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BIPoC Identified & Queer Allied Counselling

Sharlene Petigara

My counselling practice is committed to help you to have honest conversations that start to uncover the areas in your life where you feel a need for growth. My clients find that they are able to slow down difficult moments, identify what’s going on within them, and grow a sense of self-leadership in which there’s much more possibility and choice in how they live than it seemed. I am a cisgender woman and person of colour in my 30's, and I use the pronouns she/her. I am a TIST trained and certified counsellor, presently offering in-person and online therapy in East Vancouver, on Commercial Drive. 

Some reasons to try therapy are:​

If you want to deepen your self-understanding and find out how to give yourself what you need in challenging times


If you want to feel less self-blame and move toward a more generous view of yourself


If you’re feeling hurt or frustrated with others and want closer relationships while keeping your sense of integrity 


If you want to heal from past events and connect with others and yourself in a way that feels safer

If you want to get more bold and authentic in your relationships and work, and live from a more self-expressed place 


If you have difficulty making decisions and want to move from a place of doubt to self-trust


If you want to explore transitions in identities or life paths in a nonjudgmental and reassuring environment


About My Practice

I provide a reflective and encouraging space where clients can process experiences and feelings in a way that feels different. I help my clients to tune into what strengths are already there that can be expanded upon, and also to what strategies have historically helped them to get by that may not be useful anymore. My clients often find themselves connecting to a self that feels more authentic, and learning what it feels like to start to expand their capacity to cope with life’s stressors. People consistently describe feeling lighter and more capable after our sessions.

I am trained in an approach that can simply be called parts work" which was developed by Dr. Janina Fisher. It's a highly effective, step-by-step approach that helps people to get curious about their own emotional responses without getting caught up in them. What often comes out of this work is a felt shift in perspective, in which things seem less overwhelming, and there’s more of a sense of choice in how to respond to the world.

My graduate work focused on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, which uses Eastern practices of mindfulness and the idea of finding a Middle Path between our often polarized thinking. 


Areas of Focus

Some of the areas I can help with include:



LGBTQ+ matters

Gender identity and expression




Work/life balance


Personal/professional identity

People of colour and multicultural issues

Immigration and adjustment

Healing from oppression and internalized oppression

Understanding and managing challenging emotions

Anger management and impulse control

Developing self-care/compassion 

​I have a Masters in Counselling Psychology with a focus on Traumatic Attachment. I also have ten years of experience in the field of mental health and trauma, partly from my previous career as a Registered Social Worker. My extensive training, combined with my work for Vancouver Coastal Health's ACT Team and Vancouver Integrated Supervision Unit, has prepared me for my clinical work with individuals.

You can trust that I have a solid understanding of the issues that people can face, and that I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals and live a more fulfilling life.



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Book a free 15 minute consultation to ensure that I am the right fit for you. I usually respond within 1-2 business days.

I am currently offering online and in-person sessions on East Vancouver Counselling, on Commercial Drive. If you are uncertain about online counselling, I really recommend giving it a chance. Video calls can be as worthwhile as in-person counselling is, and often clients even prefer it to in-person meetings. 

Book an online consultation here, or email me directly.


*If the schedule is full or you can't find a spot that works for you, send me an email! 

We'll find a time to schedule you in.

I'm happy to be a part of the counselling collective at East Vancouver Counselling, located at:
202-1651 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC

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