about CIEL

We are a team of professional counsellors and student (intern) counsellors, serving the East Van community and beyond. At Ciel we are dedicated to providing accessible, affordable, collaborative counselling services.

Our counsellors provide low-cost individual counselling at a fee of $40 per session. Relationship and couples counselling is offered at a fee of $60/hour.

The counselling sessions are delivered by Masters of Counselling Psychology interns who regularly participate in collaborative supervision with Ciel’s professional counsellors. 

We are allies. We work with multicultural, feminist, queer-positive, anti-oppression, social justice-based perspectives. At Ciel Community Counselling we welcome all folks.



Ciel Services


Individual Counselling

Individual counselling provides support, encouragement, and guidance during challenging times. As part of the counselling process, you may experience healing, gain new perspectives, and eventually deal in new ways with personal topics.

Anxiety, depression, anger, substance abuse, relationship challenges, family and parenting problems, school difficulties, career changes, body image issues, disordered eating, identity, sexuality, and self-esteem are all areas of interest in the counselling space... and the list goes on. Whatever you bring in, we can work with.

In individual counselling you will work one-to-one with your counsellor in a caring and confidential environment. The counsellor will gently promote exploration of your feelings, beliefs, and behaviour. You may work through pain from the past, metabolize hurt, heal trauma, and identify aspects of your life that you would like to change. You might gain insight about yourself and others, create life goals, and work toward them. Most of all, you will experience having an ally who believes in your abilities and strengths.

couples/relationship Counselling 

Couples counselling facilitates new approaches to relationship problems. While the people involved may have previously made sincere efforts to resolve the issues between them, enlisting a professional counsellor can aid in creating an environment in which breakthroughs may happen.

In the couples counselling process the 'push-pull' dynamic of the conflicted relationship is put on hold. The counsellor and clients collaborate to create a space in which each of the partners may express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in constructive ways.

The aim in relationship counselling is to help the partners gain a better understanding of themselves and of each other. In the consultation process the partners may decide whether they want to make changes in the relationship, and if so, the counsellor will support them in implementing steps to do so.

*At Ciel we welcome folks with diverse relationship styles and preferences, whether monogamous, open, polyamorous, or any other arrangement. Our approach is inclusive of all & LGBTQ-positive.



Ciel founders



CARMEN OSTRAnder  - Narrative Therapist

Carmen is an Australian Narrative & Expressive Arts Therapist currently based in Vancouver. She brings a long history of engagement in the arts and community cultural development to bear in her work, in conjunction with a commitment to practices which support social justice and preferred ways of being, especially in artisic, Queer, and gender-diverse communities. You’ll find her post-modern non-pathologising approach in independent practice, at Qmunity providing narrative consultation and peer supervision, supporting Ciel’s intern counsellors, and behind the scenes at one of Vancouver’s oldest artist-run collectives, Gallery Gachet.


Ishtar Beck - Registered Clinical Counsellor

Ishtar's holistic, social justice-driven approach and quirky sense of humour inform her counselling and mentoring practice. When she’s not dancing, writing, or walking by the river or the beach, Ishtar works with Ciel’s intern counsellors to ensure that low-cost counselling continues to happen on the Drive. She can frequently be found at Dolce Amore with her bunch of teenagers discussing gender diversity, arguing politics, groaning at new memes, and enjoying dark chocolate sorbetto.




ELIZABETH DE BALASI - Registered Clinical Counsellor

A long-standing inclination to question dominant ideas and resist unjust social norms has led Elizabeth to the practice of collaborative counselling. Parenting has taught her about listening at the deepest and most subtle levels. Working in collaboration with clients, Elizabeth strives to create a safe, non-judgmental space that invites reflection on strengths, challenges, barriers, and ways of healing. Elizabeth is trained in a range of collaborative approaches and dedicates part of her practice to supporting Ciel’s intern counsellors.




Lauren Howard - Canadian Certified Counsellor

Ciel Community Counselling thanks Lauren for her spark which helped launch our vision. Lauren continues to provide social justice-oriented counselling in Vancouver, B.C.


We are pleased to introduce you our current team (large photo, below). From left to right in the back row, Elizabeth and Carmen, founders and collaborators. Next row down, Chantelle and Zoey, current Ciel counsellors, and Laurren, who will be joining the Ciel team in 2020. Next row down, Robert, current Ciel counsellor; Esha, our most recent Ciel graduate; Ishtar, founder and collaborator; and Rosie, current Ciel counsellor. Bottom row, Jenny and Deborah, Ciel graduates and collaborators, and Fiona, current Ciel counsellor. Together we are putting the vision of affordable community-based counselling into practice, here in East Van.



CIEL Counselling Interns




Fall 2019 update: please expect to wait 3-4 weeks for an intake appointment.

office location: 1416 commercial drive #101. by appointment only.

fee for counselling: $40 cash only, up front.

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