well as an internship with Human-Nature.
MA, RCC – Greater Victoria
Sasha Routley (she/her) – MA, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor
As an emerging counsellor, Sasha’s practice with children and youth is guided by a deep awareness and appreciation for the power of connection that exists between all beings.
From a young age, Sasha has felt a strong sense of kinship with more-than-human beings, which has nourished her sense of belonging in this world and fueled her passion for animal-assisted therapy, specifically in the ‘field’ of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) and Nature-Based Therapy.
Taking lessons from the horses who have been teachers, allies and friends throughout her life, Sasha has dedicated herself to helping others experience healing relationships, informed by principles of mutual trust, agency and reciprocity. Working from a strength-based perspective, Sasha believes that we all possess the natural, innate capacity for healing and growth. To cultivate this natural capacity, Sasha integrates principles of somatic therapy in which body awareness and intelligence hold a central role in the change process.
Sasha completed both her BA and MA in Child & Youth Care at the University of Victoria.
MEd, RCC – Greater Victoria
Tensley Koontz (he/him) – MEd, RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor
Tensley is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who, for over 14 years, has supported youth and young adults as an educator with the Greater Victoria School District, outdoor instructor with Outward Bound Canada, kayak guide and wildland firefighter. Currently he is working toward completing his Master of Education in School Counselling with City University of Seattle. Intertwined with his own healing journey and background growing up in Alberta’s Kananaskis, and the rangelands of BC’s Cariboo-Chilcotin, Tensley understands one’s connection to nature can be a powerful tool to cultivate self-efficacy and support healing, growth, and change. Further drawing from his background and Métis heritage, Tensley understands walking within two worlds and appreciates engaging with diverse peoples.
Tensley works from a lens of sensitivity, curiosity, and compassion, and his strength-based approaches emphasize mindfulness, experiential play, and the learning of outdoor skills to connect with clients and support their greater understanding of self, positive self-belief, and capacity for change.
Child and Youth Support Workers
Robin Fagnan (he/him) Child and Youth Support Worker & Intake Coordinator
Robin brings a depth of experience based in three decades of work in areas such as experiential education, adventure-based learning, professional outdoor guiding, youth justice, counselling, and extensive work with people of many abilities. Robin has come to see that connection is the basic recipe for supporting people in re-framing life’s challenges into opportunities for growth. Connection between people and with the natural world’s capacity to connect us to something bigger than ourselves.
Robin has a practical approach centred on both the efficacy of nature connection and developing present moment awareness to develop practical tools. On the foundation of developing therapeutic rapport he focuses on the simplest ways of developing and maintaining momentum for individuals to move forward (and, FUN is an integral part of the process too!). As a person with Type 1 diabetes, Robin also provides support to youth and adults with the challenges of living with a chronic illness.
MA Candidate – Westshore
Sylvia Storry (she/her) – MA Candidate – Child, Youth and Family Support Worker
With more than 20 years of experience supporting youth and their families, Sylvia approaches people with positivity and genuine care. Central to her nature-based practice, is a deep respect and gratitude for the lands and waterways of the Coast Salish peoples who have generously gifted her teachings and support over many years. Using nature as a co-facilitator, Sylvia strives to help youth to find strength in themselves and build up their capacity to find belonging within the people and spaces they connect with.
Sylvia is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, and completed her clinical internship with Human Nature. Sylvia is also works with Power To Be as the Youth and Family Adventures Lead. When she does not have her youth support hat on, you are most likely to find Sylvia outside mountain biking, hiking with her pup Dex or seeking out time near or on the ocean.
MA Candidate – Greater Victoria
Natasha Villeneuve (she/her) – MA Candidate – Child and Youth Support Worker
Natasha grew up in the Okanagan Valley. Her early memories of connecting with and through nature in times of grief, transition, and celebration instilled in her a deep awareness that she is never alone. As an urban dweller Natasha is enthusiastic about the ways that we can integrate accessible here-and-now moments with the nearby natural world that can deepen our relationships to supports that exist all around us.
Natasha prioritizes the dignity of clients through careful attunement and ally-ship. She approaches each relationship with warmth, empathic curiosity, and flexibility, and she brings a calm yet playful spirit to her work. She is currently finishing her masters in counselling psychology at the University of Victoria.
Program Facilitator (she/her)
Heather is Lekwungen, known today as Songhees Nation. Most recognize this area as the City of Victoria, where Heather has lived her entire life, the land where the people have hunted and gathered for thousands of years. She values the importance of learning about the land, rich in resources, traditional practices, and the careful management involved. Heather has enjoyed employment and learning experiences in daycare, summer camp and youth programs as a youth worker, and program coordinator. She also brings insight from her role as the Songhees Education Facilitator and Liaison, working in classrooms and sitting on various committees.
Heather has a diploma in First Nations Community Studies, and wishes to express gratitude from the knowledge gained working with children and families, educators, community members, and elders. Heather greatly appreciates her community and continues to lives on reserve with her family, which includes her partner and their daughter. She loves being outdoors with her family and the activities they take part in together, such as exploring, outdoor cooking, and camping. She especially loves being on or near the water.
Heather is a lead facilitator with the Guam Guam Specums program within SD61 schools.
Our dedicated and passionate practicum students are in the process of completing their Masters degrees in either Counselling Psychology or Child and Youth Care. Their client work is closely supervised and supported by our directors, Dave and Katy, in addition to the ongoing learning and support from their educational institutions. Because of this learning process, we are able to offer sessions with students at a reduced rate of $30–60/hr.
MA Candidate (University of Victoria, Counselling Psychology)
Elise Gilchrist (she/her) – MA Candidate (University of Victoria, Counselling Psychology) – Practicum Student
Elise is an enthusiastic, warm, and playful emerging counsellor who approaches client relationships with reverence, respect, flexibility, and care. She is currently in the process of completing her masters in counselling psychology at the University of Victoria, and she is excited to be working with children, youth, and families. Elise has years of experience facilitating outdoor adventure activities and leadership programs with kids and teens. She has also worked in community health for over a decade. These experiences offered opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
As someone who has personally found healing through her relationship with the non-human natural world, Elise acknowledges the therapeutic power of being in relationship with nature. In her work, she intends to team up with nature as co-facilitator to cultivate a carefully attuned relationship with each unique client and family unit.
MACP Candidate (Yorkville University, Counselling Psychology)
Jessica Pfeffer (she/her) – MACP Candidate (Yorkville University, Counselling Psychology) – Practicum Student
Jessica creates a positive therapeutic relationship where clients feel safe, supported, and heard. She is finishing her Master’s in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University, and is passionate about working with children, youth and families. Building on a lifetime committed to service, Jessica has a Master of Environmental Management from Royal Roads University, and worked with non-profits, regional and provincial government in emergency management, conservation and environmental policy for over fifteen years. Jessica also works as a Senior Policy Analyst for Emergency Management BC, supporting the COVID-19 response and strengthening emergency management legislation and policy in BC.
Jessica shares her love of nature with her eleven year-old son, husband of nineteen years, and bevy of international students, through hiking, skiing, and biking adventures. Throughout her life, Jessica has volunteered and worked with children and youth in various settings, from the shores of Lake Huron to PKOLS – Mount Douglas Park, providing environmental education and nature-based opportunities for connection and adventure. She volunteers as a Health Coach for individuals facing chronic health conditions through the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island Self-Management program. These experiences have encouraged her interest in celebrating and working with individuals with gender, ability, and cultural diversity, in addition to children with twice exceptional designations (2E), anxiety, giftedness, autism spectrum and ADHD designations. She has also published a series of articles for families on children in nature.
MA Candidate (University of Victoria, Child and Youth Care)
Kostas Zolotas (he/him) – MA Candidate (University of Victoria, Child and Youth Care) – Practicum Student
As a teenager, Ko was exposed to a variety of outdoor adventures through the magic of summer camps in the Rocky Mountains. While having wonderful and fun, positive experiences, he also found that he was also growing as a person. He noticed that while he was learning the hard skills of what strokes to use in rough waters, he was also learning the soft skills of how to manage fear and anxiety. As he learned to track and sneak up to animals, he learned self-regulation. With knots, came patience. Since this realization, Ko has focused on gaining skills, both hard and soft, to add to his toolbox to walk with others on their healing journeys. This has led him to work with children and youth over the last 15 years through a variety of approaches, from teaching fire by friction on the west coast, to trapeze in Montreal, and everything in between! He is an enthusiastic, empathic, and playful practicum student currently completing his Master’s in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria.
MA Candidate (Yorkville University, Counselling Psychology)
Sarah Delroy (she/her) – MA Candidate (Yorkville University, Counselling Psychology) – Practicum Student
Sarah is a third generation Ukrainian/English/Irish settler who grew up on unceded Algonquin territory. She uses a strengths-based approach to counselling to help generate a safe and compassionate space for clients to find connection to themselves, others and the living world. She has studied and worked in wilderness and survival skills since 2001, with a focus on connecting children, youth and adults with nature for the last 7 years. Sarah completed a stone tools, bow hunting, tracking and native plants apprenticeships with Eddie Starnator and Julie Martin. She also studied gakgung archery for several years while living in South Korea.
Sarah is especially drawn to rites of passage such as land fasts and working with LGBTQ2S+ folx and self-identified girls and women in particular. She has worked at the P.I.N.E. Project, Soaring Eagle Nature School, presented at Headwaters Skill Gathering and Hillside Festival and was part of the children’s staff and community hearth at the Art of Mentoring Ontario. She worked with the Guelph Outdoor School for almost 6 years and established the Lynx program for self-identified young women while there. More recently she started her own business called Path-to-Ground running programs such as fire making, tracking, weaving and storytelling. Currently she is completing her Master’s in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University.
Grants and Operations Coordinator
Grants and Operations Coordinator (she/her)
Melissa has a background is in theatre and creative writing, and she has worked professionally as an actor and playwright across Canada. She has a passion for mental health awareness, education, and increasing accessibility to services. Since childhood, she has felt a deep connection to nature and the outdoors, which she credits to growing up on the West Coast in beautiful Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory.
She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from the University of Victoria.
Intake Coordinator – MSW Candidate
Intake Coordinator – MSW Candidate (she/her)
For Ashley, nature and the great outdoors have always been a source of solace and support. While amidst the trees, she feels a sense of safety, connection, presence, inspiration, and grounding. Her own relationship with nature has contributed considerably to her mental wellbeing throughout the many ups and downs of life. Ashley has a strong passion for supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of those she interacts with. Her career path has been guided by her interest and passion to hold space and walk alongside people as they share their stories. Ashley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is a certified Pilates instructor and Movement Educator. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work through the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
Board of Directors
Michael hails from Victoria, British Columbia, where he can be found poking around the forests, islands, and beaches of Vancouver Island. With over 35 years of experience guiding and coaching paddlesports enthusiasts across Canada, he’s still attracted to a life lived in and on the water. Over the years, he’s participated in the leadership of the Canadian outdoor field through a number of roles.
Since selling his training business in 2009, he has applied his skills and knowledge to post secondary education. In addition to integrating the principles of adventurous learning to business education at Royal Roads, he has also helped establish and run the new Adventure Education graduate program at Camosun College.
Alla is an interdisciplinary community weaver and changemaker. She has worked in environmental education, public engagement, communications and community development in the nonprofit and public sectors for nearly 15 years. She holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Education & Communications from Royal Roads University and a Bachelor of Applied Communications in Public Relations from Mount Royal University. Longtime interests include nature-based therapy, ecopsychology, permaculture, placemaking, coaching, systemic and family constellations and more.
She is the founder/director of the Meaningful Work Project meaningfulworkproject.ca
Bree is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, educator, wilderness guide, and the co-founder of EcoHuman Health. She successfully put her diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis into remission, naturally, and works with individuals and groups who are ready and looking for effective lifestyle changes to enhance their health and wellness.
She has a love of the natural world and a deep respect for the connection between body, mind and spirit. She loves to spend time hiking, paddle boarding, and backcountry camping with her family.
Doug is an assistant teaching professor at the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, and his areas of focus include management finance, accounting, taxation and general management. He earned his Master of Professional Accounting degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2014. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA). While working at KPMG LLP, he provided financial reporting and assurance services to a variety of clients in the IT, government, and transportation sectors.
In his spare time, Doug is an avid trail runner, hiker, and piano-player, and he’s passionate about the outdoors. He also likes eating pancakes and listening to vinyl records.